Guns and Freedom - Reason.com
Jared Sperli stashed this in politics
The American experience was the opposite. Here, each human being is sovereign, as the colonists were after the Revolution. Here, the delegation to the government of some sovereignty—the personal dominion over self—by each American permitted the government to have limited power in order to safeguard the liberties we retained. Stated differently, Americans gave up some limited personal freedom to the new government so it could have the authority and resources to protect the freedoms we retained. Individuals are sovereign in America, not the government. This constitutes liberty permitting power.
But we did not give up any natural rights; rather, we retained them. It is the choice of every individual whether to give them up. Neither our neighbors nor the government can make those choices for us, because we are all without the moral or legal authority to interfere with anyone else's natural rights. Since the government derives all of its powers from the consent of the governed, and since we each lack the power to interfere with the natural rights of another, how could the government lawfully have that power? It doesn't. Were this not so, our rights would not be natural; they would be subject to the government's whims.
To assure that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone here, the Founders incorporated Jefferson's thesis underlying the Declaration into the Constitution and, with respect to self-defense, into the Second Amendment. As recently as two years ago, the Supreme Court recognized this when it held that the right to keep and bear arms in one's home is a pre-political individual right that only sovereign Americans can surrender and that the government cannot take from us, absent our individual waiver.