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Guns: All about firearms and gun rights, Part 3

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This gun mini-site is for people who are opposed to crime.

God made men equal. Sam Colt keeps them that way.

Gun pages: 1 2 3 4 5
(1, 2 & 3 = pro-gun quotes; 4 = anti-gun quotes; 5 = gun signatures)

 

More Quotes: Everyone on Liberty

Continued from Part 2

 
This is a fictional National Public Radio (NPR) " interview" between a female broadcaster and US Army Lieutenant General Reinwald, about sponsoring a Boy Scout Troop on his military installation. It did not really happen, but it makes a good point nonetheless.


Interviewer: "So, Lt. Gen. Reinwald, what are you going to do with these young boys on their adventure holiday?"

Lt. Gen. Reinwald: "We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting."

Interviewer: "Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?"

Lt. Gen. Reinwald: "I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the range."

Interviewer: "Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?"

Lt. Gen. Reinwald: "I don't see how, we will be teaching them proper range discipline before they even touch a firearm."

Interviewer: "But you're equipping them to become violent killers."

Lt. Gen. Reinwald: "Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?"

End of the interview

 

PATRICK HENRY (‘Liberty or Death’ Speech, member of Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, member Virginia convention to ratify U.S. Constitution, urged creation of Bill of Rights for Constitution )
"The great object is, that every man be armed.... Every one who is able may have a gun." (Elliot p.3:386)

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."

During Virginia Ratification Convention 1788 (Elliot p.3:45)

"I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers. I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny." (Elliot P.3:74)

"My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging wars against tyrants." (Elliot, 3:47-48; in Virginia Ratifying Convention, before Bill of Rights)

"O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone..." (Elliot p.3:50-52, in Virginia Ratifying Convention demanding a guarantee of the right to bear arms.)

NOAH WEBSTER (Served in Revolutionary Army, Printed dictionary; a federalist)
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed...."

(An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Webster1787)

"A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state." (Webster, p.42-43)


BEN FRANKLIN
(member, Continental Congress, signed Declaration of Independence, attended Constitutional Convention, 1st Postmaster General)
"Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Respectfully Quoted, p. 201, Suzy Platt, Barnes & Noble, 1993)
BEN FRANKLIN (member, Continental Congress, signed Declaration of Independence, attended Constitutional Convention, 1st Postmaster General)
"Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Respectfully Quoted, p. 201, Suzy Platt, Barnes & Noble, 1993).

 

JAMES MONROE (Served in Revolutionary Army, member Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of War, 5th President)
"But it ought always be held prominently in view that the safety of these States and of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia." (his first Inaugural Address, 1817)
JAMES MONROE (Served in Revolutionary Army, member Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of War, 5th President)
"But it ought always be held prominently in view that the safety of these States and of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia." (his first Inaugural Address, 1817)


ALEXANDER HAMILTON
(Member of Continental Congress, Aid-de-camp to General Washington, commanded forces at Yorktown, New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention, wrote Federalist Papers, 1st Secretary of Treasury for George Washington, wanted ‘President for life’)
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Federalist Papers #29) (Member of Continental Congress, Aid-de-camp to General Washington, commanded forces at Yorktown, New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention, wrote Federalist Papers, 1st Secretary of Treasury for George Washington, wanted ‘President for life’)
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Federalist Papers #29)


TENCH COXE
(friend of Madison, member of Continental Congress)
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American...(T)he 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."
(Freeman’s Journal, 20 Feb 1778) (friend of Madison, member of Continental Congress)
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American...(T)he 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."
(Freeman’s Journal, 20 Feb 1778)

"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 in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

(introduction to his discussion, and support, of the 2nd Amend) "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution" Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789, pg.2
"The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, ...will form a powerful check upon the regular troops..." (Coxe, An Examination of the Constitution of the United States of America p.20-21)

 

REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMSON (member of the first Congress of the United States): "The burden of the militia duty lies equally upon all persons;" in Congress, 22 Dec 1790. (Elliot, p423)

WILLIAM GRAYSON
(Senator from Virginia in first Congress under the United States Constitution): "Last Monday a string of amendments were presented to the lower house; these altogether respect personal liberty..." (in letter to Patrick Henry)

ZACHARIA JOHNSON ZACHARIA JOHNSON (delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention): "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." (Elliot, 3:645-6)

GEORGE WASHINGTON "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

"If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." (farewell address)

"A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined..." (Papers of the President, p.65, Richardson, ed)


THOMAS JEFFERSON "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." (Letter to Du Pont de Nemours 24 April 1816)

"When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

 

SAMUEL ADAMS "If ye love wealth more than liberty, the tranquillity 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 your chains set lightly upon you, and posterity forget that ye were our country men." 1776

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."


PATRICK HENRY "Millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible. ...The battle, is not to the strong alone; it is the vigilant, the active, the brave. ...Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." Excerpts of speech made before the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1775

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?.... 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 use, as in our own hands?" (3 Elliot, p. 168-9)


THOMAS PAINE (Author: Common Sense & The Rights of Man, urged Declaration of Independence): "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."

"...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them."


DANIEL WEBSTER (Representative and Senator from New Hampshire, U.S. Secretary of State ): "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption for authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN RANDOLPH "A people who mean to continue free must be prepared to meet danger in person..." (22 Dec 1790, Elliot p.4:411).



WILLIAM PITT "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." (Speech to House of Commons, 1787).

EDMUND BURKE:"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little."

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." 1784


ANDREW JACKSON (Served in Revolutionary Army, Senator, Major General US Army, 17th President): "...but a million armed freemen, possessed of the means of war, can never be conquered by a foreign foe." his first Inaugural Address, 1829 (total popular vote for his election was just over one million)

 

ARISTOTLE "Both Oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms." (Politics, Aristotle p. 218)


ABRAHAM LINCOLN "The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." (17 September 1859, speech in Cincinnati, OH)

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men."



WILLIAM RAWLE (U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania, appointed by President Washington): "No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people." (Rawle, A View of the Constitution, p. 125-6, 1829)



ALBERT EINSTEIN "The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are constitutional rights secure."

 

HUBERT H. HUMPHREY (Senator, Vice President): "Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms...The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible." (22 October 1959)



WINSTON CHURCHILL "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."



REVEREND MARTIN NIEMOLLER (arrested by the Gestapo in 1937): "In Germany, they first came for the communist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then, they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew...Then they came for the Catholics. I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up."


FREDERICK DOUGLASS (U.S. Marshal, son of a slave): "Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; ...The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." 1857



JOSEPH STORY (Supreme Court Justice): "The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally...enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

(Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p.3:746-7, 1833)



WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (27th President, Chief Justice US Supreme Court) "Constitutions are checks upon the hasty action of the majority. They are self imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of the minority." (22 August 1911)


WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS (Supreme Court Justice 1939-75) "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air-- however slight-- lest we become the unwitting victims of the darkness."

" Fear of assassination often produces restraints compatible with dictatorship, not democracy."



HUGO BLACK (Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Senator) "I cannot agree with those who think of the Bill of Rights as an 18th century straitjacket, unsuited for this age...The evils it guards against are not only old, they are with us now, they exist today." (The Great Rights, Cahn ‘63, p 44-45)



GEORGE SUTHERLAND (Supreme Court Justice) "For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while there was still time."



LOUIS BRANDEIS (Supreme Court Justice) "Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty." (Whitney v. California, 1927)

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." (Olmstead v. United States, 1928)



ANTONIN SCALIA (Supreme Court Justice) "It would… be strange to find in the midst of a catalog of the rights of individuals a provision securing to the states the right to maintain a designated ‘Militia.’ Dispassionate scholarship suggests quite strongly that the right of the people to keep and bear arms meant just that . There is no need to deceive ourselves as to what the original Second Amendment said and meant." A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law, Princeton University Press

"[T]hey [the Founders] feared that some future generation might wish to abandon liberties that they considered essential, and so sought to protect those liberties in a Bill of Rights." A Matter of Interpretation

"The Constitution Protects us from our own best intentions." (U.S. v. Printz, 1977)


CLARENCE THOMAS (Supreme Court Justice) "The Second Amendment similarly appears to contain an express limitation on the government’s authority.…If…the Second Amendment is read to confer a personal right to ‘keep and bear arms,’ a colorable argument exists that the Federal Government’s regulatory scheme, at least as it pertains to… possession of firearms, runs afoul of that amendment’s protections" (U.S. v. Printz, 1997)


EARL WARREN (former Supreme Court Chief Justice) "Today, as always, the people, no less than the courts, must remain vigilant to preserve the principals of our Bill of Rights, lest in our desire to be secure we lose our ability to be free." (James Madison Lecture, NY University, 1962)


DAVID KOPEL (Civil Rights Attorney) "They will never outlaw all of your guns at once. But every ‘reasonable’ control they can impose without your resistance gives them one more bit of leverage to make gun ownership for you and your children and your grandchildren as difficult as possible."


REBECCA WYATT (Founder of Safety for Women and Responsible Motherhood, Inc.) "The advice on self-defense that I received after the [my] assault was ‘Don’t get a gun. It will only add to the violence. Never having been exposed to guns before, this seemed to make sense.....until I was attacked again."


SHERIFF RICHARD MACK (Sheriff of Graham County, AZ; filed suit challenging Constitutionality of the Brady Law)  "...the only background check I’d support is one on politicians."


LIEUTENANT LOWELL DUCKETT (Pres., Black Police Caucus, Special Assistant to Washington, D.C. Police Chief) "Gun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It’s quicker to pull your Smith and Wesson than to dial 911 if you’re being robbed." The Washington Post


MAHATMA GANDHI "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." (My Autobiography, p. 446)


TENCH COXE "What should we think of a gentleman, who, upon hiring a waiting-man, should say to him ‘my friend, please take notice, before we come together, that I shall always claim the liberty of eating when and what I please, of fishing and hunting upon my own ground, of keeping as many horses and hounds as I can maintain, and of speaking and writing any sentiments upon all subjects.’ (A) master reserves to himself...every thing else which he has not committed to the care of those servants." [editor’s translation: Bill of Rights not needed; repetitive] in editorial


CESARE BECCARIA "False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; ...The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty -- so dear to men, ...and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree." On Crime and Punishment, p.145 (1819) originally published in 1764


JAMES BURGH (18th Century English Libertarian writer) "...most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved." (Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604)


DR. SUZANNE GRATIA "I blame the deaths of my parents on those legislators who deny me my right to defend myself." (Both her parents and 20 others were killed by a mad man in the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Tx, 1991. Tx law prevented her from carrying her handgun into the restaurant, so she left it in the car)


UNKNOWN "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 war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his own 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."


THE TALMUD "Who can protest an injustice but does not is an accomplice in the act."


EDWARD ABBEY "The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police 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."

Gun pages: 1 2 3 4 5

26 Quotes (unattributed)

  1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
     

  2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
     

  3. Colt: The original point and click interface.
     

  4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
     

  5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
     

  6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
     

  7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
     

  8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
     

  9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
     

  10. The United States Constitution (c)1791. All Rights Reserved.
     

  11. What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?
     

  12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.
     

  13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
     

  14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.
     

  15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.
     

  16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
     

  17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
     

  18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
     

  19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.
     

  20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
     

  21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
     

  22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.
     

  23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don't make more.
     

  24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
     

  25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
     

  26. I carry a gun because cops are too heavy.


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