Contrary to Ed Feulner’s Sept. 10 opinion column in The Bulletin, in a practical sense, one has no rights at all separate from those guaranteed by the laws upheld by the various levels of government one enjoys; i.e., city, county, state and nation. And, yes, your freedoms are curtailed by those laws.

It doesn’t have to be that way; i.e., if you can still find somewhere in the world where your nearest neighbor is a few score miles away. But if you live in a modern society near thousands of other people, all of whom want their “freedom,” then most of us find it advantageous to give up some freedom in order to live in an orderly society governed by laws established by the people or the people’s representatives.

You can believe that your rights are God-given if you wish, but God is seldom seen involved in protecting or preserving those rights. And any rights the Constitution guarantees are worthless without a strong federal government dedicated to preserving and enforcing those rights.

His mention of the Declaration of Independence with reference to human rights is interesting; many of the signers were slaveholders, and it took more than 100 years for the nation, through action of the people’s elected government and government law, to see to it that those unalienable rights were available to women and people of color.

Drannan Hamby