Many Americans don’t understand this anymore, but the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is about much more than being able to own a firearm. It’s the legal codification that an individual has a God-given right to preserve his or her life when it is threatened. It’s rooted in the classical liberal understanding of “natural law” — that is, that individual rights precede government power. We are not granted rights — we are born with them.
Currently, the United States is unique in that it recognizes gun ownership as a right rather than as a privilege — as many countries Europe do. However, it could be argued that other countries need a Second Amendment even more than we do. South Africa is a timely example.
Under the leadership of the African National Congress, the political party of Nelson Mandela, South Africa has crumbled into lawlessness. Rural farmers are often targeted for property damage or even outright assault. Many times, these farmers are left out in the cold as the authorities are unable or possibly unwilling to provide their due legal protection. This is precisely the reason for a Second Amendment. If the government isn’t going to protect you, you have to protect yourself.
In the video below, a South African man talks about the need for communities to protect themselves when law enforcement falls short of doing the job for them. He may not know it, but he’s making the case for the Second Amendment better than half of Congress would in the United States.
The lesson here is two-fold. First, Americans should appreciate what they have — a Constitutional Amendment that protects their right to preserve their own lives. Second, Americans should fight to protect that right, because we have real-time examples of what life can look like without it.
Here’s Colion Noir to break down the video.