- John Locke, the thinker whose ideas led to Blackstone's Commentaries on English law and liberty and Jefferson's Declaration of Independence had this to say about why it is we have a right to defend our lives - with the deadly force of a gun if need be.
(From Citizen SOLDIER).
“The law of nature is universal. For it is true, not only that all men are equally subject to the command of their Maker; but it is true also, that the law of nature, having its foundation in the constitution and state of man, has an essential fitness for all mankind, and binds them without distinction.
“This law, or right reason, as Cicero calls it, is thus beautifully described by that eloquent philosopher. "It is, indeed," says he, "a true law, conformable to nature, diffused among all men, unchangeable, eternal. By its commands, it calls men to their duty: by its prohibitions, it deters them from vice. To diminish, to alter, much more to abolish this law, is a vain attempt. Neither by the senate, nor by the people, can its powerful obligation be dissolved. It requires no interpreter or commentator. It is not one law at Rome, another at Athens; one law now, another hereafter: it is the same eternal and immutable law, given at all times and to all nations: for God, who is its author and promulgator, is always the sole master and sovereign of mankind."
- James Wilson, [The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, L.L.D.; Chap. III Of the Law of Nature]. Mr. Wilson signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. In addition he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.