"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press;
of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases;
of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms...
If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment,
it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."
by:
James Monroe
(1758-1831), 5th US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
We, as a whole people, have forgotten... fallen asleep on our watch...
 -- ang, washington state     
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    Liberty, Freedom, and Accountability... we fair thee well. Greetings, tyranny.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Where are these men ,Today, When we NEED them?
     -- Al Santosuosso, Wakefield     
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    This is what we were taught in school, in the 50's,,, What Happened?
     -- Will, Revere     
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    "Taught"??? You mean our fathers died for!
     -- anonymus, ma     
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    Congress is doing the unconstitutional.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    I frown and nod my head, an altruism concerning degenerative tyranny come to fruition.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    These rights are well defined... and are well secured against encroachment... and yet our government is degernateing into tyranny... why? Because the mechanisms for that securing have been compromised by a our own insecurities and lack of understanding... when WE let King George take over both the courts and congress we are telling him to be the tyrant that he is being. So, no, while the sentiment is nice, this quote is incomplete. To guard against tyanny we must also take an active role.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    We secure these rights against encroachment when we refuse to convict our fellow citizens of harmless actions - actions which harm no other person, although perhaps the self, and lose these rights when we yield to the threat of force from government agents, or the real force of those thugs, and do not refuse to cooperate. No one said freedom was easy. Refuse to convict anyone on trial if they have harmed no other person. There go all the unconstitutional drug and carry laws, unenforceable by jurors who follow their conscience. FIJA www.fija.org
     -- Iloilo M. Jones, Helena, Montana     
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    Reston's got a point. "Secured against encroachment" is the phrase he is talking about -- the people must act -- we cannot expect government to 'secure' our rights against their own encroachment. Anon from Montana is right on -- the jury is the final protection against bad laws which make crimes out of inalienable rights. The jury is the last line of defense against tyranny. Of course, without the writ of habeas corpus, people can now be arrested and imprisoned for life without trial or counsel!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The Founding Fathers never, fully, anticipated just how surrepticious man can be. They warned us about "mischievous and perhaps evil men" and also about "encroachments" by politicians, but they still never provided for the proper restraints in the so-called limited and restricted Constitution!
     -- d daxx, novi, michigan     
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    This is only true if our Constitution is contractual and not a "living, breathing" document as so many of our politicians and elitist power brokers try to convince us. Words matter. They had a meaning 227 years ago, and that meaning must apply today. When we allow tyrants to redefine away our rights at a whim, we deserve what we get. I rate this quote low simply because of the use of "impossible." I have seen with my own eyes that it is possible.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Juries and witnesses can be bought, rights rescinded, law enforcement officials lie at will, in reports and under oath, and judges rule as they please. Welcome to America, where tyranny comes from above and below and from all sides.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    Reston and Archer, how should we "act" to stop the encroachment. How should people respond? Ken, is the Constitution supposed to be a "living, breathing" document?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Why, Joe, all you have to do is send a letter of complaint to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the US Attorney General, and the White House, and all your complaints will be resolved. :-)
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    I have been involved in hundreds of cases and I do not know one trial to be clean but rather eah has been infected with an extremly prejudiced judge or lying prosecutor(s) (complete with intimidated witnesses). I have personally seen people go to prison without as much as a grand jury or statutory charge (by way of example an individual was charged with defrauding the IRS - no statutorily crime defined; just defrauding the IRS, the judge told the jury to find the defendant guilty of a statutory crime that had been added late in the trial, having no issues brought up in court concerning that specific statute; and so that individual was convicted. Court documents are becoming altered prior to publishing them more as a rule than an exception). David was right about juries but, the much larger problem with juror's is knowledge, integrity, and religion (the government being the infallible church with its ministers - the good guy priesthood). The Constitution is a philosophically finite document (not living), and each juror must act within his/her Constitutional right and obligation to stop the degeneration of governmental tyranny.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    IF is the largest small word.It can be very Transforming and full of hope.
     -- Me Again     
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    The right to keep and bear arms is not absolute. It is only reserved for responsible citizens since it is the only "right" that can deprive another of their right to life. That is why we have gun control laws.
     -- Rick L., Lynnfield, MA     
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    Oh Shit! This is all we need is all of these morons saying guns are a good thing. WTF!!!
     -- TK, Saleml, MA     
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    But for law abiding responsible citizens it is absolute and is unalienable as it comes from God not the government.
     -- WK, Stl Clair Shores MI.     
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    What disturbes me is that the Government think's they can use the constitution as an instrument to restrain the people's freedom and the fools who think they should. Thats not freedom it's slavery!
     -- beety fain, marion,nc     
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    The right to keep and bear arms is absoulute..unless you are a known criminal or mentally unstable. 5 Stars to the Founders and their wisdom...HUGE thumbs down for the fact that we are descending into tyranny at break neck speed. Since the First Amendment is being ignored, sadly, it will eventually be the Second Amendment that puts things right again.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Our government is fast "degenerating into tyranny".
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    I think watchman is way too loquacious and verbose. And a fundamentalist to boot.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Do all of these worshipers of guns want to tell us why gun ownership is so important? I have never owned one and I know the majority of Americans do not own a gun. If someone wants to buy a gun, would'nt it be good to know something about their background and mental health? That is the basis of gun control laws. Why is that unconstitutional? Are there not more important issues than worrying about going through a background check for something as dangerous as a gun? Get over it already you religious kooks!
     -- M. Plimpton, Trenton NJ     
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    How much do you want to bet that Plimpton from Trenton has a head that is shaped and smells like a piece of shit?
     -- B. Canto, Newark, NJ     
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    M. Plimpton, that which now calls itself government is degenerative tyranny, a body of receivership despots - in toto aloof from "We The People" (individually and in concert), an incorporation of anti-constitutional (see the de jure 9th and 10th Amendments) / natural / common law malefactors, all on a quo warranto stage of artists - acting under color of franchise, office and law within an occupying statist theocracy.

    Your premise of gun worshipers is sufficiently inaccurate as to cloud the rest of your religious rant and reasoning. One reason gun ownership is so important is that it is an inalienable right beyond the lawful reach of corporeal man. Because owning a gun is an inalienable right, the choice to not own a gun would also be a right, thus making your "the majority of Americans do not own a gun" a superfluous and off topic statement / reasoning. The de jure States united is a representative republican form of government (representing individual rights) NOT, a democracy (mob induced tyranny over individual persons). Shedding light on that very subject, it is attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for supper; freedom is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."

    "If someone wants to buy a gun," wouldn't it be good for "WHO" to know something about their background and mental health (unconstitutional despots / government gods / religionist liberals - who)? Using the U.K. for example: "WHO" is to know the background and mental health (including possible Humanist/Muslim or other religious intent) of everyone buying wood that could be made into a club, dinnerware, motorized vehicles (buy or rent) or anything that could ultimately be used as a tool of human demise?

    Your erroneously stated: "That is the basis of gun control laws" is a giant misnomer to enslave the ignorant. First of all, it is not a constitutional "law of nature and of nature's God" natural "LAW", it is a slaves rule at legal positivism. Second, the basis of gun control is: "CONTROL" - so that the carnal god elite may be safe in the administration of their chattel (helots, serfs and slaves). The ignorant chattel simply go along with their carnal master's reasoning and indoctrination to feel a sense of belonging within their Borg collective.

    Your question: "Why is that unconstitutional?", is a good ignorant parroting of the statist theocracy's seminary's indoctrination. If you had learned the basic principles of liberty, inalienable rights and the how and why of the Constitution, you could have answered the question for your self. For example: the U.S.A. came about as a compact (constitution) of independent States (We The People is a descriptive catch-all for individual sovereigns issuing sovereign authority to their representatives - the several States to negotiate with other States). The new compacted entity (recognized now as federal government) could do nothing except for what was specifically authorized (see the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments to start with) in the agreed to compact (Constitution). Of course the occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land has its anti-Constitution statements of re-interpretation showing your questions to uniquely be nothing more than a patron thereto's status of ignorance.

    The only religious kooks I see here is you (and the like) with your religious misinformation and reasoning for theocratic dogma enforcement. You should really try and seek more information than that which is available in your liberally religious enclave(s).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    "If these rights are well defined."
    Dusting off a set of plans, thrown in the corner, Restoration began with the election of President Trump, and continues through enlightenment of the public, by way of defining doctrines pertaining to these rights. Education rather than indoctrination. Tyranny always seeks to muddy the water of understanding, clouding these issues so dear, to our Republican form of Free Popular government. MAGA

     -- Ronw13, OR     
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