"A strong body makes the mind strong.
As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun.
While this gives moderate exercise to the body,
it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind.
Games played with the ball, and others of that nature,
are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind.
Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
in a letter written in Paris to his nephew and ward Peter Carr, Foley, ed., Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson, p. 318.
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Reader comments about this quote:
It is the best argument for gun rights (and explaining the 2nd Amendment) that I have ever seen.
 -- Fred Patterson, Grassy Meadows, WV     
  • 5
    That explains a lot. The gun-grabbers only want weak minded, easily molded people around. They're so much easier to control than those with a strong mind.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 5 1
    Brilliant statement, it does indeed take intellect to use any weapon properly. It all starts with the weapon(s) in the Skull.
     -- Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco Buday, Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!     
  • 2
    Jefferson understood that an armed populace can not be subjugated, neither from without nor from within. Only by giving up our guns can we be subjugated. As GI's, we took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic; and to do so, we must keep and bear arms for the rest of our lives.
     -- Jim Beauchamp, Huntsville, Alabama     
  • 7
    Yes, yes, while his slaves were doing the physcial exercise required to maintain his expansive estate, developing character while he was developing boldness and enterprize via his gun.....testosterone by product.
     -- Milly Willy, Queen Creek, Arizona     
  • 2 3
     -- bill, cowsbell      
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Jason Hurzeler, Barrow      
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Guns are specifically designed to destroy bodies and minds, not make them strong.
     -- Mick, Manchester     
  • 2
    Thomas Jefferson does have a sense of humor. Martialed skills are born from the field of adversity during trying times. Whatever the weapon of choice keep it close. Jefferson prefered adult balls rather than children's toys, for his long walks. The thumbs down do not appreciate commonsense among the living with eyes wide open.
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 3
    Responsible firearms ownership is an exemplary test of character.

    Rightly constituted character and a concomitant depth of discernment are attributes/Virtues for which opponents of the Second Amendment characteristically profoundly want.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    WOW, what an awesome quote!!
    NO WONDER TPTB must ban and ridicule all such tremendously powerful sovereign Founding intent/content - if they taught this stuff, We'd MAGA so much quicker!

    Milly Willy and Nick been swilling slave master propaganda, they would rather submit to govt than live as responsible free sovereigns.

    Milly Willy IGNORES fact that Jefferson's guns eventually won emancipation for slaves; apparently Mick's mind was DESTROYED by weak limp-wristed federal Dept of Ed-u-ma-cation curriculum which was long on subjugation and short on history.

    Ghastly, to witness down-votes for INDEPENDENCE
     -- Mark W, Aurora, CO     
  • 3
    Mike Manchester - There are people like you who live in a Utopia of the mind by believing that if the law abiding would just give up their guns (instruments of protection) then all criminal attacks and murders will cease.
    Such thinking completely lacks any cognitive common sense, and rational objective thinking. Why? Because, criminals and despots will always find the means to make or purchase through a Black Market guns and other weapons of destruction to use for their murderous whim's, schemes and agenda's.
     -- Mary - MI     
  • 1
    How's that working out for you, Mick? London has been dealing with a massive uptick in violent crime. And now that guns have already been banned, the Mayor is now pushing for the abolition of knives (since the bulk of the violent crime is with knives -- there are still gun crimes, though, by those criminals that possess guns even though it is against the law). London's crime stats have surpassed NYC! But pick any county or state that has not prohibited weapons and look at their crimes stats -- particularly right after passing such legislation -- crime dropping exponentially.

    What has happened to the British mindset? I guess it is the same as it was back in 1776 -- subjects of a Crown and obligated to obey (for their own good, of course). You do realize Americans do NOT think that way?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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