Guest opinion: Rights endowed by God, not government
Individual gun rights, where do they come from?
Is a right the same as a government-granted permission or revocable privilege? Is a right merely a government revocable license? Should it be?
In the American traditional understanding, particularly found in the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers recognized “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.” In other words, our RIGHTS are endowed upon us by our God, our creator and not by any government. So how does the right to be armed fit into this way of thinking. Simple logic.
If God endowed you with your life as a right, then it follows that the same God, your creator, endowed you and every individual with the RIGHT (not revocable permission or mere privilege) to defend that sacred, God-given, individual life, right?
Thus, it follows logically that if you have a right from God, your maker, to defend your life, then you have also a God-given right to own (keep) and bear (carry) arms (i.e., pistols, rifles, knives, swords, axes, etc.) for your own self-defense of your life, health, property and even the innocents under your care (i.e., wife, children, siblings, parents). Their lives deserve protection from aggressors too, right? The Founding Fathers understood this.
In fact, the Founding Fathers used their private firearms to drive their oppressive king’s armies out of their land, beginning at Lexington, Concord, Bunkers Hill, Breed’s Hill, etc., didn’t they? So, they had proven that tyranny could be conquered and freedom gained because they had retained and used their firearms and other arms to defend their God-given rights, their liberty, their property and gain for themselves, and their posterity their independence from the unrighteous dominion of a king turned dictator, a king that no longer protected their God-given rights, but instead who violated those rights.
Sixty-years-ago, when I was 8, my grandfather (a former Undersheriff of Bighorn County, Wyoming) gave a gift to me and my identical twin brother, a .22, single-shot, bolt-action rifle. He taught us to shoot it, to be safe with it, and to only use it until grown in the company of an adult like our father. We owned guns from that time forth and never abused our right.
It has been my experience in Utah that hundreds of thousands of Utahns own and even occasionally carry high-powered rifles, shotguns, pistols, and bows and arrows during various hunting seasons, or to target practice, or even just for self-defense, but they do not go forth to murder other humans, or to commit rape at the point of a weapon, or to rob banks, etc. No, these law-abiding, armed citizens are never to be feared. They are in fact armed all year long and their arms are used for lawful and moral pursuits, including in many cases self-defense.
Personally, I’ve had a Concealed Firearm Permit since 1995 and carried a loaded handgun much of that time without committing any act of intimidation or criminal act with it, and I’m just one of tens-of-thousands of other such permit holders. In my view, the only ones who should need a “permit” from government to exercise a God-given right to be armed are those convicted of a crime or in government service.
We are the masters; the government is our servant. Don’t forget that or you will slide under the tyranny of oppressive government that will disarm you. When government has a monopoly of deadly force, who has the power — government or citizens?