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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
By RICH LOWRY

September 04, 2019

Rich Lowry is editor of National Review and a contributing editor with Politico Magazine.

The fastest way to trend on Twitter, and not in a good way, is to say that the right to bear arms is a God-given right. Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer established this beyond a doubt in a Twitter thread in the immediate aftermath of the West Texas shooting spree. He said that he wouldn’t use “the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans.”

Progressives were aghast at Schaefer’s sentiment, and when actress Alyssa Milano questioned how he possibly could defend it, Texas Senator Ted Cruz jumped in to support Schaefer’s argument (in less obnoxious terms).

The basic proposition actually isn’t hard to defend, and indeed it is written into our fundamental documents. This doesn’t mean that God wants you to own an AR-15, or that every jot and tittle of our current gun regime is divinely mandated. Far from it. Yet there is a natural right to self-defense and gun ownership is inherently connected to that right in a modern society.

This is glossed over or denied even by Democrats who have a connection to America’s culture of gun ownership. On “Morning Joe” the other day, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said, “I look at [gun legislation] and I always say, ‘Does this hurt Uncle Dick in his deer stand?’” That’s not really the question, though. The Second Amendment isn’t fundamentally about Uncle Dick bagging deer, but about his ability to defend himself and his family.

The notion of God-given rights shouldn’t be controversial. It is a bedrock of the American creed, written into the Declaration of Independence. It’s preamble says, of course, that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Usually no one bats an eyelash at rhetoric based on this formulation. In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said “the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

The Bill of Rights puts flesh on the bones of those “unalienable rights” of life and liberty, and numbers “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” among them.

Why? Because the founders believed, rightly, that everyone has an inherent right to self-defense.
John Locke, the English philosopher influential with the founders, wrote:

“I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred.”

As David Hirsanyi notes in his history of the gun in America, First Freedom, John Adams said in his defense of one of the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre in 1770, self-defense was “the primary canon in the law of nature.”

Owning a gun is an extension of this law of nature, and has been recognized as such for a very long time in Anglo-America. The right to bear arms had deep roots in England, and predated the Constitution on these shores. Pennsylvania guaranteed the right early on. In his draft of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (His language wasn’t adopted.)

It is out of this historical and jurisprudential soil that we got the Second Amendment. Guns would make it possible for Americans to defend themselves, and to defend their liberties.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist of the importance of “the original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” This right can be used if necessary, per Hamilton, “against the usurpations of the national rulers.”

This wasn’t an outlandish idea, rather a commonplace. As the great writer and reformer Noah Webster put it, “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

It is a canard that the Second Amendment contemplates gun ownership only in the context of militias. It clearly guarantees an individual right to bear arms. It uses the word “people,” which appears in other amendments denoting individual rights and mendments).

There was no doubt about this at the time. As Harsanyi writes, “not a single soul in the provisional government or at the Second Continental Congress or any delegate at the Constitutional Convention–or, for that matter, any new American–ever argued against the idea of individuals owning a firearm.”

The great legal commentaries of the 19th century expressed this understanding.

It was only later that the Second Amendment came to be considered essentially an ink blot, before its true meaning was excavated by scholars on the left and the right.

None of this is necessarily a trump card in the gun-control debate. Whatever their merits, the most commonly proposed gun-control restrictions wouldn’t substantially lessen gun ownership in this country. It does mean, however, that there is a limit to how far gun control can go in America, and that proponents of new restrictions should be fully aware that they are tampering with a constitutionally protected individual right. The Second Amendment doesn’t have lesser status than the First.

If Uncle Dick likes to hunt, good for him. But his right to own a firearm doesn’t begin or end there.
 

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I never understood the lefts argument.
I thought they were all for equality, sticking up for the little guy and women. The second amendment does that .
Before guns. The biggest and strongest among us could do whatever they wanted to the weakest.
As the old saying goes:
“God made man, Sam Colt made men equal, but John Browning keeps men free.”
 

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I never understood the lefts argument.
I thought they were all for equality, sticking up for the little guy and women. The second amendment does that .
Before guns. The biggest and strongest among us could do whatever they wanted to the weakest.
As the old saying goes:
“God made man, Sam Colt made men equal, but John Browning keeps men free.”
I was thinking of that same thing today but slightly different: God made men and women but Sam Colt made the women equal to the men.

Anti-gun women's liberation supporters is an oxymoron and doesn't really exist. No one who truly cares about women's rights is anti gun.
 

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Further observation:

God does not give people guns. Guns are a purchase item.

By OP logic, guns should be made available at no charge. They are a God-given right.
 

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God-given right:

Thou shalt not kill.
The Hebrew word in those verses should be translated "murder." The correct translation is "You shall not murder." Not all killing is murder. The 6th commandment does not prohibit killing as punishment for crimes, or a soldier killing the enemy in war.
 

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The Hebrew word in those verses should be translated "murder." The correct translation is "You shall not murder." Not all killing is murder. The 6th commandment does not prohibit killing as punishment for crimes, or a soldier killing the enemy in war.
The loose interpretation of the commandment to include any qualifying amendments can certainly be justified by text from other parts of the Bible, but that's not orthodox.

By that reasoning, each intent of all the commandments can be modified.

For some, the Bible is a literal work. Others, not so much.

--

I'm aware of the erroneous translation of "murder." I'm surprised that anyone else is. Well done. :wink:

There are many places where flaws occur.

The King James version was edited from original work to conform to King James' world view.

When people talk about the Bible, the first question is: "Which one?"
 

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But the left will just say John Adams was a slave owner, or racist, or Christian or something which makes his statement void in their eyes.

and the Bible is a literal work, Read Jeremiah 23.

King David killed thousands but it was only the husband of Bathsheba that he got in trouble for.
 

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I'm aware of the erroneous translation of "murder." I'm surprised that anyone else is. Well done. :wink:
So, basically, your arguments are always from the position of a troll.

Knock it off or get banned.

--Wag--
 

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It's a constitutional right.
No it's not. It's a natural right, God-given if you believe in God as the creator of what is natural.

The Constitution doesn't grant the right; it merely acknowledges the right and guarantees that, in the United States (all of them), the right shall not be infringed.
 

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No it's not. It's a natural right, God-given if you believe in God as the creator of what is natural.

The Constitution doesn't grant the right; it merely acknowledges the right and guarantees that, in the United States (all of them), the right shall not be infringed.
No, the constitution grants the right. Without the 2nd that right would be taken from you in the United States.

Go tell someone in Japan that gun ownership is a God given right. Apparently God doesn't seem to think so, nor do the Japanese people. In fact, the vast majority of Japanese aren't even religious, and the ones that are still don't believe in a creator or supreme deity because they're mostly Buddhists.

The world is a big place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were written "by us" and "for us", not for the world. Stay focused on our documents as they pertain to our nation. Don't cloud the issue with "globalism".
 

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This is political as much as legal. This is about justices who come out of the conservative movement advocating positions that they’ve advocated for a long time. And what the Second Amendment means is not determined by the Second Amendment, it’s determined by who wins presidential elections and gets to appoint their like-minded justices.
 

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Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist of the importance of “the original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” This right can be used if necessary, per Hamilton, “against the usurpations of the national rulers.”
Amen. It is a God given right, that mankind can defend himself, morally and legally.
 

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The loose interpretation of the commandment to include any qualifying amendments can certainly be justified by text from other parts of the Bible, but that's not orthodox.

By that reasoning, each intent of all the commandments can be modified.

For some, the Bible is a literal work. Others, not so much.
--
I'm aware of the erroneous translation of "murder." I'm surprised that anyone else is. Well done. :wink:

There are many places where flaws occur.

The King James version was edited from original work to conform to King James' world view.

When people talk about the Bible, the first question is: "Which one?"
The Israelis had an army, and they killed people left and right, because that was the only way to get through the territory of the pagans. They were instructed to kill the inhabitants of some lands, because they prcaticed such things a s child sacrifice. And their gods were Dagon, Baal and other abominations. You don't go through territory where the people are killers, unless you are prepared to kill them.

Killing in self-defense is lawful, it is not murder.

Good News Translation
Not counting the tribe of Benjamin, the Israelites gathered 400,000 trained soldiers.
 
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