"And I cannot see, why arms should be denied to any man who is not a slave, since they are the only true badges of liberty."
by:
Andrew Fletcher
[Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun] (1655-1716) Scottish writer, politician
Source:
A Discourse of Government with Relation to Militias, 1737
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Under the auspices that each and every, any and all men assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, including a decent respect to the opinions of any and all mankind; and, holding these truths to be self-evident (self-evident to all those who recognize and abide the law), that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these (not limited to these) are Life, Liberty, Property, and the pursuit of Happiness, this is absolutely correct! ! ! Slaves must get special permission or otherwise attempt to purchase temporary Titles of Nobility to carry concealed or otherwise armament. Slaves must register with their masters before acquiring arms. Arms and other regulation in the hands of each and every willing freeman, is a true badge of liberty.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The US had an armed rebellion to obtain liberty for white land owning males... while at the same time preserving the institutionalized lack of liberty (slavery, being female, being poor, etc). Arms did not solve the slaves problems, rather peaceful protest... the 21st century is not the same world as the 18th century, and the same techniques that gave partial solutions then are not appropriate for now.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    Guns are the "only things" keeping us from total dictatorship. Never! Give them up. Watch for the new 2010 tax return requiring you to comply to all sorts of statist crap (Blair Holt) regarding your gun ownership. Register nothing!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    When guns are made illegal to own in a city, state. or country, crime always goes up. Liberals never seem to get it, or do they ? England is a great example.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    'A' from Reston, that is one of the better leftist perversions of history that I've ever read. Its obvious you don't have a clue what allodium or even titled land means to the stability of a people. Your list and implications of down trodden are extremely misleading at best. Following your same skewed vain of perception, it wasn't until blacks, females, and poor were institutionalized, the same as the white males, that government ceased being a servant / representative and became a tyrant,, implementing compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, etc. (that enslaved everyone).By your skewed perception, blacks, women, and the poor are what is causing all problems in this county today. An accurate perception of history is that individuals (mostly white males), armed with private regulation, volunteering into formal service, began a revolution that started a chain of events that was liberating to individuals of all races, people of both sexes, and people of all financial status.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Great point!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    People don't carry or own guns as a badge of liberty in the U.S or any other country. Linking gun ownership to some high ideal/constitutional necessity blinds you to the fact that death by gunshot has been monetized in the U.S.
    Jim k - more guns in society = more crime committed involving guns. I don't know what you've been inhaling but I don't think it's gun smoke. Gun crime in the UK as a whole is relatively rare and about 50 or 60 per year are shot dead compared to 13 or 14 thousand in the US. I know where I'd rather get robbed!
     -- Mick, manchester     
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    The primary reason Americans carry guns is because criminals do - it has nothing to do with liberty or the right to carry a gun. It's a carry-over from the wild west days. Most home shootings are carried out by guns in the home. If the burglar has a gun and he/she sees you with a gun then you will get shot. The reason gun crime is very low in the UK is because burglars and criminals, and law enforcement, know they are not going to come across a gun-wielding individuals. Gun ownership in the UK is mostly in gun clubs where the gun is not allowed to leave the premises and lock in a volt. The ease in which guns are available in the US makes it possible for anyone with a grudge or mental condition to carry out ghastly deeds. I'm afraid America has a long way to go before we can make it illegal to own a gun.
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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