Matthew Larosiere at The Federalist is talking about guns, but he might as well be describing free speech rights:
It is plain error to conceive of our rights as being something granted by either the Constitution or the courts. Our system is built on the foundation of natural rights that exist beyond any institution of man. The Constitution merely ties the government’s hands, clarifying that these rights are sacrosanct, enumerating some of the most important ones, including the right to keep and bear arms.
Or the right to assemble, petition the government for redress, speak w/out government intrusion (in most cases) and to exercise our religion (anywhere we want to, even in our political speech.)
Too many university administrators speak about Free Speech Zones on campus, where open debate is tolerated, usually by permit only. Too many people figure speech is allowed by government, and only if people are not offended, insulted or hurt emotionally.
You have to have a pretty good reason to limit the right to speak or write freely. Libel, slander, inciting violence, creating a dangerous situation by passing along government secrets…these seem to qualify. [On that last one, should the names of our Russian agents or undercover police be published in the newspaper or spoken on CNN?]
Larosiere suggests that limiting the right to bear arms, by criminalizing concealed carry within some states is very similar to the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
I can’t even begin to unravel that, but I know my rights do not come from the government. That government, through college administrators, or police departments who will not face Antifa, or won’t limit the heckler’s veto, or by legislatures which seek to criminalize anything they consider hateful…these groups do so in defiance of not only the Constitution, but the ideas which underpin our laws.
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. — Declaration of Independence, 1776.
You want my free speech rights?