The Right to Bear Arms is a Human Right
At the United Nations, the governments (and the dictatorships) of the world are conspiring to deny their people a means to defend their families and their liberty.
The Small Arms Treaty and the U.N.’s project on International Small Arms Control Standards seek to impose global restrictions on gun ownership that would apply to Americans and the citizens of every country that ratified the agreements. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to support the treaty, an excuse for governments everywhere to empower themselves and limit their citizens instead of the other way around.
As long as we’re limited to fighting over the Left’s gun control agenda we’re debating on their terms. We have to go on offense.
The Constitution does not give us the right to bear arms. It says the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. We already have the right, because it doesn’t come from government—it comes from God.
Our founders understood this right is essential to the defense of liberty. It was a lesson they learned firsthand at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 237 years ago this week. As David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride recounts, in order to quench the beginnings of the American Revolution, British soldiers marched to confiscate gunpowder and other militia supplies, an act that they hoped would incapacitate the colonial rebels. Thus, it was in defense of the right to bear arms as a means of securing the other liberties that the first battle of the American Revolution was fought.
As the Second Amendment implies, the right to bear arms isn’t given to us by the government, and it isn’t just an American right. It is a human right. As a fundamental component of self-defense, the right to bear arms is intimately tied to those universal truths expressed in our Declaration of Independence—that all men have rights to life and liberty, with which they are endowed by their Creator. And they have not just a right but a duty to throw off despotic government.
These truths are universal. The Second Amendment is an amendment for all mankind.
Every person on the planet has the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, exploit them, harm them, or kill them.
Far fewer women would be raped, far fewer children would be killed, far fewer towns would be destroyed, and far fewer dictators would survive if people everywhere on the planet had this God-given right to bear arms recognized. Mass killings and rapes like those that took place in Darfur might have been prevented if the people had the right and the means to defend themselves. When citizens have the power to defend themselves against a violent and tyrannical regime, governments think twice about trampling the lives and liberty of the people.
The United Nations has an extensive Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to join a labor union and the right to social services and security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood or old age.
Nowhere does it provide for the right to keep and bear arms that in many places around the world is so critical to self-defense. And the Small Arms Treaty is a deliberate attempt to restrict these human rights.
I believe the United States should submit to the U.N. a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right to every person on the planet.
It is critical not just for those living under oppressive regimes, but for the many people who live in conditions in which the government cannot secure their safety. From dangerous neighborhoods even here in the United States to lawless regions of the world run by gangs and warlords, firearms are often the only means of personal security.
When criminals have weapons, taking away the right to bear arms is nothing less than eliminating the right to self-defense. Only the elites, who’ve never had to live in a dangerous place or fear for their own lives, could be so confident that denying ordinary citizens the right to bear arms would make everyone safer.
It isn’t enough to watch people move from one dictatorship to another, nations lurching from disaster to disaster. In submitting a treaty to the U.N. guaranteeing that right, America can represent its trust in the basic decency of millions of people around the world and our belief that the God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence apply to them, too. We can let them know that if they had a government that recognized their inherent rights; a government that understood that they were a citizens, not subjects; a government that understood it is government which is to be limited, not people, they too would the chance to pursue happiness and live in safety.
That’s the message our president and secretary of state should be standing up for, not a document designed for the protection of dictators.