"Let us recollect that peace or war
will not always be left to our option;
that however moderate or unambitious we may be,
we cannot count upon the moderation, or
hope to extinguish the ambition of others. ...
The best we can hope for concerning the people
at large is that they be properly armed."
Alexander Hamilton
(1757-1804) American statesman, Secretary of the Treasury
Federalist No. 34, January 4, 1788
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Reader comments about this quote:
And properly informed. The problem today is the majority are neither properly informed nor properly armed. One day they may get the message and let's hope they can still get a gun.
 -- Dan     
  • 1
    Hey, have a little faith. When guns are finally banned, the criminal element will, no doubt, be the first in line to turn in all their weapons. However, one definition of "faith" is believing something that no one in his right mind would believe, so maybe the thugs wouldn't be first in line, but we liberals can always hope.
     -- jim k, austin     
  • 1
    Dan, you hit the nail on the head - "properly informed" OK we all have a weapon (guns or whatever) now comes the day to use them - who tells us to use them and how are we to confirm or deny the reason for the call to arms. Who will be the peoples spokesperson; who will lead the charge and against what? We are stupid to believe a gun in a shoe box will protect us from anything; in actual fact it will probably be used against its owner - so it's back to those wild west days. Please tell me what you will do with your gun/s I assure you it will not be the “OK Corral”.
     -- RobertSRQ     
    An armed Disneyland should be our rallying cry! How is the word "arms" defined? Does it have to be guns. Could we amend or pass laws defining the word "arms". Thus we could reduce the level of violence by saying that the "right to bear knives or billy clubs" shall not be infringed, thus leaving way to take guns off of the street. If international disarmament is possible why not citizen disarmament. Thus what does "properly armed" really mean? The one thing guns are not to be used for is defense against the sovereign ie. the cops, the state, the Feds etcetera. This is the big lie of the gun lobby that guns are to protect us from government. The vote is our only protection from government.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Jim, when you referenced the 'criminal element' I'm assuming you were including judges, legislators, bankers, and executives (most obvious police) Waffler, I love your proposed rallying cry ;-), further, properly armed means, a full complement of regulation(s), inclusive of machine guns (especially the larger caliber variety), rockets with launchers, knives, clubs, rocks, tanks for the affluent (just a little tongue in cheek there), etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    When Hamilton speaks of the ambition of others, he means not just another greedy king or dictator -- the lust for power can turn anyone into a danger. That is why the right to bear arms is not to be infringed by any 'law.' And since the militia is included in this right, arms include every implement of the soldier. Big guns and tanks would most likely be stored in a local armory in preparation for the worst. The sovereigns in this country are the People -- the police, and government officers have no more right to them than anyone else. The gun ban in D.C. did NOTHING to curb crime and murder there -- in fact, murders went up during that time. Guns are used for defense millions of times a year -- often without a shot needing to be fired. Just having a gun is a deterrent against the ambition of others -- that is why the ambitious want them out of our hands. Hamilton is very right on this one.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I agree with this quote.
     -- Me Again     
    Mike have you heard of the brouhaha on the news where the NRA is suiing Disneyland. It seems Disney is telling its' employees to leave their guns at home. I have a slew of guns and I subscribe to hunting mags. have skinned and tanned my own deer hide. Many of my hunting friends feel that the NRA is a childish organization that gives hunters and gun owners a bad name.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    RobertSRQ, WHEN the day comes all those questions will be answered for you. That is, if you are seriously looking for the answers.
     -- Dan     
     -- warren, olathe      

    It's nice living in a free state like Arkansas, eh? I can guarantee you would not say the same thing if you lived in the northeast. Restrictions, gun confiscation on the table - yeah, I'll bet you vote D because they're for the people too.

     -- J, Boston     
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