Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guns, A God Given Right?

by Giovanni Neal (aka, Blame Girl)
R3 Contributor

It just sounds silly. Right? As I’ve debated guns over the past few days, I have heard many people evoke the name of the Lord when talking about their gun rights. The thing is, the right to “bear arms” in this country comes from a political, non religious document; The Bill of Rights. Yet, the American people feel more of a sense of entitlement to guns than healthcare or education. So did God really give us this right to cling to guns?

The right to “keep and bear arms” actually comes from a bit of religious history. In the 17th Century, there were religious tensions between Catholics and Protestants/Parliament and the Crown in England. King James II was pushing his Catholic agenda in a newly growing Protestant population. After rebellions, James maintained an army, and sought to confiscate property including weapons from Protestants. In 1688, the British Parliament passed the Bill of Rights to ensure that royalty would never again be able to disarm the public. That right remained with Parliament.

One hundred years later, in 1788 the United States, demanded a Bill of Rights of it’s own, including its own right to arms. This was because the same country’s parliament that demanded the right to bear arms from its own King and Queens imposed an arms embargo on the American colonies. So after the colonist rebelled and gained independence they again made sure they could keep their guns. The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Though the right to “keep and bear arms” initially came from religious motives, I don’t think it came from God. I believe it comes from politics, which often leads to civil war. Be it over religion or tyranny in general, the people do need a way to resist government authority. For example, take the AR-15 that was among the weapons the shooter in the recent Aurora had. I say the private public doesn’t need military grade weapons, but many claim we must have access to the same equipment as the military. As military technology grows, does that mean so should the arsenal available to a “militia?” That scares me. It’s already disturbing that the military has drones; so should normal Americans have drones too? For safety? My God given instinct says, “NO!”

Why would God grant the right to guns, when we have to fight politically in order to pass laws for human rights, like medicine and education? I am of the school of thought to natural rights come from things we all should have naturally, such as freedom from enslavement, or freedom from tyranny, freedom to love. People evoke God’s name to justify all types of things; guns and politics included.

When I think God, guns aren’t in the picture. I think about the good in the world. I think about nature. I think about life. Guns are neither good nor natural; and they take lives by the masses.


Brian Meadows said...

God gives no right to homicidal weapons. You are SO on the money, my dear friend!

The Political Palaver said...

The inalienable rights granted by God (according to America's forefathers) are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- there are others, but these cited specifically. The right to bear arms is a "fundamental" right, and may not technically be a God-given right. However, there can be an argument made that the right to defend one's life from assailants or to defend one's liberty against tyranny require weapons of a specific potency, and therefore the fundamental right of Americans to "bear arms" indeed intersects with what could be considered God-given rights. This is logic- not silliness. To discount this reasoning requires an ideological leap of faith away from our fundamental rights. Which you are free to do, of course, but the argument against gun rights cannot be made within the framework of foundational intent, as you have tried to do here. Sorry, Giovanni, this seems less an exercise of reason and more a profession of ideological belief, evidenced by your claim that medicine is a human right. Logic dictates that medicine is a "product" and healthcare is a "service." Your political faith in progressive ideals supplant the religious faith of those who believe in more traditional notions of fundamental or "God-given" rights. That's all.

Blame Girl said...

I wasn't arguing against gun rights, just against calling it a "God given right." So you will argue that guns are a God given right as an extension of the right to life, yet it's not an exercise of reason for me to argue medicine as an extension of the right to life? Especially, when medicine keeps people alive, and guns don't. I am aware that medicine is a product, as is a weapon.