"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like."
by:
Alan Dershowitz
(1938- ) Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Source:
The Conceptual Foundations of Anglo-American Jurisprudence in Religion and Reason, 82 Mich L. Rev., 204 (Dan Gifford), 1995
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Yndrd1984, Ames, IA      
 -- Anonymous      
Arguing the 2nd amendment right is not the best argument because the gun grabber's argument againt 2nd amendment is surely plausible to many good people, We have God-given rights. The Constitution gives no one any rights, it just enumerates some of our rights. Will you guess how many will insist that we have no God-given rights? Surely, not many will.
 -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis     
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    The purpose of the constitution is to keep the government from taking away our rights. They have already taken away our "states rights" by saying, "you read the constitution, but we'll tell you what it means!"
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    All arguments against the 2nd amendment are emotional, not moral and not logical...just emotional.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Right, it's certainly logical to argue that EVERY American has the right to keep and bear ANY armaments he wishes, including cruise missiles, land mines, and atomic bombs. Sounds logical to me. The quote itself has been taken completely out of context -- Dershowitz is a strong opponent of the 2nd Amendment and firearms ownership -- he calls it "an anachronistic drafting disaster that does not belong in any Constitution or Bill of Rights." However, he is opposed to repealing it because doing so would open the way for further revisions to the Bill of Rights and Constitution. That's what he meant by this quote.
     -- Joe, North Caldwell, NJ     
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    Well Joe that would make me admire him even more. This country is way to short of liberals (current day type) that think logically. If they all did we would have very few of them. Then if they were informed we would loose the rest of them. Then the word liberal would come to mean - defender of liberty instead of purveyor of propaganda for the destruction of freedom.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I never liked Dershowitz. To me he sounds like a legal Woody Allen. As far as the quote, plaque on all of their houses. Guns are great but they are not for taking on police, or government in any form whatever. They are for fun and for shooting animals on occasion. Those who think they are for taking on government are violating the Constitution even in their thinking or thought processes.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waff, even saying it twice, it still makes no sense.
     -- jimk, austin     
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    "ANY armaments he wishes, including cruise missiles, land mines, and atomic bombs"..... Good Point. We should have to get licenses for that stuff. But that's all. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    jim k...I think he means plaque on all their teeth. And I think what he's saying about guns would mean that its a darn good thing 6 million Jews, 20 million Ukrainians and Pols, 3 million Cambodians, couldn't defend themselves...I mean hey...its the government right? What a bunch of crap Waffler.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Sorry about the q and g thing. I don't think it is a bunch of crap at all. To take on your government in a constitutional nation is being a traitor to the Constitution. Like the Bible says to think hate is a little like killing and to think of raising firearms against the Constituion is the same as doing it. I don't think it is crap at all!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Who among us believes that the 2d Amendment was put into the Constitution by the framers "so that you may attack us, the Constitution, and the government which we are creating" any time you may desire. If you read the Constitution it and the laws enacted thereunder (The Militia Act of 1904) all men (at least all men under 45 years of age) and their guns in this country come under The Commander In Chief. Tell me of a government that has ever thoght so little of itself that it invites its citizens to arm themselves to attack it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    PS: Your right to attack the police, the government, the army is not a Constitutional right but a god Given right. And the Constitution has a legal right to defend it self against you and whatever little voice is whispering in your ear. But remember even the Bible tells us that the word of God is not of any private interpretaion.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    A person with a scholarly reputation has a duty to conduct debate without indulging in Argumentum ad Homenem, i.e. attempting to crush one's opponent by means of name calling ("Foolish liberals"). Dershowitz is fully aware that U.S. federal courts held for decades that "the right to keep and bear arms" is in our Bill of Rights solely because of the historical context of militias being essential to our defense, which they have not been for more than a century. Holding this right to be an individual right is totally without historical justification and is the result of the doctrinaire slant held by the majority of our present Supreme Court justices. Remember that this is the same court that, contrary to the clear words of the Constitution, snatched the responsibility of Florida's management of its own presidential election out of the control of our Florida Supreme Court and forced both the state and the nation to accept a conclusion which was actually contradictory to the actual votes of Florida voters, as a complete recount by the State of Florida of its own counties' polling records would have certainly demonstrated. This debate won't be over until it is over. Meanwhile, gun owners and dealers are accepting no responsibility for flooding Mexico with the guns that are used to ensure victory by the drug lords, and no responsibility for the scores of young children who die because their fathers left loaded guns in easily accessible bureau drawers.
     -- Timothy Ray, Gainesville, FL     
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    Dershowitz IS a liberal (is there anything but a foolish liberal? ;-) Waffler's extremism and ignorance has no evidence in history. An armed populace is a responsible populace, a disarmed populace is in servitude where only gangsters have power. It is impossible to 'attack the Constitution' with guns, Waffler, since it is the Constitution that tells Congress that they shall make no law abridging the right (duh). And, yes, police, FEMA, FBI, DHS, ATF, IRS, and all the other domestic paramilitary need to know that there are more of us with weapons than there are of them -- this is to keep them in check. Waffler, get this, and get it good: the right to bear arms is not granted by the government, AND an armed populace serves as a CHECK against the abuse of governmental power, AND should any state come under attack, the people at least will be able to DEFEND themselves instead of expecting a government official to be assigned for every man, woman and child because no one should have a gun except a cop. Pure BS, and never, ever, what the framers envisioned. Jefferson imagined a revolution every 20 years or so -- that would be difficult if only police and military had the guns. With power comes responsibility -- great power, great responsibility. Another reason why responsibility should be promoted, not dependence and obedience. Waffler's arguments are ALWAYS about limiting the power of individuals rather than checking collective power. If the individual cannot be trusted, then neither can a group of individuals with a monopoly on power.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- E Archer, NYC      
    Check your facts Archer, the government and the Constitution are one and the same thing. The government was set up and continues by force of the constitution. Attacking the government is attacking THE CONSTITUTION. I wont ask you to get it. I assume it is beyone you.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Every living thing has a right to defend itself. The Bill of Rights didn't give us that right. We had that right before it was written. Alan is talking about tactics, using the legal system to force your opinion on others, those people will use the same tactic against your pet right, like abortion for instance.
     -- Michelle Ress, Felton, CA     
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    Waff you REALLY need to read some history.
     -- Brian, New York     
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    Waffler, instead of addressing much of what you've written, possibly the most naive and incorrect was to harmonize the constitution and the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land - there are little to no similarities. Right(s) by any de jure and lawful definition, are inalienably inherent in the individual. Rights, by their very nature and legal perimeter can NOT be an expression of a multiple. Because rights are a faculty of birth / existence by the laws of nature and of nature's God, they can not be lawfully legislated out of existence.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Some say that "assault rifles" aren't covered by the 2nd Amendment because the founders didn't contemplate anything much more powerful than muskets. Did they contemplate TV, radio, telegraph, email, Twitter, etc. when they wrote the 1st Amendment?
     -- Durham, Birmingham,AL     
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    Waffler makes a great living testament to the unerring wisdom of Founders, that is is ESSENTIAL We retain Our arms in order to defend Our security and Liberty from the collectivist democrats whom prefer to hand everyone's sovereignty to their statist masters - BULLOCKS. Waffler, I am still awaiting any sign you are in any way a Constitutional Liberty-loving Patriot at heart?!? It seems doubly quizzical, when you lefties feign irksome ire at being accused of actually being ANTI-American, when as yet none have lately answered my queries about exactly what traditional American values you uphold.

    Ghastly foreboding - so many dems ready to "turn em all in"! Dems, more interested in achieving totalitarian authoritarian govt, than they are in recalling the millions of deaths it is responsible for over the millennia -- IF ONLY WE LET HILLARY TRY IT JUST ONE MORE TIME...

    MSM and lefty academia have created millions of duped Sheeple, ready for NWO tyranny, aka, democrat platform. PS - GOP is a p.o.j., in cahoots w/dems.
     -- Mark W, Aurora, CO     
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    Waffler, the Constitution is a CHARTER for the government -- the difference is clear, the charter contains the rules for the government (other people). IF the government BREAKS THE RULES, then the people/states who chartered the government can dissolve it due to BREACH OF CONTRACT which is a deal breaker considering the amount of power involved.

    Weapons in the hands of the citizenry is a constant check against a potentially rogue government that acts outside the boundaries of the rules. The purpose of the Constitution was to protect the rights of the people, not to 'rule.' The people rule the government through the Constitution -- if the government will not obey, then what alternative is there? Succession. History proves that succeeding is often bloody, and if unsuccessful, the 'union' will no longer be optional, and new laws are usually written to secure the permanent dependence of the 'rogue' state. Arms in the hands of the citizenry didn't stop the Civil War, so there is no guarantee that freedom will always win. But the battle continues with each generation -- either they make it their own, or not.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Criminalization of political differences, by far, is becoming very unhealthy for the democratic party. Through continued attacks upon our Declaration of Independence with the undermining of our Constitution, ushers in the wrath of a moral people given to individual happiness. Lawlessness increases by that means which promotes the undermining of such a Sound document of defence for the individual sovereign, all rights of Liberty reserved.
    Though our ancient Chophshiy liberty be under siege for the sake of "plunder", to throw off such despotic behaviour is Never far from mind as now also Action to Restore.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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