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Rights vs Privileges

Discussion in 'Legal' started by christcorp, Jun 14, 2009.

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  1. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    Just one Man's Opinion

    I know most people like to use the word RIGHTS. E.g. "I have the RIGHT to ......."; "That's MY RIGHT"; etc... Especially when it comes to the constitution and the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, something can only be a RIGHT if you actually OWN it; that no MAN can GIVE it to you; and no MAN can take it away. A privilege on the other hand is something that the OWNER of something GRANTS to another person. I.e. "Allowing you to cross my land, is a privilege that I GRANT TO YOU". I can take away that privilege any time I want to. You don't have any RIGHT to cross my land.

    So, why do I bring this up. Because as much as people want to believe that our "Bill of Rights" are RIGHTS that the government does NOT GIVE us; and therefor can NOT TAKE AWAY from us; that actually isn't quite correct. And that is a very scary thing. There's a lot of complacency with our people. Many have no idea how fragile our constitution really is. Yet, because of how it was designed, it is very strong a durable. However; if we stay complacent; don't learn the REAL MEANING of the constitution; read and interpret what we want to believe instead of what's there; then we can potentially lose what we INTERPRET as Rights! I say interpret, because even the word "RIGHTS" have many Theoretical Distinctions. This is not an opinion, this is truth. And because of these distinctions; also known as "SEMANTICS"; what you may consider to be a "RIGHT" may not actually be one. Here are some things to think about. They can be food for thought; used to debate and comment; or used for toilet paper. But I truly believe that even thinking about them is very important.

    "Rights" is a terms that many people believe is something that THEY HAVE POSSESSION of; not given by man; nor able to be taken away by man. I agree. Unfortunately, many of what people have written, said, and believe to be rights; actually aren't. And that's what scares me.

    1. A "RIGHT" is something that CAN'T be taken away. Therefor; if a government can take away a person's RIGHT to vote, free speech, gun, etc... (EVEN TO JUST 1 PERSON); then it technically CAN NOT BE A RIGHT!!! A Right CAN'T be taken away. If a felon CAN'T possess a gun; then "Keep and Bear Arms" was NEVER a right for this individual, but rather a PRIVILEGE. A privilege that has been revoked. A person screaming obscenities or yelling fire in a theater, who is escorted out, therefor NEVER had the RIGHT to the government not "abridging the freedom of speech". It was simply a privilege that they revoked; albeit temporarily.

    2. The constitution is simply a document that describes what power that "WE THE PEOPLE" have given; to the government. And as such; "We The People" have the ability to take back. Most people read the constitution and the "Bill of Rights" as though it is a list of all the things that "WE" have a right to. On the contrary. Read it closely and you'll see that the "Bill of Rights" specifically is a list of what the GOVERNMENT CAN NOT DO!!! I.e. The Government WON'T abridge your freedom to speak; WON'T infringe on you to keep and bear arms; WON'T search your house, person, property, etc... without REASON and approval; etc...

    3. Remember; it was the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE" that actually gave us RIGHTS. These are "INALIENABLE" rights. "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". Inalienable means they are natural. They aren't bound by any law. And the PURPOSE of the "Bill of Rights" was so that the government would not INFRINGE on our "ACTUAL RIGHTS" of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". Every supposed RIGHT that many read in the "Bill of Rights" is not actually a "RIGHT". It is a clarification on the LIMITS of the Government, so that they wouldn't INFRINGE on the Rights of the People.

    4. My final thought is that it was the "STATES" at the time who ratified and put the "Constitution" into force for the federal government. So that they could clearly define what power the different branches of Federal government would have. And they clearly state in the 10th amendment, that any power not specifically granted/delegated to the federal government, would reside with the State Government and People. This has been lost. We have allowed the Federal government to Blackmail, Extort, bully, etc... the states into doing the Federal Government's will instead of the Federal Government doing the state's will. E.g. There is no federal law that says the drinking age is to be 21 years old. However; the federal government has made it clear that if a state DOESN'T enact an age limit on alcohol consumption of 21 years old; the state would no longer receive federal highway funds. Which too, it was intended that the STATES would provide the federal government with funds. Not the federal government capable of generating their own funds.

    This is what worries me the most. That there are those who think because they read the word “RIGHTS” that it is something that the government can't take away. Well, that's not true. The government takes away such Rights all the time. And they do it by PROXY; because “We The People” have given/allowed them the power to do such a thing. Because it was “We The People” who WROTE the Constitution of the United States saying what POWER we would allow the government to have. And even though we called them RIGHTS; we knew that because “We The People” consisted of MORE than one person; that such RIGHTS would have to have “Responsibilities” associated with them BY “We The People”. And if “We The People” were irresponsible, then such “Rights” could be tempered. And that's why it's important to realize that the only True Rights we have are those in the Declaration of Independence which mention “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. That the “Bill of Rights” is simply a means of putting RESTRICTIONS on the government so they wouldn't infringe on our Rights of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. But even though the Declaration actually mentions our RIGHTS; RIGHTS have to be considerate of OTHER PEOPLE'S RIGHTS. And that's why, even though no MAN gave us those rights; MAN can temporarily restrict those RIGHTS. E.g. Prison sentence. I.e. If you Kill another person, your LIBERTY will be taken away from you; which will stop any “Pursuit of Happiness” that you may have wanted. And in some states, even your LIFE can be taken away from you. So, as "We The People", we need to stay alert and realize that when the government does something we don't agree with, that it is "We The People" who have elected them to do it. And only "We The People" can remove them from office.
     
  2. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    That was a very well thought out post. And I totally agree with you. I also think that progress is not always a good thing. And what this country needs is common sense. I always thought that particular thing was....well........common but i've come to realize thats not the case. Also there is not nearly as much political involvement by regular folks as there once was which means that an opinion on this bill or that ban ONLY matters if it is a voting opinion.

    I have been guilty of complacency myself and have come to realize how much 1 vote may be worth. I have recently started to become more involved in such matters.
     
  3. Rockwell1

    Rockwell1 member

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    You are dead wrong I have a right to life & liberty that doesn't come from government and can't be taken away without killing me.

    Case in point the German Government revoked the "priveledge" of liberty from the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. They demonstrated that their rights weren't dependent on government whim by arming themselves and fighting back. As did the Jews in the Sobibor & Treblinka death camps. As did the founding fathers when they went to war against Great Britan.

    If my liberty is wrongfully taken from me I have the right to fight back with every means at my dispoal.
     
  4. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    Rockwell1 is correct.
     
  5. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    I disagree. Rights can be taken away, and they are. A government can kill you, as tens of millions of people discovered in the 20th century alone. Does that make life a privilege?

    Government can imprison you for your exercise of any number of rights. Speech, religion, etc.

    The question here is not whether or not a right CAN be taken away, but whether or not a government has the moral authority to do so. The answer to that is governments have the authority to deprive citizens of their rights as long as the citizens allow it. I think this says it all:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
     
  6. runrabbitrun

    runrabbitrun member

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    There it is, in a nut shell.
     
  7. SHvar

    SHvar Member

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    Driving in the USA is a privilege, you earn that ability to be able to drive.
    Voting is a right offered to all adults, the right to bear arms is offered to all who are adults.
    What you do in the course of life effects what rights you still are permitted. If you commit a felony (77% of all felons commit felonies over and over again, or they get into much worse or violent felonies) you are denied the right to bear arms legally by the majority decision of the citizens of the US because you proved you should not be permitted this right. Over time and a law abiding lifestyle you try to earn that right and the right to vote back, but I dont know of one specific example of a felon who has actually earned the right to bear arms back (again, falls back on that 77%).
     
  8. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    In my opinion, the entire OP is a morass of misstatement and inaccuracies. The goal may be fine (be vigilant about your rights) but the path is untenable.

    Defining a right as something that cannot be taken away from you infers that there is no such thing as a right. There is NOTHING, including your very LIFE, that cannot be taken from you.

    My government does not grant me the privledge of existing. It's my RIGHT. The fact that the Government can kill me doesn't mean that it's not still a right.

    The notion of a right, as envisioned by our founding fathers, is that a right is something that morally is bestowed upon all by the mere act of existence. As I stated in the other thread - a right can be taken away or bought, but it's still your right and the act of taking it implies an immoral act.

    And, to continue that train of thought, it's important to define what a 'right' is/is not because we often define what we consider to be a crime based upon what we consider to be a person's inalienable rights. For example, it's a crime to kill somebody (outside of the boundaries of articulated self-defense) because everybody has a RIGHT to exist.

    People SHOULD be vigilant about their rights, because they CAN be taken away by a government that defines the laws away from their intent. When it is no longer illegal to take away a right, the Government has become untenable.

    But that doesn't mean that the subjects of that government don't have rights. It simply means that those rights are denied and that the Government is immoral.
     
  9. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    I am simply stating 2 points.

    1) If it was TRULY a RIGHT; then the government WOULDN'T be able to TAKE IT AWAY from you; nor would it be something that the government PERMITTED. Yes, the ability/desire to FIGHT BACK is definitely a right you have. You may not win in the fight, but it's definitely a RIGHT you have and something they can't take away from you.

    2) Don't sleep under the "FALSE SECURITY" that because you and others consider these "RIGHTS" that they can't be taken away from you. They can. And as such; aren't actually rights to begin with. REMEMBER: "WE THE PEOPLE" is a whole lot of citizens. While WE have power when united; it is also this "WE THE PEOPLE" where the MAJORITY could affect a change in the constitution. I.e. The MAJORITY could affect a change that could redefine the 2nd Amendment. Don't say it can't happen. The fact that amendments to the constitution has been added since it's ratification; and some have even been repealed (Prohibition); means that they can be changed.

    And just because the Bill of Rights was the original 10 amendments that were included with the ratification of the constitution; don't believe that they are somehow different or MORE SPECIAL. They aren't. People collectively is what "WE THE PEOPLE" are. And if enough band together, they can force change. That change may not necessarily be good or what we want. REMEMBER: In the days of the Declaration and Constitution; it was proclaimed that "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL". People LOVE to quote this; especially when talking about their "INALIENABLE RIGHTS".

    GUESS WHAT???? It doesn't mean WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS!!! If it did, why did they allow slavery at that time. Why did those who were involved with the Declaration and Constitution have slaves? They obviously DID NOT believe that Black MEN were in fact MEN!!! And while mentioning MEN, they felt the same about WOMEN. Blacks and Women were NOT the same as MEN in the meaning of the declaration and the constitution. Both Blacks and Women were pretty much property. And the whole purpose later on of a "Marriage License" was to RESTRICT the possibility of Blacks and White" intermarrying. Obviously, our founding fathers weren't quite right. How can "ALL MEN BE CREATED EQUAL"; how can they be "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." And YET, blacks and women can be slaves and property?????? And YET, we recognize that the founding fathers weren't perfect, because we later added amendments to allow Blacks and Women to be treated as equal to men.

    Sorry folks, but the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration is a lot more complex than many want to believe. The RIGHTS you believe you have, by definition, are NOT RIGHTS. Call them that if you want. Call them ANYTHING YOU WANT. But realize that they CAN BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU.

    And the real only TRUE way to ensure that these "RIGHTS", or whatever you want to call them; aren't taken away from you; without cause; is to ensure that the place where ALL THE POWER originates; "WE THE PEOPLE" stay banded together. If "WE THE PEOPLE" stay united, then the government; at any level; can not harm us. Because WE give the government power; and WE can take it away. But only if WE stand together. And that is why, in the case of the 2nd amendment, we need to get MORE AND MORE gun supporters, more gun users, more gun owners, more sympathy, etc... In other words, when people talk to you about "Why do you have a gun" or other similar questions; don't become arrogant and alienating by saying garbage such as; "IT'S MY RIGHT"; "BECAUSE I'M ALLOWED TO"; "BECAUSE THE 2ND AMENDMENT ,,,,,". The truth is; NONE OF THESE STATEMENTS guarantees that you get to continue exercising these "WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT". And if you alienate the overwhelming mass majority of the Citizens, they CAN CHANGE THINGS and you could lose your "Whatever you want to call it" to "Keep and Bear Arms". The reason you still have these "Rights, or whatever you want to call them" is because most people are still banded together in support. Plus, there's a lot of ignorant people who aren't involved. And THAT IS THE DANGEROUS PART. If you get an overwhelming amount of ignorant and complacent people FIRED UP under a single cause or banner; they can unite and change how things turn out. Sort of like how Obama got elected. He went after a group of people such as the young and minorities who traditionally were ignorant, complacent, and uninvolved; and he united them and got them involved. The same can be done with the anti-gun crowd. We as gun owners need to RECRUIT more sympathy. And you start that off by being more humble and less arrogant. By realizing that the 2nd amendment is NOT some right that CAN'T be taken away from you. And that the only reason you still are allowed to exercise such a "Right" is because the government hasn't been able to organize enough of the ignorant and complacent people together to make a Constitutional Amendment.
     
  10. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    A good reference to open is THE SECOND AMENDMENT PRIMER by Les Adams, Pallaidium Press. It chronicals The Right worldwide from ancient times through the 20th century.

    To continue spreading this modern complicated opinion of yours is a diservice, unintentional and with good will, but a diservice.

    During the forming of our country it was political/financial/career suicide to argue against slavery. Thomas Jefferson saw that happen to people he respected. He chose his words carefully in The Declaration of Independence. Jefferson knew that eventually it could not be denied that blacks were indeed men, that's why: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,"....

    Here's the entire text, it's a short uncomplicated read in plain english:

    In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    Button Gwinnett
    Lyman Hall
    George Walton William Hooper
    Joseph Hewes
    John Penn
    Edward Rutledge
    Thomas Heyward, Jr.
    Thomas Lynch, Jr.
    Arthur Middleton
    John Hancock
    Samuel Chase
    William Paca
    Thomas Stone
    Charles Carroll
    of Carrollton

    George Wythe
    Richard Henry Lee
    Thomas Jefferson
    Benjamin Harrison
    Thomas Nelson, Jr.
    Francis Lightfoot Lee
    Carter Braxton
    Robert Morris
    Benjamin Rush
    Benjamin Franklin
    John Morton
    George Clymer
    James Smith
    George Taylor
    James Wilson
    George Ross

    Caesar Rodney
    George Read
    Thomas McKean
    William Floyd
    Philip Livingston
    Francis Lewis
    Lewis Morris

    Richard Stockton
    John Witherspoon
    Francis Hopkinson
    John Hart
    Abraham Clark
    Josiah Bartlett
    William Whipple
    Samuel Adams
    John Adams
    Robert Treat Paine
    Elbridge Gerry

    Stephen Hopkins
    William Ellery

    Roger Sherman
    Samuel Huntington
    William Williams
    Oliver Wolcott

    Matthew Thornton
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  11. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    I agree. The point is/was; that if our constitution was written in such a way that it could be amended to accommodate more modern accepted NORMS such as Blacks and Women being considered equal to men; then ANY part of the constitution is subject to change. Which includes the 2nd amendment. In other words, dont think because TODAY in this moment of TIME, that because the basic accepted consensus is that as citizens we have the RIGHT to "Keep and Bear Arms"; that somehow it is something that can NEVER be changed or taken away. IT CAN!!!! That's my entire point. And the way to NOT have it taken away is NOT in the courts; it's NOT in the legislature; it's NOT in the Executive Branch..... It's in "WE THE PEOPLE". We give the power. Unfortunately, if "WE THE PEOPLE" are divided, then those with their own personal and political agendas can use that to their advantage for "Change".
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    People have rights which exist in the total absence of any government. That's why the Bill of Rights speaks to "enumerated" and not to "granted". Governments don't have rights; they have power, and power can be abused to deny the excercise of a person's right.

    A right continues in existence, whether a person chooses not to exercise it or is denied the ability to exercise it.
     
  13. Rockwell1

    Rockwell1 member

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    The right to life & liberty are natural human rights. They descend to us from God (or nature if you prefer) alone and they exist wholly & totally separate from any Government or Law or Court or Document. This was proven in the Warsaw Ghetto and at Sobibor and at Treblinka. Incumbent to these rights is the right to defend them by any means necessary or available, regardless of what any government says or how any court interprets.

    I have the right to openly defy any government that moves to rob me of the means to defend these rights.
     
  14. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    Well, the problem is semantics and meaning. I don't consider something a true RIGHT if it can be taken away from me. I consider the DOI's statement that we have inalienable rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as our ONLY rights. I believe that the Bill of Rights simply lists what the government is restricted from doing to it's citizens, because those things listed are what ensures that we are able to have the RIGHT of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".

    But we are talking semantics. It doesn't matter if you want to consider them RIGHTS, or consider them PRIVILEGES, or believe that GOD gave them to us, or that NATURE gave them to us, or that the GOVERNMENT gave them to us. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT you call it, or WHERE it came from. What DOES MATTER, is that as a collective society; "We The People"; it is possible for "The People" to allow the Government, THE POWER, to repeal our ability to EXERCISE such Rights, privileges, or WHATEVER you want to call it. And the ONLY way to ensure that this doesn't happen, is if "WE THE PEOPLE" remain united and not allow the government to have such power. And the way to do that, is to WIN ALLIES among the Non-Gun owners; the Anti-gun crowd; and others who don't believe that it AFFECTS them. And the way we do that is to:

    A) Not to portray ourselves as arrogant gun nuts. Just about every gun owner has guns because he/she likes them. They like them for hunting, for plinking, for sport, for self defense, etc... Basically, you LIKE THEM. Discuss with those that are "ANTI" from this perspective and not the arrogance of "It's My Right"; "Because the Constitution Says I Can"; etc... Not everyone interprets the same way and you DON'T have a constitution, court, government, etc... to protect you against the "ANTI" crowd. The "ANTI" crowd is Still part of "WE THE PEOPLE". And they have just as much say as we do in what you may WANT to call RIGHTS.

    B) Explain to those who aren't necessarily FRIENDS of gun owners, that ALL of the perceived rights in the constitution are linked together. At one time, our dollar/economy/debt was backed by gold. It was tangible. That changed in the 70's to our debt being backed by a simple "FAITH" that the government will honor it. Well, our RIGHTS as we want to believe in the Constitution are simply words. Very powerful words, but words none the less. As long as the PEOPLE maintain the power over the government, that FAITH in the words will exist. As soon as "We The People" give up power, the words don't have as much strength. So convince the "ANTI" crowd that if the 2nd amendment is messed with, then all amendments and the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness can be messed with.
     
  15. benminer

    benminer Member

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    Rights are not absolute in the sense that anything you do while exercising that right is ok. For example you could not practice a religion that involved smoking meth or killing people, and you cannot say or write anything you want about anybody. Also, rights can have restrictions in sense that certain conditions can apply to them. Yes you have the right to vote, but you have to vote in the right place and on the right day. You couldn't forget to vote on election day, and then complain the next day that your rights had been violated. (well you could complain, but everybody would think you are crazy).
     
  16. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    The semantics are important.

    The fact that you've chosen to redefine the common and accepted notion of the word RIGHT (as described by our Founding Fathers) for your own purposes doesn't make you correct. It simply makes you, um, unique.

    And, as I've said elsewhere - the fact is that your definition would lead to an individual never having ANY true rights, since there is virtually no aspect of your existence that cannot be taken away.

    Your definition is flawed, no matter how hard you try to defend it.
     
  17. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    That's not true, you can give up your rights, they have to be taken away by a jury trial.
     
  18. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    Semantics is not part of the equastion. Forget about it.
    Do a defintion of the words.
    Read the sentences in the context of the time they were written in. What was happening? What was in the news papers?
    Then and only then will you come away with the accurate meaning of what the authors wrote.
    If you add semantics into it you'll get a twisted, corrupted, distorted view of human Rights, and that is what the powers that be want you to believe.
    Anything can be taken away by overpowering someone , Rights included. Genocide, concentration camps, registration, permits, you name it. That doesn't detract from the persons Rights, they're just being violated.
    Any discussion with anti 2nd Amendment Rights people should include that we were founded as a Republic that recognizes the Rights of the minorities. Forget the semantics, keep it simple, use the original documents text and you cannot lose.
     
  19. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

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    Art Has it RIGHT.

    Hey There:
    I understand where you are coming from. But must add. That is exactly what our government would have us all to believe. Which is false....
    Our rights ? These rights were not handed to us on a silver plate. They were paid for in Blood. That by itself makes them usable when ever the need calls for that action. the government may abuse it's power that {we gave them }
    and then it will be up to you and I to take back that power. A right is only good for those who will use it. Just because so many misunderstand these rights is not justification to call then no good. Because many choose to reinterpet the wording and meaning of these rights does not make the original right null and void.
    We have all become very lazy with our rights and rarely ever use any of them in their proper context.
    In this post Art has added his thing and I agree with him..
    To lavish and confound words makes no sense at the end.

    The right to keep and bear arms is only good for those who would choose to use it and to make payment for that right with Blood again if need be. :fire:
     
  20. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    You are playing a word game. Rights cannot be taken away from you.

    Governments, through either force or agreed law, can deny you your rights, but that does not stop the right from existing.

    You are incorrect in saying that rights can be "taken away".

    You are born with them and you die with them. Some people just live under governments that deny them, or by some action of law the rights are otherwise denied, as in the case of a felon. A felon has the right to bear arms, but the rest of us have agreed that through the force of law we can deny those rights to him on a temporary basis.

    He may choose to exercise that right anyway, but if he does we reserve the right to put him in prison for it.

    A privilege is a drivers license. You don't automatically have the "right" to drive a car. You grow up, apply for a license, and the privilege is granted.

    Felons are born with the right to bear arms. Through some action of their own the community at large has empowered government to temporarily deny that right for the safety of the community. That a felon can petition the government to own guns again proves that the right has existed all along, it was just denied by law.

    That is not the same thing as "losing" the right.

    Yes, it's a word game but the distinction is very important.
     
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Christcorp, I do believe this statement is the simplest and fundamental mistake in the entire debate.

    By this definition, there is nothing, not RKBA, not the pursuit of happiness, not liberty, not life -- not even thought and emotion -- that cannot be destroyed or otherwise taken from you.

    By this logic, the term "RIGHT" means nothing at all. Not one thing anywhere, any time.

    So what then, are the DoI and the Constitution about? In your logic, they are about a non-entity. Much talk about a thing that does not -- CAN not -- exist.

    Please either defend your belief that this is TRUE (that the Constitution and the foundation of our country is based on the defense and preservation of a NON-thing and so are, themselves, worthless) -- OR admit the mistake and adopt the proper definition of "RIGHTS."

    Thank you,

    -Sam
     
  22. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

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    +1 For Sam

    Sam is also right.

    Undersatnd lest ye be confused.:fire:
     
  23. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Semantics?

    I wonder, when people say things like this, what they imagine "semantics" is.

    Semantics is not about "obfuscation of meaning though subtle nuance," it is entirely about the actuality of meaning, the precision in expression of meaning.

    I was my fortune to grow up in the household of one of Alfred Korzybski's students.

    It was a never-ending lesson in precision of meaning.

    Korzybski had a number of remarks on understanding, and relationship of expression to actuality.

    On which he expanded thus:
    . . . and further:
    And this last remark is of prime importance.

    A poorly constructed description or explanation is worse than saying nothing, as its apparent plausibility can lead, not only to wrong conclusions, but to the perpetuation of the line of thought that will continue to derive those wrong conclusions.

    My father was a man of meticulous precision of expression -- even when he was intentionally butchering the English language (a prized sport in our house) -- and a man possessed of a broad and deep vocabulary and a rigorous grasp of grammar.

    When one of us came to him confused about the meaning of some lengthy and rambling paragraph, he didn't attempt to explain it in his terms or couch it in terms of his opinion. He reached for the dictionary. When that wasn't enough, he would have us diagram the sentence.

    Semantics doesn't mean "fooling people with clever and artful wordings."

    Semantics is about deriving actual meaning from definition, form, and context.

    The dismissive "well, that's just semantics" is an indictment of the speaker.

    It's a little like telling an astronomer, "well, that's just math."

    Yeah. That'll sure fly.


    Now, about the "rights" thing.

    Our founders discovered, through study and experience, that rights are not a matter of the despot du jour waving his hand and declaring, "you may all now speak freely!" or a governing body, standing in the stead of such a despot, doing the same thing.

    Rather, rights are an attribute of humanity, whether recognized by rulers or not.

    The trick is to establish the recognition of those rights to begin with, and to impress their acceptance upon the ruler or ruling body, by force if needed.

    And so we did that.

    It's not particularly surprising that, over the last couple of hundred years, there have been those whose objective is to acquire power at the cost of the rights of those over whom the power is wielded.

    So has it always been.

    That serious encroachments have been made, and the population bamboozled into the belief that the seat of power is the source of rights, is a matter of consternation to those who understand how it ought to be.

    That one has seized power, however, does not mean that one is now qualified to dispense "rights" to the governed.

    The consent of the governed is always required.

    The degree to which we, as a governed people, will continue to consent is the matter in question.

     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  24. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    What this entire thread boils down to is:

    If "WE THE PEOPLE" stand strong and united, then the government can not take away, restrict, deny, hinder, etc... ANY of our Rights, Privileges, or whatever else a person wants to call them. We are not protected by the words of the constitution. We are protected by "WE THE PEOPLE" who are the ones that allow the government the power to do what they do. We need to become allies with "THE PEOPLE". Yes, the government is PEOPLE also; but their power is given to them via the constitution, via "WE THE PEOPLE". Too many people are complacent with THEIR GOVERNMENT.

    I guess, in it's simplest form, when I read such threads as "Why do you have a gun"; "Why do you have a CCW?"; or any similar thread, it seems to be that there's a large portion of people who's answer always revolves around: "Because I have the RIGHT"; "Because the Constitution ,.,,,,"; "Because the 2nd amendment ....." etc... And their response implies that until the end of the world, they will have THOSE RIGHTS and that they can't be taken away from them. "WELL YES THEY CAN". And until all of "WE THE PEOPLE" understand this; not just the 2nd amendment, but also the 1st amendment and all others; then we will ALLOW the government the power to change How we are allowed to exercise our 3 prime Rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". So by all means contact your representatives to government and hold them accountable. But also, join forces with "THE PEOPLE". When someone asks why you have a gun, bought a lot of ammo, go hunting, etc... don't get defensive with answers like "It's My Right"; "Because I'm Allowed to"; etc... That does more harm than good. Educate those who don't think the 2nd amendment applies to them. Educate them to realize that our Rights, and the constitution that we use to grant government with power, can be affected. If one aspect of a right can be affected, ANY of them can. And ULTIMATELY; it is the 2nd amendment that is the TOOL we have to protect us from the government infringing on our rights. But if we don't bond together with the rest of "WE THE PEOPLE"; then certain people and groups will capitalize on the ignorance and complacency of these people. And then they will align with them; and eventually the MEANING of our RIGHTS will change. Because they are words, and words have meaning, and meanings are INTERPRETED.
     
  25. Rockwell1

    Rockwell1 member

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    Christcorp,

    You're in a hole, stop digging
     
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