Rights VS Privilege? What Are Your Thoughts?

This is a discussion on Rights VS Privilege? What Are Your Thoughts? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I had a conversation with a local LEO where I live a while back. It went something like this. We were discussing what is considered ...

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Thread: Rights VS Privilege? What Are Your Thoughts?

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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Rights VS Privilege? What Are Your Thoughts?

    I had a conversation with a local LEO where I live a while back. It went something like this. We were discussing what is considered a RIGHT and what was considered a PRIVILEGE. Well to say the least, we never did see eye to eye on any point of conversation. His thought process was that owning and or carrying a weapon, regardless of type i.e sidearm or long gun was a privilege bestowed upon us by the Gov. and that every person shouldn't have that privilege. Now be it so, I agree to some degree with that. I believe that a convicted felon should not be allowed to have a carry permit and so forth on that issue and neither should persons that are not legal residents to this country.

    However, I said my peace to this LEO and I told him that its not a privilege, but its every Americans RIGHT. And there should not be a single law abiding U.S. citizen that cannot purchase, arm and protect himself or family if he wants to. I just cant believe some people believe that its a privilege. Needless to say, we didn't see eye to eye on this issue at all. So whats the general consensus from you guys and gals???

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    Member Array alexcantslee's Avatar
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    Thats a tough one. To me, a right is something available to everyone without question and without regard to any past deeds. I believe everyone should have a right to legal counsel, etc...

    Its almost a matter of semantics. I agree with you 100%, that any law abiding person has the right to purchase and own a firearm to defend themselves. That said, if its limited to law abiding citizens only, by definition its no longer a right, is becomes a privilege. I don't like to think of it a privilege either though, since that by definition is more of something that you "ask" for and are granted.

    I guess its like a limited right. Like our right to vote. Its a RIGHT, provided your old enough and registered to do so.

    Personally, I'm all for people with criminal history not being able to buy or legally own a gun. Not that the serious criminals wont get it anyway. But its like swearing in front of children. They're gonna hear it...it just wont be from me. Criminals will always be able to get guns, but I dont wanna just "Give" them one either.

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    Come on, it is a right, it is 2A!

    Now, if you break the law, you loose "rights", that's the way it is. You commit a crime, get convicted, you go to jail, you loose your "right" to be free for a time. Depending on the crime, you have shown that you are not a "good" citizen. Should there be restrictions set on you for the rest of your life? Once again, I think it depends on the crime. If it is a violent crime, then yeah, no firearms for you. But if it's like having a few joints on you or something silly like that, you have not robbed, or stolen someones property, etc. then I think you should have no restrictions, after a period of time. IMO.

    So like anything else in our society, you have rights, until you cross the line into someone Else's rights, then you loose.

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    kpw
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    Pennsylvania Constitution.
    Section 21 . Right to Bear Arms
    The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
    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.

    Pretty clear language. I don't see the word privilege anywhere.
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    Member Array Faitmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kicker96fs View Post
    Come on, it is a right, it is 2A!

    Now, if you break the law, you loose "rights", that's the way it is. You commit a crime, get convicted, you go to jail, you loose your "right" to be free for a time. Depending on the crime, you have shown that you are not a "good" citizen. Should there be restrictions set on you for the rest of your life? Once again, I think it depends on the crime. If it is a violent crime, then yeah, no firearms for you. But if it's like having a few joints on you or something silly like that, you have not robbed, or stolen someones property, etc. then I think you should have no restrictions, after a period of time. IMO.

    So like anything else in our society, you have rights, until you cross the line into someone Else's rights, then you loose.
    This has been something I've argued with myself for some time. If a person breaks the law and is punished for it by going to prison, why aren't all their rights restored once they are released? They did the crime. They did the time and they continue to pay for it because now they cannot enjoy ALL the rights we have.

    Now you can argue that if they want to keep their rights they shouldn't commit crimes. However, we have all heard of the guy who was young, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and made a bad decision. He served his time and has plans to "never" be in that situation again. He may live the rest of his life as a model citizen but never be "one of us" again. Where does the constitution provide that you can lose that right?

    I'm not saying that I think we should arm hardened criminals or whatever, but I do take pause on what authority "we, the people" have of making that decision.

    How can you argue that a felon who has served his sentencing can no longer vote? Or run for office? Please don't offer an excuse about "character" for the office question. We have criminals in the goverment now. They just haven't been convicted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faitmaker View Post
    Now you can argue that if they want to keep their rights they shouldn't commit crimes. However, we have all heard of the guy who was young, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and made a bad decision. He served his time and has plans to "never" be in that situation again. He may live the rest of his life as a model citizen but never be "one of us" again. Where does the constitution provide that you can lose that right?

    I'm not saying that I think we should arm hardened criminals or whatever, but I do take pause on what authority "we, the people" have of making that decision.
    There is part of the problem, and sort of a contradiction in your two paragraphs above. Where do you draw the line, and who decides?
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Last time I checked, it was called The Bill of Rights, not The Bill of Privileges.
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Privilege
    : a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor ; especially : such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office
    You to qualify for a privilege.

    Right
    : something to which one has a just claim: as a : the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled <voting rights> <his right to decide> b (1) : the interest that one has in a piece of property —often used in plural <mineral rights> (2) plural : the property interest possessed under law or custom and agreement in an intangible thing especially of a literary and artistic nature <film rights of the novel>
    Rights can be granted by privilege, or they can be unalienable.

    My right to life is unanlienable, and self evident. I require no justification to claim a right to life.

    Since I have a right to life, I have a right to defend my life. My right to be armed is an extension of that right.

    On the other hand, my right to live in my apartment is a privilege conditional upon my payment of rent and abiding by the terms of the lease.
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    RKBA or PKBA?
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    It is a clearly enumerated right, not a privilege. The Bill of Rights was not even meant to GIVE us rights, merely to protect those rights that were inherent.

    Of course, 2A is patently clear, even if the lawyers can't read some days.

    WRT a felon, it is possible to have civil rights restored in court even after a felony. There is a petitioning process and it can be done. So that argument is not too strong in my opinion.
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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpw View Post
    Pennsylvania Constitution.
    Section 21 . Right to Bear Arms
    The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
    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.

    Pretty clear language. I don't see the word privilege anywhere.
    Here's the Constitution of Virginia, enumerating the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by George Mason:

    That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
    Note the bolded word.
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    Member Array Kicker96fs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    WRT a felon, it is possible to have civil rights restored in court even after a felony. There is a petitioning process and it can be done. So that argument is not too strong in my opinion.
    That's what I was thinking. I know someone that was in the wrong place, sent to jail. After he got out he had his felon status "pardoned". So he is free and clear.

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    It's called the "BILL OF RIGHTS" for a reason. They are a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a nation. The purpose of these bills is to protect them against infringement by the government.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    We have a right to life given to us by God. Logically it follows that having the ability to defend your life is also a right. Bearing arms is connected to these rights.

    The difficulty arises when society via government attempts to define if, when, where and how the individual rights of one person should be limited in order to protect the individual rights of others. Should the individual right of self-defensive provide that an individual living in a NYC apartment extend to his having the "right" to store 500 lbs of C4 in his apartment? Or does the risk this might pose to the right to life of the other individuals living in the apartment building (or on the block for that matter) trump his "right" to own and store C4 in his apartment (extreme example to make a point)?

    Committing some crimes may be justification for forfeiting certain individual rights for the rest of their lives. The idea that time in jail amounts to fully paying your debt to society may not be valid. Criminal penalities can extend to fines, time in jail and/or forfeiture of certain rights forever.
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    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    The next time your LEO friend starts on about that, simply tell him you think Freedom of Speech is a privilege, and not one that everyone should have without training and proper registration. We can't have just anyone walking around saying outlandish things. The State should decide who is qualified to speak and what they are qualified to say.

    When he tells you "that's asinine," just say "exactly."

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