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Thread: Isn't bearing arms a CIVIL RIGHT?

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    Our rights were laid out in the Constitution to protect us from the FEDERAL government, but then in the early 1800s this was expanded to keep states from limiting our voting rights. Then in the 60's, denying someones civil rights was expanded to mean that an individual could not deny another individual his civil rights. Somehow this became a more grievous charge than even murder and was used instead of murder charges in civil rights cases.:what:

    Using this template, denying gunowners their civil rights is a VERY serious federal felony charge, that applies against both governmental entities and individuals.:celebrateWe just need to get busy and start filing. Ace

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    Hah, find a group of lawyers, form a class, and sign me up!
    -Unrequited

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    Civil rights are statutory in nature. Not all people have civil rights.

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    All citizens of the USA have the rights guaranteed in the constitution. Ace

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    It is generally considered that the rights of felons and children can be limited, but this is not provided for in the document itself. Ace

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    IMO, the short answer is yes.

    Long answer:

    The actual issue in question here is Self-Defense, which is not only a civil right but also an "in/unalienable" right given to us by God (whether you believe in God or not doesn't matter...won't argue that with you) to ALL living things, including the human race...a sort of "instinct of self-preservation" put into us, if you will.

    Doesn't get any more "imbued" than that, does it, it's so ingrained in every living creature.

    No laws of man can deny or take away the right of Self-Defense (and I argue the defense also OF OTHERS)...the law can only affirm said right. Anything other than that is illegal and to be disregarded. And no "in/unalienable" right comes from a piece of paper written by lawmakers, even if by our Founding Fathers.

    The law is not our master and we are its slaves, rather, the law is our servant. The "creator" is always greater than the "created." Any law that puts one in harm's way is illegal/bad/in error because laws are NEVER intended to harm.

    Nowadays, at our current level of technology -- and since relatively weak humans don't have fangs, claws, great strength as many animals do, nor are 99.99% of us highly-trained empty-hand "unarmed" fighters (although many of THEM carry weapons, too) -- we have to make up for our physical weaknesses by using technology (TOOLS). In the stone age, it would have been tools like clubs/spears to use against animal or human predators. Today, current technology means firearms since it's the best most-advanced self-protection tool we have.

    Consequently, denying one the use of firearms -- the tools which are needed to EXERCISE our right of Self-Defense -- equates to DENYING said right and that in itself is highly illegal! If you are unable to exercise a right, you don't have it.

    Also illegal is the selling/renting ANY of our rights. Particularly, I'm talking about the highly-illegal CC permit system where one puts money down (pay initial license/course fees) to receive "permission" to exercise a right, then is forced to "lease" said right (via renewal fees) in order to keep it. Yes, this CC permit system has been around for many decades now, true, but I say it's also been ILLEGAL for just as long!

    As stated, rights do not need permission to exercise NOR are they to be rented/sold/leased.

    For one example, if the old "Poll Tax" (making people PAY to exercise their civil right to VOTE) was found to be illegal, then how can a much more serious right -- that of self-preservation itself (voting and ALL other rights are moot if you are dead) -- LEGALLY be sold/rented/leased as it is today?

    It can't.

    So IMO, indirectly, YES, the possession AND bearing (carrying, as per the 2nd Amendment, since that's what theverb "bear" means) of firearms is at the VERY LEAST a civil right because it allows the exercise of our right of Self-Defense, but it's even more because it comes from a "higher law" beyond the scope of man.

    -- John D.

    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    What I am getting at is that we have many CIVIL rights spelled out in the Constitution, and if they protect one minority, they must protect the gun carrying minority as well. We have come to think that only minorities have CIVIL RIGHTS, but that is only because minorities are usually the ones who's rights are endangered. We now have become a minority and must fight in court for our civil rights. Ace

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    ace1001 wrote:
    All citizens of the USA have the rights guaranteed in the constitution. Ace
    And that is further protected by the Civil Rights Acts. Generally when people talk about someone having been denied their civil rights, they are claiming racism, sexism or homophobia. Bigotry in general can still exist and in factis widespread; it is defined, a little broadly, as "a state of mind where a person believes another class of people to be inferior to himself and/or his ownidentified class".However, the CRAs do not protect against bigotry in general, only race, creed, color, gender, and national origin. There areotherCRAs on a state level that provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or disease status such as HIV, but this kind of thing is not yet federal AFAIK. Therefore, whenwe call antis "sheep" and they call us "gun nuts" or "right-wing rednecks", or when anyone uses a political descriptor in a derogatory way, it's bigotry, pure and simple, and it's totally legal.

    The 2A is a civil right, but its violation as a civil right only gets this heinous label when it is denied unfairly based on a protected status. Otherwise it's just an infringement of a constitutional right, which is old hat; the citizens of this country have long accepted that many rights enumerated in the Bill are not absolutes. As long as everyone is denied them fairly, nobody can claim a violation of civil rights; just your everyday run-of-the-mill "constitutional re-interpretation"

    So as far as a lawsuit, I don't think you'll be able to do it under a CRA unless you're filing on behalf of a minority in a jurisdiction where guns are outright banned. You could argue very plausibly that gun bans were instated and are enforced by playing up a racist interpretation of crime statistics. But I think if you wanted to attack 2A infringement in general it would have to be brick by brick; let's win Heller, then we'll go after NYC's and Illinois' handgun bans with Heller as a precedent.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Liko81 wrote:
    ace1001 wrote:
    All citizens of the USA have the rights guaranteed in the constitution. Ace
    And that is further protected by the Civil Rights Acts. Generally when people talk about someone having been denied their civil rights, they are claiming racism, sexism or homophobia. Bigotry in general can still exist and in factis widespread; it is defined, a little broadly, as "a state of mind where a person believes another class of people to be inferior to himself and/or his ownidentified class".However, the CRAs do not protect against bigotry in general, only race, creed, color, gender, and national origin. There areotherCRAs on a state level that provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or disease status such as HIV, but this kind of thing is not yet federal AFAIK. Therefore, whenwe call antis "sheep" and they call us "gun nuts" or "right-wing rednecks", or when anyone uses a political descriptor in a derogatory way, it's bigotry, pure and simple, and it's totally legal.

    The 2A is a civil right, but its violation as a civil right only gets this heinous label when it is denied unfairly based on a protected status. Otherwise it's just an infringement of a constitutional right, which is old hat; the citizens of this country have long accepted that many rights enumerated in the Bill are not absolutes. As long as everyone is denied them fairly, nobody can claim a violation of civil rights; just your everyday run-of-the-mill "constitutional re-interpretation"

    So as far as a lawsuit, I don't think you'll be able to do it under a CRA unless you're filing on behalf of a minority in a jurisdiction where guns are outright banned. You could argue very plausibly that gun bans were instated and are enforced by playing up a racist interpretation of crime statistics. But I think if you wanted to attack 2A infringement in general it would have to be brick by brick; let's win Heller, then we'll go after NYC's and Illinois' handgun bans with Heller as a precedent.
    As I said above, Civil rights are statutory in nature. Not all people have civil rights. You have no civil rights under the constitution. You have Constitutional Rights under the constitution. You have civil rights under the law. The first civil rights were passed in the late 1800s. Example, age descrimination, if you are not over 40, you can't claim your civil rights have been violated based on age. Don't confuse the two.



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    color of law wrote:
    As I said above, Civil rights are statutory in nature. Not all people have civil rights. You have no civil rights under the constitution. You have Constitutional Rights under the constitution. You have civil rights under the law. The first civil rights were passed in the late 1800s. Example, age descrimination, if you are not over 40, you can't claim your civil rights have been violated based on age. Don't confuse the two.
    No. Everyone has civil rights. They are a combination of natural human rights (the right to live, make your own choices and to own possessions, and to defend yourself, your possessions and your freedom against those who would take any or all of them), constitutional rights (the right to vote, the right to assemble and speak freely, the right to defend against criminal and civil accusation of wrongdoing, the right to fair punishment for wrongdoing) and unenumerated rights,as affirmed by federal, state and local law (the right to know you are buying a quality product, the right to own a home in a neighborhood of your choosing, the right to work, the right to safe working conditions, the right to earn a fair wage for your work,the right to sanitary food and water, the right to medical care).

    All of these are rights of Americans, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or national origin. They are civil rights; your rights as a civilian, a member of society. These rights are often denied based on reasons traceable to one of these statuses. Therefore, a civil rights violation is often discriminatory, but it is also by definition an impediment or bar to practicinga right you haveas a citizen, be it natural, constitutional, or unenumerated. Civil rights can be violated without any discrimination taking place (being rejected as underqualified forany living-wagejob regardless of race or gender; an employer not providing safety equipment because of cost, regardless of who his employees are), however the point of civil rights acts is to prevent discriminatory violation of civil rights wherever such discrimination has been found to be systemic and without other cause.

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    We will have to agree to disagree. As in my example, Age Discrimination did not become a statutory law until 1967. Age Discrimination was not illegal until a statutory law was passed. The constitution does not grant you that right not to be discriminated against because of your age. Statutory law says you can't be discriminated against for age. As I said, if you are 25 and you are fired you can't say your civil rights were violated for age discrimination. That civil right you don't have until you are 40 or older.

    Granted, civil rights may encompass constitutional rights and substantive rights. But civil rights are statutory in nature.

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    color of law wrote:
    We will have to agree to disagree. As in my example, Age Discrimination did not become a statutory law until 1967. Age Discrimination was not illegal until a statutory law was passed. The constitution does not grant you that right not to be discriminated against because of your age. Statutory law says you can't be discriminated against for age. As I said, if you are 25 and you are fired you can't say your civil rights were violated for age discrimination. That civil right you don't have until you are 40 or older.

    Granted, civil rights may encompass constitutional rights and substantive rights. But civil rights are statutory in nature.
    I guess we will. The Constitution doesn't "grant" any rights either. It "recognizes" them. We do not pass laws for crimes that do not exist; For instance, a woman has the right not to be raped by anyone, but "date rape" as a type of crime didn't exist and thus rape by an acquaintance or love interest was very difficult to prove until statutes were revised to define terms applicable to "date rape" and case law reflected a change in attitude towards women.

    Let's assume for a minute that wearing peanut butter as clothing was universally "wrong", because you have the implicit right not to be exposed against your will to obscenity, and a guy wearing nothing but condiments in publicis obscene even if he slathers it on thickly enough that he's not technically indecently exposed. However, there is no lawforbidding the use of any condiment as clothing. Why? Because it's quite simply not awidespread or systemicproblem in our society. People wear cloth, leather and/or fur forclothing and the wearing of condiments is generally confined to the home and various B-grade or X-rated movies.

    A civil right, whether legally recognized or not, exists. Your right not to be discriminated against because of race existed long before it was ever an issue requiring explicit recognition. Likewise, your age should not figure into whether you are qualified for a job unless it somehow prevents you from performing that job.

    I will agree with you that civil rights are statutory *in practice*. The theory however is that the right exists and always existed whether protected by law or not. The 9th Amendment for unenumerated rights implicitly protects such rights; you have the right to clean water as did the Framers and those in pre-Revolution America, yet the Constitution makes absolutely no provision for environmental issues; they simply didn't exist during the Framing. It wasn't until industry had proven that it did not respect that implicit right ofthe people living around their factoriesthat it was explicitly recognized. So too with age discrimination in the workplace; the elderly were generally respected, and if they were willing and able to work they were given that opportunity. It wasn't much of an issue; if you showed up and did the job you were paid your day's wages.Then the rise of "cradle to grave" benefits made those who changed jobs in their middle years a liability to any other company providing said benefits, and thus older people, still able to do the job, were turned away, violating an implicit right that had to be explicitly defined. Age discrimination still happens, but it's largely blamed on "market conditions" (someone laid off during a downturn is caught in a Catch-22 of the perceived insult of offering a pay cut to ajob-changer and the availability of cheaper entry-level labor)or in the form of increased premiums for healthcare (even when the providerand healthplan are the same).

    Theright may exist, but the law that recognizes it is the first and foremost tool to protect it. It is a tool, in most cases, of nonviolent opposition, given to the side in the conflict who needs it, and those who have the law on their side are presumed to be correct in an argument over a violation of a right. Without a law or the means to enforce it, the only tool to protect a right is power; you must fight,often violently, to protect a right which is not both protected and immediately enforceable by law. That's why we have guns. We have the right to life, but no law can compensate a dead person for the violation of that right, only punish the one who violated it. Therefore the right to self-defense, which naturally follows from the right to life, is explicitly protected as a preventative measure against violation of the right to life even in cases where the protection of one person's right infringes on another's.

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    All citizens of the USA have the rights guaranteed in the constitution.
    He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
    -Thomas Paine.



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    The constitution does not grant you that right not to be discriminated against because of your age. Statutory law says you can't be discriminated against for age.

    But the Constitution DOES grant theright to bear arm explicitly... Our founders felt it that important.

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    ace1001 wrote:
    All citizens of the USA have the rights protected in the constitution.* Ace
    Fixed.

    (Unfortunantly, it's not 100% protection)
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    ace1001 wrote:
    The constitution does not grant you that right not to be discriminated against because of your age. Statutory law says you can't be discriminated against for age.

    But the Constitution DOES grant theright to bear arm explicitly... Our founders felt it that important.
    The government doesn't grant us our rights. Our rights are God given, and this has been not only well documented in both the declaration of independance and the federalist papers, but it was also established clearly by the supreme court. The constitution protects our rights. The rights in the constitution are basic human rights that we are all born with, not gifts from the government.

    And I agree that bearing arms is a civil right, but it is also a civic duty. It is the responsibility of the people of the united states to arm themselves. You can not be considered a patriot if you do not have the will and the means to defend freedom. If you go through life unarmed and expect everyone else to protect you, and think that defending your rights is just for those people that choose a career in law enforcement and the military, then you have denied your duty to society.

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