Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No one has right to violate others

(My Clovis News Journal column for June 24, 2016)

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre, popular opinion seemed to blame either guns or the murderer's religion. It's good neither is subject to popular opinion, because opinion is fickle.

You have a right to choose and exercise your own religion, and you have a right to own and to carry any weapon you see fit, whether the majority agrees or not.

In fact, you have a natural human right to not be prevented from doing whatever you want as long as you aren't violating any other person's equal and identical rights while doing so. This is an infinite number of rights; more than could possibly be listed in one lifetime.

Your rights aren't dependent upon being written down on parchment. They exist even if government declares they don't. They exist even if cops arrest you and have you thrown in a prison cell for the rest of your life for exercising them. You aren't wrong for exercising your rights; government employees are wrong for violating them.

This is the nature of rights. They are not privileges. They are not subject to opinions or laws. They can't be limited, licensed, rationed, or eliminated for "the common good". They can only be respected or violated. The Bill of Rights, particularly the Ninth Amendment, was a failed attempt to put all your rights off-limits to government by making it a crime to violate them.

Government is the natural enemy of human rights; a predator, never a protector.

Use your freedom of religion as you wish, short of forcing others to live by your religion, through laws or threats. Laws based upon your religious ideals, which violate some other person's right to choose their own religion and not be subject to the edicts of yours, are wrong. It doesn't matter whether you use Christianity or Islam or Pastafarianism as the basis, if you impose your religion on others by law, you have become the bully.

Own and carry a gun of whatever type you choose, everywhere you go, openly or concealed, without asking government for permission, as is your natural right. Don't shoot at people who aren't harming or threatening anyone else, including those doing things your religion says are wrong.

No matter your excuse, you have no right to violate others, and anyone you violate has a right to defend themselves however they see fit. It's called liberty. It works, and is the mature way to live, but it isn't for cowards.

If you get any value from my labors, consider rewarding me with your financial support. This blog is in its 10th year now. If you believe I have contributed anything to the conversation regarding liberty during these ten years, and believe I have more to contribute, help me stay online.

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