I say this a lot in my Twitter feed.
And it’s important. Debating that rights come from God versus the Second Amendment isn’t a futile exercise in semantics; the source of rights has drastic consequences on to what extent those rights can be regulated.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of well-intentioned, but perhaps misguided, gun rights supporters say that the Second Amendment somehow “gives” to Americans the right to keep and bear arms.
Frankly, I fail to see how words written on a paper “give” a right; certainly, the American Founders did not believe they were giving rights (after all, who are they to give rights?).
The American Founders believed (and expressed in the Declaration of Independence) that rights came from the Creator, and that rights are inalienable. Because rights are inalienable, governments have no jurisdiction to regulate (or infringe, as the Second Amendment says) those rights.
But let’s dissect the “Second Amendment gives gun rights” logic.
If gun rights came from the Second Amendment, then the rights would really come from the men who wrote it. If rights came from man, then the right would in reality come from the majority. And as history proves, majorities come and go.
Having such a critical right, such as keeping and bearing arms, come from a fickle majority is a very unstable “source” of a right.
This concept is explained in detail in the “Root of It All” episode of GOA’s podcast, Firing Back.
I encourage you to take a listen, as host Erich Pratt expertly explains the source of rights:
As Erich explains, because rights come from God, the government has no authority to institute prior restraints on those rights.
Jordan Stein is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America. Follow him on Twitter: @jordankstein
If you enjoyed “Firing Back,” check out episodes “Rage and Riots” and “Controllers and Deceivers.” Consider becoming a Patriot member, which helps GOA advance the Second Amendment through methods like the podcast.