By Rev. Joda Collins (See bio & contact info below)
There is more than a fine-line between Rights and Privileges
Driving a car is privilege. "Life" is a right. Living in a nice neighborhood is privilege. "Liberty" is a right. Securing a college education is a privilege. The "ability to pursue happiness" is a right.
Regulations that serve the "common good" can be placed on "privileges". Regulations cannot, rightly, be placed on rights, even if it is construed by everyone that doing so serves the common good. For one example, it may be construed by all that the birth of a child with a defect would be contrary to the common good because the parents may already be beholden for their livelihood to government "Welfare" funds. Thus, the child, is a financial burden on the whole of society. Being a financial burden and thus affecting the common good in that negative (financial) way, does not preclude or make null and void that individuals "right to life". Because "living" is a "right", that "right" cannot be rightly, legally or morally denied based on the real or assumed burden the existence of that life places on one, many or the whole.
In like manner, owning and/or having armed weapons for self-protection is a "right". That right cannot be denied based upon the real or imagined damage to any person, persons, even if or when that damage extends to all.
However, with rights come responsibilities. Individuals have a right to life, but life can be forfeited if the violation to society is deemed by that society to be severe enough to warrant forfeiture of the right. Capital punishment (death by legal demand of society) is not the forfeiture of the right based upon the opinion of a person or persons to deny that right founded on conditions unrelated to the individual's exercise of said right, but the forfeiture of the right based on the person's misuse of the right.
In like manner, having and/or owning fire arms, of any kind, is a Second Amendment "right" of every American that cannot be denied based upon the real or imagined damage to any person or persons, even if or when that damage extends to all. For one example, the right to bear arms cannot be denied based upon the fear of weapons, the amount of damage said weapon can do, or the general fear of "that" person or "those" persons having or owning the weapon. Only the misuse of the weapon can cause the loss of the individual's right to bear arms, and said misuse must meet the standard of offending the majority to the point that the majority legislates both the terms of misuse that rises to the state of denial of the right and the identification of specific action of the specific individual that strips that individual of that right.
Ensuring these rights does not mean that we strip legislation of good sense. Obviously, a child is not entrusted with an armed weapon for misuse, due to inability to comprehend that destructive force, is inevitable. Obviously, the mentally unbalanced, who like children, would not and/or cannot understand the destructive power of an armed weapon are exempt from the protection of the right to bear arms. Every other American, save the person misusing the right to the point of legal denial and those who cannot or will not grasp the severity of the right use of an armed weapon, have a right to self-protection via the ownership and use of an or any armed weapon and have a right to keep such weapons as long as responsible use is maintained.
This means that the majority cannot be denied our rights due to the actions of others. America is not an elementary classroom where the entire class is denied recess because some bully starts fights at recess! Only the wrong actions of the owner of the "right" can serve to deny the owner of those rights future exercise of those rights. This means the anti-self-defense legislation, that we can expect in less than nine days, from Vice President Joe Biden, that will be rubber stamped by the President of the United States because he is too cowardly to call it his own, will, likely, be illegal, immoral and unconstitutional. If it becomes law it will be because law-makers acted illegally, immorally and in violation of our Constitutional rights.
The time to defend our Constitutional right to own a gun by the use of the gun may be days away, if no other option is afforded to us. Lock and load.
Joda Collins is a retired Pastor having served over 30 years in ministry. He is a published author, evangelist, and still does much teaching, preaching, counseling, and pulpit supply work. He currently is the owner of the Joda Collins Driving Academy in Northwest Florida.
See Joda's books here:
4033 Buttonbush Dr.
Milton, FL 32583