Self-defense is the right to protect a person or property from the unlawful threat or action of another. Self-defense is a long-recognized legal defense against prosecution for a violent or otherwise illegal act.
The use of private arms for self-defense accords was supported by the esteemed legal commentator Blackstone, which influenced thinking in the American colonies. He wrote that the people's right to arms was auxiliary to the natural right of self-preservation.
- Robert F. Williams wrote, "It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence." 
- See WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, 1 COMMENTARIES *136, *139.