Gun control runs contrary to natural law

Sandy Hook Elementary School being one “gun free zone” declared by law, eliminated the choice of self defense as do all “gun free zones.” The existence of these zones demonstrates that having a gun there depends solely on some special pleading to the state.


By Morgan Norval l December 27, 2012

The recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut raises a serious question: would you rather have a gun and not need it or face a fatal situation where a gun is desperately needed but you weren’t allowed to have one? The laws declaring “gun free zones, “ Sandy Hook Elementary School being one, eliminated that choice as do all “gun free zones.” The existence of these zones demonstrates that having a gun there depends solely on some special pleading to the state.

Since the 1974 Ma’alot massacre in Israel, schools there are fenced and armed guards are stationed at their entrances. School children there are at greater risk of a bomb attack on their way to or from school than they are while sitting in their classrooms. It seems to be the opposite here in the U.S.—children are more at risk at school than they are on their way to and from school.

But the right to own a firearm does not rest on some sort of special pleading to the state—for hunting, target shooting, collecting, etc. No, that right rests on the fact that an individual has a right to the possession of his or her life. This is the fundamental right of a human being with all other rights we have being derived from this fundamental right. The destruction of a human being also destroys all the rights that one had. It hardly needs to be stressed that the preservation of such right is the foundation of retaining all other of mans’ natural rights. All human beings have an innate right to life granted by their creator and that right is natural to man. Man does not exist for the purpose of sacrificing his life rather he exists so that he may continue enjoying life on this earth. Under some circumstances, an individual may choose to sacrifice his or her life, like some did at the Sandy Hook School trying to protect children. But these acts of self-sacrifice do not negate the underlying right one has of keeping his or her own life.

The bottom line is that man has a primary right to preserve his or her life. Without this right of self-preservation, or if you prefer, self-defense, the right to life is meaningless.

But, it must be stressed, the individual, while having the right of self-defense, does not have the right to initiate a conscious attack upon the life of another. This is not self-defense, it is murder and the intended victim has the right to defend his life against that aggression upon his own life.

Defense of one’s life then is a recognizable primary right of human beings. To implement this right of self-defense man must be able to have the necessary tools to defend his or her right to life. In other words, he or she must have weapons. To deny individuals the right to possess weapons, such as firearms, for self-defense is in many, if not most, instances denying the individual’s right to life. Is there any worse violation of a human right than that?

What I wrote in the October 1975 issue of Reason is even more relevant today: “The right to defend one’s self is an inalienable right in common law of the English speaking nations and particularly in the United States. But, how can this right exist if the state takes from the individual the means to protect himself? To attempt to justify this basic individual right by looking to some form of written ‘constitutional’ guarantee or some other written ‘holy’ commandment from the state is to miss the very point itself. For what the state gives it can just as easily take away. The right of self-defense does not rest on any solemn words inscribed on parchments or tablets of clay. It rests on the individual’s natural right to life and liberty. And, having the means to defend oneself is the individual’s ultimate guarantee of preserving his or her individual freedom”

This is completely opposite of the Obama Administration and its left-liberal allies’ goal of turning America into a European-style socialist welfare state, run by them of course. Vowing not to waste a crisis without utilizing it to advance their collectivist agenda, Obama is calling for sweeping, draconian gun restrictions.

In fact, the opportunity arrived five days after the Sandy Hook tragedy when President Obama announced at the White House that Vice President Joe Biden would head a special task force on gun violence. “That’s why I’ve asked the Vice President to lead an effort that includes members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January – proposals that I then intend to push without delay. This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now. I asked Joe to lead this effort in part because he wrote the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in this country. That plan – that bill also included the assault weapons ban that was publicly supported at the time by former Presidents including Ronald Reagan.”

Obama is aided by his propaganda machine—the mainstream media who are using the dead children of Sandy Hook School to further their left-liberal agenda. MSNBC talking head Ed Schultze advocates the outright “confiscation of guns” as does leftist Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. They toss any minor pretense of “objectivity” overboard and don’t hesitate using vituperative language against such pro-gun spokesmen as Larry Pratt the head of Gun Owners of America as did CNN’s Piers Morgan who called Mr. Pratt “evil” and an “idiot” rather than debate the issue intelligently when he appeared on his program.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in her book Statecraft reiterated the significant role of natural law in the Founding of America, when she wrote, “Even when the founders of this great Republic came to believe that the course of human events had made it necessary for them to dissolve the political bands that connected them to Britain, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitled them, it was from our Locke and Sidney, our Harrington and Coke, that your Henry and your Jefferson, your Madison and Hamilton took their bearings.”

The Founding Fathers were well acquainted, as well, with the classics and the philosophical writings of Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. They accepted the role of natural law as man’s ultimate authority; a law that is the embodiment of God’s will. Basically they recognized, as Cicero did, in his work Res Publica that God has provided a rule for men which obliges them to do good and avoid evil; to practice the moral virtues which is nothing else than to follow the dictates of right reason founded in the heart of man. Cicero’s understanding of natural law is not too different from Saint Paul’s statement that natural law is written in the hearts of men.

The Biden-led task force is going to expend a lot of energy to deprive Americans of their right to the tools of self-defense. That dirty little secret of their animosity is they see gun owners as a threat to their goal of a collectivist, disarmed and socialist America.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner, a Washington Times columnist hit the nail on the head in his December 21, 2012 column, “Why the left hates guns.” He wrote: “Yet the Democratic left is determined to repeal the Second Amendment. Why? The answer is simple: An armed citizenry is pivotal to a self-governing republic . . . A self-reliant people—as opposed to one subservient to rulers—must be capable of defending themselves and their families from dangerous predators. Gun rights are essential to our system of limited government.

“For liberals, this is precisely the problem with the Second Amendment. Their aim is to erect a Scandinavian-style social democracy—a North American Sweden . . . It must vilify—and discredit—our founding principles in order to pave the way for its collectivist revolution . . . Secular leftists hate guns because they loathe America. And they will stop at nothing—including exploiting the bodies of dead children—to achieve their radical, anti-American and anti-gun agenda.”

These leftist collectivists loathe and fear individual freedom because it stands in their way of ruling a meek, docile, subservient society. The right of an individual to own a firearm is a major obstacle in their lust for power and control over citizens of the United States. Gun control is tantamount to unilateral disarmament, where only the government and the criminals have the right to keep and bear arms, whereby such accumulation of power translates directly into tyranny. The more the gun control zealots succeed, the deeper America will sink into the cesspool of collectivist tyranny. They must be opposed to the hilt if we desire to remain free.


Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to

SFPPR News & Analysis.