What really is a ‘right?’

Dear Editor:

“Many residents from across the nation to right here in Isanti and Chisago counties in the past year exercised their right to renew permits and bear arms.”

This passage from your March 19 issue dealing with an increase in permits to carry locally gave me pause. It makes one wonder what really is a ‘right?’

A right is something you automatically possess by virtue of your very existence and can be done without interfering with the same rights of others. Fundamental humans rights include the right to convey yourself from point A to point B, the right to associate or not to associate with whomever you wish, the right to conscience and to believe as you wish and articulate it, and the right to defend yourself from violent aggression, which throughout human history has been inextricably paired with the acquisition and maintenance of weaponry.

Can something really be called a ‘right’ anymore if one is forced to obtain a permission slip from the king in order to exercise it? Why do we continue to tolerate systems that demand we surrender our absolute and unconditional rights in exchange for privileges that are limited and granted on a conditional basis? Because when we do that, these are no longer rights and you can no longer claim to own yourself. Something to think about.

Matthew Rothchild

Cambridge 

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