By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

Last week District Court Judge Cathy Seibel issued a ruling stating that New Yorkers do not have a Constitutional right to carry a firearm.

On that statement at least, she’s correct. New Yorkers don’t have a Constitutional right to defend themselves. They have a God-given right to defend themselves. The difference is huge.

Remarkably, that’s about the only part of her ruling that Judge Seibel got right. The sad part is the only reason she got that right is because she has a fundamental misunderstanding of the foundation of our government and the role she plays in it.

You see, New Yorkers can’t have a Constitutional right to defend themselves because the government cannot grant rights. Our rights are granted to us when we are created and they are a part of us as human beings – they are not subject to a judge’s decision. The only decision for a government to make is whether it will protect our God-given rights or violate them. Unfortunately, in this case it has decided to violate them.

Let’s take a look at a couple other aspects of her ruling that will demonstrate how misguided this judge truly is. According to

Southern District Judge Cathy Seibel said she found persuasive the reasoning of the Illinois’ Court of Appeals in People v. Marin, 795 N.E.2d 958 (2003), that the overriding purpose of gun statutes should be to prevent innocent people from being victimized by gun violence. (emphasis mine)

Well… not exactly. The purpose of our laws is actually to protect and enlarge our freedom as citizens.

Judge Seibel might say, “Ok Chad, what legal basis do you have for a ridiculous theory like that?” Well, I did have to do a lot of research. But I was able find it in an obscure document called the “Declaration of Independence.”

The Declaration of Independence states that:

…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men… (emphasis mine)

But if you really do want to do some research, you can go a little further back to John Locke – a man whose political writings had a major influence on our Founding Fathers – who said that the purpose “of law is, not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”

So the purpose of government and its laws is to protect my rights – not to protect me from myself – as Judge Siebel seems to be doing here.

She must be trying to save me from myself because she definitely isn’t trying to protect me from gun violence coming from someone else. Call me crazy, but if someone attacks me with a gun, I have a hard time understanding how it makes me safer to be completely unarmed.

Also from

“As crafted, the statute seeks to limit the use of handguns to self-defensive purposes…rather than for some other use that has not been recognized as falling within the protections of the Second Amendment,” Judge Seibel wrote.

In other words, Judge Seibel assumes that these men want to use their guns for criminal purposes unless they can prove otherwise. So much for innocent until proven guilty I guess.

And she’s using air tight logic to come to that conclusion too. Someone who applies for a concealed carry permit is almost certain to already own a gun – so they aren’t trying to get a weapon. This judge assumes that these men – rather than just going out and committing a crime – are going go down to register themselves with the government… and then go out and commit a crime. It makes perfect sense!

Somehow it is a completely foreign concept for Judge Seibel that a normal, law-abiding citizen would want to carry a weapon to defend themselves and their family from the everyday thugs that we all know are out on the street. She immediately concludes that any concealed carry applicant must have a malicious intent for carrying a weapon – and allows that narrow-mindedness to skew her interpretation of the law.

Sadly this is just another example of a public official who has a fundamental misunderstanding of the role our government is intended to play. Too many of us today assume that because someone is in the government they must know something we don’t. That mindset couldn’t be more wrong – or more dangerous.

We have to start realizing that a significant majority of the people in our government do not understand their jobs, our Constitution, or the simple concept of freedom.

James Madison once said:

“The Constitution is a limited one, possessing no power not actually given, and carrying on the face of it a distrust of power beyond the distrust indicated by the ordinary forms of free Government.”

That distrust of people in power is healthy and serves to protect our liberty. We must maintain it if we intend to remain free.