"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good. When firearms, go all goes; we need them every hour."
by:
George Washington
(1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
Source:
Falsely attributed to Address to the 2nd Session, 1st Congress, 1789.
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous 
Does anyone know who did say this?
 -- Heath, Fair Lawn, NJ
 
No; - but it wasn't Al Gore or John Kerry. Well, it definately wasn't Al Gore because John Kerry may have said it before he didn't say it.
 -- larry, North Bergen, NJ
 
Chicago and DC have banned guns and there is more violence there than there ever has been.
 -- George T. Mills, Lake Hopatcong NJ USA
 
He actually did say this. Morons
 -- Ignacio, Rivendell
 
I couldn't help but notice that the only "FALSE" quote was the one about firearms. I wonder why i'm NOT surprised.
 -- David, Atlanta
 
Keep our guns! When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns! If we can't protect ourselves, who will protect us?
 -- JR, Tampa, FL
 
The "Liberty Teeth" Speech by "George Washington" -- "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prarie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good. When firearms, go all goes; we need them every hour." -- falsely attributed to George Washington, address to the second session of the first U.S. Congress. This quotation, sometimes called the "liberty teeth" quote, appears nowhere in Washington's papers or speeches, and contains several historical anachronisms: the reference to "prarie wagon" in an America which had yet to even begin settling the Great Plains (which were owned by France at the time), the reference to "the Pilgrims" which implies a modern historical perspective, and particularly the attempt by "Washington" to defend the utility of firearms (by_use_of_statistics!) to an audience which would have used firearms in their daily lives to obtain food, defend against hostile Indians, and which had only recently won a war for independence. The "99 99/100 percent" is also an odd phrase for 18th century America, which tended not to use fractional percentages. It's clear that "Washington" is addressing "gun control" arguments which wouldn't exist for another couple of centuries, not to mention doing so in a style that is uncharacteristic of the period, and uncharacteristic of Washington's addresses to Congress, both of which exhibited a high degree of formality. This is a false quote, but bits and pieces of it still continue to crop up from time to time. Most recently, this quote has been seen circulated on flyers at gun shows attributed to Neil Knox's Firearms Coalition, but Knox isn't the original source of this "speech," and even national publications, such as _Playboy_magazine, have been snared by it. ("Playboy_ published the "quote" in December 1995 as part of an article entitled "Once and for All: What the Founding Fathers Said About Guns". After consulting with an assistant editor of the George Washington Papers at the University of Virginia, "Playboy_ published a lengthy correction in March 1996.)
 -- mlnease, lilliwaup
 
 -- brad c. 
I dont care who said it, or when it was said. The truth is clearly evident in the "quote."
 -- Guy Cain, Wyoming, Iowa
 
 -- juynh, yhk 
 -- george, westlake 
"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." -George Washington

This is the quote I always have seen around since I was a kid. I don't know where this other quote came from with the wagon and the plow came from. It sounds fake. the 99/100 percent is fake for sure. It might have been done on purpose by the gun control advocates so they can say Washington never wrote or said the quote. Add to so they can say it was fake, which is an old propagandists trick. Very clever if so.
 -- Jason Hurzeler, Barrow, Alaska
 
 -- Jason Hurzeler, Barrow 
I agree with Guy Cain I might add. Whoever wrote it was right on the money!
 -- Jason Hurzeler, Barrow
 
 -- watchman 13, USA 
 
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