Andrew P. Napolitano | Guns and freedom





The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural  right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically  insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has  historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny. And yet, the  progressives in both political parties stand ready to use the coercive power of  the government to interfere with the exercise of that right by law-abiding  persons because of the gross abuse of that right by some crazies in our  midst.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are  endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, he was marrying the  nation at its birth to the ancient principles of the natural law that have  animated the Judeo-Christian tradition in the West. Those principles have  operated as a break on all governments that recognize them by enunciating the  concept of natural rights.

As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are  perfectly free just as He is. Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms  are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government, and as  our humanity is ultimately divine in origin, the government, even by majority  vote, cannot morally take natural rights away from us. A natural right is an  area of individual human behavior — like thought, speech, worship, travel,  self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal  intimacy — immune from government interference and for the exercise of which we  don’t need the government’s permission.

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