You can't defend human rights by infringing on a human right

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Human rights are a topic that always warrants discussion, but usually not much controversy. We all agree that humans do have rights and those rights should be thoroughly protected, not just here in the US. After all, they’re human rights, not American rights.

Our rights are enshrined in the Constitution. It didn’t create them, it merely protects them from government encroachment. Our Founding Fathers believed these rights existed independent of any national government, they were inherent in our status as free men and women.

One of those, of course, is the Second Amendment. It protects the right to keep and bear arms, a right essential to resist tyranny and naked aggression, either from the government or some thug on the streets.

Yet some want to restrict that basic human right in the misguided notion that doing so would protect human rights.

The right to life itself is in jeopardy because of gun violence. It’s a tragedy that affects people every day all across the world. Every day, firearms are responsible for the deaths of more than 500 people. It is worsening the human rights situation in the country as a whole and will have long-lasting effects on victims and their families.

The United States stands out among other industrialized and wealthy nations in terms of gun violence. The U.S. administration seems to have let gun violence escalate into a human rights problem. Due to lax gun control and easy access to firearms, over 39,000 Americans, including children, lose their lives to gun violence every year.

Due largely to its gun culture, the United States currently boasts the highest per capita number of civilian firearms in the world. It now has 120 firearms for every 100 people, making it even more armed than Yemen, which is experiencing one of the deadliest civil wars in modern history.

And yet, the guns used to take human life are overwhelmingly in the hands of people who didn’t lawfully obtain those guns.

Further, we know that they will continue to get guns regardless of any law we could possibly enact.

Then there’s the fact that while people keep harping on the guns, we also know that our “knife homicide” rates are higher than many industrialized nations’ total homicide rates.

In other words, this is an incomplete picture at best.

But what about the human right to live?

No one is about to dispute that such a right exists. It most definitely does, and yes, criminal actions are depriving many of that right.

Yet you can’t protect a human right by infringing on yet another. The right to keep and bear arms may not be universally acknowledged as a human right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is. It’s an essential right necessary to protect our own right to live as well as that same right in others.

What’s more, few actually dispute the right to self-defense. Most throughout the world will acknowledge you have a right to defend your own life–they see this, too, as a basic human right–but then trip over themselves making it impossible for you to defend it against an armed attacker.

Folks, you’re not about to take out an armed attacker with harsh language or by slinging your pronouns at them. That’s not how it works and we all know it.

But what about the criminals?

Look, by definition, criminals are going to violate someone’s rights. At the core of most crimes, there’s someone violating another’s rights. Steal a TV, you’ve violated their property rights by taking what belongs to them, just to provide one example.

But we don’t combat the theft of a TV by banning TVs or mandating alarm systems. We punish the criminal who violated someone’s right to own a TV.

Yet with violent crime, we have people like this dipstick that are ready to punish everyone because of the criminals who are violating someone’s right to live their lives.

It makes no fundamental sense, and it’s beyond time to stop this nonsense.

Human rights matter, but they all matter, not just the ones you cherry-pick.