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Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Edward AbbeyA patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Lord ActonFreedom degenerates unless it has to struggle in its own
defence.
John AdamsArms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the over-throw of tyranny, or in private self-defense.
John AdamsEach individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England inconsistent with that right.
Samuel AdamsIf ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
Samuel AdamsAnd that the said Constitution be never 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; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
Samuel AdamsAll might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.
AesopAny excuse will serve a tyrant.
Akhil Reed AmarThe ultimate right to keep and bear arms belongs to “the people,” not the “states.” As the language of the Tenth Amendment shows, these two are of course not identical and when the Constitution means “states” it says so. Thus, ... “the people” at the core of the Second Amendment are the same “people” at the heart of the Preamble and the First Amendment, namely Citizens.... Nowadays, it is quite common to speak loosely of the National Guard as “the state militia,” but ... the “militia” is identical to “the people” in the core sense described above.
American Bar AssociationIt is the duty of the officials to prevent or suppress the threatened disorder with a firm hand instead of timidly yielding to threats…. Surely a speaker ought not to be suppressed because his opponents propose to use violence. It is they who should suffer from their lawlessness, not he.
American Federation of PoliceThere are many Americans who fear for their lives. They know that at some point, they will have to protect themselves, their own families, and their own property. Should these people be disarmed? No, we don’t need to disarm our loyal citizens, our friends, and our neighbors.
Henri-Frédéric AmielLiberty, equality -- bad principles! The only true principle for humanity is justice; and justice to the feeble is protection and kindness.
Anonymous Gold MinerAll and everybody, this is my claim, fifty feet on the gulch, cordin to Clear Creek District Law, backed up by shotgun amendments.
Arkansas Supreme CourtWhat then, is he protected in the right to keep and thus use? Not every thing that may be useful for offense or defense, but what may properly be included or understood under the title of “arms,” taken in connection with the fact that the citizen is to keep them, as a citizen. Such, then as are found to make up the usual arms of the citizen of the country, and the use of which will properly train and render him efficient in defense of his own liberties, as well as of the State. Under this head, with a knowledge of the habits of our people, and of the arms in the use of which a soldier should be trained, we hold that the rifle, of all descriptions, the shot gun, the musket and repeater, are such arms, and that, under the Constitution, the right to keep such arms cannot be infringed or forbidden by the legislature.
John AshcroftTo those who scare peace loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies and pause to America’s friends.
St. AugustineThough defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.
Massad AyoobThe whole subject of civilians carrying guns for self defense is discussed too much in the wrong places -- ACLU cocktail parties, gun club gatherings -- all placid atmospheres far removed from the terrifying reality of violent confrontation with the lawless. It should be discussed in prisons, where professional criminals are remarkably candid about their avoidance of armed citizens who can fight back. It should be discussed in rape crises centers. Ask a woman who has been raped, whether she ever wished she had a gun when it happened ... and whether she had bought one since. Her reply is likely to be “yes” to at least the first, and often to both. Talk to the bereaved who lost their loved ones to the streets. Talk to those who have been violated in their homes. Ask them how they feel about passive non-resistance. And when you have attuned yourself to the haunting fear that lives with them forever after their nightmare, you will be ready to talk with someone else who was in their place, but survived unscathed because they were armed. The contrast will be striking. These survivors don’t put notches on their pistols, and they don’t brag about what they had to do... The taking of a human life, no matter what the circumstances, is an unnatural act, an emotionally shattering experience that leaves its own scars forever. But none of those people regret what they did, and to a man, their first reaction was to go home to their wife and children and hug them, tightly and wordlessly.
Francis BaconNay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, 'It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.'
Sir Francis BaconA just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.
William BarclaySelf-defense is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself.
Bertrand Barere de VieuzacThe tree of liberty could not grow were it not watered with the blood of tyrants.
Frederic BastiatIf every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Frederic BastiatWhat, then, is the law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. ... since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individual groups. ... But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
Frederic BastiatIn short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism -- including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?
David BerglandThe average taxpayer in Germany or Japan pays less for the defense of his country than the average taxpayer in America pays for the defense of Germany or Japan.
Georges BernanosCivilization exists precisely so that there may be no masses but rather men alert enough never to constitute masses.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Sir William BlackstoneAnd, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense.
Sir William Blackstone[Self-defense is] justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society.
Michael BoldinSome people are calling for the federal government to restrict the right to keep and bear arms of people who are on the federal government’s terrorism watch list. This is not only unconstitutional, but sets an extremely dangerous precedent for all our rights. If the federal government can take away someone else’s right to defend themselves simply because it has unilaterally decided to place them on a secret, wildly inaccurate list that’s virtually impossible to be removed from, eventually, some bureaucrat is going to find some way to put you on that list for another reason.
Michael BoldinWhatever power you give politicians and bureaucrats to use against other people will eventually be used by future politicians and bureaucrats against you.
Napoleon BonaparteIf they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.
Bernard J. BordonetIf a state militia guarantee rather than an individual right of citizens to keep and bear arms were the purpose of the second Amendment, it would have been totally unnecessary and irrelevant to include any guarantee of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” since by its very nature a militia is necessarily an armed force and without arms it would be impossible to carry out its constitutional functions of suppressing insurrections and repelling invasions.
Boston Evening Post[It is] a natural Right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of rights, to keep arms for their own defense; 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 of oppression.
James BovardAssault weapons laws resemble hate speech laws. Hate speech laws usually begin by targeting a few words that almost no one approves. Once the system for controlling and punishing “hate speech” is put into place, there is little or nothing to stop it from expanding to punish more and more types of everyday speech. Similarly, once an assault weapons law is on the books, there is little to prevent politicians from vastly increasing the number of weapons banned under the law. The main effect of banning assault weapons is to give government an excuse to arrest and imprison millions of Americans while doing little or nothing to reduce crime. America has a limited number of police, and politicians must decide who the real public enemies are. If Mr. Clinton signs an assault weapons ban, it could signal the start of an attack on gun owners’ constitutional rights that could far surpass all previous gun bans.
James BovardThe first step in saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental political changes occur.
B. Bruce-Briggs[U]nderlying the gun control struggle is a fundamental division in our nation. The intensity of passion on this issue suggests to me that we are experiencing a sort of low grade war going on between two alternative views of what America is and ought to be. On the one side are those who take bourgeois Europe as a model of civilized society: a society just, equitable, and democratic; but well ordered, with the lines of responsibility and authority clearly drawn, and with decisions made rationally and correctly by intelligent men for the entire nation. To such people, hunting is atavistic, personal violence is shameful, and uncontrolled gun ownership is a blot on civilization. On the other side is a group of people who do not tend to be especially articulate or literate, and whose world view is rarely expressed in print. .... They ask, because they do not understand the other side, “Why do these people want to disarm us?” They consider themselves no threat to anyone; they are not criminals, not revolutionaries. But slowly, as they become politicized, they find an analysis that fits the phenomenon they experience: Someone fears their having guns, someone is afraid of their defending their families, property, and liberty. Nasty things may begin to happen if these people begin to feel that they are cornered.
James BurghNo 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.
Edmund BurkeThere is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.
H. Sterling BurnettGuns are used for self-defense somewhere between 800,000 and 3.6 million times per year .... Using firearm crime and defensive gun use figures most favorable to advocates for stricter gun control, ... the benefits from defensive gun uses exceed the cost of violent firearm crimes ... by between $90 million and $3.5 billion. Using the most credible estimate for defensive gun uses, the benefits range from $1 billion to $38 billion. Putting these dollar figures in more human terms: Guns save lives. The fact is that the best defense against violence is an armed response. For example, women faced with assault are 2.5 times less likely to suffer serious injury if they defend themselves with a gun rather than responding with other weapons or by offering no resistance. ... [P]ersons defending themselves with guns during an assault are injured only 12 percent of the time, compared to 25 percent for those using other weapons, 27 percent for those offering no resistance and nearly 26 percent of those who flee. ... [F]irearms are the safest, most effective way to protect oneself against criminal activity -- which is why American police officers carry guns rather than going unarmed or merely carrying knives.
Gaius Julius CaesarWhen the swords flash let no idea of love, piety, or even the face of your fathers move you.
Charles INever make a defence or apology before you be accused.
Sir Winston ChurchillWe shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Sir Winston ChurchillI like a man who grins when he fights.
Marcus Tullius CiceroThere exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
Marcus Tullius CiceroWhen you have no basis for argument, abuse the plaintiff.
Claire Joly, Marie Latourelle, Maryse Martin, and Karen SelickLes femmes sont tout à fait compétentes pour assurer leur légitime défense, pourvu que la loi ne les transforme pas en criminelles si elles emploient des moyens efficaces à cette fin." "Women are quite able to see to their own defence, as long as the law does not transform them into criminals if they take effective measures to do so.
John Louis CoffeyI join others who throughout history have recognized that an individual in this country has a protected right, within the confines of the criminal law, to guard his or her home or place of business from unlawful intrusions. ... Surely nothing could be more fundamental to the “concept of ordered liberty” than the basic right of an individual, within the confines of the criminal law, to protect his home and family from unlawful and dangerous intrusions.
Colorado ConstitutionThe right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.
Colorado Supreme CourtA governmental purpose to control or prevent certain activities, which may be constitutionally subject to state or municipal regulation under the police power, may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms. Even though the governmental purpose may be legitimate and substantial, that purpose cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties when the end can be more narrowly achieved.
Colorado Supreme Court[The state] cannot disarm any class of persons or deprive them of the right guaranteed under section 13, article 2 of the Constitution, to bear arms in defense of home, person, and property. The guaranty thus extended is meaningless if any person is denied the right to possess arms for such protection....
Yvonne M. CondeEight days after taking over the reins of his country, a beloved leader urged everyone to turn in their arms - “There is no longer an enemy,” he said. A slogan, “Arms—What For?” appeared throughout the nation. Thirty days later he ordered his militia to turn in their arms. Promised elections are cancelled, the loved leader becomes a tyrant and his people lose all rights, including freedom of speech and press, becoming a totalitarian state for the next 35 years. For those Americans currently willing to agree to have some of their rights curtailed for temporary security, I’d urge them to look south -- to Cuba.
Connecticut ConstitutionEvery citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.
Massachusetts ConstitutionThe people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. And as, in times of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the Legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the Civil authority, and be governed by it.
Michigan ConstitutionEvery person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.
Montana ConstitutionThe right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.
New Hampshire ConstitutionAll persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.
Thomas CooleyThe right is general.
It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision
that the right to keep and bear arms
was only guaranteed to the militia;
but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent.
The militia, as has been explained elsewhere,
consists of those persons who, under the law,
are liable to the performance of military duty,
and are officered and enrolled for service
when called upon. . . .
[I]f the right were limited to those enrolled,
the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether
by the action or the neglect to act
of the government it was meant to hold in check.
The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is,
that the people, from whom the militia must be taken,
shall have the right to keep and bear arms,
and they need no permission or regulation of law
for that purpose.
Col. Jeff CooperAn unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.
Jeff CooperAn unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.
Robert J. CottrolIn the Jim Crow South, for example, government failed and indeed refused to protect blacks from extra-legal violence. Given our history, it's stunning we fail to question those who would force upon us a total reliance on the state for defense.
Tench CoxeWhereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as 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 article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
Mark Da VeePositive laws are tyrannical. One's individual rights -- whether they be life, liberty, or property -- must be sacrificed by the state in order to fulfill the positive rights of another. For example, if housing is considered a "right," then the state will have to confiscate wealth (property) from those who have provided shelter for themselves in order to house those who have not. ... True justice is realized when our lives, and property are secure, and we are free to express our thoughts without fear of retribution. Just laws are negative in nature; they exist to thwart the violation of our natural rights. Government ought to be the collective organization -- that is, the extension -- of the individual's right of self-defense, and its purpose to protect our lives, liberties, and property.
Leonardo Da VinciIt is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.
Dalai LamaIf someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
Charles de MontesquieuIt is unreasonable ... to oblige a man not to attempt the defense of his own life.
Don DemetrickThe sentiment that modern day ordinary Canadians do not need firearms for protection is pleasant but unrealistic. To discourage responsible deserving Canadians from possessing firearms for lawful self-defence and other legitimate purposes is to risk sacrificing them at the altar of political correctness.
DemosthenesThere are all kinds of devices invented for the protection and preservation of countries: defensive barriers, forts, trenches, and the like... But prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism. This you must preserve. This you must retain. If you can keep this, you need fear no harm.
Alan DershowitzImagine a legal system in which lawyers were equated with the clients they defended and were condemned for representing controversial or despised clients.
Frederick DouglassThose who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.
Frederick DouglassHe who would be free must strike the first blow.
Robert DowlutBecause this right [of self-defense] cannot be effectively exercised with bare hands, the right to keep and bear arms is the only efficient way to secure the fundamental right of self-defense.
Sir Arthur Conan DoyleYou will ruin no more lives as you ruined mine. You will wring no more hearts as you wrung mine. I will free the world of a poisonous thing. Take that, you hound, and that! -- and that! -- and that! -- and that!
Lt. Lowell DuckettGun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It's quicker to pull your Smith and Wesson than to dial 911 if you're being robbed.
Dwight D. EisenhowerIt is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence. And any who act as if freedom’s defenses are found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America.
Grant D. FairleyWhen dealing with a legal matter - always remember that you are your own best advocate. No one will care as much about the case as you do. Use lawyers but remember - you must take primary responsibility for a successful outcome.
Dianne FeinsteinI know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.
Milton FriedmanEvery friend of freedom... must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiI am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.
Gazette of the United StatesThe right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America.
Elbridge GerryWhat, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. ...Whenever Governments 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.
Edward GibbonIn the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all - security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.
Emma GoldmanThe most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime.  Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime.  It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.
Barry GoldwaterExtremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue.
Barry GoldwaterI would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
Colin GreenwoodNo 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 class of weapon in crime than ever before.
Richard GrenierAs George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
Stephen P. HalbrookIn 1928, Germany enacted its Gesetz uber Schusswaffen und Munition (Law on Firearms and Ammunition), which required firearms and ammunition acquisition permits and record keeping for all transactions. Through this legislation, the police acquired knowledge of all firearm owners, which was used to the Nazis' advantage when they took power in 1933. The Nazi Waffengesetz (Weapons Law) of 1938, signed by Adolph Hitler, built upon the previous registration systems and strictly regulated handguns. ... On the first day the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia, they put up posters in every town ordering the inhabitants to surrender all firearms, including hunting guns. The penalty for disobedience was death. The Nazis were able to use local and central registration records of firearms owners and hunters to execute the decree. Lists of potential dissidents and other suspects were already prepared, and those persons disappeared immediately. The Nazi commander of Belgium and Netherlands proclaimed that "[t]he surrender of weapons and other implements of war has been ordered by special proclamation.... Hunting guns are [also] to be surrendered ...." The Nazi head of Norway decreed that "[a]ll arms and munitions must be handed over" because only licensed officials and persons with police permits retained the right to possess arms.
Edwin Arthur HallBefore the advent of Hitler or Stalin, who took their power from the German and the Russian people, measures were thrust upon the free legislatures of those countries to deprive the people of the possession and use of firearms, so that they could not resist the encroachments of such diabolical and vitriolic state police organizations as the Gestapo, the Ogpu, and the Cheka. Just as sure as I am standing here today, you are going to see this measure followed by legislation, sponsored by the proponents of such encroachment upon the rights of the people, which will eventually deprive the people of their constitutional liberty which provides for the possession of firearms for the protection of their homes. I submit to you that it is a serious departure from constitutional government when we consider legislation of this type. I predict that within 6 months of this time there will be presented to this House a measure which will go a long way toward taking away forever the individual rights and liberties of citizens of this Nation by depriving the individual of the private ownership of firearms and the right to use weapons in the protection of his home, and thereby his country.
Alexander HamiltonWe may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.
Alexander HamiltonIf the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense...
Alexander HamiltonThe best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
Alexander Hamilton[I]t is a truth which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger, when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.
Alexander HamiltonIf the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government...
Handgun Control, Inc.The thought that average citizens will somehow be better able to successfully defend themselves more effectively than our nation's trained professionals is absurd.
Robert A. HeinleinViolence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
Robert A. HeinleinAn armed society is a polite society.
Patrick HenryGuard 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.
Patrick HenryThe great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.
Patrick HenryLet Mr. Madison tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse.
Patrick HenryGuard 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 ruined.... O sir, we  should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people!
Patrick HenryAre 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?
Patrick HenryHave we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress?
Patrick HenryIt is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
HeraclitusThe people must fight for their laws as for their walls.
George HerbertOne sword keeps another in the sheath.
Charlton HestonHere's my credo. There are no good guns, There are no bad guns. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people.
Thomas HobbesA covenant not to defend myself from force by force is always void. For ... no man can transfer or lay down his Right to save himself. For the right men have by Nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no Covenant be relinquished. ... [The right] to defend ourselves [is the] summe of the Right of Nature.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.
HomerTo speak his thoughts is every freeman's right, in peace and war, in council and in fight.
Jacob G. HornbergerThe core issue facing the American people is this: Have the guardians become the terrorists?
Jacob G. HornbergerOf course, the proponents of political tyranny are usually well-motivated. Those who enacted the gun-registration law in California point to criminals who have used semiautomatic weapons to commit horrible, murderous acts. But the illusion -- the pipe dream -- is that bad acts can be prevented by the deprivation of liberty. They cannot be! Life is always insecure. The only choice is between liberty and insecurity, on the one hand, and insecurity and enslavement on the other. The true patriot scrutinizes the actions of his own government with unceasing vigilance. And when his government violates the morality and rightness associated with principles of individual freedom and private property, he immediately rises in opposition to his government. This is why the gun owners of California might ultimately go down in history as among the greatest and most courageous patriots of our time.
Lawrence HunterGun control is part and parcel of the ongoing collectivist effort to eviscerate individual sovereignty and replace it with dependence upon and allegiance to the state.
Tokugawa IeyasuTo come to know your enemy, first you must become his friend, and once you become his friend, all his defences come down. Then you can choose the most fitting method for his demise.
Illinois Supreme CourtIt is precisely for the protection of the minority that constitutional limitations exist. Majorities need no such protection. They can take care of themselves.
Indiana Code(i) A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:
(1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
(2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
(3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.
William Ralph IngeThe enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot.
Thomas J. JacksonThe patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
Jeff JacobyThe First Amendment says nothing about a right not to be offended.
The risk of finding someone else's speech offensive
is the price each of us pays for our own free speech.
Free people don't run to court -- or to the principal --
when they encounter a message they don't like.
They answer it with one of their own.
Thomas Jefferson[The People] are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty.
Thomas JeffersonFor a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security.
Thomas JeffersonA 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 JeffersonWhat 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 JeffersonThe judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet... We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring stride their five lawyers have lately taken. If they do, then... I will say, that 'against this every man should raise his voice,' and more, should uplift his arm.
Thomas JeffersonI prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.
Thomas JeffersonIt behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.
Thomas JeffersonIf a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.... If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.
Carl Gustav JungResistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.
JuvenalWho will stand guard to the guards themselves?
Peter Alan KaslerIt is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent.
John F. Kennedy... By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fear of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the 2nd amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationship, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the 2nd Amendment will always be important.
Kentucky Supreme CourtBut to be in conflict with the constitution, it is not essential that the act should contain a prohibition against bearing arms in every possible form—it is the right to bear arms in defence of the citizens and the state, that is secured by the constitution, and whatever restrains the full and complete exercise of that right, though not an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution. If, therefore, the act in question imposes any restraint on the right, immaterial what appellation may be given to the act, whether it be an act regulating the manner of bearing arms or any other, the consequence, in reference to the constitution, is precisely the same, and its collision with that instrument equally obvious. ... The right existed at the adoption of the constitution; it had then no limits short of the moral power of the citizens to exercise it, and it in fact consisted in nothing else but in the liberty of the citizens to bear arms. Diminish that liberty, therefore, and you necessarily restrain the right; ... For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing [of] concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former is unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”
William Lyon Mackenzie KingWe must also go out and meet the enemy before he reaches our shores.
We must defeat him before he attacks us, before our cities are laid to waste.
Judge Alex KozinskiThe Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Rose Wilder LaneAnyone who says that economic security is a human right, has been too much babied. While he babbles, other men are risking and losing their lives to protect him. They are fighting the sea, fighting the land, fighting disease and insects and weather and space and time, for him, while he chatters that all men have a right to security and that some pagan god—Society, The State, The Government, The Commune—must give it to them. Let the fighting men stop fighting this inhuman earth for one hour, and he will learn how much security there is.
Wayne LaPierreNo victim of crime should be required to surrender his life, health, safety, personal dignity, or property to a criminal, nor should a victim be required to retreat in the face of an attack.
Benedict D. LaRosaSince independence in the fourteenth century, the Swiss have been required to keep and bear arms, and since 1515, have had a policy of armed neutrality. Its form of government is similar to the one set up by our Founders -- a weak central government exercising few, defined powers having to do mostly with external affairs and limited authority over internal matters at the canton (state) and local levels.
Latin ProverbPrincipio Obstate (Resist from the beginning).
Richard Henry LeeIt is true, the yeomanry of the country possess the lands, the weight of property, possess arms, and are too strong a body of men to be openly offended—and, therefore, it is urged, they will take care of themselves, that men who shall govern will not dare pay any disrespect to their opinions. It is easily perceived, that if they have not their proper negative upon passing laws in congress, or on the passage of laws relative to taxes and armies, they may in twenty or thirty years be by means imperceptible to them, totally deprived of that boasted weight and strength: This may be done in great measure by congress.
Richard Henry LeeThe constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia. .... all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided.
William LenoirWe are told there is no cause to fear.  When we consider the great powers of Congress, there is great cause of alarm.  They can disarm the militia.  If they were armed, they would be a resource against great oppressions.  The laws of a great empire are difficult to be executed.  If the laws of the union were oppressive, they could not carry them into effect, if the people were possessed of the proper means of defence.
John C. LenzenIn a world in which violent criminals are frequently armed with various deadly weapons, a public policy limiting the amount of force that may be exerted by an innocent victim in response to life-threatening aggression is puzzling. It is a curious law indeed which posits a society in which only criminals possess the means to kill. Where a violent criminal possesses a firearm, any attempt by his victim to defend himself or herself by inducing “temporary discomfort” in the criminal would likely result in serious injury to the victim or others, no matter what the extent of the defensive opportunity. One is not generally prevented from pulling the trigger of a gun because one is temporarily uncomfortable. This is especially so if the criminal is intent on hurting people. In such a situation, the only viable response by the victim entails the use of deadly force. ... It is perfectly rational for a victim who realizes that a criminal is going to attempt to kill him or her to resist that attempt with any amount of force available. It is, however, often safer, more effective, and perfectly legal to use deadly force instead.
C. S. LewisIt is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects -- military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.
Abraham LincolnMy paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
John Locke[Individuals] have a right to defend themselves and recover by force what by unlawful force is taken from them.
John LockeIf the innocent honest Man must quietly quit all he has for Peace sake, to him who will lay violent hands upon it, I desire it may be considered what kind of Peace there will be in the World, which consists only in Violence and Rapine; and which is to be maintained only for the benefit of Robbers and Oppressors.
John LockeI have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else.
John LockeWhosoever uses force without Right ... puts himself into a state of War with those, against whom he uses it, and in that state all former Ties are canceled, all other Rights cease, and every one has a Right to defend himself, and to resist the Aggressor.
John Locke[I]t being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for by the fundamental law of
nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may
destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a Wolf or a lion....
John Locke[F]or nothing is to be accounted hostile force, but where it leaves not the remedy of such an appeal; and it is such force alone, that puts him that uses it into a state of war, and makes it lawful to resist him. A man with a sword in his hand demands my purse in the high-way, when perhaps I have not twelve pence in my pocket: this man I may lawfully kill. To another I deliver 100 pounds to hold only whilst I alight, which he refuses to restore me, when I am got up again, but draws his sword to defend the possession of it by force, if I endeavour to retake it. The mischief this man does me is a hundred, or possibly a thousand times more than the other perhaps intended me (whom I killed before he really did me any); and yet I might lawfully kill the one, and cannot so much as hurt the other lawfully. The reason whereof is plain; because the one using force, which threatened my life, I could not have time to appeal to the law to secure it: and when it was gone, it was too late to appeal. The law could not restore life to my dead carcass: the loss was irreparable; which to prevent, the law of nature gave me a right to destroy him, who had put himself into a state of war with me, and threatened my destruction. But in the other case, my life not being in danger, I may have the benefit of appealing to the law, and have reparation for my 100 pounds that way.
John LockeSelf-defence is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself...
Stony LoftIf you look like a rabbit, and act like a rabbit, you will be treated like a rabbit -- prey for all predators.
John R. Lott, Jr.If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed-handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided.
LucanusAnd they are ignorant that the purpose of the sword is to save every man from slavery.
General Douglas MacArthurI am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.
James MadisonThe highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.  This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. ... Besides the advantage of being armed, ... the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. ... [The governments of Europe] are afraid to trust the people with arms. ... Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors.
James MadisonA standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.
James MadisonThe 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.
James MadisonAn efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution and required by the spirit and safety of free government.
James MadisonA people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression.
James MadisonIt is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
James Madison[T]he powers granted by the proposed Constitution are the gift of the people, and may be resumed by them when perverted to
their oppression, and every power not granted thereby remains with the people.
James MadisonThe right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon … has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.
Joyce Lee MalcolmThe right of ordinary citizens to possess weapons is the most extraordinary, most controversial, and least understood of those liberties secured by Englishmen and bequeathed to their American colonists. It lies at the very heart of the relationship between the individual and his fellows, and between the individual and his government.
Joyce Lee MalcolmIt was during the eighteenth century -- a period of boastful satisfaction with the nice balances within the English constitution -- that Englishmen came to accept the Whig view of the utility of an armed citizenry. The armed citizen was not only affirmed to be protecting himself but, together with his fellows, provided the ultimate check on tyranny.
Nelson MandelaA freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a point, one can only fight fire with fire.
MeliansIt may be your intent to be our masters; how can it be ours to be your slaves?
John Stuart MillThat principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.
Joel MillerLaws do not curb the lawless. After all, that's why we call them 'lawless.'
Charles MorganI have not one doubt, even if I am in agreement with the National Rifle Association, that that kind of record keeping procedure [gun registration] is the first step to eventual confiscation under one administration or another.
Edward R. MurrowWe cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
Huey P. NewtonAny unarmed people are slaves, or are subject to slavery at any given moment. If the guns are taken out of the hands of the people and only the pigs have guns, then it's off to the concentration camps, the gas chambers, or whatever the fascists in America come up with. One of the democratic rights of the United States, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, gives the people the right to bear arms. However, there is a greater right; the right of human dignity that gives all men the right to defend themselves.
Lyn NofzigerThese things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.
Charles Eliot NortonThere never was a good war," said Franklin. There have indeed been many wars in which a good man must take part, and take part with grave gladness to die if need be, a willing sacrifice, thankful to give life for what is dearer than life, and happy that even by death in war he is serving the cause of peace. But if a war be undertaken for the most righteous end, before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime.
Ted NugentTo my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.
P. J. O'RourkeA nation with a goofy foreign policy needs a very serious policy of defense.
Mancur OlsonSometimes, when leading families or merchants organized a government for their city, they not only provided for some power sharing through voting but took pains to reduce the probability that the government's chief executive could assume autocratic power. For a time in Genoa, for example, the chief administrator of the government had to be an outsider -- and thus someone with no membership in any of the powerful families in the city. Moreover, he was constrained to a fixed term of office, forced to leave the city after the end of his term, and forbidden from marrying into any of the local families. In Venice, after a doge who attempted to make himself autocrat was beheaded for his offense, subsequent doges were followed in official processions by a sword-bearing symbolic executioner as a reminder of the punishment intended for any leader who attempted to assume dictatorial power.
George OrwellMen sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
George OrwellThat rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
Thomas PaineThe 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 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 one half the world deprived of the use of them...
Thomas PaineFrom the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms! Through the land let the sound of it flee; Let the far and the near all unite, with a cheer, In defense of our Liberty Tree.
Vijaya Lakshmi PanditThe more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.
Marie J. ParenteWhen you sit down to negotiate on what you already have, you lose.
Blaise PascalIt is not our task to secure the triumph of truth, but merely to fight on its behalf.
James Paterson... in all countries where personal freedom is valued, however much each individual may rely on legal redress, the right of each to carry arms -- and these the best and the sharpest -- for his own protection in case of extremity, is a right of nature indelible and irrepressible, and the more it is sought to be repressed the more it will recur.
General George S. Patton, Jr.It is certain that the two World Wars in which I have participated would not have occurred had we been prepared. It is my belief that adequate preparation on our part would have prevented or materially shortened all our other wars beginning with that of 1812. Yet, after each of our wars, there has always been a great hue and cry to the effect that there will be no more wars, that disarmament is the sure road to health, happiness, and peace; and that by removing the fire department, we will remove fires. These ideas spring from wishful thinking and from the erroneous belief that wars result from logical processes. There is no logic in wars. They are produced by madmen. No man can say when future madmen will reappear. I do not say that there will be no more wars; I devoutly hope that there will not, but I do say that the chances of avoiding future wars will be greatly enhanced if we are ready.
Dr. Ron PaulWhat we need to do in this country is make sure the majority of the American people really want their freedoms back again, We have to have people once again believe in liberty, foreign policy that defends America, but is not the policeman of the world. We don’t have the right nor the facilities to throw our weight around and tell the rest of the world how to live.
Pennsylvania GazetteThe loyalists in the beginning of the late war objected to associating, arming and fighting, in defense of our liberties, because these measures were not constitutional. A free people should always be left... with every possible power to promote their own happiness.
H. Beam PiperOnly the incompetent wait until the last extremity to use force, and by then, it is usually too late to use anything, even prayer.
William PittThe poorest man may in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
The Liberty Pole[T]he next time you read or hear about a murder victim, a rape victim or an assault victim, I want you to preface it with the word 'unarmed' so that murder victims become 'unarmed murder victims'; this is especially true in rape. How many times have you read, 'An unidentified woman, heavily armed with a semi-automatic weapon was raped by a man wielding a knife.' No answer is necessary, right?
Anne Bowen PoulinThe power of nullification plays an important role in the criminal justice system. ... Because an accused criminal is restricted in the defenses he or she can raise, the law recognizes only certain defenses and justification, and correspondingly, limited evidence. The jury’s power to nullify provides an accommodation between the rigidity of the law and the need to hear and respond to positions that do not fit legal pigeonholes, such as claims of spousal abuse before the battered-spouse syndrome received acceptance. Jury nullification permits the jury to respond to a position that does not have the status of a legally recognized defense. The power to nullify guarantees that the jury is free to speak as the conscience of the community.
Ayn RandToday, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter _for_ government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection _against_ the government.
Edmund RandolphA people who mean to be free must be prepared to meet danger in person, and not rely upon the fallacious protection of armies
Ronald ReaganThe NRA believes America's laws were made to be obeyed and that
our Constitutional liberties are just as important today as 200 years ago.
And by the way, the Constitution does not say
Government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms.
The Constitution says 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed.'
Ronald ReaganThere are some who've forgotten why we have a military. It's not to promote war; it's to be prepared for peace.
Ronald ReaganMr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Ronald ReaganGovernment exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
Ronald ReaganFor too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people.
Charley ReeseIt is both illogical and inconsistent for a government to say people have a right to life and a right
to self-defense but no right to own the tools necessary to defend their lives. It is illogical for a government that says its police have no obligation
to provide individual protection to deny people the means to protect themselves. It is immoral for a government that repeatedly releases
predators to prey on people to tell those victims they cannot have a weapon for self-defense. It’s stupid for a government that can’t control
criminals, drugs or illegal immigrants to claim it can take guns away from criminals only if honest folks will give up theirs. Gun-control
proposals are also an insult. Gun control by definition affects only honest people. When a politician tells you he wants to forbid you from owning a
firearm or force you to get a license, he is telling you he doesn’t trust you. That’s an insult. The government trusted me with a M-48 tank and
assorted small arms when it claimed to have need of my services. It trusts common Americans with all kinds of arms when it wants them to go kill
foreigners somewhere—usually for the financial benefit of some corporations. But when the men and women take off their uniforms and return to
their homes and assume responsibility for their own and their families’ safety, suddenly the politicians don’t trust them to own a gun. This is pure
elitism. . . . Gun control is not about guns or crime. It is about an elite that fears and despises the common people.
Glenn Harlan ReynoldsThe purpose of the right to bear arms is twofold; to allow individuals to protect themselves and their families, and to ensure a body of armed citizenry from which a militia could be drawn, whether that militia’s role was to protect the nation, or to protect the people from a tyrannical government.
Morgan ReynoldsIn the early and mid-1970’s, public advice was to cooperate with robbers and rapists in order to minimize personal injury. Appeasement, in other words. While this may be good advice in some circumstances, as general behavior it makes crime more rewarding. A nation of sheep is nice for wolves.
Sheldon RichmanToday, the people who would use guns to violate rights have little trouble getting them, while those who would use them to defend their rights have increasing trouble getting them. ... Gun control is in effect a subsidy for criminals.
Sheldon RichmanIf you own your life, then you have the right to defend yourself against anyone who would deprive you of it. ... And, if you have the right of self-defense, it follows that you have the right to act ... to obtain means appropriate to that defense. That brings us to firearms, particularly the handgun, which so many people would outlaw. The handgun has been called the equalizer ..., and for good reason. It affords smaller, weaker people the chance to defend themselves against bigger, stronger people who threaten them. Handguns offer the otherwise defenseless a convenient, practical, inexpensive method of safeguarding themselves and their families. Banishing handguns -- even if the big and strong were also denied them -- would leave the small and the weak defenseless.
Paul Craig RobertsI don’t know why liberals want to disarm the law-abiding population, but I do know that not a single argument proffered stands the light of facts. Armed citizens deter far more crimes than the police, and far more lives are saved by the intended victim being armed than are lost in firearm accidents.
Paul Craig RobertsBATF is a bureaucracy that has outlived its mission. Prohibitionist ended a half century ago. Eliot Ness is no longer needed to chase down gangsters and their untaxed profits from bootlegging. Today no one smuggles tobacco. Treasury agents no longer have anything to do but harass innocent gun owners. The committee [Senate Judiciary Committee] concluded that BATF was a rogue operation that trampled all over the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. Following the congressional hearings, the Treasury Department was so embarrassed by the documented abuses that it drew up plans to abolish the agency. However, it was unable to do so, because neither the customs Bureau nor the Secret Service would accept the transfer of discredited BATF agents into their organization.
Robert L. RubleIn March, 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia, passed a mandatory gun ownership ordinance which requires all heads of households to own a firearm—handgun, rifle or shotgun. In 1982, our crime against persons, which include murder, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault and residential burglary, decreased 74%. In 1983 these same crimes decreased [an additional] 46%. ... I would also like you to be aware that our population has increased in excess of 20% since 1982. We have had no accidents nor incidents involving our citizens with regards to firearms. ... It is a pleasure to see our senior citizens strolling the streets at night without fear of becoming a victim of violent crime.
Carmine SarracinoI know, both by reason and by experience, that if you ever need a gun, whether in Katmandu or Los Angeles, at that moment you will have never needed anything so badly in your life.
Eric SchaubBy a Declaration, Liberty is born.
With Courage she is nourished, and
with unceasing Commitment she is guarded.
Eric SchaubI am not free until I say so.
And there's a good chance
I am going to have to fight once I do.
Ever since I declared my Independence,
I have had to support and defend it.
Rick ScottIt is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law. It is at just such times that the constitutional right to self-defense is most precious and must be protected from government overreach.
Butler D. ShafferThe State…has had a vested interest in promoting attitudes that would tend to make us skeptical of our own abilities, fearful of the motives of others, and emotionally dependent upon external authorities for purpose and direction in our lives.
Travis SharpGDP is an important metric for determining how much the United States could afford to spend on defense, but it provides no insight into how much the United States should spend. Defense planning is a matter of matching limited resources to achieve carefully scrutinized and prioritized objectives. When there are more threats, a nation spends more. When there are fewer threats, it spends less. As threats evolve, funding should evolve along with them. ... Unfortunately, setting defense spending at four percent of GDP would shield the Pentagon from careful scrutiny and curtail a much-needed transparent national debate.
Roger ShermanThe Executive should be able to repel and not to commence war.
Algernon SidneyNay, all laws must fall, human societies that subsist by them be dissolved, and all innocent persons be exposed to the violence of the most wicked, if men might not justly defend themselves against injustice by their own natural right, when the ways prescribed by publick authority cannot be taken.
Algernon Sidney[T]here is a difference between lions and asses; and he is a fool who knows not that swords were given to men, that none might be slaves, but such as know not how to use them.
Jeffrey R. SnyderBut to ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow. ... For society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding.
Jeffrey R. SnyderIs your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? ... How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself?
Jeffrey R. Snyder[O]ne who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous bodily injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety....
Jeffrey R. SnyderFortunately, there is a weapon for preserving life and liberty that can be wielded effectively by almost anyone -- the handgun. Small and light enough to be carried habitually, lethal, but unlike the knife or sword, not demanding great skill or strength, it truly is the 'great equalizer.' Requiring only hand-eye coordination and a modicum of ability to remain cool under pressure, it can be used effectively by the old and the weak against the young and the strong, by the one against the many.
Jeffrey R. SnyderIf you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?
Jeffrey R. SnyderCrime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.
Jeffrey R. SnyderAs the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people... The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.
Jeffrey R. SnyderAs the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people.
Joseph SobranThe difference between a politician and a pickpocket is that the pickpocket doesn't get indignant when you tell him to keep his hands to himself.
Alexander SolzhenitsynAt what exact point, then should one resist the communists? ... How we burned in the prison camps later thinking: what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if during periods of mass arrests people had simply not sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand. ... The Organs [police] would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers ... and notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt.
Lysander SpoonerThe principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that -- however bloody -- can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.
Lysander Spooner[F]or everybody has a natural right to defend his own person and property against aggressors, but also to go to the assistance and defence of everybody else, whose person or property is invaded. The natural right of each individual to defend his own person and property against an aggressor, and to go to the assistance and defence of every one else whose person or property is invaded, is a right without which men could not exist on earth.
Howard SternWhen you think about it if somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner, let’s say in Massachusetts, why all of a sudden when he crossed the border is he an outlaw?
Vin Suprynowicz[T]his is why the tyrants are moving so quickly to take away our guns. Because they know in their hearts that if they continue
the way they’ve been going, boxing Americans into smaller and smaller corners, leaving us no freedom to decide how to raise and school and
discipline our kids, no freedom to purchase (or do without) the medical care we want on the open market, no freedom to withdraw $2,500 from our
own bank accounts (let alone move it out of the country) without federal permission, no freedom even to arrange the dirt and trees on our own
property to please ourselves ... if they keep going down this road, there are going to be a lot more Carl Dregas, hundreds of them, thousands of them,
fed up and not taking it any more, a lot more pools of blood drawing flies in the municipal parking lots, a lot more self-righteous government weasels
who were “only doing their jobs” twitching their death-dances in the warm afternoon sun ... and soon.
Arthur SylvesterI think the inherent right of the government to lie to save itself when faced with nuclear disaster is basic -- basic.
The Declaration of Arbroath 1320For as long as one hundred of us shall remain alive, we shall never in any wise consent submit to the rule of the English, for it is not for glory we fight, nor riches, or for honour, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life.
Preamble To The United States ConstitutionWe the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Arnold J. ToynbeeThe human race's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenceless against ourselves.
John TrenchardIt's the misfortune of all Countries, that they sometimes lie
under a unhappy necessity to defend themselves by Arms against the
ambition of their Governors, and to fight for what's their own.
If those in government are heedless of reason, the people must
patiently submit to Bondage, or stand upon their own Defence; which
if they are enabled to do, they shall never be put upon it, but
their Swords may grow rusty in their hands; for that Nation is
surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a
Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to
make use of it.
St. George TuckerThis may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. ... The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
Mark TwainIrreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.
Sun TzuAll warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.
United States v. RobelIt would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense,
we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties ...
which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.
U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.
Lon VanOstranUsing the power of the law to ensure that the law abiding are at the mercy of the lawless is an act of barbarism beyond the realms
of logic. The dreamers and fools who force us to endure the carnage should be on trial along with the criminals they are creating.The world is not
made more civil by forcing the civilized to be the victims of the predators. How dare you, any of you, refuse good law abiding citizens the right
to defend themselves in a country where there were 25,000 murders, 105,000 reported rapes, and 975,000 armed robberies LAST YEAR?
Vince VaughnI support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. We don't have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It's not about duck hunting; it's about the ability of the individual. It's the same reason we have freedom of speech.
Earl Warren[O]ur War of the Revolution was, in good measure, fought as a protest against standing armies.
George WashingtonTo be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
George WashingtonIn time of peace, prepare for war.
Daniel WebsterGod grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.
Daniel WebsterThe Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
West Virginia ConstitutionA person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use.
Walter E. WilliamsRecent school shootings have lured ill-informed Americans into a war on our Second Amendment guarantees, led by the
nation’s tyrants and their useful idiots. ... The Second Amendment was given to us as protection against tyranny by the federal government and the
Congress of the United States.
Walter E. WilliamsThe framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.
Walter E. WilliamsPeople want government to do all manner of things, things that if done privately would lead to condemnation and jail sentences.
Some want government to give money to farmers, poor folk, college students, senior citizens and businesses. There’s no Santa Claus or tooth fairy.
The only way government can give money to one person is to forcibly take it from another person. If I privately used the same method to raise money
for a “deserving” college student, homeless person or businessman, I’d face theft charges. Others among us want government to protect wild wolves,
bears and the Stephens kangaroo rat even if it results in gross violations of private property and loss of lives. The problem is that some people
disagree with having their earnings taken to satisfy someone else’s wishes. They don’t want the Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service
dictating to them what they can and cannot do with their property to ensure a habitat for the kangaroo rat. Force and threats must be used. Here’s
the question: Could the average American kill a person who resolutely refuses to give up his earnings so Congress can give it to farmers? Could you
kill a person who insists on using all of his property, even though some wolves have set up a den on it? You say, “What do you mean, Williams—
kill?” Here’s the scenario: The Corps of Engineers commands me not to remove debris from a drainage ditch on my property, placed there by beavers
building a dam, because the debris creates a wetland. I remove it anyway. The Corps of Engineers fines me. I refuse to pay the unjust fine. The Corps
of Engineers threatens to seize my land. I say no, you won’t: it’s my land, and I’ll protect it. A politician sends marshals to take it, and I get killed
defending it.
Wendell L. WillkieFreedom is an indivisible word. If we want to enjoy it, and fight for it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, whether they are rich or poor, whether they agree with us or not, no matter what their race or the color of their skin.
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