On the Right to self-defence

July 27, 2011

Robert Alexander, Director of IT, CSSA

A fellow firearms owner recently said that, in Canada, we don't have an actual Right to defend ourselves. He is wrong, of course. Tragically, this erroneous assumption has become all too common among Canadians.

He said, "You are allowed to defend yourself in Canada, subject to many stipulations and conditions -- but you do not by any means have a "right" to it."

This is incorrect.

All humans have the right to defend themselves, regardless of what any so-called government may try to say about it. The right to self-defence, like all other rights, comes from being human and alive; they do NOT come from some government or its laws. They are inalienable and self-evident. Governments do not grant Rights; they can only affirm them or attempt to suppress them.

Sometimes, inalienable human rights are affirmed by a government and its laws. In Canada, we have have the constitutional guarantee of "Security of the Person," and the "Right to Life" is expressly written into the Charter. You would still have the Right even if it was not. You would still have the Right even if the law expilicity said you did not.

Our government (like too many others) illegally and immorally tries to suppress our Right to defend ourselves. Making you defenceless gives them more power over you.

Your Right to Life, and your Right to defend yourself or any other under your care is absolute. It simply doesn't matter what a government has to say about it. Rights don't come from government.

All a government can do is punish you for exercising your Rights. Any government that does so is corrupt and operating without moral authority, and you have no moral duty to obey such laws.

No government is more important than you. You are more important than any government.

You do not beg permission to use your Rights. You stand up proudly and use them when needed -- and bear the consequences, if necessary.



A Covenant not to defend myself from force, by force, is always void. For ... no man can transfer or lay down his Right to save himself from Death.
Thomas Hobbes, 17th Century English Political Philosopher
One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purpose without resistance is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms ...
Joseph Story, U.S. Supreme Court Justice


The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, collecting, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.