Newt Gingrich - Gun rights come from God, not Constitution

Scottish Dragon4/30/2011 5:30:46 pm PDT

This is one where I tend to disagree with my fellow Lizards.

Rights, as understood by our Founders who were steeped in Enlightenment philosophy, extend from Divine Providence or Nature.

They explicitly rejected the notion that a Prince or the State grants rights, because that same sovereign entity can also rescind them. Hence they would not be rights at all, but privileges that are subject to whim. This also underpinned the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, since the Nazi state usurped the natural rights of the people it persecuted.

Therefore, the right to worship God freely, the right to self defense, the right to peaceably assemble and seek redress of grievance, or to work gainfully (this list is far from exhaustive…), are all rights that belong to people whether or not any government recognizes them. Gingrich would have been on somewhat better footing if he had phrased his statement to be about self defense rather than about guns specifically. Even determined monarchists like Hobbes recognized that if a Sovereign cannot protect his or her people, then the bond between them is broken and the people may see to their own protection as they see fit.