A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of th

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A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. [United States Constitution, Second Amendment, 1789] ------- "You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." [C. A. Beard ------- "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms." [Trence Coxe in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution", under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789] ------- Last Monday a string of amendments were presented to the lower house; these altogether respect personal liberty..." [Senator William Grayson of Virginia in a letter to Patrick Henry] ------- "What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." [Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress at 750, 17 August 1789] ------- "Banning gun shows to reduce violent crime will work about as well as banning auto shows to reduce drunken driving." [Bill McIntire, Spokesman for the National Rifle Association, on Norfolk, Va. council's vote to cancel four gun shows, 1992] ------- "If the price I must pay for my freedom is to acknowledge that the government was granted the power to infringe on them, then I am not free." [Pol Anderson] ------- "It's the misfortune of all Countries, that they sometimes lie under a unhappy necessity to defend themselves by Arms against the ambition of their Governors, and to fight for what's their own. If those in government are headless of reason, the people must patiently submit to Bondage, or stand upon their own Defence; which if they are enabled to do, they shall never be put upon it, but their Swords may grow rusty in their hands; for that Nation is surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it." [John Trenchard and Walter Moyle] ------- "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." [George Mason, 3 Elliott, Debates at 425-426] ------- "It is because the people are civilized, that they are with safety armed." [Joel Barlow] ------- "The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy... If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government - and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws." [Edward Abbey] ------- "Let therefore every man, that, appealing to his own heart, feels the least spark of virtue or freedom there, think that it is an honor which he owes himself, and a duty which he owes his country, to bear arms." [Thomas Pownall] ------- "The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: The person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person's liberty! Are you free?" [Andrew Ford] ------- "....History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own fall." [Adolf Hitler, Edict of 18 March 1939] ------- "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will loose." [James Earl Jones] ------- "To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." [Richard Henry Lee writing in letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic (1787-1788)] ------- "On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823] ------- "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches the jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitable ruined." [Patrick Henry] ------- "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "Without either the first or second amendment, we would have no liberty; the first allows us to find out what's happening, the second allows us to do something about it! The second will be taken away first, followed by the first and then the rest of our freedoms." [Andrew Ford] ------- "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." [George Washington] ------- "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any body of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States." [Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principals of the Federal Constitution] ------- "To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them." [George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380] ------- "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." [Benjamin Franklin] ------- "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our country men." [Samuel Adams] ------- "At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us with a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined with a Bonaparte at their head and disposing of all the treasure of the earth, our own excepted, could not by force make a track on the Blue Ridge or take a drink from the Ohio in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up from amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide." [Abraham Lincoln, 1838] ------- "The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike. It is its natural manure." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- Gun Control: The assumption that everyone is a potential criminal. ------- The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." [van Gogt] ------- "The right of the people to keep and bear... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." [James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, 8 June 1789] ------- "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves... and include all men capable of bearing arms." [Richard Henry Lee, Senator, First Congress, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169] ------- ".... if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands? [Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail] ------- "..but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formitible to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights." [Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist Paper 29] ------- "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation... Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." [James Madison in Federalist Paper 46] ------- "Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." [Trench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February 1788] ------- "The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these states... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America." [Gazette of the United States, 14 October 1789] ------- "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half deprived the use of them..." [Thomas Paine] ------- "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." [Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646] ------- "A free people ought... to be armed..." [George Washington, speech of 7 January 1790] ------- "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." [Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution] ------- "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" [Patrick Henry] ------- "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." [Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188] ------- "That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..." [Samuel Adams] ------- "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms." [Thomas Jefferson, proposal Virginia Constitution, June 1776, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334] ------- "Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense..." [John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Governments of the UAS, 471 (1788)] ------- ".... the ultimate authority... resides in the people alone." [James Madison, in Federalist Papers No. 46] ------- "The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." [Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, 7 October 1789] ------- ".... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen..." [Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)] ------- "There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen." [Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616, at 618 (7th Cir. 1982)] ------- "I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns." [Sen. Howard Metzenbaum] ------- "1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!" [Adolf Hitler] ------- "What do you mean 'wait fifteen days'? This is America!" [California citizen attempting to purchace a firearm for self-defense during rioting in Los Angelas, week of 30 April 1992] ------- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." [George Washington] -------

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