Lately, anti-gunners have apparently been trying a different tactic to address guns. You see, they’re coming at it from a human rights point of view.
I know, right? I mean, they’re trying to restrict our rights, so why are they trying to pretend they’re the pro-rights crowd?
Well, the tact they’re taking is that gun violence is a violation of the victims’ human rights.
What gets lost in these debates about gun rights is the vast majority of Americans who are not gun owners (70%) or are otherwise troubled by gun violence. Do Americans have a right to be safe from this scourge? Do children have the right to attend school without being terrorized by active shooter drills? Do citizens have the right to express their views freely or to enjoy a night out without intimidation by people carrying guns?
The U.S. has signed or ratified a number of human rights conventions that include provisions about public safety. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law.” (Article 6).
The human rights group Amnesty International (AI) argued in a 2018 report, that the U.S. has breached its commitments under international human rights law. AI writes: “The USA has failed to implement a comprehensive, uniform and coordinated system of gun safety laws and regulations particularly in light of the large number of firearms in circulation, which perpetuates unrelenting and potentially avoidable violence, leaving individuals susceptible to injury and death from firearms.”
Now, I can see how the victims of gun violence were deprived of their human rights. That’s an argument that I’m not willing to debate against.
However, it’s also important to note just who is violating those human rights.
You see, those rights are being violated by private parties. Those private parties are committing these acts in complete and total violation of every law we have on the books to try and prevent such violations.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is correct. Everyone does have “the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The problem is, “security of person” can’t be guaranteed. The Supreme Court has ruled previously that the government through the police force has no duty to protect your person. The duty to protect only applies in a broader sense, meaning they protect society by arresting criminals so they can’t replicate their crimes.
To protect your own life, however, falls on you.
It’s here where another human right comes in, one that people like the writer here and Amnesty International completely ignore. That’s the right to keep and bear arms.
You see, if the bad guys want to violate my human rights–particularly my right to life and liberty–then they’re going to try and violate my human rights. It doesn’t matter what tools are available to them, they’re going to try and violate those rights for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure Amnesty International and their strongly-worded declarations aren’t going to be a lot of use in a case like that.
My Glock 19, on the other hand…
I won’t try and say that criminals aren’t depriving their victims of their rights. What I will say is that they’re already doing that in defiance of the law. What good would disarming the victims do to stop that from happening? Nothing at all, and yet that’s precisely what some people advocating for.
No thank you. I’d rather not be easy prey.