Self-Defense: An Inherent Right from God
Pastor Dan Gayman
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Comes from God, not the 2nd Amendment. In fact, this right reaches back into the archives of antiquity and predates Moses and the codification of law at Mt. Sinai in 1491 B.C. While the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution is indeed an inherent right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, it merely confirms an unalienable right that Americans already enjoyed some 180 years before the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787 and ratified in 1789. All Americans should be thankful for the inclusion of the second provision in the Bill of Rights known as the 2nd Amendment. It follows immediately after the after the inherent and unalienable right to freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and petitioning Government for a redress of grievances. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The 2nd Amendment is primarily concerned with the inherent right of the people to keep and bear arms as a necessity for insuring and maintaining a free country and should they need to defend themselves against an abusive and oppressive government. I assure you: the Founding Fathers did not include the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights in order for citizens of America to hunt game or compete at shooting targets at a gun range. Rather, the right to own and use a firearm preceded the writing of the U.S. Constitution and reaches back to the day when the Pilgrims and later the Pilgrims stepped onto the shores of North America. The 2nd Amendment was intended to insure the blessings and perpetuation of liberty from a tyrannical government. A review of the statements made by the Founding Fathers on the scene when the U.S. Constitution was written should be helpful in sorting out their interpretation and original intent:
*“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them” (George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788).
*“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves. . .” (Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May 1788).
*“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them” (Zachariah Johnson, Elliot’s Debates, Vol. 3 “The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution”).
*“…the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms” (Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2 Article on the Bill of Rights).
*“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms;…” (Samuel Adams, quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, “Propositions Submitted to the Convention of this State”).
*“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. . .from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good” (George Washington, First President of the United States).
*“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them” (Richard Henry Lee, American statesman, 1788).
*“The great object is that every man be armed.” And “Everyone who is able may have a gun” (Patrick Henry, American patriot).
*“Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not” (Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States).
“The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8).
“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that…it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;…” (Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to Justice John Cartwright,” June 5, 1824, ME 16:45.
Our Rights Come from God
The right to defend life, liberty, and property is rooted in God’s charge to Adam to subdue the earth and exercise dominion over every living thing. Jehovah commanded Adam, saying, “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill up) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). The inherent right to defend life, liberty, and property is essential to subduing the earth and exercising dominion. The right to defend life, to enjoy the possession of property, and freedom itself is dependent upon the use of force when necessary.
The Creator has placed a high premium on human life. Every life is sacred. Thus, only under precisely defined conditions can one take another’s life. In fact, life is so important that God said this in Genesis 9:6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Among the highest functions of constituted government is the judicial taking of life. The act of murder is one of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13; Deut. 5:17; Matthew 5:21; 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20). This commandment forbids the act of murder.
The act of intentional (pre-meditated) murder is a capital crime under divine law for which restitution requires that the guilty be put to death. This and other crimes that present a clear danger to life, liberty, and property are covered in the Ten Commandments. The Bible affords clear case law in the life of Abraham and is confirmed in Genesis 14. In this instance, a confederacy of nations under the leadership of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and the kings who were allied with him had captured and kidnapped Lot, Abraham’s nephew, together with all of his property. Abraham raised a small army of 318 trained servants who vigorously pursued the armies under these multiple kings. In short order, they obtained Lot’s freedom and reclaimed all his property. This was an outright use of force to defend life, property, and freedom.
Divine Law Supports Right of Self-Defense
Jehovah gave His children the right to self-defense in life, liberty, and property in the covenantal statutes and judgments. These natural rights have long historical roots reaching back to the legislation that Jehovah delivered to His people Israel in 1491 B.C. “If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, he shall be sold for his theft” (Exodus 22:2, 3). If a thief attempts to break into a home and threaten life, liberty, and property in the darkness of night, when it is impossible ascertain the certainty of his intentions, the owner has a right to take the life of the intruder. If the intruder attempts to break into a house in the daylight, the owner should refrain from taking his life, unless, of course, the thief is seeking to not only rob the victim, but take his life as well.
The Battle for the 2nd Amendment
The liberal secular humanists in America are ruthless in their efforts to disarm the American people. The goal of the gun grabbers is to remove the guns from the private citizens of America in incremental steps as they pass one piece of legislation after another through the U.S. Congress and this together with efforts to get the U.S. Supreme Court to define the 2nd Amendment in such a way that it does not allow for the personal private ownership of firearms.
The gun lobby in America never rests. It consistently works to orchestrate the removal of guns from law-abiding citizens. They would love nothing more than to believe that by edict of the U.S. Supreme Court, they could render the 2nd Amendment impotent in terms of the private ownership of firearms. What is the goal of gun lobbyists? The complete confiscation of all privately owned guns by incremental steps. Gun owners must be vigilant in their efforts to defend their God-given rights to defend life, liberty, and property. An honest government need never fear guns in the hands of the American public. A government that fears guns in the hands of private citizens is a government that is up to no good. Gun owners must stand on the long-standing historic right to defend life, liberty, and property as an unalienable right from God, not government. An honest government will never seek to seize a God-given right, including the right to own a firearm.
The right to keep and bear arms in the hands of the private citizen precedes the U.S. Constitution. No government has the authority to give citizens the right to keep and bear arms. That right comes from God. If government is the source of that right, government can take away that right. But if God is the source of that right, the freedom to own a firearm in the protection of life, liberty, and property cannot and must never be surrendered by the people.
Every citizen in America should be armed and proficient in the use of that firearm. Likewise, every citizen should maintain that weapon’s effectiveness by securing proper ammunitions. An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject. People who are well armed provide the best defense against a tyrannical government. Only wanna-be tyrants will chip away at the God-given right to keep and bear arms for the defense of life, liberty, and property. The one belief that Adolph Hitler, Vladmir Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, Bill Clinton, and Barak Obama all have in common is the idea that guns should be removed from the hands of law-abiding citizens. Tell me truly: who trusts any of those men?