By Jarrin Jackson a Candidate running in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District.
Philosophers pre-dating the Founders wrestled with the concepts of natural law and positive law. One being inherent law that comes from God or nature; the other being man-made law that exists because some human(s) said so. When the Founders debated and finally settled on the words of the Constitution and, subsequently, the second Amendment, they were fully aware of the difference. Some rights, they believed, were unalienable because they come from God or nature, not humans or government.
One of these rights is the right of self-defense. Every person has the natural, legal right to defend him or herself. It is unalienable. No government or human created it. No government or human can take it away (or infringe it), though many presume to try. The 2nd Amendment did not create the right to bear arms so much as it acknowledged it.
When the British marched on Lexington in 1775, what followed was the “shot heard round the world” launching the American Revolution. That much is well known. The part less well known is where the British were going when the shot was fired. They were on their way to confiscate weapons and ammunition.
Others are rightly speaking out about the latest attempt to incrementally burden our right of self-defense, and I won’t duplicate their points. We have many thoughtful, fair-minded, good Americans who are quite able and willing to make the 2nd Amendment case and back it up when necessary.
Rather, I want to observe the timing of the President’s executive action and last month’s omnibus spending bill. It is not coincidental, and the two are not unrelated. The President didn’t suddenly realize that he had power he didn’t know he had. He simply calculated that the time to move was now. Republicans had repeatedly shown themselves timid and equally complicit in circumventing the Constitution. It would be hard for them now to act with any credibility, let alone courage.
The Founders didn’t create the value of life or the idea that we should be free to pursue happiness. God did. All they did was acknowledge it. We should thus never accept the premise that what God thought was good, we know better, and we should never apologize for living out that point as an article of faith. Good intentions to the contrary notwithstanding.
All the good intentions in the world mean little when push comes to shove. Either sufficient force to prevail exists or it doesn’t. And given the ongoing struggle between Americans and Government over whose will shall reign supreme, it is instructive to learn from our history. The British pushed. The patriots shoved back.