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Fundamental Principles Of Gun
Control and Freedom Part 2
Collated By James Dearmore II
God Bless America!
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person." -- James Madison, I Annuals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789) [This was Madison's original proposal for the "Second Amendment"]
"It is not certain that with this aid alone [possession of arms], they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to posses the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force; and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it." -- James Madison "Federalist No. 46"
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." -- James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243- 244
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American .. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People." -- Tench Coxe - 1788.
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, ... the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear arms." -- Tench Coxe in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution", Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine
"The balance of power is the scale of peace. 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 the world deprived of the use of them; ... the weak will become a prey to the strong." -- Thomas Paine
"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 balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some others them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; ... the weak will become the prey to the strong." -- Thomas Paine, I Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 (1775).
"The great object is that every man be armed, everyone who is able might have a gun." -- Patrick Henry (3 Elliot, Debates at 386)
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined." -- Patrick Henry, speaking to the Virginia convention for the ratification of the constitution on the necessity of the right to keep and bear arms.
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our 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, Philadelphia, 1836.
"They tell us, Sir, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power." -- Patrick Henry (1736- 1799) in his famous "The War Inevitable" speech, March, 1775
"Three millions of People, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us." -- Patrick Henry (1736-1799) in his famous "The War Inevitable" speech, March, 1775
"Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military conservators still multiply upon us, some of which are of such nature, and have been carried to so great lengths, as must serve fully to evince that a late vote of this town, calling upon its inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defence, was a measure as it was legal natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, (the post-Cromwellian English bill of rights) to keep arms for their own defence; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression." -- "A Journal of the Times" (1768-1769) colonial Boston newspaper article.
"Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people's freedom and security." -- William F. Buckley
"In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms... The phrase "the people" meant the same thing in the Second Amendment as it did in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments -- that is, each and every free person. A select militia defined as only the privileged class entitled to keep and bear arms was considered an anathema to a free society, in the same way that Americans denounced select spokesmen approved by the government as the only class entitled to the freedom of the press." -- Stephen P. Holbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right", University of New Mexico Press, 1984, pp. 83-84.
"Disperse you Rebels - Damn you, throw down your Arms and disperse." -- Maj. John Pitcairn, Lexington, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775
"Those, who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people." -- Aristotle ... Quoted by John Trenchard and Walter Moyle "An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army Is Inconsistent with a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy" [London, 1697]
"To avoid domestic tyranny, the people must be armed to 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 & Walter Moyle, "An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army is Inconsistent With a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy" [London, 1697] ("An Argument")
"Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame." -- John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon "Cato's Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects" [London, 1755]
"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits. ... and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." -- St. George Tucker, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and U.S. District Court of Virginia in, I Blackstone COMMENTARIES St. George Tucker Ed., 1803, pg. 300 (App.)
"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion." -- James Burgh "Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses" [London, 1774-1775]
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." -- Joseph Story "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution" [Boston, 1833]
"...And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations." -- Joseph Story "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution" [Boston, 1833]
"How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights." -- Joseph Story "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution" [Boston, 1833]
"The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and 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 "The Right to Arms" [New York, 1979]
"An armed republic submits less easily to the rule of one of its citizens than a republic armed by foreign forces. Rome and Sparta were for many centuries well armed and free. The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom. Among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible. It is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe among armed servants." -- Machiavelli, "The Prince" (1532)
"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms -- never -- never - - NEVER! You cannot conquer America." -- William Pitt, Earl of Chatham Speech in the House of Lords, November 18, 1777
"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." -- Winston Spencer Churchill Address at Harrow School, October 29, 1941
"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" -- Oliver Cromwell in dissolving Parliament, 1653
"Whenever people...entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens..." -- "A Framer" in The Independent Gazetteer, 1791
"We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." -- Abraham Lincoln
"...The right of the people peacefully to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is and always has been one of the attributes of a free government. It `derives its source,' to use the language of Chief Justice Marshall, in Gibbons v Ogden, 9 Wheat., 211, `from those laws whose authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.' It is found wherever civilization exists. It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution... The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of `bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment declares that it shall not infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government..." -- UNITED STATES v. CRUIKSHANK; 92 US 542; (1875)
"The rifle of all descriptions, the shot gun, the musket and repeater are such arms; and that under the Constitution the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed or forbidden by the legislature." -- ANDREWS v. STATE; 50 Tenn. 165,179,8 Am. Rep. 8, 14 (Tennessee Supreme Court, 1871)
"...the right to keep arms necessarily involves the right to purchase them, to keep them in a state of efficiency for use, and to purchase and provide ammunition suitable for such arms, and to keep them in repair." -- ANDREWS v. STATE; 50 Tenn. (3 Heisk) 165, 178; (1871)
"...we incline to the opinion that the Legislature cannot inhibit the citizen from bearing arms openly, because it authorizes him to bear them for the purposes of defending himself and the State, and it is only when carried openly, that they can be efficiently used for defence." -- STATE v. REID; 1 Ala. 612, 619, 35 Am. Dec. 47; (1840)
"The practical and safe construction is that which must have been in the minds of those who framed our organic law. The intention was to embrace the 'arms,' an acquaintance with whose use was necessary for their protection against the usurpation of illegal power - such as rifles, muskets, shotguns, swords and pistols. These are now but little used in war; still they are such weapons that they or their like can still be considered as 'arms' which the [the people] have a right to bear." -- STATE v. KERNER; 181 NC 574, 107 SE 222, 224-25 (North Carolina Supreme Court, 1921.)
"If the text and purpose of the Constitutional guarantee relied exclusively on the preference for a militia `for defense of the State,' then the terms `arms' most likely would include only the modern day equivalents of the weapons used by the Colonial Militia Men." -- STATE v. KESSLER, 289 Or. 359, 369, 614 p. 2d 94,99 (Oregon Supreme Court, 1980.)
"To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege." -- WILSON v. STATE, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well- regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right." -- NUNN v. STATE, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)
"[T]he right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the second amendment to the federal constitution is not carried over into the fourteenth amendment so as to be applicable to the states." -- STATE v. AMOS, 343 So. 2d 166, 168 (La. 1977)
"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 the struggle for independence." -- Charles A. Beard
"The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world... The first step -- in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come -- is to teach men to shoot!" -- President Theodore Roosevelt's last message to Congress.
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth fighting for is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -- Seen on a poster at a gun show. No author was cited for this truly excellent statement.
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolate. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture." -- Sir William Blackstone
"We preserve our freedoms using four boxes: soap, ballot, jury, and cartridge." -- Anonymous
"The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state, but that wall is a one directional wall; it keeps the government from running the church, but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government." -- Thomas Jefferson, Jan 1, 1802, address to the Danbury Baptists
"the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution.... "the people" protected the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community. -- Supreme court decision in US v. Vergugo-Urquidez
"It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserve military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the states, and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, that states cannot, even laying the Constitutional provision in question out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government." -- Justice Woods (Presser vs. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580 (1886)
The right to keep and bear arms "is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, ... it shall not be infringed by Congress."