Liberty Under Fire

Excerpt: "Life, liberty and property" are rights that have a celebrated history in English common law and American constitutional law, but with the Second Amendment case concerning our right to keep and bear arms now before the U.S. Supreme Court, do those rights have a future? Ten years before our war for independence, English judge Sir William Blackstone wrote in his "Commentaries on the Laws of England" that "the three great and primary rights" of "every Englishman" were "personal security, personal liberty and private property." Moreover, to protect these rights, English subjects were entitled "to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence."

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