Defenders of liberty: Beware the human rights trap

Senator Ted Cruz recently posted a series of tweets regarding the Second Amendment in which he makes a point that could help shed some light on how we’ve arrived at our current state of compromised liberty and the right to arms.

The individual right to arms enshrined in the Constitution isn’t stand-alone. It’s wholly contingent upon our individual right to self-defense, to which Cruz refers to as “the first law of nature.” But there can be no individual right to self-defense without an individual right to life, a line of thinking that also works in reverse. Which begs the question, as American society comes to reject the Second Amendment and the concept of a right to arms, what does that say about our right to self-defense? What does it say about our right to life?

The popular rejection of the Constitution and our individual rights & liberty, corresponds directly with the degree to which society has come to embrace the “rights” and “security” of collectivism. The problem with collective rights for us as individuals, however. is they’re not natural but of human/civil origin. In other words. they come from the government.

In the collectivism of such rights, not even our own life is ours to choose whether we live or die. Because, as Rousseau puts it in his Social Contract, in a collective society it’s no longer a “bounty of nature” – but “a gift made conditionally by the State.” As such it belongs to the collective/state to do with as best benefits it, not the individual! Where could a right to self-defense let alone to arms, possibly fit into such a philosophy?

So, it only make sense that the United Nations has determined there is, indeed, no such thing as human right to self-defense, stating in Part II, item 21 of its Frey Report, “No international human right of self-defense is expressly set forth in the primary sources of international law: treaties, customary law, or general principles.” To which it adds in item 34, “Even if there were a “human right to self defense,” it would not negate the State’s due diligence responsibility to maximize protection of the right to life for the society”.

How secure do you think our right to arms really is, when “conservatives” and the NRA are out there defending them as a “human right” while Ted Cruz’s own web page has him tagged as a long-time advocate of “democracy and human rights?” While it’s impossible to justify any aspect of individualism via the tenets of the collectivism targeting them for destruction, when we’re left with the futile effort to champion any aspect of our individual rights and liberty as a “human right,” that’s exactly what we’ve been reduced to.

When reading the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it doesn’t take long to realize the “life, liberty, and security of person” of human rights is not the “Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness” of our founding. Though collective rights to education, healthcare, food, shelter, idol pay, a job, a minimal standard of living, and even recreation are not individual rights, they are indeed human rights.

What you may have missed here and what a con or ex-con probably wouldn’t have is that these rights are really nothing more than the “three hots and a cot” rights of prisoners. FDR wasn’t wrong when he said, “these rights spell security.” Why do prisoners need such rights? Because they’ve forsaken the liberty necessary to provide any of them for themselves.

Another problem with such collective/human rights in America is that they’re fundamentally incompatible with a free society, our Constitution, and our limited form of government for several reasons.

First, our Constitution is not a positive charter depicting what rights the government is promising to provide to the people. Second, our government was designed to be constitutionally restricted from ever having that kind of power. And third, far from being the great and powerful granter of our rights and liberty, our government is but a product of them itself.

Confusing human rights with our natural individual rights could very well be the single largest setback for liberty in America since the U.N. coronated them in 1948. To confuse the two, as so many have done, is to confuse liberty with tyranny and slavery with freedom.

With the introduction of the “bipartisan” Human Rights and Democracy Act in both houses of Congress, I wonder what hell we’re really saying to the people of Honk Kong in their struggle for liberty.


Joe Marshall was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. He is a married father of two grown sons, an outdoorsman, a landscape contractor, a former stock car owner and driver, a certified 4H firearms instructor, and a retired New York State corrections officer.

Joe is the author of the book, Last Call for Liberty