The Declaration of Independence states that among our “unalienable rights” are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are given to us by God; meaning that they were not granted to us by a king or any other human government. That they are “unalienable” means that these are rights that we are, in fact, powerless to reject. We do so only at our own peril. Rejecting these rights would be like saying that you do not want your kidneys anymore. Perhaps you don’t like their color. Sure, you could have them removed, but you wouldn’t last long!
From the right to life comes the right to protect that life. From that right flows the right to the means to do so. This is where the right protected by (not granted by or created by) the 2nd Amendment comes from. What does not spring from the right to life is a right to be protected from imagined threats.
But this is precisely the right craved by so many on the anti-gun Left. An example comes from a letter writer to the Des Moines Register who asks…
When will legislators on the state and national level stop catering to gun lobbies and do something to make all Americans safer? Everyone should realize we have a Second Amendment that allows people to own guns and that right is not going to be taken away. But where does that amendment stop and my right to live safely begin?
The writer submitted this letter following several shootings in her Beaverdale neighborhood; including at least one homicide. These were not, however, random shootings. They were drug related. In other words, these were criminals shooting other criminals. These weren’t 3-gun shooters or duck hunters running amok. So unless the letter writer is in the illegal narcotics trade, these shooting pose little to no tangible threat to her. The threat exists only in her imagination.
The letter states that “we have a Second Amendment that allows people to own guns and that right is not going to be taken away”, but how else are we to interpret her demand to “live safely”? She focuses on acts committed by criminals, but later laments new Iowa laws that protect the rights of law abiding gun owners in that State. This is a demand that those who threaten no one be disarmed so that others can enjoy the right to feel safe; not actually be safe. That right doesn’t exist.