"The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny." So begins Judge Andrew Napolitano's concise and elegant explanation of the moral, historical and practical need for the Second Amendment, indeed, for the Bill of Rights. Humankind is endowed with certain unalienable rights because of our ultimately divine origin. These rights, by natural law, are the birth right of each individual, to be jealously protected and only surrendered with our individual consent. Napolitano notes that government, even by majority vote, cannot morally seize these rights or forbid our exercise of them for, by definition, rights are not within the purview of governmental control.
These God-given rights, conspicuously enumerated in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, are solely addressed to the individual.
Perhaps, we can understand why ideologies that exalt the state over the individual, such as communism and socialism, have always tried to corrupt or abolish the Judeo-Christian tradition, which provides the moral basis for individual liberty.
Napolitano notes underlying tension between the free individual and government. Government, by its very nature is the negation of freedom, seeking to aggrandize its power over the individual. Perchance, it is why a government that increasingly breaks its own laws and disregards the individual's rights, adheres to the belief that all authority comes from the "State", i.e., from government and not from natural law. The articulation of the Second Amendment was to express and preserve the ability of the individual to take up arms to protect against tyrannical government.
Judge Napolitano asks in his commentary of Jan. 11 published at www.washingtontimes.com if we are willing to empower the government to take away the very right to keep it in check; to protect ourselves not only from the vicious criminal, but from rogue authority, just because of "the mania and terror of a few?"