The natural right of self defense supersedes all other rights and nullifies the state’s monopoly on violence.
November 25, 2013
In Lansing, Michigan, a man shot an attacker who tried to assault him with a malfunctioning taser.
A news report said the wounded youth was involved in “knockout,” a “game” played by teens. The object is to assault an unsuspecting victim and knock him or her unconscious. Several deaths have been attributed to the brutal pastime.
It may be quaint or nostalgic to think so, but individuals have a right to self defense. John Locke noted this in 1690 when he said every human in the state of nature has the power to kill a murderer and prevent others from inflicting injury. It is considered a natural right.
The natural right to self protection supersedes all other rights. It is considered the first right of nature. Natural and unalienable rights are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
“The framers would have thought it strange to believe that people could have no right of self defense, even after they enter into civil society. Remember, the right to life was considered inalienable,” writes Jim Lindgren. “Some 17th and 18th century commentators considered self defense to be, not only the permissible thing to do, but the morally required thing to do.”
In 1772, Sam Adams said all men are endowed with natural rights. “First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can,” Adams wrote. “These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”
The idea that one has the right to self defense is hardly new. Early theories of Roman Law held the principle of dominium. It stated that any attack on the members of a family or the property it owned was a personal attack on the pater familias, or the male head of the household.
Thomas Hobbes later argued that self defense is the highest necessity.
It is legitimate to respond to deadly force in kind. The modern state, primarily in large cities like New York and Chicago, has made it illegal for citizens to protect themselves. Government claims it has a monopoly on violence and all other exercises of violence, including self defense, are illegitimate. It is a punishable crime to defend yourself.
Only the free exercise of the Second Amendment will put an end to unprovoked attacks on innocent people. Knockout will end only when thugs understand that their violence may result in their own death or serious injury. Short of that fear, there is no reason for them to stop attacking innocent people.