Friday, March 09, 2007

The 2nd Amendment and Human Rights

In the court's ruling today, the court touched on something that most of us instinctively understood, but probably haven't examined in detail in some time. That is the concept of inherent rights and how they interact with the constitution.

Most people think that the constitution gives them rights but that is not true. The constitution recognizes rights that predate human government. In fact, if you think about it, the amendments are out of order, the 2nd amendment protects a right that even predates human speech, that is the right to be armed.

One of the very first tools that humans ever made was a sharpened stick. That stick is the predecessor of every weapon mankind has ever built. In fact tool use is widely thought to have been a catalyst for our species to have developed speech, culture, and intelligence as it is generally accepted.

That stick allowed us to protect our young from predators. It allowed us to hunt for food and ensure our young had enough food to eat. It allowed us to threaten each other and therefore caused us to form armed cooperative groups as a means to protect ourselves and therefore formed the tribe or clan. These clans then forced us to learn to communicate with each other. These tribes then were forced to confront the realities of group dynamics and that lead to the first faltering steps towards local government. Tribes fought each other for land and resources and made them learn the concept of state, and national government. Weapons allowed nations to overthrow governments that abused their power and the rights of the people. Weapons allowed the people to protect themselves from the lawless and the evil among us.

Mankind owes it's very existance as a thinking, philosophical being to weapons. Weapons made us what we are, they are mankind's birthright. Only a fool thinks they are unnecessary to society. Society would not, COULD not exist without them. The constitution did not give us the right to be armed, being armed gave us the right to govern ourselves.

Chimps are just now learning to make weapons. Conceivably in a few hundred thousand years, Chimps may find themselves in much the same place humans are now, assuming we will not interfere and accelerate the process somehow, which is probably unlikely given our inability to control our urge to tinker with stuff which is itself an outgrowth of our tool use.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear it's inbred in our DNA to be contentious and warlike. I don't suspect we'll ever evolve beyond our "need" to threaten, maim, or kill one another. I have a lot of suspicions, but as a lone voice out of over 6 billion on this planet, I don't imagine it much matters what I think.

Very thoughtful post, tho.

March 11, 2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

So, who will have the distinction of saying "get your hands off me you damn dirty ape?"

March 12, 2007 4:34 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Jason, that is where the sharp pointy stick comes in......

March 12, 2007 4:59 PM  

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