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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 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 some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were (the good) deprived of the use of them ... the weak will become a prey to the strong.
Thomas Paine (more quotes by Thomas Paine or books by/about Thomas Paine)
(1737-1809) US Founding father, pamphleteer, author
1 Writings Of Thomas Paine 56 (M. Conway ed. 1894); 1776, Thoughts on a Defensive War.