"A government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust."
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Source:
Falsely attributed to Madison in the Federalist Papers. The quote is from Jeffrey R. Snyder in his essay 'A NATION OF COWARDS', published in the Fall '93 issue of The Public Interest, a quarterly journal of opinion published by National Affairs, Inc.
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Reader comments about this quote:
I really liked it
 -- bob     
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    i think that the government should stop giving all the money to prisons and more to schools!!! kids spend as much time at school as they do at home. we should be trying to prevent crime. not get ready for it!
     -- hannah johnson, tuolomne     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Truth.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Another Quote - "Here's my credo. There are no good guns, there are no bad guns. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people." - Charlton Heston
     -- Bob Graham, Lakewood, CO     
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    WOW ! ! ! We hold this truth to be self evident.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    In Madison's day it would have been impossible to fight the British invasion had the people not had their personal fire-arms.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Key word is law abiding. Those who keep arms and claim that they are for use against the police or government have law avoidance or overthrow of law in their hearts and minds. Those like Mike who utter an unthinking Wow! once a day should probalby not be let near a gun. As for good people I agree they should have their guns, I know I have mine. Nothing Mike says indicates to me that he is a good or law abiding person. He states his abhorrence to even the simplest of traffic laws. The heavey weapons in Lexington and Concord were in the armories and the British were marching to take them. Fortunately the farmers and villagers had enough private weapons to fire on the Brits as they retreated. But again the primary weapons of US citizens are in the armories.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Mike is a Patriot to American principles Waffler, you are a Patriot to British principles. By that I mean the army could be coming down the street rounding people up and you''d be the type to point to where mother's and children were hiding. You certainly are able to frame things just so to make your twisted point in your own schizophrenic way...I'll give you that.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler, truly the key word (-; or 2 ;-) is 'law' abiding. Your borg mentality defines law (and right) as anything the statist theocracy's slave masters (the omnipotents of the borg collective) say it is or, willy nilly enforce at their whim. If they outlawed gravity, you would say it is illegal to stay on the ground. Anyone found on the ground should have their guns taken away and they should be put in jail. As to 'good people', I can not be good, I refuse to submit to the borg collective. When the statist theocracy that infests this land claimed it had inherent right, standing in toto aloof from 'We The People', its armories became alien to 'We The People' also. The primary weapons of the US citizens are those in personal possession of the individual states citizens. Concerning law, I believe law is given of God, not man, and it is man's privilege and duty to find out what that law is and define it for the good and prosperity of the individual / society. I believe man's lawful administrations, or otherwise actions applied to men's affairs assumes among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them - nothing more or less. P.S. Waffler, FYI - I respect and follow all traffic laws. I also abhor those statist theocracy's rules that infringe on my rights, so I do not participate in any of the borg collective's genuflecting. If that makes me bad in your eyes, I am grateful, I wear that as a badge of honor.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike you have previously in effect laughed with scorn on this site about the idea of driving on a particular side of the street as is required by law. Carlton I appreciate your comments about my ability to frame things but suggest it is not due in any ability but due to straight thinking. Someone (a preacher I think) once told me that "you always say the right thing", I don't intentionaly try to do so but I do believe that right thinking breeds correct writing and expression. Again Mike has many times expressed his antipaty to obeying law as he has done above.. Merry Christmas to you all.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, I clearly remember our dialog. You clearly are extracting a small portion there of, and putting a spin on it that didn't exist and makes your whole comment a lie. Your 'out of context' spin, referencing your incorrect conclusion as the basis of accusation, is wrong again. Your ability to think straight or say the right thing could have only been perceived by one of the borg collective's liars.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Leave it to Waffler to debate against non-existent words. What a poor technique to debate what one paraphrases of one's opposition. Can you not defend your ideology without resorting to putting false words into others' mouths? Clearly a politician's trick. Madison states clearly the true intent of those that drafted the Constitution and why. Afterall, the police are but other citizens who have no more rights than the rest of the populace -- who are the majority I might add. The government is nothing but other 'men' -- they have no right to increase the weapons in their hands at the expense of the People's right to defend themselves. The armory is public property of the People, not the state. If not, then all you need is a corrupt politician to put all the weapons in the hands of his hired 'officers' and point them at us. If we cannot defend our freedom and rights, we will not long have them.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Terrific quotes..!
     -- CUBA LIBRE, Houston     
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    Might be a good sentiment but poor grammar - misuse of the apostrophe - makes me suspicious of the quotation. The possessive is "its"; "it's" is short for "it is". Therefore the proper use would be "its people". I concede that Madison might have made the grammatical error, but it seems impossible that an editor or biographer had not noted the misuse in the 176 years since his death.
     -- James, Sandwich     
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    Just did a search of the Federalist Papers on Gutenberg. Couldn't find the quote.

    I agree with the quote, but it may be incorrect to attribute it to Madison.
     -- James Gill, Rosburg     
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    Thanks, James. The quote has been marked as False. The source of the quote appears to be from Jeffrey Snyder in an essay 'A Nation of Cowards,' (Fall 1993)
    We have added the Snyder quote here:
    http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Jeffrey.Snyder.Quote.6BF8
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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    "Key word is law abiding. Those who keep arms and claim that they are for use against the police or government have law avoidance or overthrow of law in their hearts and minds."

    Sorry.

    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
    --THOMAS JEFFERSON

    If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of anyclearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view,justify revolution --- certainly it would if such a right were a vital one.
    --ABRAHAM LINCOLN

     -- Henry, Wickenburg     
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    No law abiding citizen keeps or bears arms. Only criminals keep and bear arms. Law abiding citizens have the brains to solve problems nonviolently.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Further, this system does not properly keep track of criminal and the law abiding. Your record keeping means little because the crime bosses who run the organizational apparatuses of the country have spotless criminal records.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Fredrick, specifically, what philosophy of law are you eluding to and within that germane jurisprudence, what finite law are you speaking of (especially when couched in a sphere of criminality)? Were there no Jews in the fascist (socialist) Germany that could not solve their plight nonviolently? How about the Uyghurs of China, is there no one with sufficient brains to solve their Chinese Communist (socialist) problem? How about the U.S. slave atrocities? Is your narrow statement simply indicative of people with increased levels of melanin — they all being all criminals while having no brains? Throughout history, men such as Jesus and Gandhi have had very few true followers concerning peace, love and nonviolence while, citizens that keep and bear arms have at times (very few times) been able to slow the creep of enslaving tyranny from deaf, dumb, blind and violent despots. Do law abiding citizens that are being immediately threatened with fatal activities always have the time, inclination, and opportunity to dissuade their mental deviant - lethal attackers?  AND BESIDES, arms are useful tools to provide food when starvation looms and/or sport for those talented so inclined.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, Norwalk    Dear Mike,
    I would like to respond to your reply on 12/23/21.  I really don't understand what your writing. I would, however, like to respond piecemeal to your words. Like so many of the creatures I run into in my daily routine, I understand the words but not the concepts.
    Take for instance your expression of Germany and presume your talking about WWII.  Let me explain the Nazi fellow is not in my dimensional social realm.   There is two types of social dimensions.  There is the psychotic (anti-social) and the social being.  The key difference of the Nazi is the prefix term national in the national socialist.   To incorporate national in the social context you are saying I only corroborate with those of my national member group. This is a divide and conquer strategy. The Social being connect with all creatures.  The Socialist Social Being harmonizes with all of life.  The true Social Being will incorporate his prefix also.  He is the Universal Socialist.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Dear Mike, Norwalk,

            I would like to continue a discussion on you 12/23/21 reply and explain my position to you, and the rest of the liberty tree commenters, and to rest of the whole wide world.  What is you position?  Are you just firearms Mike, Norwalk?  On the subject of the Jews.  When you are claims to be the chosen you are taking the same general stance as the national socialist.  You are both separating yourself from the rest of humanity.  The Jews and the Nazis are in the same basic dimensional realm. They are both psychotic groups looking for superiority and therefore submission from the rest of us.  In the popularly political vernacular they are both fascist. They are both predicated on the foundation of violence. Sincerely Yours Mr Fredrick William Sillik


     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Dear Mike, 
            Correcting the comment I made earlier: It is my estimation that when you make claims to be the chosen people, it is synonymous with saying the Aryans are the superior race. These are the same kinds peas in a the pod. 
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Dear Mike, Norwalk
            Firearms preserve a primitive, unhealthy way to secure nutritional sources, hunting.  The degenerative human seems to be primarily interested in hunting humans.  Hunters in my estimation are not human.  Hunting is a predatory ambition and self destructive in it is primitiveness.  Humans in the true sense are not a predatory species.  They are in the true sense cultivators.  They cultivate the forces of nature to unleash the true human that nature intended. 


     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Dear Mike, Norwalk: I not sure what your allusion on the slavery issue amounts to for sure.  But the slaver fellows, it seems to me, felt justified in enslaving others because of a wrong idea of superior qualities supported by superior technological implements such as the item in question,
    firearms.  In my estimation the enslaving fellow felt a sense of justification due superior numbers, articles and the biggest articles where their firearms no doubt.  The superiority position of the technologist still remains with us today.  The semi-machine proto-human still get the top positions.  No one other than myself seems to be concerned what a real human entails,
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Hi Fredrick; The reason you do not understand what I've written is because you have no basic knowledge or understanding of the subject matter in which you speak. Linguistically, concerning the subject matter(s) you are addressing, you need to create new words that adequately describe your desired religious life style and not use (or try to redefine) historically traditional, well established / defined, legally binding and comprehended concepts  trying to establish your intended prowess. By example: if you are going to use non-binding social relationships as a unique global system, you will have to utilize a term other than socialism as, it is well established, limited by definition, legally well understood, etc. To compare your new religious dogma to historically accepted legalisms will only cause chaos and frustration. As a Christian, I believe all individuals are unique sovereigns with inalienable rights and liberty at natural law ("the laws of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence)). All nations' compelled compliance, licensing, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, Social Security, a financial system utilizing debt notes as currency, police state confiscations, etc.) and non-recognition of inalienable rights (including perfected allodium) personal liberty and natural law are contrary to Constitutional / natural law.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Hi Fredrick, to clarify that which seems to be a pattern, your personal definitions do not harmonize with historical, well recognized or legal definition and are erroneously based and extended on miss-use of terms and concepts. The Abrahamic families were not chosen to be above or control of others but rather, chosen to do a particular job of service. For instance, the Levites were chosen to be administrators of Aaronic priesthood functions (Aaron was a brother to Moses, Moses was a Levite, not a Jew) while, other tribe members would on occasion be called to Melchizedek orders and functions. The whole of the family had chosen jobs that would enhance the entire extended household. Originally, within the government of Judges (a representation of rights and liberty at natural law) there was to be no earthly kings. When the Israelites chose a king, the Grand Patriarch was displeased but continued with the people in their chosen diminished state. Uniquely, dependents of David were chosen to be the kings of all tribes. Upon further digression, even that office of service was done away; SO, your new definition of "chosen" doesn't fit the scenario you are trying to place it in.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Thanks Mike, Norwalk. Have a good evening.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Hi Fredrick, your extremely narrow and mostly fallacious expressed observance of tools is not only contrary to natural law, it does not address eternal inalienable rights, liberty, natural law or justice. I do agree that a degenerative human trait is exacerbated by more lethal tools; BUT! ! !, addressing the core cause or source of the problem and correcting the dilemma is not to eliminate rights, liberty, an expression of natural law, justice or man's tools (don't put an illegal band aide on the cancer  it will continue to grow). A more equitable, helpful and corrective action would to get rid of traditional socialism, other degenerative concepts and teachings, eliminate despotism, tyranny, with other inhumane instruction / actions and instill through education the individual an united nobility of man (with inalienable rights and liberty at natural law). Historically, when ever implements of defense have been taken from individuals, despotism, tyranny and enslavement grow.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Hi Fredrick, your observation is kind of befitting for the narrow limits you have placed on the scenario to get the results you are looking for. The white and black slaves utilized in this land's early history were purchased from a pool of already existing slaves. By example: slaves from Africa were captured and cultivated by tribes with lethal implements of a similar fashion (both victors and captives had similar implements of war). Those enslaved, remained in restrictive fetters from their originating African enslavers through their ultimate destinations. From there, those slaves were denied any implement of modern war or self-defense so that no action could be used to free themselves. As differing administrations of socialism (fascism, communism, etc.) hate one another so, the fascists of the north hated the southern's desire to maintain a State sovereignty. To accomplish the North's win during the War between the States, the moral issue of liberating the slaves from individual ownership (to become owned by the central government) became a uniting call.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Thank you Fredrick for giving me an opportunity to respond. There are many of the family of Man (including myself) that concerned with what a real human entails. As long as we can maintain meaningful dialogues, each or our individual paths will help reach those that are looking for that path. My experiences and understanding are very different than yours, BUT, that's half the fun. Have a Merry Christmas and a very fruitful New Year ! ! !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Fredrick, you would do well not to accept hearsay, erroneous spin or possible prevailing dogma (or an opposing party's interpretation). You should do your own original research to find what the real source of an issue really is. 
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Dear Mike, Norwalk  In all honestly I don't find  our message exchanges particularly fun.  It is, however, interesting. I believe civilized men try very strenuously to find answers to world's problems. They look for answers with unbiased impartiality.  With your comments, not trying to incur your hostility of course, are just kind of making an sick game of trying to confuse and overwhelm.  You seem to me your just wasting time and want to look impressive doing it.



     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    Hi Fredrick, I wasn't aware our exchanges were to be couched in an atmosphere of fun. Unbiased impartiality is a great basis to start conceptions and realities conversations. I've never commented to incur a sick game, confuse or overwhelm. Your religious ad hominem seems to follow a pattern; if you can't discuss actual facts, win or end the conversation with character assassination.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Dear Mike, Norwalk, Like always I don't understand what your saying. I can only guess, I have no intent to hurt anyone, but I feel you don't have the same sentiment. You're presentation is to vanquish your enemy and that's anyone who doesn't agree with you. Your social system has come down to a sickness. Creatures who can't impress too many with their knowledge, so they try to dazzle with their Bullsh*t. I am a man of civilized manner. That is my pattern of which you cannot recognize. Sincerely yours, Mr Fredrick William Sillik.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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