“I will not allow violence against this house,” stated Dustin Hoffman’s character in the original Straw Dogs (1971), a graphic film that is still worth watching, but only by adults. Most will watch Sam Peckinpah’s psychological thriller with some Western themes only once. For many, some quick editing via the remote will be required. The central point of the movie is still valid.
Civilized men once had a universal understanding that a man’s home was his castle. Why? The idea that a man’s, or now in many cases a woman’s, house and property should be within their own control is on life support. It once was a cultural norm. The goal in America was for the regular guy, in colonial days, the former European peasant, to have the same rights and controls over his own property as did the King of England over his. Within his home, each homeowner was to be king.
The Fourth Amendment, requiring a warrant to be issued only on probable cause and other constitutional provisions such as prohibiting the forced housing of troops in private residences during peacetime, are examples of the weight the founders placed on the common man’s right to control his private property. The Second Amendment, of course, partly exists to help the regular guy protect those and other rights. Although the universal recognition of women’s and minorities’ rights to secure property came later, the recognition of their rights was clearly consistent with the intent of the founders’ original language.
We call it the American Revolution, but in reality it was counter-revolution. The rights that are acknowledged (not granted) in our constitution were rights that had at various times been asserted in England. The king and his lackeys, in colonial days, overstepped their bounds in the Americas. Traditional rights were reasserted by our founding fathers by bullet and sword.