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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2010, 3:13 AM
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Default The 2nd Ammendment Grants You Nothing

Listening to a fellow arguing with an anti today. This guy goes on and on about how we're GRANTED the right to keep and bear arms in the Constitution.

I had to speak up. We aren't granted our rights by our government. We are born with these rights. The Bill of Rights merely acknowledge these same rights and are supposed to bar our government from infringing on these rights.

Anyone else find this mistake annoying?
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Old 01-07-2010, 3:45 AM
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Old 01-07-2010, 4:51 AM
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Most people are sheep and thus have a sheep's mentality.
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Old 01-07-2010, 7:01 AM
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The other one that annoys me is the comment that we are a democracy.
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Old 01-07-2010, 7:34 AM
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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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."

As written above in the Declaration of Independence, the Authors of that document as well as the Constitution and the amendments (knows as the Bill of Rights) that followed, spell out plainly, where our rights come from.

What you may not have herd in public school is what this actually means. Our government is unique in that it acknowledges that we have rights that come from God. Since our rights come from God, not man, they cannot be taken away by man. As the founders got busy crafting a foundation for a new and free nation of people with acknowledged unalienable rights, they spelled out some of these rights in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Rights granted by man, can be taken away by man. Rights that come from God, cannot be taken away by man ( though they may try).
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Old 01-07-2010, 7:48 AM
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The other one that annoys me is the comment that we are a democracy.
+1 I was going to suggest asking the guy if he even knows what type of Government we have.
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Old 01-07-2010, 8:05 AM
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I was having a similar argument with a former brit who is a bit of a statist. I pointed out that it is an unalienable right endowed by your creator, and his response was "there is no creator I am atheist." To which I replied, well it can be interpreted to be a natural right that exists by virtue of your being a living being with a natural sense and drive for self preservation. There was no yielding to this point because as a result of his atheist position he has elevated the state to having supreme power over his life for the good of the collective. I know all atheists don't feel this way, but I find this an interesting perspective in light of Madison's famous quote in Federalist 51 regarding governments, men and angels.
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Old 01-07-2010, 8:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dixieD View Post
I was having a similar argument with a former brit who is a bit of a statist. I pointed out that it is an unalienable right endowed by your creator, and his response was "there is no creator I am atheist." To which I replied, well it can be interpreted to be a natural right that exists by virtue of your being a living being with a natural sense and drive for self preservation. There was no yielding to this point because as a result of his atheist position he has elevated the state to having supreme power over his life for the good of the collective. I know all atheists don't feel this way, but I find this an interesting perspective in light of Madison's famous quote in Federalist 51 regarding governments, men and angels.
Very interesting, I have seen this before and I think your counter argument was based on sound logic an principle, but I fear your friend is too far gone. Most humans have a need to believe in something higher than themselves and for this reason, religion is a central point in most cultures. What happens when you remove religion from a culture as was done under Communism and not in modern Western Europe? Simply the State replaces religion. What is most frustrating here is that we are seeing nothing new and nothing that our Founding Fathers did not understand all too well

The fact that the education system post cultural revolution has been inundated with Leftist Statists only makes matters worse.
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Old 01-07-2010, 8:38 AM
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Rights granted by man, can be taken away by man. Rights that come from God, cannot be taken away by man ( though they may try).
Unless you are a convicted felon.
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Old 01-07-2010, 9:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dixieD View Post
I was having a similar argument with a former brit who is a bit of a statist. I pointed out that it is an unalienable right endowed by your creator, and his response was "there is no creator I am atheist." To which I replied, well it can be interpreted to be a natural right that exists by virtue of your being a living being with a natural sense and drive for self preservation. There was no yielding to this point because as a result of his atheist position he has elevated the state to having supreme power over his life for the good of the collective. I know all atheists don't feel this way, but I find this an interesting perspective in light of Madison's famous quote in Federalist 51 regarding governments, men and angels.
You're right, and a person need not be religious to accept that we have unalienable rights endowed by a creator. An atheist can simply choose to interpret "creator" as a natural act of physics and chemistry.
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Old 01-07-2010, 9:37 AM
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I'd argue that the entire concept of rights was ultimately created by humans, for humans (I will however, skip the relevant Nietzsche-ian tirade about God being dead and spare us all). This does not mean these rights are any less moral and thus any less binding simply because they are not endowed by some ethereal creator of sorts so long as they are at least justifiable via moral reasoning which is not all that difficult to do.

<smartass>
Further, humans ultimately create humans, so in a shorter term biological sense the line "endowed by our creator" still works.
</smartass>
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:25 AM
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Although the belief that rights are god-given, or natural-human-rights, is a noble belief, and worthy enough to argue, the cold hard practical reality is that these rights are in fact only effective because they exist in our system of law. The practical reality is, if there was no 2A in our constitution, we would not be able to exercise the right unmolested by governments. IMO the single reason that our country is truly greater than any other republic is that we are the only one with such a right in it's constitution.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:28 AM
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Most people in California are sheep and thus have a sheep's mentality.
Fixed it for you. What's in the PRK isn't the norm, not even close. Don't confuse it with reality.
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In Pennsylvania Your permit to carry concealed is called a License to carry fire arms. Other states call it a CCW. In New Jersey it's called a crime.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:49 AM
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Fixed it for you. What's in the PRK isn't the norm, not even close. Don't confuse it with reality.
Yeah its all California's fault. We're the reason there are 60 Democrat Senators. We're the reason your State sent 2 Democratic Senators to DC. It's California's fault BHO is President. KMA104
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:53 AM
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Although the belief that rights are god-given, or natural-human-rights, is a noble belief, and worthy enough to argue, the cold hard practical reality is that these rights are in fact only effective because they exist in our system of law. The practical reality is, if there was no 2A in our constitution, we would not be able to exercise the right unmolested by governments. IMO the single reason that our country is truly greater than any other republic is that we are the only one with such a right in it's constitution.
Exactly. The Second Amendment grants you a legal cause of action to remedy infringement of your inherent right to keep and bear arms. That's more than nothing and without it, your natural right to keep and bear arms means very little unless you are prepared and willing to gun down every person who shows up trying to infringe it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:58 AM
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Baahahahahahaha! Wait, I am not a sheep So in reality your friend has no right to freely express his views on the 2nd Amendment and therefore has not been granted the right to use his 1st Amendment Take that!!!

I know, I probably make no sense

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:12 AM
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Yeah its all California's fault. We're the reason there are 60 Democrat Senators. We're the reason your State sent 2 Democratic Senators to DC. It's California's fault BHO is President. KMA104
I had no idea that California's Democratic leaning in the recent elections somehow empowered 58 other Democratic senators from other states.

Obama won with 365 electoral votes while McCain had 173. Without California's 55 electoral votes, Obama would've still won with 315 electoral votes.



EDIT: Unless I'm missing the sarcasm.

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:27 AM
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Anyone else find this mistake annoying?
The only thing more annoying is the line of thinking that subscribes to the mere justification"...because it's my right". All of our "rights" are subject to a constitutional amendment that can be repealed. Not really much of an "inherent" right at all, given that so many people don't believe it is nor should be.

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Originally Posted by twinfin
Rights granted by man, can be taken away by man. Rights that come from God, cannot be taken away by man ( though they may try).
"Rights" are taken away every single day. We have it comparatively easy here in the United States...or did you just feel like typing "our rights from God are never taken away" on your Chinese keyboard?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:31 AM
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I had no idea that California's Democratic leaning in the recent elections somehow empowered 58 other Democratic senators from other states.

Obama won with 365 electoral votes while McCain had 173. Without California's 55 electoral votes, Obama would've still won with 315 electoral votes.



EDIT: Unless I'm missing the sarcasm.
BINGO
ETA: I was responding to the man from NY with Chuckie Schumer as his Senator.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:11 PM
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Most people are sheep and thus have a sheep's mentality.
proves the effectiveness of Government elementary school education.
"the State knows best-obey"
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:22 PM
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BINGO
ETA: I was responding to the man from NY with Chuckie Schumer as his Senator.
I'm not saying it's ENTIRELY CA's fault, I'm saying that CA's demographic isn't reflective of the majority of the US so it shouldn't be used as an indicator such applying to all people. Nor is NYC's which is solely responsible for Schumer, and believe me I have plenty of hate to go around for Schumer too. NYC is basically like SF and Berkeley yet even more dominant, so our worst (just like CA) picks who gets in office almost entirely without regard to the rest of us.

In short, what you're seeing isn't the real world. It's apparently easy to forget that.

NYC =/= New York state. It's more like New Jersey's illegitimate offspring that NJ refuses to claim.
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In Pennsylvania Your permit to carry concealed is called a License to carry fire arms. Other states call it a CCW. In New Jersey it's called a crime.
Discretionary Issue is the new Separate but Equal.

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Old 01-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by twinfin View Post
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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."

As written above in the Declaration of Independence, the Authors of that document as well as the Constitution and the amendments (knows as the Bill of Rights) that followed, spell out plainly, where our rights come from.

What you may not have herd in public school is what this actually means. Our government is unique in that it acknowledges that we have rights that come from God. Since our rights come from God, not man, they cannot be taken away by man. As the founders got busy crafting a foundation for a new and free nation of people with acknowledged unalienable rights, they spelled out some of these rights in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Rights granted by man, can be taken away by man. Rights that come from God, cannot be taken away by man ( though they may try).
Why do you say only the first ten?
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Old 01-07-2010, 1:02 PM
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Why do you say only the first ten?
I only wrote of the first ten amendments due to their historical position in history as the group of amendments produced shortly after the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and known as the Bill of Rights. Of course, other amendments followed and have their place in history.
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Old 01-07-2010, 1:35 PM
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The other one that annoys me is the comment that we are a democracy.
Sure we're a democracy, of sorts. You get to vote don't you? Technically we're a republican representative democracy.

Seems like "democracy" has become a buzzword these days, used to signal allegiance to one of the political polarities prevalent in our pubescent politics.
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Old 01-07-2010, 1:46 PM
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...We aren't granted our rights by our government. We are born with these rights. The Bill of Rights merely acknowledge these same rights and are supposed to bar our government from infringing on these rights.
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Originally Posted by GrizzlyGuy View Post
You're right, and a person need not be religious to accept that we have unalienable rights endowed by a creator. An atheist can simply choose to interpret "creator" as a natural act of physics and chemistry.
What's so difficult about the notion that we have basic rights regardless of what a document (hallowed that it may be) says. The document (which in fact says nothing about what, why, when, or how much) merely formalizes what previously existed.
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Old 01-07-2010, 1:55 PM
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Originally Posted by twinfin View Post
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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."

As written above in the Declaration of Independence, the Authors of that document as well as the Constitution and the amendments (knows as the Bill of Rights) that followed, spell out plainly, where our rights come from.

What you may not have herd in public school is what this actually means. Our government is unique in that it acknowledges that we have rights that come from God. Since our rights come from God, not man, they cannot be taken away by man. As the founders got busy crafting a foundation for a new and free nation of people with acknowledged unalienable rights, they spelled out some of these rights in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Rights granted by man, can be taken away by man. Rights that come from God, cannot be taken away by man ( though they may try).
OK so show me the bible passage, section in the declaration of independence or magna carta etc. where the right to bear arms is extended by "god" or other source other than the state. I'm only aware of the Federal and some (not KA) constitutions which maintain the right to KBA shall not be infringed)

We all know constitutional rights are not absolute or sacrosanct.
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Old 01-07-2010, 2:05 PM
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Although the belief that rights are god-given, or natural-human-rights, is a noble belief, and worthy enough to argue, the cold hard practical reality is that these rights are in fact only effective because they exist in our system of law. The practical reality is, if there was no 2A in our constitution, we would not be able to exercise the right unmolested by governments. IMO the single reason that our country is truly greater than any other republic is that we are the only one with such a right in it's constitution.
This.
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Old 01-07-2010, 2:08 PM
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What's so difficult about the notion that we have basic rights regardless of what a document (hallowed that it may be) says. The document (which in fact says nothing about what, why, when, or how much) merely formalizes what previously existed.
What rights do you have beyond those that are granted to you by society? If there is no society, what rights do you retain?
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Old 01-07-2010, 3:50 PM
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What rights do you have beyond those that are granted to you by society? If there is no society, what rights do you retain?
You have and retain all of your natural rights. Natural rights exist whether or not society exists, or what society may have to say about those rights. See here:

Quote:
Legal rights (sometimes also called civil rights or statutory rights) are rights conveyed by a particular polity, codified into legal statutes by some form of legislature (or unenumerated but implied from enumerated rights), and as such are contingent upon local laws, customs, or beliefs. In contrast, natural rights (also called moral rights or unalienable rights) are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of a particular society or polity. Natural rights are thus necessarily universal, whereas legal rights are culturally and politically relative.
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Old 01-07-2010, 4:45 PM
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OK so show me the bible passage, section in the declaration of independence or magna carta etc. where the right to bear arms is extended by "god" or other source other than the state. I'm only aware of the Federal and some (not KA) constitutions which maintain the right to KBA shall not be infringed)

We all know constitutional rights are not absolute or sacrosanct.
How about Luke 22:36 where Jesus said if you didn't have a sword to sell your coat and buy one.
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Old 01-07-2010, 5:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GrizzlyGuy View Post
You have and retain all of your natural rights. Natural rights exist whether or not society exists, or what society may have to say about those rights. See here:
Nature has no concept of rights; such a term, "natural right", is a misnomer. I have yet to see a bear plead the 5th after a mauling attack, or have a bear's den sue a hunter for wrongful death. The only rights that exist are the ones that are capable of being defended and fought for. Whoever has the most firepower usually gets to dictate what is a right and what isn't. There are no such thing as inherent rights, especially natural ones. This is same reason that there are no guarantees in life. Tell mother nature you have rights next time you're stranded in the wilderness. Let me know how that goes.
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You're right. There's no possible way that CGN members marching alongside the Pink Pistols in the SF Pride Parade can do anything to dispel the stereotype that gun owners are conservative bigots clinging to their guns and bibles. Not a single person in the crowd is rational or reachable because the parade's for gay folks and it's in SF.

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Old 01-07-2010, 6:51 PM
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Originally Posted by djandj View Post
OK so show me the bible passage, section in the declaration of independence
I think you are asking for this part "..that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Think of the second amendment in terms of a principal being advanced. That principal being that we have a right to organize ourselves into a group of free people having the right to defend our freedom against any threat such as a foreign invasion or a government gone terribly wrong such as what was represented by the edicts coming from King George of England or other tyrants of history.

A man of honor, justly defending himself and the innocent people around him from evil, is certainly advancing a righteous principal. This righteous principal thus enshrined in the Second Amendment. No biblical quotations necessary. The Founding Fathers referenced the source of our rights without quoting the bible or any other holy book and I hope my explanation here is equally understood.
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Old 01-07-2010, 6:55 PM
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yeah but the guy was still right. Our government could have very easily said that's not a God given right...it is granted to us because they accepted that it was our God given right.....at least that's how i interpret it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Peter Venkman View Post
Nature has no concept of rights; such a term, "natural right", is a misnomer. I have yet to see a bear plead the 5th after a mauling attack, or have a bear's den sue a hunter for wrongful death. The only rights that exist are the ones that are capable of being defended and fought for. Whoever has the most firepower usually gets to dictate what is a right and what isn't. There are no such thing as inherent rights, especially natural ones. This is same reason that there are no guarantees in life. Tell mother nature you have rights next time you're stranded in the wilderness. Let me know how that goes.
If I used the term "unalienable rights" (as in the Declaration of Independence) instead of "natural rights", do you believe we have those? You say there are no such thing as inherent rights, but our rights must have come from somewhere. Where?

Maybe I'm presuming too much from the Ron Paul image in your sig line, but that leads me to think that you don't believe we have rights only because the government chose to give us some.
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Old 01-07-2010, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
Very interesting, I have seen this before and I think your counter argument was based on sound logic an principle,

Here is a secular argument for absolutely (vs. relatively) true moral principles:


http://www.freedomainradio.com/Books...ourEthics.aspx


It is possible to be both an atheist and a moral absolutist. Many Buddhists would fall into this category.
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Old 01-07-2010, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by kf6tac View Post
Exactly. The Second Amendment grants you a legal cause of action to remedy infringement of your inherent right to keep and bear arms. That's more than nothing and without it, your natural right to keep and bear arms means very little unless you are prepared and willing to gun down every person who shows up trying to infringe it.
Enumerated or not it is still only as good as your willingness to defend it, with blood and treasure if necessary! The bill of rights is for educational purposes.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:10 PM
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As an atheist I find the whole concept of "given" rights interesting. From my stand point rights are not given, only agreed upon by whatever force, natural, moral or governmental, that you choose to subscribe to. The only inalienable laws are those of physics.

When it comes right down to it the concept of rights evolved because it was an advantage that allowed a specific social group to prosper, namely ours. As far as how successful a concept personal rights are? That depends on your yardstick, if you measure success by population (the traditional evolutionary standard) then China and India win by a huge margin, despite being deprived of arms and many rights. If you measure it by equality or happiness then look at the mostly socialist Scandinavian countries. However, if your measure is prosperity then rights (and the means to defend them) have done well for us here in America. It's important to remember that freedoms and rights are only really available to those that can afford them, if you can't afford to buy a gun, or publish a book or even buy a computer to post on a forum, do you really have that right?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by GrizzlyGuy View Post
If I used the term "unalienable rights" (as in the Declaration of Independence) instead of "natural rights", do you believe we have those? You say there are no such thing as inherent rights, but our rights must have come from somewhere. Where?
We do not have any inherent rights, whether these are called unalienable, natural, whatever. Take a look around the world and tell me that we all have "rights" when so many are being butchered and destroyed by their own government. A fat lot of good those people's "inherent rights" are doing them. All 'rights' that have been outlined in a legal document are merely niceties in order to make the society that we are living in better than being out in the woods. Can you tell me where the list of "unalienable rights" ends and where it begins? It's purely subjective and depends on who you ask and what their background is. It's funny that you highlight the Declaration of Independence, where one of the grievances talks about "savages" and how King George is not protecting the colonies from them. Funny, given the Indians were essentially slaughtered well after Jefferson wrote of "unalienable rights".

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Originally Posted by GrizzlyGuy
Maybe I'm presuming too much from the Ron Paul image in your sig line, but that leads me to think that you don't believe we have rights only because the government chose to give us some.
I agree with most of the Constitution, which Ron Paul agrees with and wants the country to follow. I don't care about where rights come from as much as I care about the country following its own good laws. Secondly, the only reason that we have a Bill of Rights is that most of the Founding Fathers, at least the ones who weren't Federalists, did not agree with Hamilton's federalist viewpoint. They felt that the government would try to be restrictive without a complete list. Instead the Bill of Rights has become the end-all be-all list, which Hamilton did not want, and which the government ignores anyways by giving itself power it does not have.

So in summary, no, there are no such things as unalienable rights. The supposed "rights" you talk about were violated by our Founding Fathers and many more since then by many more people with no justice for any of the victims.
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Originally Posted by berto View Post
You're right. There's no possible way that CGN members marching alongside the Pink Pistols in the SF Pride Parade can do anything to dispel the stereotype that gun owners are conservative bigots clinging to their guns and bibles. Not a single person in the crowd is rational or reachable because the parade's for gay folks and it's in SF.

Last edited by Dr. Peter Venkman; 01-07-2010 at 11:49 PM..
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Old 01-08-2010, 8:20 AM
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In the absence of government people most certainly have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not normally in human nature to prefer death, incarceration, hunger, and face the elements unprotected etc. There are challenges and environmental constraints in nature that must be overcome, but there is no explicit denial of these rights.

As pointed out there are many people on earth presently and throughout history that have had these basic rights denied or infringed upon by individuals and government. These rights, possessed by people by virtue of their being living beings, do not disappear when they are wrongly denied, infringed or stripped away. One cannot argue that the people executed by the Khmer Rouge did not have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness simply because they were incarcerated and subsequently murdered. Had they been able to defend themselves, overcome, incarcerate or kill their oppressors they would have been fully within their right to do so. The same could be said of the native americans when their private property was taken, and their right to live their lives with liberty and happiness was infringed upon.

I too care that governments follow their own good laws. Recognizing the unalienable rights of people, and the cases where they have been infringed upon in the past and present by our own and other governments is essential. In fact, the plight of the native americans in the face of the wonderful language of the Declaration and the Constitution, should be used as an argument that the 2A must be interpreted to mean the people have the right to bear arms commensurate to those borne by their government.
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Old 01-08-2010, 8:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Peter Venkman View Post
So in summary, no, there are no such things as unalienable rights. The supposed "rights" you talk about were violated by our Founding Fathers and many more since then by many more people with no justice for any of the victims.
OK, I understand what you are saying, and agree that some of our rights were egregiously violated by our government for long periods of time dating back to the Republic's inception (e.g., your "savages" example).

However, I think you are blurring together two separate and important concepts: the existence of rights vs. the ability to freely and effectively exercise those rights. Just because people weren't (or aren't) able to take advantage of their rights doesn't mean that the rights didn't exist. It instead means that government has failed in fulfilling one of its fundamental responsibilities (described in the Declaration of Independence thusly):

Quote:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
It's still not clear to me where you believe rights (whether secured or not) originally came from. Even if I could, it would be pointless for me to tell you where a list of unalienable rights might begin or end, since you say we have none anyway.
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