My American cousins must at least concede that the natural right to keep and bear arms was recognized long before their forebears did – in the English Common Law and in the 1688 Bill of Rights. For what it is worth, that document is still part of British constitutional law and states: “subjects… may have arms for their defence…”
While Americans should concede that point, my fellow countrymen should also concede that King George’s invading army deserved exactly what they got from the American citizen militia, leading up to that pivotal year of 1776.
Of course, Britain’s Christian background meant that belief in the God-given right of arming oneself to defend person and property went back much further – and not just to the Old Testament: In the New, Jesus did emphasise mercy and restraint, but also instructed his disciples to sell their coats if necessary to buy a sword; his illustrated teachings included armed land owners and home owners (ref: here) resisting robbers; and he himself used a whip when driving out moneychangers from his “Father’s house”.
These and other ideas were consolidated into the precedent of Common Law, as expounded upon by Blackstone, and distilled into common speech through terms like: “An Englishman’s home is his castle”.
However, if the English did to some extent pass on to the early Americans a belief in the right to keep and bear arms, unfortunately it seems to have been because they were not intending to use it any more.
Especially since the early 1900’s, many of the rights and liberties of Englishmen have gradually dwindled away. How the mighty have fallen: The income tax for example, early on was well below ten percent but rose to 90% or more in the 50s and 60s. Today, according to a recent mainstream media documentary, the overall total of government spending is bigger than the private economy.
Socialism was introduced under a facade of Christian compassion in the United Kingdom. But the only reason it could get any foothold at all was the existence of a landless underclass kept in its place by the residual presence of feudalism.
The underclass were promised not freedom but better masters, and sold the idea that they themselves would be in ultimate control of the new masters through “democracy”. Earlier and better men had grown tired of both this servility and of elite feudalism, and had set out for greener pastures in the colonies.
What had originally begun there as free trade ended up as an empire – subjugating the local populations by denying their right to bear arms. But there must still have been something right about the Common Law and minimal administrative framework of those colonies…
Some went on to be listed among the richest and freest countries in the world – at least, relatively speaking: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Bahamas and some of the Caribbean islands. Others have not done so well of course: Jamaica has had the unwelcome distinction of the highest murder rate in the world – since introducing total gun control in the 1970’s.