Self defense is a fundamental right. Access to the tools of self defense is an obvious corollary. It was fundamental enough to be specifically protected by the bill of rights. Whether you like it or not, the right does exist.
It is, you're just missing a connector word, as in "rather than". Your sentence, as constructed, doesn't make sense. That's why he thinks you meant "then" because that would alter your sentence to make sense, but mean that the arguments are an "also" RATHER than an "instead".