"[Self-defense is] justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society."
Sir William Blackstone
(1723-1780) English jurist, judge, Tory politician
3 William Blackstone, Commentaries 139
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Reader comments about this quote:
Survival is the the most basic instinct possessed by all of mankind. That anyone, especially legislators should seek to limit our right to self defense is preposterous.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 2
    2.5 stars. A pronounced, too-real problem exists within the framework of this otherwise easily acceptable notion. It manifests when the concept of self-defense is simplified, vastly overinflated, then used as primary justification for waging foreign war - the very thing the U.S. is largely about in the 21st Century.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
    I think Mann is mistaking the right of one's self defence with governments use of premptive force. These are not the same thing.
     -- Harry, Flint     
  • 1
    You can count on government to twist the plain meaning of words to suit their grabs for power and resources. Yes, the right to defend oneself is an inherent right -- but the 'right' to pre-emptively bomb another nation into dust is not defensive but offensive. No one understands that better than the poor nations that the US military have bombed, invaded, and occupied all in the name of 'security.' But self-defense does not only apply to arms -- it applies to due process itself, that life, liberty, and property cannot be legislated away by the government. We have every right to oppose unlawful dictates of the State -- it is a primary law of Nature indeed.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Man-made laws are merely opinions backed by force. "Law" cannot give or take anything from you... But submission to the force (or threat of force) can be the loss of liberty. Being trained to avoid critical thought has enabled "us" to recognize that an "animal" has the "right" to defend itself from another "animal"... While at the same time believing that a "citizen" is not "justified" in defending himself.
     -- Matthew, Los Angeles     
  • 1
    Well, there are many ways to respond to this, Ill just keep it simple. ANY man, who enters my home, unlawfully, will be warned ONCE, then, will be shot. This is MY RIGHT, under the law. I wish to harm no one, but i WILL defend myself, and my family. IN a new york minute. And Im really thinking, of moving to one of several states, where i can carry concealed, so I many use my God given rights of self defense.
     -- Kimo, USA     
  • 1
    The right to Rebel against any form of tyranny through oppression or imminent danger to ones life or liberty, physical or fiscal, shall not be infringed upon. If the individual sovereign free born citizen, unprivileged, was not SET AT LIBERTY, there would be no right to rebel in defence of Liberty. These Liberties being the gift of our Creator and not of man. Economic, Physical, and Spiritual, Liberties. Natural law Indeed is exercised through self- defence. War and peace are both aspects of natural law, cause and effect. As for nations who do not promote these sacred liberties there will always be war.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 1
    Right on, Ronw13.
     -- jim k, Austin     
  • 1
    Rules of society that conflict with rights of natural law are eternally recognized - and, ultimately exist as despotism, tyranny, usurpation and injustice.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    The right to defend yourself and your family is a natural right and should be sacrosanct.
     -- robert, somewhere inthe USA     
  • 1
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