Our Rights,what constitutes our rights?

We always talk about our rights,the 2a,govt overreach,but it occurs to me that everyone doesn’t have the same thoughts on our rights how about this,

Let’s discuss and or list our constitutional,and human rights - rights not wants. What say you all, in a respectful manner (I say respectful out of caution but am grateful everyone has always been so)

What are our rights,and what is govt overreach?


The Bill of Rights are in black and white and are pretty clear. Government overreach is the blockade of any of those stated rights. Really hard subject, would love to do this face to face and have solid discussion and let my thoughts come out faster than I can type.
The fact that the subject of true government overreach is happening before our eyes is historic. And personally I feel powerless, and that feeling comes from said overreach!
Every movie that depicts this situation always has a somewhat happy ending, if the government (Washington Democrat’s) continues in this fashion, life and all those sacred rights will be gone, and the socialists and liberals will have their wishes come true.
As far as “wants” are concerned? I want health care workers to be as safe as possible. No matter what. If they have to beg, borrow or steal, more power to them. They will get us back to “normal”! Without their skills we are done.
Now is the time for the 2A. How much longer do we wait? Tanks on the street is way too late.
Freeing prisoners is government overreach. They are pushing for martial law and blood soaked streets!
However I am not going down without a fight.


The Bill of Rights, is the list of rights that are Constitutionally protected. Not granted, protected. That’s the biggest misconception. The Constitution doesn’t grant is any rights. It stops the government from limiting them. Now, what I want, is for that statement to be made 100% true.


Our rights , as the founders understood and intended , are individual in their nature. They are natural and supersede the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, only “guaranteed”, and not granted, by the Bill of Rights. This is the rub with so many, they find it easier to restrict rights than it is too attended to the liberty and freedom our creator gave each of us.


I would like as little government input as possible,
But whatever is defined under human rights is a right…


It is an interesting question you have posed here. What is a right? For legal purposes, we have to look to the Constitution which enumerates several in the Bill of Rights, but we really need to start with the Declaration of Independence and then move to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, collectively known as “The Charters of Freedom” and then other 17 Amendments to the Constitution.
The Declaration starts by addressing “certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It goes on to say, “that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” It is obvious, that the Declaration was not an enumeration of all of our rights (“among these”) and that those rights are not necessarily easy to define, i.e. “the pursuit of happiness.”
If we then move to the Constitution, its stated purpose is “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Something that needs to be recognized with the purpose of both of these documents, is that there is a tension created between them. For example, insuring justice often leads to the loss of liberty. Promoting the general welfare will usually mean that another’s rights are subjected to some limits. And providing a common defense will always lead to some peoples loss of freedom by inscription into the military with its requirements of obedience and the likely loss of life in defending the Union.
Moving to the Bill of Rights, while it is true that these are rights that are guaranteed and the document prohibits the government from violating these rights. It is always a good idea to look at the Preamble to the Bill of Rights to see its purpose as well.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Also, keep in mind that the Bill of Rights, when adopted, only applied to the federal government. The state was considered the protector of the people and the fed needed it’s power restricted. It wasn’t until the Civil war and the 14th Amendment was ratified, that the states were put under some restrictions by the Constitution. Before the 14th Amendment, many states did restrict the right to bear arms and concealed carry was restricted in many states. And, even after the 14th Amendment, it has been up to the Supreme Court to determine which pieces of the Bill of Rights are incorporated into the 14th Amendment and therefore, applicable to the states. Until recently, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th have been incorporated in their entirety. It wasn’t until DC v Heller and Chicago v. McDonald, less than 10 years ago. that the 2nd amendment was incorporated into the 14th.
But again, all of these rights live in tension with the law. Freedom of speech, religion and the press are not absolute. There will always be limits.


I believe the ‘inalienable’ rights referred to in the Bill of Rights are those innate, inborn, preset inclinations that every human has at birth, without having learned or earned them. We ‘just know’ to eat and replenish our bodies, and the protective instinct kicks in when danger is imminent, even though the individual reaction will vary from freezing to avoidance to action. It’s completely natural for us to do those things that will bring us satisfaction in our lives, and that’s as unique to each person as appearance. When the government begins interfering in, or making laws that override these God-given instincts, they are treading on the extremely personal, individual, and universally untouchable, human rights. Bottom line (to me) is the Gov’t doesn’t have the power to take what it doesn’t have the power to give, and the inalienable rights are given by the Creator.


@MikeBKY Thank you for taking your time and providing a well-considered civics lesson.

Excellent share. Thank you. On the 14th Amendment however, I reserve some doubt regarding the exclusion of the 2A. Constitutional scholar and historian Stephen P. Halbrook in his “Securing Civil Rights,” (The Independent Institute, 1998 by Halbrook) bore out rather convincingly that at its passage, the Fed and all states understood clearly that its passage included, specifically, suffrage and the right of Freedmen to keep and bear arms. These two rights were debated. Several of the southern states were forced to rewrite their constitutions before they could reenter federal union.

The Freedmen’s Bureau Act led the way in 1866, followed by the Civil Rights Bill, and the 14th Amendment. Local papers, including Loyal Georgian, a popular black paper of the time, carried the good news. Halbrook cites one man’s inquiry to the editor, specifying in request if the right to keep and carry arms were true. To which the editor confirmed the Second Article (2A) was now valid, that “Colored Persons” now possessed full rights as did all whites, and the article now “gives the people the right to bear arms, and states that this right shall not be infringed.” And “All men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep and bear arms to defend their homes, families or themselves.” (Securing Civil Rights, pp. 21-22.)

Halbrook’s work is so reliable, the Supreme Court has cited his work. If the exiting SCOTUS has failed to recognize that our 2A is included and intended in the 14th Amendment, their failure or oversight cannot annul the precedent understood at its passage. I recommend his work. Halbrook has other books on the same subject worthy of read.

One of the issues of Rights you did well to mention, is the question of limitations. On this however, our courts are slowly coming around. The People are not requesting their right to bear shoulder rocket launchers. We have even suffered since 1933 (?) limitations on automatics. But the falsely called, politically motivated definition of “assault weapon” can be challenged as a violation of the State.



*Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are universal , fundamental and inalienable (they cannot be repealed by human laws, though one can forfeit their enjoyment through one’s actions, such as by violating someone else’s rights). Natural law is the law of natural rights.


I did not say the 2nd Amendment should not have always applied to the states. But, until McDonald v. City of Chicago, it had not been been incorporated into the 14th Amendment’s Due Process clause. The McDonald court overruled United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 (1876), Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 (1886), and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535 (1894) which were decided on the Privileges and Immunity Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Heller case, heard 2 years before McDonald, determined that 2A protected the right to keep and bear arms for self defense in the home. But, since DC is a federal “District”, not a state, it did not answer whether the right also applied to the states. The McDonald court answered that question in no uncertain terms.

Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. ___ (2008), we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

Here is a link to the McDonald opinion


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Sounds like the court has held the Second Amendment and the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, and SHALL NOT be Infringed, is not only national but state level as well, and should have put to rest any and all disputes and state level laws that limit or restrict arms.

Yes and no @Kevin29 You need to look at the holding in the opinion.

In Heller, we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. Unless considerations of stare decisis counsel otherwise, a provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States. See Duncan, 391 U. S., at 149, and n. 14. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller.
McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 US 742 (2010)

Until SCOTUS expands that right, we are stuck where we are now with differing opinions within the Circuits of the United States Courts of Appeals.


AMEN brother. President Trump has stated, “America will never be a socialist country.” I agree with that and, while I hate the thought, we may soon be called upon to defend freedom once again.



Unfortunately I do have a ‘however’ that goes with this.

While it does specify the Heller case, it also brings the Second in line with the incorporation doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment.
That is movement that is beneficial, and with the historical evidence, the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right… not just in the home.

We may not have an exactly clear and concise ruling by the court, the Constitution is still fairly clear, even if the language used is not the English we are familiar with today.

And the right recognized in Heller is “the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense.” If it were up to me, it would say the right to possess arms to defend ourselves against our government should the need arise. This was discussed in the federalists papers:

States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

Excerpt From
The Federalist Papers, Federalist No. 46
James Madison


All interesting reading. But I still think it all boils down to the idea that certian rights are In (un) alienable.
Personal rights held by an individual which are not bestowed by law, custom, or belief, and which cannot be taken or given away, or transferred to another person, are referred to as “inalienable rights.” The U.S. Constitution recognized that certain universal rights cannot be taken away by legislation, as they are beyond the control of a government, being naturally given to every individual at birth, and that these rights are retained throughout life. To explore this concept, consider the following inalienable rights definition.

I think this is the real argument and where the current courts have gone awry. I am only vaguely familiar with the 14th amendment, but if it somehow restricts an Unalienable right it is jut unconstitutional and should be rejected where this applies. From what little I know of the 14th amendment it seems a way to simplify certain legalities, but by definition unalienable rights cannot be legislated away, they are NATURAL RIGHTS that cannot be tinkered with in any form or fashion. If this is somehow construed in the 14th amendment it is by previous law and understanding not binding.

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I agree with that inalienable rights are not given by the government and cannot be taken away. But, a Constitutional Amendment cannot be unconstitutional. It may violate natural law and a person’s rights, but if it is a part of the Constitution, it cannot be unconstitutional.



And that is the thorn in the side of many.

We see unconstitutional acts, and things that should not be allowed by the Constitution actually being part of the Constitution… yet, in the case of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the debates held for it’s ratification, it was clear that it was not for citizenship of foreigners in this nation and not ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’, and that were in fact still subject to the jurisdiction or citizenship or they were subjects of another nation or foreign leader… as such, Wong Kim Ark may have been decided in error, as the parents were still subjects of the Chinese Emperor.

It is perhaps not so much that something is ‘part of the Constitution so it can not be unconstitutional’, as it might be the courts and legislatures have held unconstitutional views and altered the legislation and / or Constitution to fit their views.

But then, I am not sure what John512is saying… I am not a lawyer, and am not a mind reader :grin: