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07.01.2008 0

Public Safety does not Override Individual Right to Self-Defense

  • On: 07/16/2008 15:10:38
  • In: 2nd Amendment
  • “We have found no … case recognizing a public right to be free from the threat that members of the public may commit crimes against individuals.”Chicago v. Beretta, majority opinion delivered by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman.

    The liberal opinion-making establishment is having a conniption-fit over the prospects that the Supreme Court might actually uphold the individual right to bear arms in the landmark D.C. v. Heller case heard this week.

    A ruling favorable to Heller would conceivably overturn gun control laws throughout the nation, which is why the Washington Post came out yesterday with its editorial, “Judging Guns”:

    “Six justices active in questioning during Tuesday’s arguments seemed to at least contemplate an individual rights approach. If a majority embraces such an approach, it is far from clear what legal standard they would then apply to determine the constitutionality of the D.C. gun law. Reaching consensus on this issue may very well be the biggest challenge for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. We urge the justices to adopt the lowest standard of review to allow governments maximum flexibility in enacting laws meant to protect public safety.”

    Of course they do not want the Court to address the obvious, facial violation of the Second Amendment by D.C.’s gun ban; they don’t like that right. They only want the government to have the guns.

    There is, of course, the right to life protected by the Federal Constitution. The protection of that right by the government permits the government to make laws prohibiting murder, assault, and other forms of actual physical harm.

    It does not, however, permit the government to make laws in the name of public safety banning guns because they might be used to commit murder.

    They might be used for self-defense, after all. In truth, the individual rights to self-defense and to bear arms are fundamental to the protection of the right to life, and in extension enhance public safety. If an individual is not permitted to protect him or herself – then by definition (s)he is not safe.

    Therefore, if individuals are not safe, then there cannot be any public safety – no matter what the government attempts to do to prevent physical harm. As noted in the Illinois Supreme Court decision above, there is no public right to be free from the danger that other citizens might pose.

    ALG Perspective: The Washington Post is essentially arguing that the government has the right to protect public safety. First, governments do not have rights, citizens – individuals have rights which are unalienable and which may not be deprived without due process of law. The Federal Government was intended to have enumerated powers: only those things we the People give it. Governments have no rights by their own right or entitlement. So, the Post – as is to be expected – has turned the situation on its head. In truth, public safety depends upon the individual protection of the natural right to life, and ultimately upon the rights to bear arms and of self-defense, not the other way around.

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