Our Bill of Rights does not grant rights, it preserves and guarantees pre-existing individual rights. How do we know this? The Ninth Amendment states:"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
In other words, we have other rights beyond what is expressly stated in the Constitution, and the federal government is not granted any powers to deny us those rights.
What could those rights be? Although, this Web site is not for the purpose of discussing rights, in general, below are quotes from two Founding Fathers telling us that the right to self-defense is a natural right and it cannot be justifiably taken away by any governing body."I go farther; and now proceed to show, that in peculiar instances, in which those rights can receive neither protection nor reparation from civil government, they are, notwithstanding its institution, entitled still to that defence, and to those methods of recovery, which are justified and demanded in a state of nature."
"The defence of one's self, justly called the primary law of nature, is not, nor can it be abrogated by any regulation of municipal law."
--- James Wilson, Of the Natural Rights of Individuals, in 2 The Works of James Wilson 335 (J.D. Andrews ed. 1896). (From a series of lectures given between 1790 and 1792.)"Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would."More on rights and the Ninth Amendment
--- John Adams, Boston Gazette, Sept. 5, 1763,reprinted in 3 The Works of John Adams 438 (Charles F. Adams ed., 1851).Alexander Hamilton,
The Farmer Refuted 23 Feb. 1775 Papers 1:86--89, 121--22, 135--36, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Edited by Harold C. Syrett et al. 26 vols. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1961--79Excerpt:
Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man a right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience.Barnett, Randy E,
The Ninth Amendment: It Means What It Says, Texas Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 1, 2006
A NINTH AMENDMENT FOR TODAY'S CONSTITUTION, 26 Valparaiso University Law Review 419 (1991)
The Idea of Natural Rights—Origins and Persistence, 2 Nw. U. J. Int'l Hum. Rts. 2 (2004)
More About the Origin of Rights (http://libertycorner.blogspot.com/2005/03/more-about-origin-of-rights.html)Excerpt:
"You only have any rights because the rest of us pretty much agree that you have them."