The July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence, "the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America", states the following, in part:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
Article I, Sections 1 and 2, of the Constitution of Pennsylvania stated, respectively:
"All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness."
"All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper."
The 1776 Constitution of Pennsylvania confirms the existence of our God-given rights and the duty to protect these rights by stating the following in its very first sentence:
"WHEREAS all government ought to be instituted and supported for the security and protection of the community as such, and to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and the other blessings which the Author of existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends of government are not obtained, the people have a right, by common consent to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness."
John Randolph Tucker, LL. D., a very prominent 19th Century Constitutional Scholar, confirms our rights and our duty to protect them in the following, taken verbatim from the "INTRODUCTION", Sections 32 and 33 of his book titled: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES A critical discussion of its genesis, development, and interpretation, published in1899:
"Having thus deduced the personal and property rights of man - these jural rights - from man's exclusive liberty of self-use to the fruits of self-use, it is necessary now to say that these jural rights are not always realized in the legal rights; that is, in the rights allowed to the man by the social polity under which he lives. But while this is so, we must not forget that the jural are none the less real because the social polity does not make them legal rights. The jus cannot be abrogated, but ought to find full expression by the lex.
"These jural rights of man, constituting in their aggregate what we call his liberty, have, as we have seen, been given to him by his Creator to be used under responsibility to Him. Can he rightfully surrender them? Is he not religiously bound to defend them?
"We have further seen that society is ordained by God to conserve the rights of man and not to injure them. These rights embrace life (limb, health and self-use as part of life) and property as the result of life work and enterprise. To conserve these, society is ordained.
"As man holds all these rights in trust from God, he breaks trust by their surrender, or by not defending them. Hence self-preservation, embracing self-defense and self-development to the highest degree possible, is a religious duty. Man not only may, but must, defend himself. Self-defense is not merely a right, it is a duty - a religious duty. If he held his rights absolutely, he would have a mere right to defend them and might waive them; but as he holds them in trust for God, he is bound by religious obligation to defend them.
"In self-defense, therefore, man defends not his own, but God's right in him. And thus it comes to pass, under every well-ordered human polity, that this self-defense has the best sanction, in that the man is to be regarded as the jural instrument for the lex, in what he does to the detriment of, and thus in defending, his rights.
"As Society is ordained to conserve these rights, it follows that it cannot violate them. - jural power cannot infringe jural rights."
About the author: John Randolph Tucker was born at Winchestor, Virginia, on the 24th of December 1823, and died at Lexington, Virginia, on the 18th of February 1897. He was the son of Henry St. George Tucker, President of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and grandson of St. George Tucker, also a member of that court, and who was the author of "Tucker's Blackstone", the first commentary on the Constitution of the United States. During a long and active professional career, the author served for eight years as Attorney-General of Virginia and for twelve years as a Representative in Congress, during four years of which service he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House. From early life a close student of the Constitution and of the constitutional history of the United States, he had long cherished a purpose to write a commentary on the Constitution. His eminent public career brought him into living contact with many great questions on which he had read and thought deeply; and on his retirement from Congress in 1887 he hoped to take up his long-meditated work. The exaction of professional labors, to which were added from the year 1889 the re-assumed duties of the Chair of Constitutional and International Law, and Equity in Washington and Lee University, delayed the beginning of systematic work until the autumn of 1895". John Randolph Tucker died in February of 1897. His book, from which this article is taken verbatim, was edited by Henry St. George Tucker, II, John Randolph Tucker's son, and first published later in 1897.
To ensure all of these individual rights, each natural person has a God-given, constitutionally guaranteed, secured and protected right to keep and bear arms, any arms that the government has.
Article I, Section 21, of the Constitution of Pennsylvania states: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
The last sentence of the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence states:
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
Today, every Citizen needs to make this same "pledge". All those in government, at all levels, must read, study, fully understand and strictly "support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United State and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and … discharge the duties of [their] office with fidelity" according to the original intent of these, and all other founding documents of our State and federal Governments.
"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." Daniel Webster