Is It Your Right, or A Privilege?

This is a discussion on Is It Your Right, or A Privilege? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The way I understand this, we had all of these "Rights" before the "Bill of Rights" was ever written. The "Bill of Rights" just spelled ...

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Thread: Is It Your Right, or A Privilege?

  1. #16
    Member Array gonkrzy's Avatar
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    Is it your right, or a privilege...? Response

    The way I understand this, we had all of these "Rights" before the "Bill of Rights" was ever written. The "Bill of Rights" just spelled them out for everyone.

    The Founders thought a lot about us being able to have guns, since it was listed second behind only "Free Speech". Unfortunately, our blessed governmnet today is getting carried away and continues to take more and more of our freedoms away from us, as we're stupid enough to permit it. A Privilege is more like, being able to get a license for a car and to drive it on the streets. I'm pretty sure our "Founding Fathers" would have a fit if they saw the way our government has gotten totally out of control and walk all over our inalienable...god given rights..!!


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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifehertz View Post
    This is a commonly confused point. The Constitution grants no rights. I will repeat: the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights DO NOT GRANT RIGHTS. The second amendment codifies the Framers' recognition of the natural right to self-defense and self-rule. The intent of the Bill of Rights is to explicitly prevent the federal government from interfering with some particularly important rights in the tradition of English law going all the way back to the Magna Carta.

    You are born with all the rights you could possibly have. You can never get more; they can only be taken away. Any "rights" that governments or other institutions claim to give you are not rights. They are privileges, powers, or services. If you cede (or worse, pervade) the point that the Bill of Rights grants rights then you are giving legitimacy to the thought that changing the Bill of Rights could take a right away.



    I don't accept that we must have some "minimum" of government control over our lives. Gun control laws are an abuse of state power to effect a social change. People who are in favor of them are under the impression that removing guns from society will remove or reduce violence and crime. This is argued over using statistics and emotion, but at the end of the day ANY government intervention in the right of self-defense is morally repugnant.

    Ensuring responsible gun ownership should certainly be a goal for society, but it's clear that using the power of government to achieve that goal is both foolish and dangerous. The history of "minimum" government control like mandatory registration blossoming into disarmament (and in several cases, genocide) speaks for itself.

    As an alternative, what if we accept that anyone can own any type of weapon he or she feels is necessary for self-defense? Our existing legal system will already punish one who acts in an aggressive, violent manner toward others. Why do we need laws that regulate social behavior or protect people from themselves? When one trespasses or aggresses against another, then the government should step in. Otherwise, it should stay out of the way.

    That being said, there might be an interesting opportunity for the market to bring solutions to effect responsible firearm ownership. For example, what if providing proof of firearm competency brought a discount on home owner's insurance, similar to a security system? What if employers took the stance that having armed, responsible employees brought safety to their business and offered to pay for firearm safety classes the way they might offer to pay for CPR classes?
    I agree with your first point completely...poorly worded by me...

    But the founding fathers gave us a method of changing the Constitution...and if enough people and states would agree, a right CAN be taken away by modifying the Constitution...

    Women and blacks did not have the right to vote in the initial document...corrected with Amendments...

    The right to drink alcohol was taken away...and given back...with Amendments...

    And you failed to address my point about the control the government has over our right to vote...we all accept this minimum level of control that insures fair elections...

    If this is acceptable, why isn't some minimum level of control over the right to the right to keep and bear arms???

    I agree that there is way too much government control over 2A rights...far too much control...
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  4. #18
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    Of course it is a right. Unfortunately, we have elected enough politicians that make us jump through more hoops than are needed to open a steel mill.

  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array tangoseal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveJay View Post
    I consider the vote the most important right granted to us by the Constitution...and yet we have some minimum of government control over that right...

    You must register so it is determined if you are eligible to vote (a citizen and not a felon)...so I see no problem with a minimum of government control over the RKBR...

    The problem is....the government in most states have gone far beyond minimum control...
    I would like to remind you that the Constitution and BOR's does not give the right to vote or carry a gun.

    It is a list of rights that are given by a God, or creator, or being of your choice as seen by the founders, at the time of birth and that no man alive can take those rights from you, issue rules about, or grant you those rights.

    Period. You were born with those rights. Not allowed them. All the revolutionaries did was to fight the tyranny that believed the contrary and force them to know once and for all that people of the USA was not subject to the rule of royalty but citizens born with rights that are infringement proof by natural law.
    "I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive." - Ronald Reagan

  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array tangoseal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveJay View Post
    I agree with your first point completely...poorly worded by me...

    But the founding fathers gave us a method of changing the Constitution...and if enough people and states would agree, a right CAN be taken away by modifying the Constitution...

    Women and blacks did not have the right to vote in the initial document...corrected with Amendments...

    The right to drink alcohol was taken away...and given back...with Amendments...

    And you failed to address my point about the control the government has over our right to vote...we all accept this minimum level of control that insures fair elections...

    If this is acceptable, why isn't some minimum level of control over the right to the right to keep and bear arms???

    I agree that there is way too much government control over 2A rights...far too much control...

    Breathing oxygen was not listed in the constitution so if a law came out that said Hispanics have to breathe methane only how well would that work?
    Healthcare is not a right listed as born with and inalienable however the government seems to think I need to pay for someone else to have health care when I can barely afford it my self.

    So who decides that I cant carry a fully automatic machine gun to a political rally even though I am garanteed that I was born with the right to self defense in our constitution?

    See my point..

    However this thread is not to reply or rebuke any other member. You just made a comment but before we can discuss the rights of the constitution I think there needs to be a clear understanding by all members that the constituion and other documents actually means and not how we individually interpret the documents.

    The documents are meant for absolute interpretation as in, the founders wanted it interpreted a specific way and no other, the second we start to throw opinion, I thinks, and life experiences in to the analysis of that interpretation we get served politics and the current congress.
    "I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive." - Ronald Reagan

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    In some states/areas you can't carry at all. Right denied.

    In other states you can CC or OC without a permit. Great.

    In some states you need a permit to CC or OC. Right restricted/denied.

    In other states you can OC without but need a permit to CC. Right upheld, grudgingly.

    The presumption is that only a nefarious actor would conceal his gun, therefore the government must certify his good nature before he be allowed to CC. Of course this way of thinking is way outdated but the legal ghosts remain in many locales.

    Things are changing, give it time.
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I've been asking myself this for a while now.

    If you have to apply for, and seek approval from some type of governing body to carry a firearm, is it a right, or has someone given you a privilege?

    What do you guys think?
    It's quite the quandary. On the one hand, our founding documents confirm we already have such rights by the mere fact that we are human and that we exist, but our actions or lack there of prove we have nothing more than privileges. Not a one of us that has a permit has a right. Every one of us has succumb to the privilege status out of either:
    Fear of the government that is abusing the rightful monopoly of power we give them
    Respect of the same government, or
    Both.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Here in Vermont it is a right. It is also a right in Alaska and now Arizona. Any state that requires a permit or license to own or carry a gun has turned a right into a privilege.

    Great article on why all states should adopt Vermont style CC laws:

    http://gunowners.org/vtcarry.htm
    64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

  10. #24
    Member Array CenterOfMass's Avatar
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    A drivers license is a privilege! The right to keep and bears arms is self evident!
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    "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take." Thomas Jefferson

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  11. #25
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    NC Constitution

    Sec. 30. Militia and the right to bear arms.
    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; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.


    State v Kerner, NC
    The Constitution of this state, section 24, art. 1, which is entitled, "Declaration of Rights," provides, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," adding, "nothing herein contained shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons or prevent the Legislature from enacting penal statutes against said practice." This exception indicates the extent to which the right of the people to bear arms can be restricted; that is, the Legislature can prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons but no further. This constitutional guaranty was construed in State v. Speller, 86 N.C. 697, in which it was held that the distinction was between the "right to keep and bear arms" and the "practice of carrying concealed weapons." The former is a sacred right based upon the experience of the ages in order that the people may be accustomed to bear arms and ready to use them for the protection of their liberties or their country when occasion serves. The provision against carrying them concealed was to prevent assassinations or advantages taken by the lawless; i.e., against the abuse of the privilege.

    http://www.guncite.com/court/state/107se222.html

    Without a change to the state constitution, OC is the right and CC is the privilege in NC. If someone wants to bring up Constitutional Carry in NC, I would very likely be supportive of it. Unless they added some whacked out wording to screw it up, or tried to water it down. Which has happened with other pro gun bills here.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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  12. #26
    Member Array sleepyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveJay View Post
    I consider the vote the most important right granted to us by the Constitution...
    To me, this is like fingernails on a chalkboard. The Constitution DOES NOT grant us our rights. Rather, it enumerates a few specific powers that are granted to the federal government. If a power is not granted to the federal government in the Constitution, it is prohibited to the federal government, and left to the states and the people!

    Think about it... If the Constitution granted us our rights, it would be infinitely long! And, it would have to be constantly changing to keep up with the times.... You have a right to sit cross-legged. You have a right to go to bed 11:00 PM. You have a right to eat bacon for breakfast. You have a right to watch Sienfeld re-runs. You have a right to be a Republican or a Democrat (although I have no idea how anybody with a brain would be either).

    Our rights are inherent in our humanity, not granted to us by any piece of paper, or any congress, or any president, or any judge, or any majority of mouth breathers. The Founding Fathers knew this, and hammered out the Constitution to create a limited government, with specific, enumerated powers, that it could not overstep.

    Unfortunately, we are more concerned with comfort than liberty, and have slept while tyranny rises. The last hope of liberty for humanity is hanging by a thread. It won't hold much longer.

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    The law in general tells us what we CANNOT do.
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  14. #28
    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    Our right to keep and bear arms is very much connected with our right to life. It is one of those "self-evident" truths the Founders spoke of, truths that were affirmed in adopting the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately what was self-evident during the time of the Founders isn't so self-evident today.

    In a good portion of NYS owning a handgun can only be considered a privilege, a very much regulated and limited privilege. The Heller and McDonald decisions have provided a foundation to challenge the laws and regulations that have rendered this right a privilege but the legislature and powers that be in NYS state will have to be dragged kicking and screaming throught the court system to undo the current situation and restore the rights of NYS citizens.
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  15. #29
    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrol View Post
    I know I will receive some flak for this and I don't really care. To me the second amendment is clear and it does not matter if it's concealed or open carry. The people's rights shall not be infringed. PERIOD. You have a right to carry any available gun that a crook could also posses and use against you or any other type of person or organization that would try and disarm you in any manner and take away your ability to protect yourself. That goes for ignorant gun control laws and supposed gun free zones that disarm citizens like the campus the church and any public place trying to force their rules on you by disarming you. You should have a right to carry it anyway you dam well please and anywhere you dam well please. Thats how you really deter crime. The second amendment should be your concealed carry permit in my opinion. That's also coming from a sixteen year veteran Police Officer.
    Agree 150%
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  16. #30
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    In my opinion, it is a right that we have let others redefine as a priviledge. Public opinion was the weapon of choice.

    In recent years, we have had the SC rule that the 2a freedom is an individual right, non related to any service, such as militia. We have also seen the same court rule that the right cannot be unlawfully revoked at the state and local level. What we need now, and have always needed, is a ruling on what , "Shall not be infringed" might mean. That's the part we are missing. In both Supreme Court hearings, the ability of the Government to infrindge has been upheld and vaguely articulated. Given time, I believe the SC will simply define firearm freedoms to the letter. After all, whom else would they trust to do so?

    I also remember a candidate, can't remember whom, being asked to respond to several things as "right" or "priviledge". In the end, he identified internet access as a right and posession or a firearm as a priviledge. Seriously, how did this go so wrong...

    We live in an Elitist Aristocracy, nothing more. The question now is what do we do next???

    As to the "breathing methane" question, our God given (not governmental given) inalienable rights include life. Requiring anyone to breath methane would certainly be cross to that line... So yes, the Constitution guarantees that this would never come to law.

    I'm on the fence about this Health Care Reform, but I'm 100% against illegals. I say let them come in, but let them come in through the door. Anyone sneaking over needs to be confronted, and have some options explained. I'm certain that most other contries agree. Why we are so forgiving, I dunno...
    Washington Post 06/28/2010 re: Supreme Court Decision
    "The court's decision means that the enigmatically worded Second Amendment... identifies an individual right to gun ownership, like the freedom of speech, that cannot be unduly restricted by Congress, state laws or city ordinances. "

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