Self-preservation is a citizen’s natural right

Some argue that the Second Amendment does not make gun ownership a right, when really, it’s not about that.

The true heart of the Second Amendment is protection of the natural rights of the citizenry. It ensures the right of self-preservation and acts as a means to secure that right.



This right of self-preservation was described by John Locke in his 1690 “Second Treatise on Government,” from which the Framers drew heavily. Locke argues that this right allows men to live freely without interference by anything or anyone, including government.

It’s important to understand this point. Many of the Framers were students of Locke’s philosophical thinking and others of the time. It is ingrained into the very fabric of the Bill of Rights.

It even influenced Alexander Hamilton when he wrote in Federalist No. 28 that, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that natural right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of government.”

The Second Amendment is not a right bestowed by the government to the people. Quite the opposite. It secures the citizenry’s natural right of self-preservation from anything and anyone who wishes to take away their other natural rights or their liberty, including their own government.

To think that we, as free citizens, must ask the permission of our government for the right of self-preservation is simply ludicrous.

Mark Genarelli

Barboursville

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