Can Gun Rights Be Categorized as Human Rights?

Right to Self-defense Vs. Right to Bear Arm

My biggest question to my reader is, what crime does a victim of gun violence commit? Is it not having a gun to defend herself, or is it living in a society proliferated with more guns than chopsticks?

Can bearing a deadly weapon be disguised as the right to self-defense? Does defending yourself require cat walking with a gun capable of killing dozens in less than ten minutes?

What kind of society do we live in that we need weapons that can spit bullets so fast to so many? Who pays for the sins that we choose to ignore?

To understand the right to self-defense, we have to turn the clock to 2 million years ago.

Since the Homo Habilis days, human beings, as other animal species, have always relied on innate or acquired defense mechanisms. Animals have claws, horns, speed, and teeth as tools for self-defense.

On the other hand, human beings have evolved from developing tools, i.e., stones to spears and then guns such as revolvers.


Don’t get me wrong, human rights have the right to self-defense, which is highly distinctive from the right to bear a gun. Here is the allegory that will help you understand the distinction. Suppose you were born in a world where using grenades, bombs, or nuclear weapons as a means of self-defense. The need to use such deadly weapons could be due to the mightiness of the hostile enemy, e.g., super-powerful aliens.

So, it would make sense to enact a law such as individuals having a right to bear grenades, bombs, and nuclear weapons. After a while, the super-powerful aliens get defeated and wiped out. The societies have now been highly divided and torn by the war, so there is continued reliance on the right to bear deadly weapons to protect them from rival hordes of violent people.

A hundred years later, society has become stable. Is it reasonable for the society to continue relying on the enacted law of individual’s right to bear grenades, bombs, and atomic weapons when they can effectively use other means of self-defense (less deadly) and do social welfare programs to assist those at risk of being drawn into violent acts?

Gun rights are only fundamental if the individual can prove that guns are the only available tool for self-defense. Individuals loitering in the public street, unless facing any specified targeted personal threat, have to rely on the policing system as everyone in public.

How deadly should a weapon be to qualify as a tool for self-defense? Should it be deadlier, less deadly, or just sufficient enough to guarantee the user’s safety and those in the surrounding?

I do not suggest that we should turn to using spears as means of self-defense; rather, I question the deadliness of the weapon posited to be a tool for self-defense. Suppose the need for self-defense can be achieved by less deadly means and tools. Should bearing deadly weapons, such as guns, be permitted without strict regulations?

The proliferation of guns in society always leads to them falling into the wrong hands. Hence, gun use should be minimized to those who critically need enhanced security, which police may not fully provide.

Globally, bearing a gun is not a human right; and there are good reasons why owning a deadly weapon shouldn’t be categorized as liberty.

In fact, doing so is a mockery of human rights whose sole purpose is to protect individuals rather than expose them to a society full of deadly weapons being mistaken as a symbolism of liberty, freedom, or restraint of government.

There are over a hundred countries in the world where citizens enjoy a broad range of freedoms, rights, and privileges, which in disbelief they don’t own a gun, never had one, and have no intention of purchasing one.

Countries with Gun Control Regulations (Wikipedia)

Nowhere in the world can gun rights be categorized to have equal importance as the right to education, freedom of movement, right to free speech. Let it be noted that the right to keep and bear arms is not the only guarantee of the right to life. If it were, societies that have banned civilians from owning guns would definitely collapse.

Human life is not made any more secure by owning a deadly weapon as guns are by no way bulletproof vests. Soldiers die holding guns on the battlefield. Reasons?

Guns increase the chances of you killing your target or attacker. Still, it does not reduce your chances of getting killed as long as your surroundings are overrun with gun violence risk factors.

As long as an individual is in an environment, whether there are myriad socioeconomic and political risk factors for violence and crimes, their lives will be at threat of being terminated regardless of whether they own a gun.

Hence, we have to conclude that the most effective way in a society to safeguard the lives of citizens is not by distributing guns like candies but by reducing the risk factors of gun violence.

Guns still have a good purpose. They still offer means of self-defense, but that in no way means that the only way patriotic American citizens can defend themselves is arming teachers, civilians, teenagers, cashiers, nurses, and night shift dishwashers. In fact, arming all-night workers is in stark contrast to knowledge recommended by modern social sciences in reducing gun violence.

Thank you for reading!

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Samson Writing

Samson Writing

Writer, author, poet and editor. Available for hire. Find me at

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