Was Thomas Jefferson wrong? Not about everything, just this: “Rights are unalienable.” If rights are unalienable, the Chinese people, all one-and-a-half billion of them, would be armed. Women living in oppressed countries would be free. In fact, all peoples would be free, and armed, and tyrants would be under the gun — not the other way around. Sorry, Tom, rights are not unalienable.

Rights are easily lost. That’s the truth. With apologies in advance to my wild-eyed, dyed-in-the-wool libertarian friends and their utopian ideals, your rights and your property are neither unalienable nor derived from the natural order of the universe. Your right to your life, your guns, and everything else you think you own is based on pure and raw power.

You own what you own because you can exercise dominion over it, you can demand it. The moment you lose or relinquish that power, or someone with greater power takes it from you, your home or your pencil is no longer yours. This is the ugly truth of life on planet Earth. Jefferson was wrong. What he said is nice, it has served us well in its own way, it’s just not the case.

I’m not saying it isn’t a high ideal, these lofty rights, and a worthy goal to strive for, but you strive for them while armed. That part the Founders got dead right. You may not have to pull a gun at every turn. And that isn’t to say you have to poke your gun in the face of every tyrant or petty functionary who intends to relieve you of your rights.

Equally, they don’t have to overtly threaten you with force whenever they relieve you of rights or property you would like to think you inalienably own. The political party that is now woofing and attempting to steal your right to arms, is in possession of superior arms they conveniently control. And dangerously so, those are in the hands of their authorized surrogates, who understand this all too well, making you folks quiver in your boots.

Infringement Cannot Stand

A few states are unfortunately taking long strides toward forced disarmament, in violation of every law and principle our nation holds dear, abrogating the oath of office entirely. Working in great halls of injustice, with extraordinarily pompous circumstance, they are writing bills, supposedly supported by peoples’ representatives, who believe they wield power to relieve you of your arms, by writs. The Commonwealth of Virginia is on everyone’s radar for a particularly egregious document, declaring power unto themselves to literally confiscate arms the public currently owns.

If infringement and ownership mean anything, forcibly taking guns the public already rightfully possesses is infringement by definition. They can’t legitimately write a bill to change those definitions from their simple, commonly understood English meanings. The Constitution itself cannot be rewritten by some lowly functionaries — elected or otherwise. People acting in some hall somewhere, cannot declare unto themselves power to deny basic rights to own property or to keep and bear arms, it doesn’t work that way. Take away arms already owned? Seriously? Have they lost their senses? Why on Earth aren’t officials at least paying equal attention to armed criminals instead?

Have faith, freedom will out. Faced with tyrannical diktats from their betters, and finding elections, appeals and the usual means of controlling the uncontrolled mob in their legislatures ineffective, yet not wanting to resort to the solution our Declaration provides — bloody revolt and dissolving the political bands which have connected them with another — the citizenry is resorting to establishing sanctuaries.

Sanctuaries Effloresce

We’re pulling pages from leftist/communist/socialist/progressives who don’t even recognize the American Way as legitimate. American citizens in Virginia and elsewhere have established (as of this writing) hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions, where confiscatory gun policies are null and void. Nationwide more such keep-and-bear sanctuaries effloresce.
These require law enforcement to ignore infringement, neutralizing “official” gun-grabbing incitements to bloodshed. Virginia’s motto declares Sic Semper Tyrannis, “thus ever to tyrants.” Within sanctuary cities, counties and fiefdoms they arise, with teeth. Virtue’s heel on the neck of the tyrant in Virginia’s seal is manifest.

So, the notion of waiting for a higher court, which is untimely, uncertain and not the higher authority, must bow to the true authority, the will of the people. All power comes from the people, as we found in our revolution, and there it must remain. The Founders wisely left us armed, and guaranteed our ongoing armament with the Second Amendment, against all pretenders to this sacred right.

So, while your right to arms, property, and life itself may not be unalienable, your right to defend such right nearly is because, as libertarians will always remind us, you own you. And that is something no one can simply take, especially while you retain your arms. Which is all a matter of force.

For this we look finally to two great power brokers who stated it clearly: “Power comes from the barrel of a gun.” –Mao, the world’s most heinous mass murderer, still pictured everywhere in brutal communist China. And of course, “Power comes from the barrel of a pen.” –Ronald Reagan, The Great Communicator.

Award-winning author Alan Korwin has written 14 books, 10 of them on gun law, and has advocated for gun rights for nearly three decades. See his work or reach him at

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