ARMED SELF-DEFENSE AS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT
Is armed self-defense a basic human right? That is the crux of an ongoing debate for many people in the United States. It shouldn’t be but it is.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution makes clear that armed self-defense is a fundamental human right. If anyone harbors doubt about that, the United States Supreme Court settled the question in 2008, in the seminal Second Amendment case, Heller vs. District of Columbia.
The late eminent Associate Justice, Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, opined “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right.”
This means armed self-defense is not to be perceived as a thing apart from the broader notion of self-defense, but, rather, is subsumed in it.
The sole issue in Heller was “whether a District of Columbia prohibition on the possession of usable handguns in the home violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution.”
In ruling that an outright ban on the use of a handgun for self-defense in one’s home does violate the core of the Second Amendment right, the majority also held that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is an individual right unconnected with one’s service in a militia. This ruling is consistent with and is implied in the Court’s ruling on the salient issue.
Moreover, the High Court made patently clear that Government didn’t create the right of armed self-defense but simply codified it, for the right of armed self-defense exists intrinsically in one’s being.
The Court said,
“Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment like the First and Fourth Amendments codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.’”
The recent Kyle Rittenhouse case is a textbook study of the utility of a firearm in effective defense of self against aggressive predatory attack.
But this idea doesn’t sit well with Anti-Second Amendment proponents:
“Gun rights are not human rights.”
So says “democracy and human rights advocate,” Rukmani Bhatia who had served in the Obama Administration.
Her assertion is posited not as a thesis to be proved but as an assumption to be accepted as self-evident, true, notwithstanding the plain meaning of the Second Amendment and the High Court’s rulings in Heller.
The Report is titled, “Untangling the Gun Lobby’s Web of Self-Defense and Human Rights,” and is subtitled, “Peddling False Rights, Profiting Off Fear.”
Bhatia writes, in pertinent part,
“Today, alongside this rights-based narrative, a parallel narrative exists that is perpetuated by the U.S. gun industry as part of a multifaceted effort to increase gun sales. This so-called gun-rights narrative manipulates the ideals of human rights to establish not only an inalienable right to life but also an unfettered right to armed self-defense to protect oneself from any perceived threat of harm. This narrative hinges on fear and the need to defend oneself and loved ones from unknown but ever-present threats through whatever means necessary and without regard to the rights of others. It is grounded by the false claim that the most effective means of self-preservation involves using a firearm.”
From her remarks, dubious and outlandish as they are, one detects a note of irritation and frustration, borne of a deep-seated ethical or aesthetic abhorrence of guns and of the citizen’s right to keep and bear them. But there is more to be gleaned from this account.
The Marxist antagonism directed to armed self-defense, as reflected in Bhatia’s “Report,” hides a sinister agenda.
It is an agenda at loggerheads with the sanctity and inviolability of personal selfhood and one inconsistent with the preservation of the United States as a free Constitutional Republic.
Grounded on the tenets and precepts of Collectivism (See e.g., Arbalest Quarrel article on the differences between Collectivism and Individualism), the Marxist intends to thrust their vision of reality on the entire Nation. Most Americans find that vision disagreeable if not thoroughly reprehensible and repugnant.
The Marxist isn’t unaware of this and resorts to artifice and chicanery to seduce the polity. The Marxist relies on the legacy Press and social media to assist in making it palatable to the public policy goals designed to transform a free Republic into a Marxist Dictatorship.
Marxists mask their disdain for the dignity of man by disingenuously claiming to venerate it.
At the outset of her Center for American Progress Report, Bhatia cites Article 1 of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (“UDHR”) a document crafted by the United Nations, where, citing Article 1 of the UDHR and then expanding on the sentiments of it, Bhatia writes,
“Every human life has inherent value and dignity, and every person has the right to life, liberty, and personal security. These truths are codified in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was historic, with nations coming together to explicitly recognize the need to protect and preserve these fundamental rights, structuring constitutions to explicitly defend their citizens’ human rights, and particularly their rights to life, freedom, and security. The protection of human rights continues to be a defining pillar to secure a stable, peaceful liberal world order. But in the United States, some groups—such as the gun lobby—are seizing upon this rights-based narrative to justify, dangerously, the right to bear, carry, and use firearms.”
The United Nations says this about the development of the UDHR:
“Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and. . . is widely recognized as having inspired, and paved the way for, the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels. . . .”
Extolling the sentiments of the UDHR, as Rukmani Bhatia does in her Center for Progress Report, is all well and good. But how is one expected to effectively confront an aggressive, vicious attack that emanates from the predatory beast, predatory man, or the tyrannical, predatory Government if not through armed self-defense? The Marxist, Bhatia, doesn’t say, which begs the very question at issue in her Report. Is Bhatia not aware of this? Perhaps, she is aware of this but consciously chooses to slither around it, hoping no one perceives the gaping hole that she has left open in her Report.
In an attempt to avoid dealing with the question, head-on, Marxists, like Bhatia, simply take the easy way out. They deny the essence of the problem, claiming, as Bhatia does, and as she argues, that the threat of harm isn’t real, was never real, but is and always was grounded in an unwarranted fear of harm.
But the threat is real, and the fear isn’t unwarranted, and Americans are witnessing all of it. And it is painfully evident through the inaction and empty posturing of effete and impotent Federal and State Governments to the harm generated.
Either the Marxist-controlled Federal Government and similar Marxist-controlled State and local Governments are simply inept and incompetent and, so, wholly unable to deal with the harm, or they welcome, even encourage, the attendant harms to the citizen and society alike. Likely it is a combination of both.
The framers of the United States Constitution had the answer to the threat of harm caused by predatory beast, predatory man, or predatory Government, an unwelcome one for these Marxists, to be sure, as they aim to break apart American society and culture so that they can rebuild society in accordance with the strictures of Marxism.
The answer rests in the Nation’s Bill of Rights (BOR), specifically in the citizen’s exercise of his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This, more than anything else, is the answer to the bedlam and mayhem wrought by those that seek the Country’s undoing. Small wonder, then, that these Marxists desire to destroy the Right.
THE UNITED NATIONS IGNORES ARMED SELF-DEFENSE AS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT; THE UNITED STATES EMBRACES IT
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations crafted a document, titled “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The document is a litany of 30 Rights (“Articles”) that ostensibly proclaims the dignity of the human being and his right to life, liberty, and security.
The Preamble of the United Nations’ UDHR sets forth:
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”
These are all noble sentiments, as articulated, of course. But there is a major problem the UDHR fails to address: How is a human being supposed to secure these lofty ideals for him or herself? The drafters of the United Nations’ UDHR fail to say.
In the litany of over two dozen fundamental rights set forth in the UDHR’s “Articles,” there is no mention whatsoever of a right of armed self-defense. In fact, there is no mention in the UDHR of a right of self-defense, armed or otherwise.
By failing to acknowledge self-defense, and its corollary armed self-defense, as basic human rights, the United Nations’ UDHR undercuts “the inherent dignity and . . . equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” that it claims pompously to venerate.
The UDHR is intentionally deceptive; a ploy of international Marxism and Neoliberal Globalism. It is designed to seduce nations into forsaking their independence and sovereignty, reducing both nation and population to misery and servitude, all the while claiming to promote the “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.”
But note: even in this seemingly clear, unambiguous exposition, there is a sinister uncurrent. The UDHR speaks of purported inalienable rights to be enjoyed by the human family in a group capacity, that is to say, as a collective. There is no suggestion, no intimation these rights are to be enjoyed by human beings in an individual capacity.
WHERE ARMED SELF-DEFENSE IS ABSENT, TYRANNY OF GOVERNMENT IS UNAVOIDABLE
The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) mentions, in its Preamble, that “it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
The American public hears much about the importance of “the Rule of Law” from Marxists and Neoliberal Globalists. The EU also makes much use of this phrase, as does the UN in reference to human rights as noted supra.
Supposedly Government’s application of “the Rule of Law” operates as a hedge against encroaching tyranny. But does it? Vainglorious are those who make constant reference to it—U.S. politicians in particular. But, what does ‘rule of law’ really mean? The appeal to it is subterfuge, dissembly.
In the absence of a useful definition, the expression, ‘Rule of Law’ is vacuous. And, that is just the way politicians want to keep it. Don’t ask them to define the expression. They have no idea what it means and would be thunderstruck if anyone were to ask them to provide a definition.
A declaration of human rights that avails itself of the words “Rule of Law” as the primary or sole check against the tyranny of Government is devoid of substance.
The UN’s UDHR is deceptive. The claim of sanctifying human rights is belied by the emptiness of the gesture. How are human rights to be actualized or, if need be, how are they to be vindicated? In the “Rule of Law?” Really?
How is one to understand this “Rule of Law?” And, from whom is one to receive “Rule of Law” relief from tyranny? From that very Government that imposes tyranny on the populace?
Yet, the United Nation’s UDHR relies on the ‘Rule of Law’ as the check on tyranny. That is all one obtains from the UDHR; that is all the UN delivers to “the human family” that it claims to care so deeply about.
The United States’ BOR, unlike the UDHR, doesn’t expect the citizen to place his reliance on arcane nomenclature to provide a check on the tyranny of Government.
A check on the tyranny of Government rests in the physicality of the armed citizenry, not on empty pompous verbiage.
The framers of the Constitution wouldn’t waste ink on ‘Rule of Law’ when preparing the Bill of Rights. The framers of the BOR did not expect the ‘Rule of Law’ to protect them from the tyranny of George III of England. They placed their faith in the force of arms, not in arcane, abstruse concepts to release them from tyranny. And they would place the future security of a free Republic in nothing less than dint of arms.
The only functional check against the tyranny of Government is the physicality of “armed self-defense.”
Armed self-defense is what worries, even terrifies, the Marxist and Neoliberal Globalist, and with good reason. For the aim of these internationalists is to create a top-down autocratic Government, that is to say, “Tyranny.”
But Tyranny is not able to gain a foothold in a nation where the citizenry is armed.
The Tyrant fears Tyrannicide at the hands of the armed Citizenry and, so, demands that the Citizenry surrender its arms to the Tyrant. The Citizenry fears Democide at the hands of the Tyrant’s agents, and, so, refuses to surrender its arms to the Tyrant.
The United States, as a free Republic, must never forsake the sacred right embodied in the Second Amendment. To do so would be tantamount to the destruction of the Republic and enslavement of the populace.
The American people must never for one moment trust the Government or its propagandists who proclaim that for the public harmony, safety, and order it is in the best interests of the polity to surrender its firearms. The day the citizen does so will be the day the citizen should be prepared to sacrifice his autonomy, his dignity, his soul, and his life.
THE CITIZEN MUST BE EVER ON GUARD OF GOVERNMENT THAT PROMISES HARMONY, SAFETY, AND TRANQUILITY IF HE BUT SURRENDER ALL ARMS TO THE STATE
Unlike the United Nations that doesn’t mention a natural right of armed self-defense in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), our Nation embraces it.
The States ratified the Nation’s Bill of Rights (BOR) on December 15, 1791.
The BOR predates the UDHR by over one hundred and fifty years even as the UN heralds its own UDHR as “a milestone.”
In codifying the right of armed self-defense in the BOR, the Framers of it at once proclaimed the sanctity of Personal Selfhood and provided a rationale for it: the need for the citizen to remain wary of the tyranny of Government.
The Second Amendment provides both a stark warning to the Government and a categorical prohibition on Government apropos of it.
The people need not and must not abide by the tyranny of Government, and Government is prohibited from tampering with this perfect fail-safe mechanism by which the American people may effectively resist the inception of tyranny.
The language of the Second Amendment to thwart tyranny is self-executing. In fact, the clearest indication of the Government’s slide into tyranny is through the unlawful attempt to eradicate the American citizenry’s exercise of the right embodied in it.
The only reason the Government would dare to take such action to eradicate the exercise of the right of armed self-defense would be to preclude the citizenry from exercising the means by which it is well capable of repelling the insinuation of tyranny on the citizenry.
The danger of ever-present tyranny is manifest in the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment—pointing to “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” And the subsequent independent clause of the Second Amendment provides the ultimate fail-safe mechanism of which the citizen shall avail himself if Government devolves into tyranny: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The framers of the Bill of Rights recognized that man cannot secure his life, safety, and well-being from the predatory beast, predatory man, or predatory government in the absence of an effective means to do so—as only a firearm provides.
Superficially, the United Nations’ UDHR and the BOR may seem similar, as both documents point to and allude, in their language, to the higher aspirations and Rights of man.
But, on the crucial matter of self-defense, the principal difference between the two is laid bare.
The United Nations doesn’t presume or countenance individuals as having the wherewithal or even the right and responsibility to provide for the defense of Self.
The United Nations only makes reference to ‘self-defense’ in its Charter, signed on June 26, 1945. And in its Charter, self-defense is referenced only in one of its Articles, and, then, only in relation to the rights of nations, not in respect to the populations of those nations.
Article 51 of the UN Charter says,
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
Self-defense remains a prerogative and responsibility of the UN apropos of nations, whether in an individual or collective capacity. The UN does not recognize “Self-defense” as a right intrinsic to individual human beings, whether in an individual or in a collective capacity.
Moreover, the rights promulgated in the UDHR, noble aspirations though they may appear to be, as articulated, are understood by their crafters, to be man-made constructs. Thus, they do not even operate in the UDHR as true fundamental rights. The suggestion is mere pretense. And that is another major failing with the UDHR.
Fundamental Rights are Natural preexistent Rights—existing intrinsically in man. They aren’t creations of man.
The “Articles” qua Rights, delineated in the UDHR, are considered mutable and limitable. They are not to be perceived as—and were never intended to be perceived as—independent of the dictates of the United Nations, but were, in their creation, considered subordinate to the UN’s dictates.
This is evident from a perusal of Clauses 2 and 3 of Article 29 of the UDHR:
“In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.”
“These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
Article 29 demonstrates the vacuity of the entire enterprise.
Unlike the Rights codified in the U.S. Constitution’s BOR, the Rights delineated in the UDHR remain subordinate to the crafters of it, who retain ultimate and exclusive authority over it: to keep it, modify it, or erase it, as they wish.
Yet, a declaration of purported human rights that cannot stand on its own, independent of the sanctioning authority that created it, is an edifice built on sand.
The Bill of Rights, unlike the UDHR, is the genuine article, not a vacuous simulacrum of noble aspirations.
The Nation’s Bill of Rights is to be understood as a codification of natural law rights, not man-made conventions. That point is significant.
The framers took as axiomatic that natural law rights are fundamental, unalienable, immutable, and illimitable. As such, they are not lawfully subject to modification, abrogation, or abandonment by the Government; nor can Government perfunctorily dismiss them.
The implication of this is clear: ultimate power, authority, and sovereignty rest solely in the American people, not in the Federal Government.
Any attempt by the Government to limit, abrogate, or deny to the American people the unalienable exercise of their fundamental Rights amounts to an unlawful intrusion on and unlawful usurpation of power belonging solely to the American people, and an unlawful encroachment on the sovereignty of the people over Government.
An assault by the Government on the sovereignty of the American people over Government constitutes Tyranny of Government.
Tyranny of Government is Treachery of Government. And, Treachery of Government is Treason by Government directed against its own people.
Armed self-defense is the best hedge against the most serious danger to a free man: the predatory, tyrannical Government.
In dicta, the Heller majority acknowledged this, citing for support, The Federalist 29: “when able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny.”
Since the Marxist vision of Government and the citizen’s relationship to it requires subordination of the will of the citizen to Government, Marxists abhor the very notion of the “armed citizen.”
Not by accident, then, is there any mention of “self-defense,”—armed or otherwise—in the UDHR. A laundry list of Rights (“Articles”) never so much as alludes to one’s unalienable right of armed self-defense or even of a general right of self-defense.
But, if a man isn’t allowed the exercise of the fundamental right of armed self-defense—if in fact, the very notion of self-defense is not to be perceived of as a basic human right—wherein, then, shall a man look to secure the “inherent value and dignity” of his life that the UN crafters of the UDHR talk so floridly about? In Government? In the new “liberal world order” qua “new world order” that Neo-Marxists and Neoliberal Globalists proclaim to be a good thing? Please!
The American people must resist subtle and overt coercion by these Neo-Marxists and Neoliberal Globalists who urge them to forsake their elemental right of armed self-defense. To do so will imperil both their own lives and well-being and that of a free Constitutional Republic.
Copyright © 2021 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.