Is Gun Ownership a Fundamental Right?

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By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

The question of the day at News Radio 740am was, “Do you agree with the Supreme Court – is gun ownership a fundamental right?” The replies came back 52.26 % said “Yes,” 7.14 % said “No,” while 40.59% went with “You’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

In the play My Fair Lady, Eliza confronted Freddie as he wooed her, “Words, words, words; I’m so sick of words. I get words all day long; first from him now from you. Is that all you blighters can do?”

Words and their meanings are important; fundamental or natural rights are generic, while God-given rights acknowledge specifically His having authored them. If anything, I’m consistent in my appreciation for God given rights, having written on this previously, quoting scripture for those unfamiliar with the concept.

“…For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?” (2 Nep 27:27)

I make the distinction for an important reason; as Ezra Taft Benson remarked, “If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.” Benson went on to say:

“Since God created man with certain unalienable rights, and man, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that man is superior to the creature which he created. Man is superior to government and should remain master over it, not the other way around. Even the non-believer can appreciate the logic of this relationship.”

There are many among us who lack a testimony of the Gospel and the information which links America inseparably with our Creator. Having a knowledge and understanding of “rights” elevates the importance of those rights. Unfortunately, there are many in positions of great power and influence who not only disagree with the source of our inalienable rights, they would strip individuals of those rights in favor of unbridled government control.

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” Thomas Jefferson, (Works 8:404; P.P.N.S., p.141)

Prior to becoming President, then Senator Obama, speaking on rights and the constitution indicated his disdain for limitations placed on government, limitations which our founders considered imperative to safeguard individual rights.

“And to the extent as radical I think as people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted. The Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you. It says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”

The dangers of permitting government to have unbridled power, to usurp individual rights at will and with impunity relegates the citizenry into serfdom or slavery; again, the terminology might vary, the results are historically brutal. Have we not seen enough of this in the Obama administration to make the hair on our backs stand up? Look at his power czars and those he places in top positions; do they share a love for our constitutional form of government or have they shown a propensity to Change in favor of something different, something Utopian that will please all equally?

Elena Kagan has been nominated to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, and it would appear all the traffic lights have been lined up green in her favor; the rubber stamp Senate having sufficient votes to validate Lucretia Borgia for a similar position were Obama to put her name up. What do we know about Kagan? She’s never been a sitting judge; her slate didn’t have to be cleaned, there’s hardly a record of her existence, or is there?

Kagan publicly argued to limit 1st Amendment rights of corporations in the printing of political pamphlets, powers strictly denied to government by the First Amendment. If Kagan would deny 1st Amendment rights to a group sheltered as a corporation, what’s to stop her from acting against a single individual? She apparently doesn’t understand the straightforward language, that part which reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What part of “no” does Kagan not understand? Where does Kagan find that our government has the right to deny or abridge freedom of speech to anyone or any group of people, to include corporate entities from expressing their opinions? This is troubling when you consider how long Kagan might sit as a Supreme Court Justice and to determine the role of government in each of our lives.

Obama is doing his level best to stack the courts with folks who agree with his revisionist attitude, those who will actively legislate from the bench to correct negative rights in favor of broader government entitlements in spite of declaring their intent to enforce the rule of law. The Washington Times ran an editorial, Kagan’s threat to gun owners, which spotlights a bias against an individual’s right to own firearms under the Second Amendment.

“Ms. Kagan is Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s soul sister when it comes to gun control. Last year, during her confirmation hearings, Ms. Sotomayor insisted the Supreme Court had never found that an individual right to self-defense exists. Two of Justice Sotomayor’s own appeals court decisions came to the same conclusion. One ruling denied there is an individual right to self-defense. In another case, even after the Supreme Court struck down the District’s gun ban, Judge Sotomayor opined that any restrictions on self-defense would pass constitutional muster so long as politicians who passed it said they had a good reason.”

This past Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled by a narrow margin of 5/4 validating the 2nd Amendment right of an individual to own firearms extended to all fifty states. Mark Sherman’s AP article recorded dissenting views centered on the premise that gun rights were intended for the purposes of those within the structured organization of a militia; but were not intended for individuals. In essence, the dissenting opinion is based on the notion that individual citizens are not trustworthy, certainly not enough to let them have guns; talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

“Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, each wrote a dissent. Stevens said that unlike the Washington case, Monday’s decision “could prove far more destructive — quite literally — to our nation’s communities and to our constitutional structure.”’

Kagan voiced a similar opinion which mirrored that of Justice Stevens upon hearing the Supreme Court decision on Tuesday as was widely distributed on the airways; interestingly, since her confirmation hearings had already begun. Our God given right to own and bear arms passed this week; but only by one vote.

Do we want the Supreme Court seat filled by anyone who doesn’t embrace the constitution as the law of the land? Can America afford to seat yet another activist judge, one who admires international law over our own constitution? This is about preserving our God given rights and is too important to leave in the hands of progressives, socialists or anyone else who doesn’t appreciate the proper role of government. Wake up America, our constitution hangs by a thread!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution.”

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