The Fundamental Right of Self-Defense

We live in dangerous times, and those times are becoming ever more dangerous.

Every human person has the fundamental right of self-defense. This right is held and expressed individually and corporately. The people of a nation defend themselves against certain threats by means of their military. These troops risk their lives to defend us. The people of a nation, state, or community defend themselves against other threats by means of their police. These law enforcement officers serve and protect us. At times, they exercise the right of self-defense of the community on their behalf, risking their own lives for us.

But the right of self-defense can also be exercised individually, as when a person defends himself or herself against some type of violent crime by use of proportionate force. For some persons, this right to self-defense is an exercise of the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms.

So the fundamental right to self-defense is exercised by the people through their military, through their police, and sometimes individually. But it is fundamentally an inalienable right of both the individual and the group.

We cannot slash the military budget, as we need them to defend the nation. We cannot “defund the police”, as we need them to defend the community. And we cannot pass laws which are hostile to the ownership and use of guns by law-abiding citizens. Why? because when the bad guys come, somebody has to get in their way, and that somebody is military, and that somebody is law enforcement, and sometimes that somebody is civilian.

Our society is becoming more violent. Crime is rising, and law and order are breaking down. People should consider their particular situation, and find ways to increase the security of their homes and their persons. I don’t know if that will include gun ownership for you or not. It is not for everyone. But know this: We live in dangerous times, and those times are becoming ever more dangerous.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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4 Responses to The Fundamental Right of Self-Defense

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Ron,

    Thank you for this posting and your prior good insights regarding what Pope Francis meant when he said “there are no just wars.” On various occasions Pope Francis has upheld the licit use of force against unjust aggression. Here are a few examples:

    In-Flight Press Conference Returning from Korea August 18, 2014

    Alan Holdren:” “Your Holiness, my name is Alan Holdren, I work for Catholic News Agency, ACI Prensa in Lima, Peru, and EWTN. As you know, United States military forces have just begun to bomb terrorists in Iraq in order to prevent a genocide, to protect the future of minorities – I’m also thinking of the Catholics in your care. Do you approve of this American bombing?”

    Pope Francis: “Thank you for your very clear question. In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor…. To stop an unjust aggressor is a right of humanity, but it is also a right of the aggressor to be stopped in order not to do evil.”

    Pope Francis Address to the Delegation of the International Delegation Against the Death Penalty December 17, 2018:

    “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life, even when doing so requires one to deal a lethal blow to one’s aggressor (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2264). Legitimate defense is not a right but a duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority must repel all aggression, even by armed force, to the extent necessary to protect their own lives and those of the people entrusted to their charge (cf. ibid., n. 2265)..”

  2. King Robert the Bruce says:

    Good post Ron completely agree with everything you said. The problem is in the UK the population have effectively been disarmed its too difficult to own a gun here I have always admired the US for the right to bear arms if only we had that right here.

  3. James Belcher says:

    It is unfortunate but Russia seems to be making unwise decisions which may entice the western civilization to respond. Russia has stated that should Sweden and Finland join NATO this summer, their countries would be destroyed. I believe the prior Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary had a greater effect on reducing the spread of communism than the current consecration. Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Regan had a unique partnership in confronting Russia’s aggression and I am not seeing that type of association with anyone to that degree. I could be wrong and hope that I am but I believe there were many more prayers back in the 1980s’ then there are now. I am prayerful the Warning will lessen these atrocities but it could harden Russia inviting more inhumane acts of violence.

    I am reminded of the speech given by Patrick Henry, part of his speech included “They tell us, sir, that we are weak—unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us”.

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