I’m not going to talk politics, here. I’m going to talk morality and ethics.
First: as a general rule, it’s considered immoral to make someone accountable and responsible for something, but to withhold the rights needed to carry that responsibility out. It’d be wrong to say “raise this kid!” without giving someone the rights to, y’know, raise the kid.
Second: If someone said to you “I have the right not to be hit by a tornado”, you’d think they were nuts – right? Your rights don’t affect nature – do they?
Likewise, if someone said “I have a right not to get hurt while driving”, you’d likely respond “there is no “right” to be exempt from bad luck, equipment failure, or even human negligence – your own, or someone else’s”.
No – in both cases, you have the *responsibilty* to protect yourself, and especially your family, from these dangers that nature, technology and human nature throw at you. You listen to the sirens and haul the kids down to the basement; you check your tires, you make sure your kids are belted in, and yourself to boot; you watch for drivers who seem impaired or reckless, and drive defensively. You have the *right* to take action to meet your responsibility to *avoid* having human nature, mechanical nature, or Mother Nature harm you and yours.
So in this past week and a half, since the atrocity in Orlando, a lot of people have been arguing about the Second Amendment. One line I’ve heard a lot is “your Second Amendment right doesn’t trump my right not to get shot!”, usually from people who think they’re making a show-stopper point.
They’re half right; the Second Amendment trumps nothing. Literally. Because there *is* no “right not to get shot”. There is only a responsibility to try to deter, deflect or end threats to your community, to you, and your family.
Like Mother Nature, human nature is full of ugly surprises and perversions; people who want to take what’s not theirs (criminals), people who think that violence is a means to a political end (terrorists), some who think killing is their ticket to immortality (rampage killers) and, every so often, someone who thinks their will to power is more important than your life, liberty and happiness; none of them have the “right” to do any of it, but that doesn’t prevent them from doing it anyway.
Do you have a “right” not to be affected by the worst human nature has to offer? In an abstract sense, maybe – but discussions of “rights” with criminals, terrorists, madmen and tyrants are about as useful as discussions with tornados and flat tires.
You don’t have a “right” not to be affected by perversions of human nature, any more than you have a right not to be affected by tornados, earthquakes or blowouts. But you do have that responsibility.
To meet that responsibility, you have rights; the right to take actions that protect everyone; you don’t need a permit to check your tires, to take your kids to the basement when the sirens go off …
…and the *right* to defend you and yours from the worst of human nature with a firearm (among many, many other options – from speech, peer pressure and dogs, to locked doors and motion lights, through restraining orders, police calls and the like). The Second Amendment doesn’t grant this right; our creator did, just like our rights to speak, worship, publish, and so on. To try to suppress that right – the right to uphold that responsibility to protect ones self, community and family – is as immoral as giving people any other responsibility without rights.
There is no more “right not to get shot” than there is a “right to shoot people” .
OK, I lied. There’s some politics in here too.
Some people who should know better have been given to stroking their chins and intoning “y’know, the 2nd Amendment exists and is a right – but we’ve rolled back other rights, like the right to own slaves”.
Sure – we’ve changed the Constitution. The 13th Amendment abolished the “right” to own other humans – an institution that was morally repugnant BECAUSE it stripped away the other human’s rights. Basic principle, here: one person’s rights can not infringe other peoples’ rights.
But abolishing the Second Amendment – or more likely, trying to ban a class of firearms – has less in common with the 13th Amendment than the 18th, which banned alcohol. Like Prohibition, the gun grabbers believe that if they just regulate what people can get their hands on, they can repeal human nature itself!
Prohibition made everything that it was trying to help, even worse, and had unintended consequences that were far worse than the original problem (all-time high crime rates, ballooning government spending, contempt for the law).
Naturally, this’ll be different.
Anyway – you don’t, ever, get more freedom by taking other peoples’ freedom away.
 although don’t give the Saint Paul DFL any ideas
 other than in self-defense, naturally