"The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America."
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October 14, 1789, p.211, col.2
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I'm not quite sure how to rate this quote. The first part, up to "Government", is accurate enough but, not really sufficiently strong to do justice to the absolute inalienable right(s) of noble man. Is the human character or need for preservation of life and liberty really a military spirit or taste for martial exercises? I personally don't think so. Is freedom more related to a nature's expression of liberty or a spirit of martial arts? - Maybe just different strokes for different folks? If I were to rate this, it would have to be 1 or 2 stars?
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The martial arts, instilling confidence of movement when dealing with adversity, Level and balanced, tempered with the mat of humility. Thus " humility before honor." preparation from a young age gives insight to human nature. Judging predisposition of the opposition and/or prey. " Which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States" Many a warrior returns from service, only wanting to tend, to their family and farm. Excellence is measured. Semper FI
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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    Mike makes a good point. I think we do have to face the nature of the world rather than fight against it. Humans are animals essentially -- predators at the top of the food chain. Like other predators, humans have teeth, and specifically, the ability to make tools and weapons. Men fight over turf, resources, power -- everything. 'Civilized' man has a sense of honor, and takes responsibility for his actions. 'Savage' man is a beast, with no honor, might being right. Because the savage man is still out there and that without honor the civilized man would become but a savage himself, people must be able to CONTINUE to protect themselves from men without honor or conscience. It is not a 'right' it is a responsibility!

    When a person loses the fighting spirit, he/she is more easily conned out of their power (and responsibilities) for the 'promise' of security. Screw that! If I am going down, I am going down swinging! ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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