Our rights come first | TheUnion.com

Our rights come first

Thomas Jefferson said in his Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the People.”

It’s clear that Jefferson was refuting the argument that people live for the sake of the State and that what rights they possess are gifts from kings or governments. What he was saying is that people possess rights first, that the government is not the giver of rights and should function as a protector of the people’s pre existing natural rights.

Life and liberty do not exist because governments have made laws. On the contrary, it is the fact that such rights existed beforehand that causes governments to make laws in the first place. Since natural law gives people the right to defend life, liberty and property, and since natural law predates man-made law, the Second Amendment is welcome but unnecessary as to the right of the people to possess firearms.

Tony Rohl

Grass Valley

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