"What country can preserve its liberties,
if its rulers are not warned from time to time that
this people preserve the spirit of resistance?
Let them take arms."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
This is the real reason for the existence of the 2nd Amendment. This should not be the first choice of method to preserve liberty, but it must remain an option.
 -- S. Engel, Fredericksburg     
  • 2
    If Thomas Jefferson was alive today, he' be called a extremist and not allowed to speak.
     -- Mark, Annapolis, MD     
  • 2
    Thomas Jefferson embodies the core of what it means to be a true American Patriot. His words are always inspiring to me and most always stir within me, a sense of what it means to be a Great American.
     -- Kevin S., Queensbury     
  • 3
    I think it is about time to burst Bush's self-confessed "bubble" (ringed with neo-coms) so he can be warned of exactly where he is really leading America - or does he want to? America needs more Jeffersons and Washingtons and Adams - more so than ever before if the Republic is to be saved.
     -- John-Douglas, Nassau     
  • 2
    I believe our 'rulers' are well aware of the fact that some "people preserve the spirit of resistance" - that's why they want to take away our guns. As some person once said "The only thing dictators fear is the muzzle end of a gun." I think it was Lenin.
     -- JDoN, Michigan     
  • 1
    In doing research for a essay for my college english class, I came upon this quote by Adolf Hitler. - "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history show that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall." - It sounds like our liberal gun control activists of today. They must have done their homework!
     -- James, Tennessee     
  • 2
    I have NO ! ! ! rulers, I only have servants run-amuck. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land legitimately only rule over their own patrons / corporate chattel. The individual sovereigns preserve the spirit of resistance and arm themselves for the time as, "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." (Declaration of Independence)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Good point, Mike. Anyone believing they ARE our rulers, deserve to be reminded otherwise -- that is THE primary purpose of an armed citizenry.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
     -- robert, somewhere inthe USA      
    Sadly, we have lost our thirst for freedom.

    We now let bureaucrats and functionaries run our lives.

    "Servants run-amok" is the perfect description of our nation today.
     -- bruski, naples FL Naples x     
  • 1
    Jefferson is right, as usual.
     -- Jim k, Austin     
  • 1
    Cleaning house is well underway, garbage is deep, while plowing the waters of corruption. Fatted calves fall from both sides of the isle. Embracing Liberty for the sake of the least, that their metal may be tried, there is a New Sheriff in town. These are the days, and Now is the time.
    "Thou, too, sail on, O ship of State!
    Sail on, O Union, strong and great !
    Humanity with all its fears,
    With all the hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate !
    We know what Master laid thy keel !"
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. " The Building of the Ship"
    God Bless and Semper Fi
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 1
    The hubris of those who would presume to endeavor to "rule" us is boundless.
    Characteristically, they are breathtakingly ill equipped to rightly rule themselves.

    Under the Constitution, the Free Association of Sovereign Individuals - We The People -exercise authority.
    Those whom we elect and appoint to administer our governmental affairs are our servants, most assuredly not our masters.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
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