How Unalienable Rights Become Privileges

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You
need look no further than this:

The case
of a New Jersey man who is serving seven years in prison for possessing
two locked and unloaded handguns he purchased legally in Colorado
is a perfect example of how a law-abiding citizen can unwittingly
become a criminal due to vastly differing gun laws among the states,
gun rights experts say.

I’m going to
stop with the quotes from the story right here, because nothing
more needs to be quoted.

A well regulated
Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the
right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

What is the
Second Amendment?

It is recognition
of a right.

Parse that
sentence again: Rights can be either recognized or abrogated but
they cannot be granted.

In order to
grant something, you first must have it. The State does not possess
the right to the people’s self-defense (by definition) against either
personal tyranny (e.g. a thug breaking into their home) or government
tyranny (e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.)

You either
accept that you, and everyone else, have an unalienable right
to self-defense or you do not.

If you do,
then the right to possess weapons suitable for self-defense (which
most-certainly includes any sort of small arm such as a pistol)
is inherently encompassed within that right.

The NRA, the
Brady folks and others all in fact argue over nonsense. They argue
over "reasonable restrictions." But there are no reasonable
restrictions when it comes to peaceable exercise of a right.

None.

Yes, I know
that Miller says that short-barreled shotguns are permissible
to restrict and there are other cases on the books that bear on
this as well.

But laws and
rights are not the same thing. Laws either respect or disrespect
rights, but they do not bestow them, because the government is
not from whence rights flow, and you cannot bestow that which you
do not first possess.

This does not
mean that there should be no legal strictures for non-peaceable
acts – that is, violations of other people’s rights. Your
right to peaceable self-defense expires when you pull that weapon
with the intent to use it for an unlawful purpose (like sticking
up a convenience store.)

But the principle
of unalienable rights, standing alone, is that no government has
a right to prospective constraint upon unalienable rights,
as their peaceable exercise is unalienable – that is,
beyond any government’s ability to review.

It makes many
people very uncomfortable when one starts talking about topics in
this vein, because everyone, it seems, wants to trade liberty for
security in some form or fashion.

Yet a long
line of facts and history prove beyond any doubt – reasonable
or otherwise – that such trades never secure actual safety,
but always sacrifice liberty.

Witness Chicago.
It was illegal to possess a handgun unless you were a peace officer
and functionally (despite Heller and friends) still is. Yet this
has not prevented one thug from gaining possession of a handgun
and waving statutes in front of said thug has not managed to stop
one bullet in flight.

In fact, the
thugs are so impressed with these laws that they burn police cars
in front of cops’ homes in the middle of the night. The citizens?
They (rightfully) refuse to step in and stop it. With what would
they stop it? Their good looks? Remember, by definition a law-abiding
citizen in that city is not armed!

Nor is this
confined to the right to peaceably exist (which is why we have a
Second Amendment.) It also extends to the right to travel. Not only
has that been turned into a privilege with things like Driver
Licensing but it is in point of fact illegal to bicycle while intoxicated
in Florida – and many other states. That’s right – you
can do the right thing by choosing to bike (instead of drive) if
you intend to drink and get a DUI anyway. Worse, there’s
a recent case where the cops arrested someone for drinking in
the back of a limousine. That is, the patron hired a driver
specifically to avoid the risk of a DUI and was arrested anyway.

Free to go
upon the public roadways? A right to travel? Not any more – and
we haven’t even discussed the TSA and other similar goon-squad nonsense
yet.

You want to
talk about liberty? Fundamental, unalienable rights? Which ones?

You only
have the rights endowed by your creator you are willing to defend.

Today, that’s
a blank sheet of paper, all in the name of "just a little compromise"
or claimed acts "for your safety" (which in fact do
not deliver what was promised, and liability for that failure by
those in government is then, of course, refused.)

Just ask the
40,000+ dead on our nation’s roads every year or the 3,000 ghosts
of those who were alive prior to 9/11, all of which were promised
"safety" in consideration of giving up their liberty.
They got neither, and to top it off a man who was peaceably going
along his path in life, who had committed no offense upon the peace,
was searched, arrested, tried, convicted and is now in prison
because he peaceably exercised an unalienable right.

Jefferson,
Hamilton, Madison and the rest would damn this nation and it’s government
to eternal Hell were they alive to see this travesty and the millions
just like it that are committed each and every year.

Reprinted
from Market Ticker.

December
4, 2010

2010
Market
Ticker

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