"History teaches us the unfortunate lesson that cultural values supplant constitutional rights whenever the cultural elite consider a right too burdensome to suit the needs of the moment. The outlandish pronouncement in Dred Scott 'that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit,' the shameful court-approved internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the separate but equal doctrine that officially existed until 1954 are all examples of the evils that result when cultural values are given more weight than constitutional rights."
by:
Robert Dowlut
General Counsel for the National Rifle Association
Source:
Arms: A Right to Self-Defense Against Criminals and Despots, 8 Stanford L. & Pol'y Rev. 25 (1997).
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Reader comments about this quote:
Good provocative quotes today. It is sad in this day that there needs to be "Black Sportsmen Association" however. Some could argue that someone needing an overbearing number and quality of guns and ammunition is a child. There is some evidence that doing so is antisocial behaviour.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
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    To liberals and the likes of the "Brady Bunch", an "overbearing number of guns" would be one. And Waff, who's to decide what number becomes overbearing, no doubt the liberals, socialists, and communists in the government will make those decisions.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    to Waffler, smith There is black associations for many things its not because they are needed its because they want them. there is also a black mcdonalds owners association, ask yourself for what is that needed? the black associations are nothing more than seperatist to bring attention to themselves. if we formed white associations we would be called racists.the quality and number of guns depends on the person or persons using them. you call people who own guns and ammo children,are the police,the military,the secret service that protect our country are they all children? or the person who chooses to protect his family and property from those who would harm them is he a child? its a known fact the reason no foriegn country dares to attack us on our own land is they would also face the armed citizens of this country that would step forward with their guns to protect our homeland. that sir is not the actions of a child as you have stated in your comment.
     -- Don, O., indiana     
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    Which part bothers you Waffler? Too many guns? or too many guns in the hands of too many Patriots? And just when did you get your PHD in Psychology and what evidence do you have that gun ownership is anti-social on any level? (Heck I hang out with gun owners all the time...nice people :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The issue is not confined to the lawful right to possess arms, i.e. the means by which to defend oneself. Dependency upon the State is the ongoing purpose of the State -- it never ends, just look at all the proposed legislation these guys keep coming up with -- from both sides of the statist aisle.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The term/word culture has been wrongly used in common speech and that leads to all sorts, of illogical statements and claims. Arms are meant for defence and offence. And these two acts are most certainly and rightly cognized only by the contexts. Hence it is impossible to justly say whether blacks or whites are 'eligible or not eligible' to wield guns. It depends only on the degree of a 'sane and sensible' [duly humanly cultured, that is] the gunholder is or could be. Guns cannot be trusted with an immature or uncultured person and it is not whether the Whites or Blacks in general can or cannot be trusted with the gun.
     -- Vedapushpa, Bangalore - India.     
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    With every right comes responsibility. Rights can only be secure to a virtuous people. If the right of self defense is denied on the basis of culture or maturity, then why not every other right as well? The same case that can be made for gun control is also made for speech control and thought control. If people are so juvenile that they can't be trusted to defend themselves properly, why should anyone expect them to be able to speak responsibly in public? Why should the irresponsible be allowed to decide what they should have for dinner? In the end, when the State trains all of its citizens to irresponsible behavior, the State will decide every aspect of their lives. The State will decide what you can own, where you can go, what you can eat, and any other petty decision you make in your life will be predetermined by the State. People behave as they are expected. If you treat a man like a child he will behave like one. Treat him like a man, and he will be responsible. A black man can decide to act responsibly just as easily as a white man. The black man and the white man, or any other color man, just need to decide for themselves, today I will be responsible and I will demand my rights...ALL OF THEM.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    We hold this truth to be self evident.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Individual sovereigns, the sole sentient being, the unique noble of humanity  each and every, any and all have an "inalienable right" to self defense (with such implementing assistance as constitutes guns) no matter their color, office, caste in life, etc. The issue is not a collective or culture issue.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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