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Reply #44: Interesting question because the rights I mean are what protect the minority in a democratic [View All]

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-07-07 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. Interesting question because the rights I mean are what protect the minority in a democratic
government or any other government from the tyranny of 50% of the vote plus one, i.e. simple majority.

A good place to start, are the summaries below at wikepedia.

Right
FindLaw defines right as 1 a: qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval.

Natural rights
FindLaw defines natural right as a right considered to be conferred by natural law.

Inalienable rights
FindLaw defines inalienable as incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred. The definition of unalienable is not alienable: inalienable".

Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights is important and Wikipedia begins with:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated UDHR) is an advisory declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). It consists of 30 articles which outline the view of the United Nations General Assembly on the human rights guaranteed to all people. Eleanor Roosevelt, first chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that drafted the Declaration, said, "It is not a treaty...(In the future, it) may well become the international Magna Carta..."


For the U.S., the founders rejected the divine right of kings where citizens depended upon the whims of a monarch for rights and declared in the Declaration of Independence (1776), We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The original states incorporated statements protecting rights in their constitutions, e. g. Pennsylvania (1776) said in A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OR STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, I. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Vermont (1777) followed Pennsylvanias lead and said A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT, I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.]

Note that the statements of Pennsylvania and Vermont are identical except for the word inalienable replaced by unalienable an issue that occurred also with the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

I use the topic often when discussing the right to keep and bear arms for the following reasons.

Pennsylvania adopted its constitution on 28 Sep 1776 and ratified our Constitution on 12 December 1787. That constitution included the protection, "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."

Pennsylvania ratified the Bill of Rights on 10 March 1790 and with contemporaneous knowledge of the Second Amendment, PA modified its constitution that took effect on 2 Sept. 1790 to say "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

As an inalienable right it is impossible for PA citizens to give the right of self-defense away when they ratified our Constitution or when they ratified the Bill of Rights. PA citizens acknowledged that fact by retaining the right of self-defense in their constitution when they modified it just five months after they ratified the Bill of Rights.

Either an individuals natural, inherent and inalienable right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is protected by the Second Amendment as one of the enumerated rights or it is protected by the Ninth Amendment as an un-enumerated right.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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