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some already imported 26.3.2005, but there are more below...
%start%%cat=Freedom,Happiness,Liberty,Responsibility, Wisdom//%quote%How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.//%Author%Albert Einstein//%end%
%start%%cat=Freedom,Liberty,Responsibility//%quote%Perfect Freedom is reserved for the man who lives by his
own work, and in that work does what he wants to do.//%Author%R. G. Collingwood//%end%
%start%%cat=Government,Socialism//%quote%The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.
//%Author%Adolph Hitler//%Source%My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933//%end%
%start%%cat=Economics,Government,Military,Socialism//%quote%Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.//%Author%George F. Kennan//%Date%1987//%Who%Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study and former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union.//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%I believe more follies are committed out of complaisance to the world, than in following our own inclinations. //%Author%Mary Wortley Montagu//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility, Proverbs//%quote%If you believe everything you read, you better not read. //%Author%Japanese Proverb//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%At the bottom of a good deal of bravery... lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion. //%Author%E.H. Chapin//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. //%Author%Albert Einstein//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.//%Author%Oscar Wilde//%Source%De Profundis, 1905//%end%
%start%%cat=Honesty,Integrity,Responsibility//%quote%The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. //%Author%Anne Morrow Lindbergh//%end%
%start%%cat=Honor,Wisdom,Responsibility//%quote%When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.//%Author%Indian Saying//%end%
%start%%cat=Reason,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. //%Author%Edmund Burke//%Source%Second Speech on Conciliation, 1775//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. //%Author%Bishop Desmond Tutu//%end%
%start%%cat=Responsibility//%quote%Never ruin an apology with an excuse.//%Author%Kimberly Johnson//%end%
%start%%cat=Proverbs,Responsibility//%quote%Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped. //%Author%African Proverb//%end%
%start%%cat=Wisdom//%quote%Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. //%Author%Thomas Mann//%end%
%start%%cat=Truth//%quote%Ring out the old, ring in the new,/Ring, happy bells, across the snow:/The year is going, let him go;/Ring out the false, ring in the true.//%Author%Alfred, Lord Tennyson//%Date%1850//%end%
%start%%cat=Faith//%quote%Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. //%Author%Emily Dickinson//%end%
%start%%cat=Faith,Sanity//%quote%Sanity may be madness but the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be. //%Author%Don Quixote//%end%
%start%%cat=Democracy,Responsibility//%quote%I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it. //%Author%Alexander Woollcott//%end%
%start%%cat=Independence,Responsibility//%quote%I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world. //%Author%Socrates//%end%
%start%%cat=Humor,Science//%quote%The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. //%Author%Douglas Adams//%Source%Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy//%end%
%start%%cat=Proverbs, Peace, War, Wisdom,Responsibility//%quote%The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. //%Author%Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit//%end%
%start%%cat=Liberty,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. //%Author%James Baldwin//%end%
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people."//%Author%Aristotle//%Source%quoted by John Trenchard (1662-1723) and Walter Moyle (1672-1721), "An Argument, shewing; that a standing Army is Inconsistent with a Free Government and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy," (London, 1697)//%end%
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"Here, every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time, for their defense, not for offense..."//%Author%John Adams//%Source%opening argument for the defense in_Rex. v. Wemms,_a 1770 case arising from the actions of a British soldier in the Boston Massacre, in Lyman H. Butterfield and Hilda B. Zobel, eds., _The Legal Papers of John Adams,_ vol.III, p.248 (MacMillan, 1965)//%end%
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."//%Author%Andrew Fletcher (1655-1716)//%Source%quoted by James Burgh (1714-1775), in "Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses," (London, 1774-1775)//%end%
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control."//%Author%Samuel Adams//%Source% letter to Elbridge Gerry, October 29, 1775//%end%
"His Lordship[ the Lord Sandwich]'s plan [...] amounts to this.
[The Americans, quoth this Quixote of modern days, will not
fight; therefore we will.] These people are either too
superstitiously religious, or too cowardly for arms; they either
cannot or dare not defend; their property is open to any one
who has the courage to attack them. Send but your troops and
the prize is ours. Kill a few and take the whole. Thus, the
peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile
and abandoned while they neglect the means of self-defense.
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on
the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and
the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world, as well as
property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same
balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms,
for all would be alike; but since somewill not, others dare not
lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them
down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief
would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them;
for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man,
the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every
age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little
arguments when they prove themselves."
//%Author%Thomas Paine//%Source%"Thoughts on Defensive War,"
in The Pennsylvania Magazine, July 1775
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
//%Author%Thomas Jefferson//%Source%motto found among his papers
and on his seal, c.1776 <<Jefferson adopted this motto after copying
it from an "epitaph" written by Benjamin Franklin, said by Franklin
to have been found on a cannon marking the grave of John Bradshaw
(1602-1659) in Martha Brae, a town in northeastern Jamaica.
Jefferson was of the opinion that Franklin made up the "epitaph".
Bradshaw was president of the British commission that sentenced
Charles I, but there is no other evidence known that his body,
which was exhumed and disgraced a few years after his death, was
ever later reburied in Jamaica.>>
"It is certainly of the last [or, ultimate] Consequence to
a free Country that the Militia, which is its natural Strength,
should be kept upon the most advantageous Footing. A standing
Army, however necessary it may be at some times, is always
dangerous to the Liberties of the People. Soldiers are apt to
consider themselves as a Body distinct from the rest of Citizens.
They have their Arms always in their hands. Their Rules and
their Discipline is severe. They soon become attach[e]d to their
officers and dispos[e]d to yield implicit Obedience to their
Commands. Such a Power should be watched with a jealous Eye.
I have a good Opinion of the principal officers of our Army.
I esteem them as Patriots as well as Soldiers. But if this War
continues, as it may for years yet to come, we know not who
may succeed them. Men who have been long subject to military
Laws and inured to military Customs and Habits, may lose the Spirit
and Feeling of Citizens. And even Citizens, having been used
to admire the Heroism which the Commanders of their own Army
have display[e]d, and look up to them as their Saviors may be
prevail[e]d upon to surrender to them those Rights for the
protection of which against Invaders they had employ[e]d and
paid them. We have seen too much of this Disposition among some
of our Countrymen. The Militia is compos[e]d of free Citizens.
There is therefore no Danger of their making use of their Power
to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to
I earnestly wish that young Gentlemen of a military Genius
(& many such I am satified there are in our Colony) might be
instructed in the Art of War, and at the same time taught the
Principles of a free Government, and deeply impress[e]d with a
Sense of the indispensible Obligation which every member is under
to the whole Society. These might be in time fit for officers in
the Militia, and being th[ourough]ly acquainted with the Duties
of Citizens as well as Soldiers, might be entrusted with a Share
in the Command of our Army at such times as Necessity might require
so dangerous a Body to exist."
//%Author%Samuel Adams//%Source%letter to James Warren, January 7, 1776
"We hold these Truths to be Self evident; that all Men are
created equal and independent; that from that equal Creation
they derive Rights inherent and unalienable; among which are the
Preservation of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness;
that to secure these Ends, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the governed; that
whenever, any form of Government, Shall become destructive of these
Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new Government..."
//%Author%Thomas Jefferson//%Source%original draft of the U.S. Declaration
of Independence, July 1776
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of
servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home
from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down
and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly
upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
//%Author%attributed to Samuel Adams//%Source%August 1, 1776
<<This quotation, often attributed to Samuel Adams, is taken from
a pamphlet first published in London, purporting to be the text
of an oration delivered by Adams, titled_An Oration Delivered at
the State-House in Philadelphia, to A very numerous Audience, On
Thursday, the 1st of August 1776._ Trouble is, there is no other
historical record of such a speech in any of the diaries or letters
of Adams' familiars, or in any American newspapers of the period.
Internal evidence as well casts doubt upon the pamphlet's
authenticity, since the oration contains no mention of the
Declaration of Independence, which had been approved only the
previous month. The Continental Congress (of which Adams was a
member) was also in session that day; and the following day, the
engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed, but
this information escaped the awareness of the false "oration"'s
presumably British author. Nonetheless, the above quotation is
in Adams' style, and may well reflect rhetoric he had used
elsewhere. Unfortunately for history, Samuel Adams' highly
effective speeches have not survived to the present day, having
been discarded after they, in his words, "had served their
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms, -- never --never --never! You cannot conquer America."//%Author%William Pitt (Earl of Chatham)//%Source%speech in the House of Lords, November 18, 1777 //%end%
"To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to
conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war, reign in
the human breast, with much more powerful sway, than the mild and
beneficent sentiments of peace; and, that to model our political
systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate
on the weaker springs of the human character."
//%Author%Alexander Hamilton//%Source%writing as "Publius," in
_Federalist No. 34,_January 5, 1788
"But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power
effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal
of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law;
and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be
considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only
his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if
they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can
hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the
supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation."
//%Author%Theophilus Parsons//%Who%(1750-1813)//%Source%in the Massachusetts Convention
on the ratification of the Constitution, January 23, 1788,
in_Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the
Federal Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.2 p.94
(Philadelphia, 1836) <<Parsons here presents the argument for jury
nullification, that is, the ability of trial juries to judge both
the facts of a case, and the justness and constitutionality of the
particular law that was violated.>>
"Is it possible... that an army could be raised for the purpose
of enslaving themselves and their brethren? or, if raised, whether
they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize
liberty, and who have arms in their hands?"
//%Author%Rep. Theodore Sedgwick//%Who%(1746-1813)//%Source%in the Massachusetts
Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, January 24,
1788, in_Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption
of the Federal Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.2 p.97
"The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and
accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army,
must be _tremendous and irresistable_. Who are the militia?
_[A]re they not ourselves[?]_ Is it feared, then, that we shall
turn our arms _each man against his own bosom[?]_ Congress have
no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other
terrible implement of the soldier, are _the birth-right of an
American_... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands
of either the_federal or state governments,_ but, where I trust in
God it will ever remain, _in the hands of the people._"
//%Author%Tench Coxe//%Who%(1755-1824)//%Source%writing as "A Pennsylvanian," in
_Pennsylvania Gazette,_ February 20, 1788 [see_A Documentary
History of the Ratification of the Constitution_(Kamiski and
Saladino, eds., 1981) p.1778-1780]
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect
every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will
preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force,
you are inevitably ruined."
//%Author%Patrick Henry//%Source%in the Virginia Convention on the
ratification of the Constitution, June 5, 1788, in_Debates in the
Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.45 (Philadelphia, 1836)
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the
freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments
of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations."
//%Author%James Madison//%Source%June 6, 1788, in the Virginia
Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, in_Debates in
the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.87 (Philadelphia, 1836)
<<Compare Brandeis, below. Elliot incorrectly gives the date as
June 16, due to a typographical error.>>
"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing
degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own
defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our
own possession and under our own direction, and having them under
the management of Congress? If our defence be the_real_object of
having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more
propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
//%Author%Patrick Henry//%Source%June 9, 1788, in the Virginia
Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, in_Debates in
the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.168 (Philadelphia, 1836)
"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way
to enslave them."
//%Author%George Mason//%Source%June 14, 1788, in the Virginia
Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, in_Debates in
the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.380 (Philadelphia, 1836)
<<referring to the British plan "of enslaving America">>
"The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one
who is able may have a gun."
//%Author%Patrick Henry//%Source%in the Virginia Convention on the
ratification of the Constitution, June 14, 1788, in_Debates in the
Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.386 (Philadelphia, 1836)
"I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole
people, except for a few public officers."
//%Author%George Mason//%Source%in the Virginia Convention on the
ratification of the Constitution, June 16, 1788, in_Debates in the
Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.425 (Philadelphia, 1836)
<<Elliot gives an incorrect date (June 14, 1788) for this quote,
due to a typographical error.>>
%start%%cat=Arms,Defense,Power,Freedom,Independence,Responsibility//%quote%"Whenever, therefore, the profession of arms becomes a distinct order in the state... the end of the social compact is defeated... No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."//%Author%M. T. Cicero//%Source%in Charleston_State Gazette,_ September 8, 1788//%end%
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the
best security of a free country; but no person religiously
scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military
service in person."
//%Author%James Madison//%Source%I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789
<<The Second Amendment as originally proposed in Congress shows
the right intended to be protected was an individual one. Compare
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly
before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces
which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might
pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the
people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep
and bear their private arms."
//%Author%Tench Coxe//%Source%writing as "A Pennsylvanian," in "Remarks
On The First Part Of The Amendments To The Federal Constitution,"
in the _Philadelphia Federal Gazette,_ June 18, 1789, p.2 col.1
<<Coxe is referring to the proposed amendment which became the
"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are
left in full possession of them."
//%Author%Zachariah Johnson//%Source%in the Virginia Convention on
the ratification of the Constitution, June 25, 1788, in_Debates
in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.646 (Philadelphia, 1836)
"This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure
the people against the mal-administration of the government; if
we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would
be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be
removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give
an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution
itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous,
and prevent them from bearing arms.
What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the
establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now, it
must be evident, that under this provision, together with their
other powers, Congress could take such measures with respect to a
militia, as make a standing army necessary. Whenever Government[s]
mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always
attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon
their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the
commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in
their power to prevent the establishment of an effective militia
to the eastward. The Assembly of Massachusetts, seeing the rapid
progress that [the British] administration were making to divest
them of their inherent privileges, endeavored to counteract them
by the organization of the militia; but they were always defeated
by the influence of the Crown."
//%Author%Rep. Elbridge Gerry//%Source%Annals of Congress,
vol.I, p.750, August 17, 1789
[in _The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History,_ Schwartz, ed.]
<<Gerry is speaking about Madison's original draft of the Second
Amendment which contained the "religiously scrupulous" language.>>
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to
authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or
the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United
states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..."
//%Author%Samuel Adams//%Source%in_Debates and Proceedings in the
Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,_ pp.86-87,
(Pierce & Hale, Boston, 1850), also in Philadelphia_Independent
Gazetteer,_ August 20, 1789
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under
independence. The church, the plow, the prarie wagon, and
citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the
Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and
tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness,
the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner
of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of
them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains
evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good.
When firearms, go all goes; we need them every hour."
//%Author%George Washington//%Source%falsely attributed, address to the
second session of the first U.S. Congress
<<This quotation, sometimes called the "liberty teeth" quote,
appears nowhere in Washington's papers or speeches, and contains
several historical anachronisms: the reference to "prarie wagon"
in an America which had yet to even begin settling the Great Plains
(which were owned by France at the time), the reference to "the
Pilgrims" which implies a modern historical perspective, and
particularly the attempt by "Washington" to defend the utility
of firearms (by_use_of_statistics!) to an audience which would
have used firearms in their daily lives to obtain food, defend
against hostile Indians, and which had only recently won a war
for independence. It's clear that "Washington" is addressing
"gun control" arguments which wouldn't exist for another couple
of centuries, not to mention doing so in a style that is
uncharacteristic of the period, and uncharacteristic of
Washington's addresses to Congress, both of which exhibited a
high degree of formality. This is a false quote, but bits and
pieces of it still continue to crop up from time to time.
As there are_plenty_of verifiable and eloquent quotes by the
Founders concerning the right to keep and bear arms, there is
no excuse for making one up.>>
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his
enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes
a precedent that will reach to himself."
//%Author%Thomas Paine//%Source%conclusion,_Dissertation on First
Principles of Government,_(Paris, July [4?,]1795) <<Paine is
speaking from experience, as the French Revolution descended into
The Terror following the beheading of Louis XVI, who "Citoyen"
Paine tried to have the National Assembly spare, despite his own
hatred for kings. Paine himself later spent months in prison,
awaiting the guillotine. (Unlike Louis and his queen Marie
Antoinette, Paine was eventually released.)>>
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"If, for example, a law be passed by congress, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates, or persuasions of a man's own conscience; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to assemble peaceably, or to keep and bear arms; it would, in any of these cases, be the province of the judiciary to pronounce whether any such act were constitutional, or not; and if not, to acquit the accused from any penalty which might be annexed to the breach of such unconstitutional act."//%Author%Henry St. George Tucker//%Who%(1780-1848)//%Source%ed., _Blackstone's Commentaries: with Notes of Reference, to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States; and of the Commonwealth of Virginia,_vol.1 p.357 (Philadelphia, 1803)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so."//%Author%Thomas Jefferson//%Source% letter to Thomas Cooper (from Monticello, September 10, 1814)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Next to having stout and friendly comrades, a man is chiefly emboldened by finding himself well armed in case of need."//%Author%Sir Walter Scott//%Source%(1771-1832)//%Source%The Fortunes of Nigel, 1822//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Tho[ugh] aware of the danger of universal suffrage in a future
state of Society such as the present state in Europe: he [Madison]
would have extended it so far as to secure in every event and change
in the state of Society a majority of people on the side of power.
A Government resting on a minority, is an aristocracy not a Republic,
and could not be safe with a numerical [and] physical force against it,
without a standing Army, and enslaved press, and a disarmed populace."
//%Author%James Madison//%Source%from an autobiographical sketch,
ca. 1831-1836, published as "James Madison's Autobiography,"
in_William and Mary Quarterly,_3rd series, vol. 2, p. 208, (1945)
<<Madison, who modeled his draft for the proposed amendment that
we know today as the Second Amendment on the similar arms-right
provision in Virginia's constitution (see Jefferson's proposed wording
above), here underlines the importance of the freedom of the press
and of privately held arms in preventing the establishment of tyranny.
Compare also fellow Virginian Richard Henry Lee's statement above
about the anti-republican (i.e. elitist or aristocratic) principle
which underlies the establishment of a "select militia." See also
Joel Barlow, above, for a discussion of how having an armed class
and a disarmed class is anti-democratic, and denies the equality of
citizens. From this quote, the original intent of the Second Amendment
"[S] 1889. The next amendment is: 'A well regulated militia
being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the
people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'
[S] 1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be
doubted by any persons who have duly reflected upon the subject.
The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden
foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations
of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people
to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time
of peace, both from the enourmous expenses, with which they are
attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and
unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the
rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear
arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties
of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the
usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even
if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people
to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would
seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would
seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American
people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia
discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens,
to be rid of all regulations. How is it practicable to keep the
people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to
see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may
lead to digust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually
undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national
bill of rights.
[S] 1891. A similar provision in favour of protestants (for to
them it is confined) is to be found in the bill of rights of 1688,
it being declared, 'that the subjects, which are protestants, may
have arms for their defence suitable to their condition, and as
allowed by law.' But under various pretences the effect of this
provision has been greatly narrowed; and it is at present in England
more nominal than real, as a defensive privilege."
//%Author%U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story//%Who%(1779-1845)//%Source%"Commentaries
on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review
of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the
Adoption of the Constitution" pp.746-747 (Boston, 1833)
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."//%Author%Daniel Webster//%Who%(1782-1852)//%Source%speech, June 3, 1834//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed
and degraded sense of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks
nothing _worth_ a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere
human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the
service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades
a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical
injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and
good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose
by their free choice, --is often the means of their regeneration.
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing
which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety,
is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made
and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long
as justice and injustice have not terminated _their_ ever-renewing
fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be
willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."
//%Author%John Stuart Mill//%Who%(1806-1873)//%Source%"The Contest In America," Fraser's
Magazine, February 1862 [reprinted in Mill's_Dissertations and
Discussions, vol.1 p.26 (1868)] <<as the title suggests, Mill is
reflecting on the 1861-1865 U.S. Civil War>>//%end%
"I am not hurt."
//%Author%Ulysses S. Grant//%Who%(1822-1885)//%Source%to his family and officers after
accidentally discharging a new breechloading rifle into his own hand
(the only gunshot wound the general suffered in his entire military
career), February 25, 1866
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."//%Author%Susan B. Anthony//%Who%(1820-1906)//%Source%speech in San Franscisco, July 1871//%end%
"I was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson's
seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homeopathic pill, and it
took the whole seven to make a dose for an adult. But I thought it
was grand. It appeared to me to be a dangerous weapon. It had only
one fault-- you could not hit anything with it."
//%Author%Mark Twain//%Source%Roughing It, (1872)
"The right of the people to peaceably assemble for lawful
purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution.
In fact, it is, and always has been, one of the attributes of
citizenship under a free government. It 'derives its source,' to
use the language of Chief Justice Marshall... 'from those laws whose
authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.'
It is found wherever civilization exists. It is not, therefore,
a right granted to the people by the Constitution. The government
of the United States when established found it in existence, with
the obligation on the part of the states to afford it protection.
As no direct power over it was granted to Congress, it remains...
subject to State jurisdiction. Only such existing rights were
committed by the people to the protection of Congress as came
within the general scope of the authority granted to the national
government. * * *
The second and tenth counts [of the indictment] are equally
defective. The right there [in the Second Amendment] specified
is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right
granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent
upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment
declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been
seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress.
This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to
restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people
to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-
citizens of the rights it recognizes, to what is called... the
'powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what was,
perhaps, more properly called internal police,' [powers] 'not
surrendered or restrained' by the Constitution of the United
//%Author%Justice Morrison R. Waite//%Who%(1816-1888) U.S. Supreme Court Chief
//%Source%writing in_U.S. v. Cruikshank, et al.,_ U.S. Reports v.92 pp.551-553,
Lawyer's Edition v.23 p.588 (1875) <<In this case, the Supreme Court
effectively gutted the Fourteenth Amendment's protection of the civil
rights of black Americans, by denying that the federal government had
any power to prosecute violations of the rights recognized under the
Constitution by private individuals like the mob headed by William
Cruikshank. Mr. Chief Justice Waite's admonition that such
violations fell to the jurisdiction of the states was a_very_narrow
reading of the Fourteenth Amendment's 'equal protection' clause (so
narrow that it completely disappeared until the civil rights
movement of the 1950s and 1960s).>>
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the Sates, and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, the States cannot, even laying the constitutional provision out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to general government."//%Author%Justice William B. Woods//%Who%(1824-1887) U.S. Supreme Court Justice//%Source%writing in_Presser v. Illinois,_ U.S. Reports v.116 p.252, Supreme Court Reports v.6 p.580, Lawyer's Edition v.29 p.615 (1886)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of the Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further, that when ordinarily called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."//%Author%Justice James C. McReynolds//%Who%(1862-1946) U.S. Supreme Court Justice//%Source%writing in _U.S. v. Miller,_ U.S. Reports v.307 p.174, Supreme Court Reporter v.59 p.816, Lawyer's Edition v.83 p.1206 (1939)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."//%Author%Robert A. Heinlein//%Who%(1907-1988)//%Source%"Beyond This Horizon," in _Astounding Science Fiction_ April-May 1942//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Der groBte Unsinn, den man in den besetzen Ostgebieten machen konne, sei der, den unterworfenen Volkern Waffen zu geben. Die Geschicte lehre, daB alle Herrenvolker untergegangen seien, nachdem sie den von ihnen unterworfenen Volkern Waffen bewilligt hatten." [The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.]//%Author%Adolf Hitler//%Source%April 11, 1942, quoted in _Hitlers Tischegesprache Im Fuhrerhauptquartier 1941-1942,_[Hitler's Table-Talk at the Fuhrer's Headquarters 1941-1942], Dr. Henry Picker, ed. (Athenaum-Verlag, Bonn, 1951)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free."//%Author%A. E. Van Vogt//%Source%"The Weapon Shops," in_Astounding Science Fiction,_December 1942//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found to be generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon --so long as there is no answer to it-- gives claws to the weak."//%Author%George Orwell//%Source%"You and the Atom Bomb,"essay for the Tribune, October 19, 1945//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"No matter how one approaches the figures, one is forced to the rather startling conclusion that the use of firearms in crime was very much less when there were no controls of any sort and when anyone, convicted criminal or lunatic, could buy any type of firearm without restriction. Half a century of strict controls on pistols has ended, perversely, with a far greater use of this weapon in crime than ever before."//%Author%Colin Greenwood//%Source%Firearms Control, (Routledge and Keegan, London, 1972,) p. 243//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I'm convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build
on. We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first
step is necessarily --given the political realities --going to be
very modest. Of course, it's true that politicians will then go
home and say, 'This is a great law. The problem is solved.' And
it's also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-
control issue for a time. So then we'll have to strengthen that
law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and
again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf
but with a slice. Our ultimate goal --total control of handguns in
the United States --is going to take time. My estimate is from
seven to ten years. The first problem is to slow down the
increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second
problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to
make the possession of _all_ handguns and _all_ handgun ammunition
--except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards,
licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors --totally
//%Author%Nelson "Pete" Shields//%Source%Chairman of Handgun Control
Inc., in "A Reporter At Large: Handguns", The New Yorker, July 26,
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled
police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle
is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called
an 'equalizer.' _Egalite_ implies _liberte._ And always will.
Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what
the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An
armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the
final defense against tyranny.
If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only
the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of
our rulers. Only the government --and a few outlaws. I intend to
be among the outlaws."
//%Author%Edward Abbey//%Who%(1927-1989)//%Source%Abbey's Road, p.39_(Plume, 1979)
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF."//%Author%John Dingell//%Who%U.S. Representative//%Source%in an NRA produced film, "It Can't Happen Here,"1980//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen..."//%Author%Warren v. District of Columbia//%Source%444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."//%Author%Ronald Reagan//%Source%First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"There is a constitutional right not to be murdered by a state
officer, for the state violates the Fourteenth Amendment when its
officer, acting under color of state law, deprives a person of life
without due process of law. But there is no constitutional right
to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or
madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents
against such predators but it does not violate the Fourteenth
Amendment or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution.
The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the
state to let people alone; it does not require the federal
government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a
service as maintaining law and order. Discrimination in providing
protection against private violence could of course violate the
equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. But that is
not alleged here."
//%Author%Bowers v. DeVito//%Source%Federal Reporter, second series v.686 p.618 (7th
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Let us be aware that while they [the Soviet government] preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over the individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world."//%Author%Ronald Reagan//%Source%the "Evil Empire" speech, May 8, 1983//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis."//%Author%Stephen P. Halbrook//%Source%That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, University of New Mexico Press [reprinted by the Independent Institute] (1984), p.83//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The [American Civil Liberties] Union agrees with the Supreme Court's long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected."//%Author%ACLU//%Source%policy statement #47 (1986)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Handguns are a public-health problem."//%Author%Josh Sugarmann//%Source%spokesman for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, in a debate on the Morton Downey, Jr. show, 1988//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Let... others call me a hypocrite because I fired a gun in a moment of personal peril. I shall still be for strict gun control. But as long as authorities leave this society awash in drugs and guns, I will protect my family."//%Author%Carl T. Rowan, Jr.//%Who%(1925- ), political columnist and anti-gun hypocrite//%Source%in_Conservative Digest,_August, 1988//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you're putting a money test on getting a gun. It's racism in its worst form."//%Author%Roy Innis//%Who%president of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)//%Source%Washington Post, September 5, 1988//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"[Assault weapons'] menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons --anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun-- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."//%Author%Josh Sugarmann,//%Who%executive director of New Right Watch and spokesman for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns//%Source%"Assault Weapons and Accessories in America," policy report of New Right Watch and the Education Fund to End Handgun Violence, September 1988//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I don't like the idea that the police department seems bent on keeping a pool of unarmed victims available for the predations of the criminal class."//%Author%David Mohler//%Who%orthopedic surgeon, on being denied a permit to carry a handgun by the New York City police//%Source%_Manahattan, Inc._ magazine, April, 1989//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"One would, of course, like to believe that the state, whether at the local or national level, presents no threat to important political values, including liberty. But our propensity to believe that this is the case may be little more than a sign of how truly different we are from our radical forebears. I do not want to argue that the state is necessarily tyrannical; I am not an anarchist. But it seems foolhardy to assume that the armed state will necessarily be benevolent."//%Author%Sanford Levinson//%Source%"The Embarrassing Second Amendment,"_Yale Law Journal,_ vol. 99, p. 656 (1989)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I'm completely opposed to selling automatic rifles. I don't see any reason why they ever made semiautomatics. I've been a member of the NRA [National Rifle Association]; I collect, make, and shoot guns. I've never used an automatic or a semiautomatic for hunting. There's no need to. They have no place in anybody's arsenal. If any S.O.B. can't hit a deer with one shot, then he ought to quit shooting."//%Author%Senator Barry Goldwater//%Source%_Washington Post,_January 1, 1990//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The National Rifle Association are the gun nuts of the world."//%Author%Cecil Andrus//%Who%governor of Idaho//%Source%_New York Times,_April 2, 1990//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"It is not a loss of freedom. It's a measure to protect it."//%Author%James Brady//%Source%on gun control, congressional testimony, March 21, 1991//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"If I were writing the Bill of Rights now there wouldn't be any such thing as the Second Amendment... This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word "fraud," on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. Now just look at those words. There are only three lines to that amendment. A well regulated militia --if the militia, which was going to be the state army, was going to be well regulated, why shouldn't 16 and 17 and 18 or any other age persons be regulated in the use of arms the way an automobile is regulated? It's got to be registered... you can't just deal with it at will. Someone asked me recently if I was for or against a bill that was pending in Congress calling for five days' waiting period. And I said, yes, I'm very much against it, it should be thirty days' waiting period so they find out why this person needs a handgun or a machine gun... [T]hey [the NRA] have misled the American people and they, I regret to say, they have had far too much influence on the Congress of the United States than as a citizen I would like to see --and I am a gun man. I have guns. I've been a hunter ever since I was a boy."//%Author%Justice Warren Burger//%Who%(1907-1994), former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice//%Source%PBS-TV's_McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,_December 16, 1991//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Much of the contemporary crime that concerns Americans is in poor black neighborhoods and a case can be made that greater firearms restrictions might alleviate this tragedy. But another, perhaps stronger case can be made that a society with a dismal record of protecting a people has a dubious claim on the right to disarm them. Perhaps a re-examination of this history can lead us to a modern realization of what the framers of the Second Amendment understood: that it is unwise to place the means of protection totally in the hands of the state, and that self-defense is also a civil right."//%Author%Robert J. Cottroll//%Who%and Raymond T. Diamond//%Source%"The Second Amendment: Towards an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration,"_Georgetown Law Journal,_ vol. 80, p. 361 (1991)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"There is no reason for anyone in the country, for anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use, a handgun. The only way to control handguns use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution."//%Author%Michael Gartner//%Who%President of NBC News//%Source%USA Today, January 16, 1992 //%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power."//%Author%Yoshimi Ishikawa//%Who%Japanese author//%Source%_Los Angeles Times,_October 15, 1992//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Probably the most obvious political ramification of the right
to defensive arms is the deterrent effect of the power to disarm
dissenters in a violence-ridden society. Until the early nineteenth
century England was an enormously violent country overrun with
cutthroats, cutpurses, burglars, and highwaymen, and in which
rioting over social and political matters was endemic. Moreover,
until 1829 it had no police. So when the seventeenth century
Stuart Kings began selectively disarming their enemies the effect
was not simply to safeguard the throne, but to severely penalize
dissent. Those who had opposed the King were left helpless against
either felons or rioters --who, by the very fact, were encouraged
to attack them. The_in terrorem_effect upon dissent of knowing
that to speak might render one's family defenseless while targeting
them for ever felon, and every enemy who might want to whip up
riotous public sentiment against them, is obvious."
//%Author%Don B. Kates, Jr.//%Source%"The Second Amendment and the Ideology of
Self-Protection," _Constitutional Commentary,_ vol. 9, p.98 (1992)
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"[T]he Clinton administration launched an attack on people in
Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell,
this country was _founded_ by religious nuts with guns. Who does
Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps
volunteers? Or maybe the people in Texas were attacked because of
child abuse. But, if child abuse was the issue, why didn't
Janet Reno tear-gas Woody Allen?
You know, if government were a product, selling it would be
Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many
more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have."
//%Author%P.J. O'Rourke//%Source%"The Liberty Manifesto," speech at the Cato
Institute, May 6, 1993, quoted in _The American Spectator,_
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one."//%Author%Rush Limbaugh//%Who%(1941- ), radio talk-show host//%Source%August 17th, 1993//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"It's [the Brady Act] taking manpower and crime-fighting capability off the streets."//%Author%Dennis Martin//%Who%president of the National Association of Chiefsof Police//%Source%_Washington Times,_ May 18, 1994//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I just believed that what I was doing was right. I told the NRA (National Rifle Association) I would make it my life's ambition to see you all don't exist anymore and I will do this until I put them out of business. That keeps me going when I have to deal with rude people."//%Author%Jim Brady//%Who%of Handgun Control Inc.//%Source%in the _Hartford Courant,_May 21, 1994//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Well, it's a little ambiguous. It sounds in the first part as if it's, like, a right to join the militia, have a militia. And it sounds, in the second part, like an individual right to bear arms. ...I've always viewed it as a militia amendment, but there is an argument about that. I have to admit, it's not entirely clear... I don't know what-- today, I don't know how you would solve the question of what arms you're entitled to bear. Now that the Feds have nuclear weapons and stealth bombers, I don't know what it is you have to keep in the garage to fight them off."//%Author%Robert Bork//%Source%on CNN's_Larry King Live,_July 21, 1994//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"We are not for disarming people. When you have an epidemic it's a public health issue, a safety issue."//%Author%Sarah Brady//%Source%in the Austin _American-Statesman,_ October 14, 1994//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"There is, to be sure, in the Second Amendment, an express
reference to the security of a_'free_State.' It is not a reference
to_the_security of THE STATE. There are doubtless certain
national constitutions that put a privileged emphasis on the
security of 'the state,' but such as they are, they are all_unlike_
our Constitution and the provisions they have respecting their
security do not appear in a similarly phrased Bill of Rights.
Accordingly such constitutions make no reference to any right
of the people to keep and bear arms, apart from state service.
And why do they not do so? Because, in contrast with the
premises of constitutional government in this country, they
reflect the belief that recognition of any such right 'in the people'
might well pose a threat to the security of 'the state.'"
//%Author%William Van Alstyne//%Source%"The Second Amendment And The
Personal Right To Arms," _Duke Law Journal,_ vol. 43, p.1244
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I don't want to destroy the good atmosphere in the room or in
the country tonight, but I have to mention one issue that divided
this body greatly last year. The last Congress also passed the
Brady bill and, in the crime bill, the ban on 19 assault weapons.
I don't think it's a secret to anybody in this room that several
members of the last Congress who voted for that aren't here tonight
because they voted for it. And I know, therefore, that some of
you who are here because they voted for it are under enormous
pressure to repeal it. I just have to tell you how I feel about it.
The members of Congress who voted for that bill and I would never do
anything to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, to hunt and
to engage in other appropriate sporting activities. I've done it
since I was a boy, and I'm going to keep right on doing it until I
can't do it anymore. But a lot of people laid down their seats in
Congress so that police officers and kids wouldn't have to lay down
their lives under a hail of assault weapon attack, and I will not
let that be repealed. I will not let it be repealed."
//%Author%President Bill Clinton//%Source%State Of The Union address, January 24, 1995
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The fights I fought... cost a lot --the fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their seats in Congress. The NRA is the reason the Republicans control the House."//%Author%President Bill Clinton//%Source%Cleveland Plain-Dealer, January 14, 1995//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an_out_right_ban, picking up every one of them... 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,' I would have done it. I_could_not do that. The votes weren't here."//%Author%Dianne Feinstein//%Who%U.S. Senator//%Source%CBS-TV's "60 Minutes," February 5, 1995//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The consequences of the behavior of the BATF in these kinds of cases is that they are not trusted. They are detested, and I have described them properly as jackbooted American fascists. They have shown no concern over the rights of ordinary citizens or their property. They intrude without the slightest regard or concern."//%Author%Rep. John Dingell//%Source%Congressional Record, page H1382, February 8th, 1995 during debate on theBATF being excepted from the exclusionary rule reform bill H.R.666//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Clancy deposes on the Second Amendment.
To the framers "militia" means the average Joe [a]nd all his
friends and neighbors, acting together to preserve their Union.
The Founding Fathers ha[d] a strong distrust of standing armies,
hence the invalidation of those gun-haters who think the National
Guard fulfills this function. The purpose of the Second Amendment
is clearly to enable the average citizen to protect himself
individually, and the national collectively, from tyranny.
Moreover, the phrase "right of the citizen" is a phrase used
rarely in the Constitution. It both proclaims the right to do
something, and recognizes that that right pre-dates the Constitution
itself. That's simple grammar, requiring no constitutional lawyer
to explain it. If one can argue that the 2nd Amendment has no
meaning in contemporary society, one can similarly argue that the
1st Amendment can be similarly ignored, since the phraseology is
largely the same.
The short version is, don't mess with the Constitution."
//%Author%Tom Clancy//%Source%writing on alt.books.tom-clancy, 29 May 1995
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Sitting behind the President of the United States for the
first time as he spoke to the nation, I was well aware that I
represented the institution of the House and had an obligation
to represent the solemnity of the occasion on behalf of all my
colleagues. But there was one moment when I almost forgot my
resolve: When President Clinton explained that he was a duck
hunter and described the weaponry that sport requires.
In the midst of that serious occasion, I wondered, Does he
think the Second Amendment protects the right to hunt ducks?
Honestly, I was astonished that his staff had allowed that comment
into a serious national address like the State of the Union.
With that single line the President proved to everyone who
cares about the Second Amendment that he did not have a clue about
what concerns them. The Second Amendment to the Constitution has
nothing to do with duck or deer hunting. It has nothing to do with
target practice or owning collector's weapons. The Second Amendment
is a political right written into our Constitution for the purpose
of protecting individual citizens from their government. The lesson
of the English Civil War and the American Revolution was that
political freedom is ultimately based upon the courage and
preparedness of those who would remain free. If the Lexington and
Concord minutemen had not kept weapons, they could not have fired
the shot heard 'round the world. If the American colonists had not
been trained in how to shoot and fight, they could not have become
//%Author%Newt Gingrich//%Who%(1943- ), Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives,//%Source%_To Renew America,_(HarperCollins, 1995),
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"If a bullet can rip through a bulletproof vest like a knife through hot butter, then it ought to be history. We should ban it."//%Author%President Bill Clinton//%Source%speech in Chicago, IL, June 30, 1995//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"You can join whatever organization you want, that is a First Amendment right. And you can own guns, that is a Second Amendment right."//%Author%Nadine Strossen//%Who%American Civil Liberties Union president //%Source%Comedy Central's _Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,_ October 16, 1995//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the
military conservators still multiply upon us, some of which are of
such nature, and have been carried to so great lengths, as must serve
fully to evince that a late vote of this town, calling upon its
inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defence, was a
measure as it was legal natural right which the people have reserved
to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights [the post-Cromwellian
English bill of rights], to keep arms for their own defence; and as
Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions
of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence
//%Author%Unknown//%Source%"A Journal of the Times" (1768-1769), colonial Boston
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of
the right of the people at large or considered as individuals...
It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and
which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of."
//%Author%Albert Gallatin//%Who%(1761-1849) of the New York Historical Society//%Source%October 7, 1789
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The difficulty here has been to persuade the citizens to keep arms, not to prevent them from being employed for violent purposes."//%Author%Dwight//%Source%"Travels in New-England"//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The constitutions of most of our states [and of the United States]
assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise
it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times
armed and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of
religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press."
//%Author%Thomas Jefferson//%Source%<<This one looks suspicious...>>
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence --it is force!
Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never
for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
//%Author%George Washington//%Source%1797? <<Probably authentic
because of the archaic usage of "fearful" to mean "inspiring fear".
However, I have yet to find an original source for this quotation,
which is included in David Kin (pseudonym of David George Platkin)
_Dictionary of American Maxims,_ 1955, p. 214; and quoted in part
by late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in
_A Living Bill of Rights,_ 1961, p. 10>>
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"I find that Ammendments are once again on the Carpet. I hope
that such may take place as will be for the Best interest of the
whole A Bill of rights well secured that we the people may know how
far we may Proceade in Every Department then their will be no
Dispute Between the people and rulers in that may be secured the
right to keep arms for Common and Extraordinary Occations such as to
secure ourselves against the wild Beast and also to amuse us by
fowling and for our Defence against a Common Enemy you know to
learn the Use of arms is all that can Save us from a forighn foe
that may attempt to subdue us for if we keep up the Use of arms and
become well acquainted with them we Shall allway be able to look
them in the face that arise up against us."
//%Author%Samuel Nasson//%Source%excerpt of a letter written to George Thatcher,
July 9, 1789?
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Let therefore every man, that, appealing to his own heart, feels the least spark of virtue or freedom there, think that it is an honor which he owes himself, and a duty which he owes his country, to bear arms."//%Author%Thomas Pownall//%Who%(1772-1805)?//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Congress may give us a select militia which will, in fact, be a standing army --or Congress, afraid of a general militia, may say there shall be no militia at all. When a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed."//%Author%John Smilie//%Who%(1741-1812)//%Source% in the Pennsylvania Convention on the ratification of the Constitution//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Shooting at a fixed target is only a step towards shooting at a moving one, like a man."//%Author%Lord Baden-Powell//%Source%Scouting for Boys (1908)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Make yourselves good scouts and good rifle shots in order to protect the women and children of your country if it should ever become necessary."//%Author%Lord Baden-Powell//%Source%Scouting for Boys (1908)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Certainly I shall use the police --and most ruthlessly-- whenever the German people are hurt; but I refuse the notion that the police are protective troops for Jewish stores. The police protect whoever comes into Germany legitimately, but not Jewish usurers."//%Author%Hermann Goering//%Source%c. Kristallnacht, 1935//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA -- ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."//%Author%Heinrich Himmler//%Who%(1900-1945)//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately... The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon ...must be regarded as an enemy of the national government."//%Author%S. A. Oberfuhrer//%Source%of Bad Tolz, March, 1933//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"...the rifle? Wouldn't go out naked of a rifle. When shoes and clothes and food, when even hope is gone, we'll have the rifle."//%Author%John Steinbeck//%Who%(1902-1968)//%Source%The Grapes of Wrath//%end%
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"The Second Amendment reveals a profound principle of American government --the principle of civilian ascendency over the military."//%Author%William O. Douglas//%end%
"I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns."
%start%%cat=Learning,History,Power//%quote%"They'll have to shoot me first to take my gun."//%Author%Roy Rogers//%Who%cowboy actor and singer//%Source%1982, in_Cowboy Wisdom,_by Terry Hall (Warner Books, 1995)//%end%
as well as banning auto shows to reduce drunken driving."
//%Author%Bill McIntire//%Who%Spokesman for the National Rifle Association,
//%Source%on Norfolk, Va. council's vote to cancel four gun shows, 1992
"There are going to be situations where people are going to go
without assistance. That's just the facts of life."
//%Author%Darryl Gates//%Who%Los Angeles Chief of Police//%Date%1993
"And we should --then every community in the country could then
start doing major weapon sweeps and then destroying the weapons, not
//%Author%President Bill Clinton
"The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be
blood: The person who is not willing to die for his liberty has
already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying
to violate that person's liberty! Are you free?"
<<No further information is known about this quote>>
"Without either the first or second amendment, we would have no
liberty; the first allows us to find out what's happening, the
second allows us to do something about it! The second will be taken
away first, followed by the first and then the rest of our
We are convinced that non-violence is more powerful than violence. We are convinced that non-violence supports you if you have a just and moral cause...If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle.
Violence just hurts those who are already hurt...Instead of exposing the brutality of the oppressor, it justifies it.
If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
//%Author%Wilfred Owen//%Source%“Dulce et Decorum Est” 1917
You save your soul by saving someone else's body.
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
//%Author%Holy Bible//%Source%Isaiah 2:4
But the wisdom from above is pure, first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deals; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.
//%Author%Holy Bible//%Source%James 3:17
It is reasonable that every one who asks justice should do justice.
Everything, everything in war is barbaric . . . But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
//%Author%Martin Luther King, Jr.
What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.
//%Author%Robert E. Lee//%Source%in a letter to his wife, 1864
Warmaking doesn't stop warmaking. If it did, our problems would have stopped millennia ago.
If you love the justice of Jesus Christ more than you fear human judgment then you will seek to do compassion. Compassion means that if I see my friend and my enemy in equal need, I shall help them both equally. Justice demands that we seek and find the stranger, the broken, the prisoner and comfort them and offer them our help. Here lies the holy compassion of God that causes the devils much distress.
//%Author%Mechtild of Magdeburg
A good end sanctify evil means; not must we ever do evil, that good might come of it. We are ready to retaliate, rather than forgive or gain by love and information . . . Force may subdue, but love gains. And one that forgives first wins the laurel.
You can no more win a war than win an earthquake.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
//%Author%Bishop Desmond Tutu
"Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity. If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles."
//%Author%Karl von Clausewitz
"The majority of people are timid by nature, and that is why they constantly exaggerate danger. All influences on the military leader, therefore, combine to give him a false impression of his opponent's strength, and from this arises a new source of indecision."
//%Author%Karl von Clausewitz
"Blood is the price of victory"
//%Author%Karl von Clausewitz
"If the enemy is to be coerced, you must put him in a situation that is even more unpleasant than the sacrifice you call on him to make. The hardships of the situation must not be merely transient - at least not in appearance. Otherwise, the enemy would not give in, but would wait for things to improve."
//%Author%Karl Von Clausewitz
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Arms, Constitution, Disarmament, Militia, Usurpation, Gold