“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Here’s the rest: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.
Yes, that’s Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence. And for those that are interested, it’s law 1, page 1, of the US Federal Code. It is law, period.
Next, let’s talk about the three kinds of law in the United States today:
- Statutory law – something like this
- Case law – when judges interpret law; Businessdictionary.com defines it like this: “Part of common law, consisting of judgments given by higher (appellate) courts in interpreting the statutes (or the provisions of a constitution) applicable in cases brought before them. Called precedents, they are binding on all courts (within the same jurisdiction) to be followed as the law in similar cases. Over time, these precedents are recognized, affirmed, and enforced by the subsequent court decisions, thus continually expanding the common law. In comparison, statute law is the body of acts enacted by a legislature, and civil law does not recognize any precedent. Also called judge-made law.”
- Natural law – law that just exists. I’ll try and explain.
When natural law is at play, there’s not a lot that any of us can do about it. When my son fell down on the playground and knocked his two front teeth out (which we now call his “2-car garage” and he thinks that’s hilarious), gravity was obviously at fault. But since there isn’t a lot that you or me or the government can do about the evils of gravity, hiring a lawyer and suing the government for gravity causing my son’s two front teeth to just fly out probably won’t get me very far. Unfortunately. By the way, if you’re ever at his school playground and find a couple teeth in the woodchips, can you save them for me? I know someone who might want them back.
Gravity, you see, is also a natural law – we can’t grant it to someone new any more than we can take it away from someone we don’t like (or temporarily reduce it when we step on the scale in the morning… trust me, I’ve tried). It just is. Just like my love for the perfect Schlotzsky’s sandwich, you can’t ever possibly take it away. Sure, you and I could sit and talk about the pros and cons of the Schlotzsky’s Original Sandwich (not many cons, trust me), but you can’t ever take that love away. Clearly, it’s a natural law.
Here’s another example that I heard explained on the radio recently – consider one fine day that you decide you want to snuggle your nearest cute, fluffy, friendly, bear cub. How do you think that cute little cub’s momma is going to respond to my obviously friendly advances? Exactly – I’m going to be drinking my Scholtzsky’s through a straw for the rest of my life.
But Momma Bear was only doing her best to help me understand natural law: it’s from nature (God) and there isn’t a lot of verbal communicating that I could do to change it. I can’t wish it away.
Such is my right to defend myself and the entire 2nd Amendment. The US Supreme Court has upheld on multiple occasions, including District of Columbia v. Heller, that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, from natural law – one that can’t be taken away any more than it can be granted. It just is. So just like I can’t create a law making gravity illegal, neither can I suddenly take away my natural right to keep and bear arms.
Penn Jillette defines natural law as “anything I can do by myself on a deserted island.” That sounds about right to me.
So keep your paws off my guns. And my Schlotzsky’s.
And I recommend the Natural Law Sandwich without onions – those things always get in the way. Gotta go, I think it’s lunchtime already.