You Keep Using That Word: Rights Edition

There are a few pages on Facebook I enjoy reading. Occupy Democrats is one of them. Obviously I don’t agree with the philosophy of the page but the administrators running it are either amazing trolls or incredible idiots.

Case in point, they posted this image after last week’s shooting:


What do firearms and healthcare have in common? Almost nothing, which is why this image is so good! First, it tries to tie two unrelated things together. Why? Probably because the creator thought he was being clever by taking a swipe a gun owners and jerking themselves off about how awesome Obamacare has been. Second, it misses the boat by a wide margin.

Are ascetically offensive firearms (what the image creator calls “assault weapons”) a human right? Is healthcare a human right? The answer to both is yes, but not in the way the image creator was implying. Everybody has a right to acquire any firearm they choose just as they have a right to acquire whatever healthcare they choose. But nobody is entitled to either. We return once again to age old negative rights versus idiocy, err, positive rights.

Negative rights mean individuals should be free from interference from other individuals. Positive rights mean individuals should be given whatever is considered a right. The latter is nonsense because giving individuals goods and services necessarily requires enslaving others to make and provide them. If you have a right to healthcare then somebody has to provide it. On the other hand, if you have a right to acquire healthcare that simply means nobody should be allowed to interfere with you entering an exchange with a healthcare provider.

So, yes, firearms and healthcare are human rights so long as you use a sane definition of rights. Anybody who believes the State, or anybody else, should interfere with individuals acquiring either is an asshole.

One thought on “You Keep Using That Word: Rights Edition”

  1. Self-defense, like free speech, travel, and the right to labor, are trumps…that is, not subject to debate, outranking any appeals to “common good,” “social good,” national safety, national security, etc…That’s the standard liberal position

    “Health Care as a right”…yes, you should have the right to seek health care from whomever”…once again the standard liberal position

    Health Care as right”==whatever you want shall be given is nonsense because there is no redress from the State in the event that you don’t
    receive what you want. What you really have is “health care as a promise,” or more specifically, “health care as a set of promises,” that, once agin, offer no redress in the event you don’t receive what you are promised, that often require a degree of obligation on the part of the promisee(i.e, a certain lifestyle, can’t ingest unapproved substances, etc) and many times, require the promisee to forfeit the “right to health care,” i.e, only what the promiser supplies is legal, everything else is illegal.

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