The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment

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    Richard W. Stevens
    January 18, 2013

    FIRST: The Second Amendment protects an individual right that existed before the creation of any government. The Declaration of Independence made clear that all human beings are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are created to protect those rights.

    A. The unalienable right to freedom from violent harm, and the right to self-defense, both exist before and outside of secular government.
    ■1. Torah: Exodus 22:2.
    ■2. Talmud: Jewish law set forth in the Talmud states, “If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.” (Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin. 1994,2, 72a; The Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth. 1990, 58a, 62b).
    ■3. Roman Catholic Doctrine: Christian doctrine has long asserted the right and duty of self defense. “Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.” See Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, sections 2263-65 (citing and quoting Thomas Aquinas).
    ■4. Protestant Doctrine: Individual has personal and unalienable right to self-defense, even against government. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex [1644]1982, pp. 159-166, 183-185 (Sprinkle Publications edition.) Jesus advised his disciples to arm themselves in view of likely persecution. Luke 22:36.​

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    The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment, by Richard W. Stevens

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