Self Defense: The Most Basic Right

Self defense is the most basic right that we humans have. It is a necessary foundation upon which all of our other rights are based. Given the fact the criminals who seek to harm law abiding citizens and their families are often armed, gun rights are an essential part of the right to defend oneself and one’s family these days.

The right to self defense is something that must be ensured before any other basic rights can be enjoyed. Due to the prevalence of guns in the hands of criminals (which really can’t be prevented even with the strictest gun control), and the fact that even an unarmed criminal can overpower many members of society, a gun is often the only effective means of self defense. Other methods may work in some cases, but there is a very good reason that the police carry guns, instead of just pepper spray. Given that fact, the rights below often cannot be enjoyed without gun rights:

The right to participate in the political process cannot be enjoyed unless citizens know that their participation won’t cost them their life. This is not just an abstract concern, but one that can be seen in the last 50 years within the US. During the civil rights movement, African American citizens were harassed, intimidated, and killed for registering to vote. Many chose not to exercise their right to vote due to fear for their lives and their families’ lives. These citizens lacked the ability to defend themselves, which prevented them from being able to enjoy the right to vote and participate in the political process.

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The right to life cannot reliably be enjoyed without the right to self defense. The recent case of Pat Regan, an anti-gun crusader who was stabbed to death, illustrates this point. She choose to disarm herself (along with many of the UK’s law abiding citizens), and was unable to save her own life. Contrast that tragedy with the numerous cases where law abiding citizens have defended their lives with guns. Indeed this fate is tragically more common for women, given the inherently sexist nature of gun control.

The right to liberty cannot be enjoyed without the right to self defense. It has long been recognized that a well armed citizenry is essential to the security of a free state. Tyrants that seek to overthrow the existing government and institute their own dictatorship often start by disarming the law abiding citizens. The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Communist China all have such gun control policies. Indeed, this recognition that guns are essential to liberty and the security of a free state is the reason that the Second Amendment was added to the United States constitution, and why it doesn’t just protect guns with a “sporting purpose“.

The right to the pursuit of happiness cannot be enjoyed by a citizen who has to worry that they could lose their own life or their family’s lives at any moment. This is because much of what we consider to be a part of “happiness” requires planing and stability, and the inability to defend oneself makes long term planning of one’s family and assets an exercise in futility.

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The right to own property cannot be enjoyed without the right to self defense. A person who cannot protect their own body and the bodies of their family is unable to be secure in their possessions either. A person who is unable to stop a home invader is also unable to be secure in their home and its contents. Indeed it is being secure in the knowledge that one’s property is safe that goes to the very core of property ownership. Some people will argue that calling the police is the proper course of action, however it is not enough. Calling the police is not a viable alternative because the time it will take for the police to arrive and stop the home invader will be longer than the amount of time it will take for the home invader to inflict their harm.

I could go on listing other basic rights, but I believe I have illustrated the point. Without an effective means of self defense, it is not possible to enjoy basic human rights, and without gun rights, it is difficult if not impossible to effectively defend oneself.