Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


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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Franklin P. AdamsProhibition is an awful flop.  We like it. 
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.  We like it. 
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It don't prohibit worth a dime, 
It's filled our land with vice and crime. 
Nevertheless, we're for it.
AesopVices are their own punishment.
Publius Terentius AferModeration in all things.
Joseph AllenThe burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.
Hollis AlpertThe artist, viewing his fellows through his personal vision, has through the ages attempted to portray what he sees and to present his understanding of it. Censorship in his case has perpetrated heavy and sometimes reprehensible blunders.
William M. Anderson, Jr.The intellectually stifling results of censorship -- while deplorable in any setting -- would be all the more abominable if allowed to exist within the college environment.
Harry J. AnslingerReefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men.
Harry J. AnslingerThere are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.
Harry J. AnslingerYou smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.
Harry J. Anslinger...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.
Harry J. AnslingerMost marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death -- the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.
Harry J. AnslingerMarihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing.
Harry J. AnslingerMarijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.
Harry J. AnslingerMarijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.
Sir Francis BaconA forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out.
Michael BadnarikI have the right to do whatever I wish with my property. If I own a pile of wood, I can set fire to it even if it is currently nailed together in the shape of a barn. Cigarettes may not be healthy for me in the long run, but I have the freedom to smoke them anyway. Drinking alcohol may or may not have negative side effects, but even if it does, the government has no authority to prohibit you from consuming it, even if it is "in your own best interest." Since when do we let the government decide what is or isn't good for us? What the hell does Congress know about nutrition, anyway? (For that matter, what does Congress know about the Constitution?) If the government can use force whenever something is "in our best interest" then government should force everyone to wake up at 6am every morning for calisthenics in the front yard. Fast food establishments should be torn down and replaced with bars that serve carrot juice and alfalfa sprouts, since - "it's in your best interest." This paternalistic attitude that "the government knows best" and that you are merely a helpless child is insulting and reprehensible. Hitler used the same attitude to persuade the Germans to subjugate themselves to the "Fatherland.
Tallulah BankheadCocaine habit forming? Of course not. I ought to know, I've been using it for years.
Dr. Jorge BatlleWhy don’t we just legalize drugs? ... The day that it is legalized in the United States, it will lose value. And if it loses value, there will be no profit. But as long as the U.S. citizenry doesn’t rise up to do something, they will pass this life fighting and fighting.
Chief Judge David L. BazelonMy own view rests on the premise that nullification can and should serve an important function in the criminal process ... The doctrine permits the jury to bear on the criminal process a sense of fairness and particularized justice ... The drafters of legal rules cannot anticipate and take account of every case where a defendant’s conduct is “unlawful” but not blameworthy, any more than they can draw a bold line to mark the boundary between an accident and negligence. It is the jury -- as spokesmen for the community’s sense of values -- that must explore that subtle and elusive boundary. ... I do not see any reason to assume that jurors will make rampantly abusive use of their power. Trust in the jury is, after all, one of the cornerstones of our entire criminal jurisprudence, and if that trust is without foundation we must reexamine a great deal more than just the nullification doctrine.
Pierre-Augustin BeaumarchaisAs long as I don't write about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to print anything.
Pierre-Augustin BeaumarchaisProvided I do not write about the government, or about religion, or politics, or morals, or those in power, or public bodies, or the Opera, or the other state theatres, or about anybody who is active in anything, I can print whatever I want.
Mark BerleyPolitical correctness is really a subjective list put together by the few to rule the many -- a list of things one must think, say, or do. It affronts the right of the individual to establish his or her own beliefs.
Isaiah BerlinAll forms of tampering with human beings, getting at them, shaping them against their will to your own pattern, all thought control and conditioning is, therefore, a denial of that in men which makes them men and their values ultimate.
John Biggs, Jr.Let us revise our views and work from the premise that all laws should be for the welfare of society as a whole and not directed at the punishment of sins.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWhat finally emerges from the ‘clear and present danger’ cases is a working principle that the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before utterances can be punished…It must be taken as a command of the broadest scope that explicit language, read in the context of a liberty-loving society, will allow.
Alan BloomFreedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities.
William E. BorahNo more fatuous chimera has ever infested the brain than that you can control opinions by law or direct belief by statute, and no more pernicious sentiment ever tormented the heart than the barbarous desire to do so. The field of inquiry should remain open, and the right of debate must be regarded as a sacred right.
James BovardNo-knock police raids destroy Americans’ right to privacy and safety. People’s lives are being ruined or ended as a result of unsubstantiated assertions by anonymous government informants. ... Unfortunately, no-knock raids are becoming more common as federal, state, and local politicians and law enforcement agencies decide that the war on drugs justified nullifying the Fourth Amendment. ... No-knock raids in response to alleged narcotics violations presume that the government should have practically unlimited power to endanger some people’s lives in order to control what others ingest.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisIt is one of the happy incidents of the federal system, that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.
William F. Buckley, Jr.Now it is one thing to say (I say it) that people shouldn’t consume psychoactive drugs. It is entirely
something else to condone marijuana laws, the application of which resulted, in 1995, in the arrest of 588,963 Americans. Why are we so afraid to
inform ourselves on the question?
William F. Buckley, Jr.Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Bulletin of the FBIMarihuana is a more dangerous drug than heroin or cocaine. I am surprised to learn that certain police officers have been inclined to minimize the effects of the use of marihuana. They would, I am sure, be convinced that the drug is adhering to its Old World traditions of murder, assault, rape, physical demoralization, and mental breakdown. A study of the effects of marihuana shows clearly that it is a dangerous drug, and Bureau records prove that its use is associated with insanity and crime.
George W. BushLet us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.
Al CaponeWhen I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
Thomas CarlyleEvery human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man.
Jorge CastañedaIn the end, legalization of certain substances may be the only way to bring prices down, and doing so may be the only remedy to some of the worst aspects of the drug plague: violence, corruption, and the collapse of the rule of law.
Gilbert Keith ChestertonThe free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.
Sir Winston ChurchillI have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.
Marcus Tullius CiceroDo not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.
Bill ClintonThe purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
Bill ClintonWhen we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly.... [However, now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Thomas M. CoffeyProhibition ended in 1933 because the nation’s most influential people, as well as the general public, acknowledged that it had failed. It had increased lawlessness and drinking and aggravated alcohol abuse.
Henry Steele CommagerCensorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion... In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience.
Richard CowanOne of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Steven CrowderThis is why political correctness, or Cultural Marxism,… lends itself so fashionably to easy labels. Transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, bigoted, Uncle Tom, white privilege, mainsplaining. All of these are slapped on people with "politically incorrect" opinions in an attempt to silence you...
Hate speech is inextricably tied to political correctness, or Cultural Marxism, and that creates intellectual conformity -- or intellectual authoritarianism. And that’s where you start to see things like “safe spaces” or “trigger warnings” or speakers banned from campus, or people with unpopular opinions banned from social media.
Manuel Garcia O'Kelly DavisSeems to be a deep instinct in human beings
for making everything compulsory
that isn't forbidden.
Michel De MontaigneTo forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.
Charles-Louis De SecondatThe deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
Brannon P. DenningNote, however, that trying to ban guns because of strong moral disapproval of them or because of claims that they are 'scary' or that they may be used in crimes would not constitute a 'compelling state interest' any more than an attempt to restrain publication of a book on moral grounds would be. The concept of a 'compelling state interest' cannot swallow up the very right guaranteed in the first place.
Earl F. DodgeAfter fifty years as a Prohibitionist, I am more convinced than ever that we need a good party, not just good men and good women. Most public officials are united in the war against terrorism. They, like we, are outraged at the deaths of some 3,000 Americans on September 11. Yet, most are willing to give unqualified support to the traffic in liquor and tobacco in exchange for campaign cash. Those products jointly claim at least 600,000 American lives each year. Two hundred die each year from use of alcohol and tobacco for every one who died in the September 11 attacks. Need another reason for being a Prohibitionist?
William O. DouglasThe First and Fourteenth Amendments say that Congress and the States shall make “no law” which abridges freedom of speech or of the press. In order to sanction a system of censorship I would have to say that “no law” does not mean what it says, that “no law” is qualified to mean “some” laws. I cannot take this step.
Stephen DowningThe federal government has turned policing into policing for profit.
Robert P. DoyleWhen books are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned, an atmosphere of suppression exists…. The fear of the consequences of censorship is as damaging as, or perhaps more damaging than, the actual censorship attempt. After all, when a published work is banned, it can usually be found elsewhere. Unexpressed ideas, unpublished works, unpurchased books are lost forever.
John EhrlichmanYou want to know what this was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
Albert EinsteinThe prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.
Albert EinsteinThe prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.
Edward EllisonI say legalize drugs because I want to see less drug abuse, not more. And I say legalize drugs because I want to see the criminals put out of business.
Thomas I. EmersonThe Right of all members of society to form their own beliefs and communicate them freely to others must be regarded as an essential principle of a democratically organized society.
Thomas I. EmersonSuppression of expression conceals the real problems confronting a society and diverts public attention from the critical issues. It is likely to result in neglect of the grievances which are the actual basis of the unrest, and this prevent their correction.
Thomas I. EmersonEvery man – in the development of his own personality – has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man’s essential nature.
Feminists Against CensorshipCensorship is a dangerous tool that is primarily used to suppress from those who would challenge oppression by the society and that state, and particularly victimizes minorities. [It] can never eliminate evil ideas, and so the best answer to bad speech is more speech.
Jay FoxEvery attempt to gag the free expression of thought is an unsocial act against society. That is why judges and juries who try to enforce such laws make themselves ridiculous.
Benjamin FranklinBeer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
FrenchmanI see that you, too, put up monuments to your great dead.
Milton FriedmanUnderlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
Milton FriedmanLegalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and also the quality of law enforcement. Can you conceive of any other measure that would accomplish so much to promote law and order?
Milton FriedmanOne role of prohibition is in making the drug market more lucrative.
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.
Geoffrey Brennan and James M. BuchananTax limits, or fiscal constraints generally, can be expected to curb government's appetites to the extent that the utility function of governmental decision makers contains arguments for privately enjoyable 'creature comforts,' for final end items of consumption. Such constraints become much less effective, and may well be evaded, if the motive force behind governmental action is 'do-goodism.' The licentious sinners we can control; the saintly ascetics may destroy us.
Henry GeorgeIt is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.
Jon GettmanAfter a generation of marijuana arrests, nearly 19 million and counting since 1981, the results are that marijuana remains widely used, not perceived as risky by a majority of the population, and widely available. The tremendous variance in use and arrests at the state level demonstrate why marijuana prohibition has failed and is not a viable national policy.
Jo GodwinA truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
Joseph Paul GoebbelsNot every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.
Joseph Paul GoebbelsDuring a war, news should be given out for instruction rather than information.
Richard GoldsteinTo subject an artist’s work to a litmus test of political probity – and to punish institutions that will not carry out the mandate of the state – is to traffic in the thought control that gave us Stalinism and Nazism…
A. Whitney GriswoldBooks won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom.
Alexander HamiltonThere is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.
Hearst newspapers nationwideMarihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye,
step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice.
Heinrich HeineWhenever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
Heinrich HeineWhenever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
Robert A. HeinleinThe whole principle is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't eat steak.
Robert A. HeinleinWhen any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
Claude-Adrien HelvetiusTo limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or knaves.
Frank HerbertLaws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit.
This is the fine point on which all legal professions of history have based their job security.
Granville HicksThe sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself.
Robert HiggsDemocrats and Republicans alike support the "War on Drugs." Federal, state, and local police make more than a million drug arrests
yearly. Drug cases clog the courts. More than 60% of federal prison cells and about 30% of state prison cells hold drug offenders. No-knock drug
raiders nullify the Fourth Amendment every day. Yet illicit drugs continue to pour onto the market, and they are readily available throughout the
land. Looks like another failed policy. But politicians say more money will win the war. For fiscal 1996, President Clinton has requested a record
$14.6 billion for this exercise in futility. State and local government will also spend huge sums. Who benefits? Posturing politicians and puritanical
zealots, of course, but also the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs Service, Coast Guard, FBI, and the rest of the drug warriors. Police love
the drug war, because the forfeiture laws it inspired allow them to seize and keep private property with impunity. Corrupt cops get fabulous bribes,
and corruption therefore runs rampant.
Eric HofferThe basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
Eric HofferTo some, freedom means the opportunity to do what they want to do; to most it means not to do what they do not want to do. It is perhaps true that those who can grow will feel free under any condition.
Heinrich HoffmannAdolf Hitler's life style is simple. He never drinks alcohol and does not smoke.
Thomas HolcroftTo prevent inquiry is among the worst of evils.
Billie HolidayI never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.
Sidney HookTo silence criticism is to silence freedom.
Jacob G. Hornberger[T]ake the war on drugs. The average American says, “The war on drugs has been beneficial.” The rest of us see reality. This war has destroyed thousands of Americans. It is also a pretext for government agents to rob innocent people in airports and on the highways -- they seize and confiscate large amounts of cash and say to their victims: “Sue us if you don’t like it.” And more and more judges, politicians, intelligence agents, and law-enforcement officers are on the take -- as dependent on the drug-war largess as the drug lords themselves.
Joseph Henry JacksonDid you ever hear anyone say, “That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me.”
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.
John JayThe jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.
Thomas JeffersonI am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.
Thomas JeffersonTobacco is a culture
productive of
infinite wretchedness.
Thomas JeffersonThe error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. ... Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.
Thomas JeffersonIf the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
Thomas JeffersonIs uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
Thomas JeffersonLaws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves.
Thomas JeffersonLaws provide against injury from others, but not from ourselves.
Ernest Jones[Censors are] people with secret attractions to various temptations... They are defending themselves under the pretext of defending others, because at heart they fear their own weaknesses.
Howard Mumford JonesPersecution is the first law of society because it is always easier to suppress criticism than to meet it.
Alan Keyes...[A] prohibition on moral judgments against various sexual behaviors is a violation of the freedom, even of the religious liberty, of those who view such behavior as wrong. If we don't have a right to act according to our religious belief by forming judgments according to those beliefs about human conduct and behavior, then, exactly what does the free exercise of religion mean? Can the free exercise of religion really mean simply that I have the right to believe that God has ordained certain things to be right or wrong but that I can't act accordingly? Surely free exercise means the freedom to act according to belief. And, yet, if we are not allowed to act according to belief when it comes to fundamental moral precepts, then what will be the moral implications of religion? None at all. But if we accept an understanding of religious liberty that doesn't permit us to discriminate the wheat from the chaff in our own actions and those of others, haven't we in fact permitted the government to dictate to us a uniform approach to religion? And, isn't that dictation of uniformity in religion exactly what the First Amendment intended to forbid?
Charles KochIf somebody smokes a joint, we're gonna go in and bust them? We're gonna raid houses in case somebody has a banned substance? Confiscate their houses? My God, if people don't see that as an abuse of force, of too much government, then we're just not communicating.
David B. KopelPersons who fit “drug courier profiles” may be detained and harassed by the police, although such profiles include getting off the plane early, late, or in the middle as an element of the profile. Infrared sensors spy into people’s homes, with no probable cause. Except in the home, the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement has been mostly abolished by a “law and order” Supreme Court. Under forfeiture laws, billions of dollars of private property have been seized from persons who have never been charged, let alone convicted of any crime. Pre-trial detention, a gross contradiction of the presumption of innocence, has become routine. Citizens traveling on busses, on trains, or in private cars are liable to be pulled over and searched by police and drug-sniffed by police dogs for no reason at all. Urinalysis has become a routine condition of initial or continued employment, and the medical privacy of many persons taking lawful prescription medication has been compromised as a result. Stalinesque “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” programs in the schools encourage children to turn in their parents for illegal drug possession. Attractive young police officers pretend to be high school students, and pester socially awkward teenagers into selling them drugs. Punishment for crime has become grotesquely disproportionate to the offense, as teenagers in possession of $1,500 worth of LSD are sent to prison for longer terms than kidnappers and arsonists. America has a higher imprisonment rate than any other nation in the world, and yet violent criminals serve less and less time in prison as America’s rapidly expanding prison industry takes in more and more young people convicted of drug offenses. The United States Army is conducting domestic law enforcement operations in California and Oregon; the National Guard has been turned into a militarized drug police. Wiretapping has never been more common. Financial privacy has vanished as banks must report currency transactions; car dealers must report customers who buy with cash.
David B. Kopel[T]he drug prohibition laws have led to wholesale destruction of civil liberties. The War on Drugs has now become a War on the Constitution, and the American people have become, in the eyes of their government, a society of suspects.
Police Chief James J. KouriSome police chiefs for years have warned that we are “militarizing” our nation’s police. “Smart bombs” are used to enter drug dens. Officers are clad in paramilitary garb including battle helmets. Armored “urban” assault vehicles are tactically utilized on city streets. Cops are trained in military tactics. You cannot train officers in such a manner and then expect them to behave like “Officer Friendly” .... The FBI is an investigatory agency. Originally, they weren’t even armed. Why are lawyers and accountants being transformed into G.I. Joes? When such occurs we come dangerously close to establishing a National Police Force, something not intended by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
Paul KurtzFree inquiry requires that we tolerate diversity of opinion and that we respect the right of individuals to express their beliefs, however unpopular they may be, without social or legal prohibition or fear of success.
Jules LaforgueAnd to kill time while awaiting death, I smoke slender cigarettes thumbing my nose to the gods.
Lao-TzuThe more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be.
Pope Leo XIIIBooks of apostates, heretics, schismatics, and all other writers defending heresy or schism or in any attacking the foundations of religion, are altogether prohibited.
Pope Leo XIIIThe liberty of thinking and publishing whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrances, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountainhead and origin of many evils.
Doris LessingPolitical correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others.
C. S. LewisOf all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
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.
Joseph LewisThe burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.
Sinclair LewisEvery compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize.
Abraham LincolnProhibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham LincolnA prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham LincolnProhibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
Abraham LincolnIt has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Lord George LyttletonTo argue against any breach of liberty from the ill use that may be made of it, is to argue against liberty itself, since all is capable of being abused.
Thomas Babington MacaulayPersecution produced its natural effect on them. It found them a sect; it made them a faction.
Thomas Babington MacaulayThere is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.
Thomas Babington MacaulayMany politicians... are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool... who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
James MadisonLiberty is to faction what air is to fire, an ailment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.
MaimonidesTruth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.
Marisa ManleyIn ancient Babylon, Sumeria, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome, for instance, price controls promoted not fairness but famine. During the twentieth century, central banks were supposed to help safeguard economies, but they brought on the worst inflations and depressions. Alcohol and drug prohibition, intended to enforce moral behavior, contributed to escalating violence.
Justice Thurgood MarshallIf the First Amendment means anything,
it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house,
what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought
of giving government the power to control men's minds.
Steven MartinovichThanks to the war on drugs, nearly 700,000 people were arrested in the United States for possession of marijuana in 1997, while 400,000 currently sit in prison for drug crimes -- more than the entire prison population of Britain, Germany and Belgium -- for what is a consensual act. Nearly $35 billion a year is spent on arresting, prosecuting and jailing drug criminals in the US -- $400 million in Canada -- to hammer at a crime which essentially harms no one but the drug user.
Neil A. McDonaldWhatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish.
Gail W. McGeeI’m going to introduce a resolution to have the postmaster general stop reading dirty books and deliver the mail.
Herman MelvilleIf some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books should be forbid.
MenanderEverything is destroyed by its own particular vice: the destructive power resides within. Rust destroys iron, moths destroy clothes, the worm eats away the wood; but greatest of all evils is envy, impious habitant of corrupt souls, which ever was, is, and shall be a consuming disease.
H. L. MenckenThe whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.
John Stuart MillThe 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.
Henry MillerEverything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
Joel MillerWhat we have to remember is that not everything is under our control. If people are free in any meaningful sense of the word, that means they are at liberty to foul up their lives as much as make something grand of them. That's a gamble we all take. That's the risk of liberty. Nobody wants others to screw up their lives, but each must be free to do so for themselves.
Joel MillerFar from a simple attempt to rid the nation of crime and drugs,
our policy against narcotics -- like any public policy --
comes with strings attached. And increasingly these strings
are constricting around the necks of Americans' lives and liberties.
Roger Quarles MillsProhibition was introduced as a fraud; it has been nursed as a fraud. It is wrapped in the livery of Heaven, but it comes to serve the devil. It comes to regulate by law our appetites and our daily lives. It comes to tear down liberty and build up fanaticism, hypocrisy, and intolerance. It comes to confiscate by legislative decree the property of many of our fellow citizens. It comes to send spies, detectives, and informers into our homes; to have us arrested and carried before courts and condemned to fines and imprisonments. It comes to dissipate the sunlight of happiness, peace, and prosperity in which we are now living and to fill our land with alienations, estrangements, and bitterness. It comes to bring us evil - only evil - and that continually. Let us rise in our might as one and overwhelm it with such indignation that we shall never hear of it again as long as grass grows and water runs.
Tim MoenI want gay married people to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns.
Charles W. MooreIf the political-correctness fascists get their way, we can safely assume it will be correct-thinking, “political cleansing” squads deciding what we can or cannot say on the Intenet. These people fear public debate and demand homogenization of “acceptable” attitudes compatible with their emotional, utopian idealism.
John Viscount MorleyWhen it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.
Norval MorrisThe prime function of the criminal law is to protect our persons and our property; these purposes are now engulfed in a mass of other distracting, inefficiently performed, legislative duties. When the criminal law invades the spheres of private morality and social welfare, it exceeds its proper limits at the cost of neglecting its primary tasks. This unwarranted extension is expensive, ineffective, and criminogenic.
Lyle MyhrWhen they took the 4th Amendment, I was quiet because I didn't deal drugs. When they took the 6th Amendment, I was quiet because I was innocent. When they took the 2nd Amendment, I was quiet because I didn't own a gun. Now they have taken the 1st Amendment, and I can only be quiet.
National Institute of JusticeThe goal of legalizing drugs is to bring them under effective legal control. If it were legal to produce and distribute drugs, legitimate businessmen would enter the business. There would be less need for violence and corruption since the industry would have access to the courts. And, instead of absorbing tax dollars as targets of expensive enforcement efforts, the drug sellers might begin to pay taxes. So, legalization might well solve the organized crime aspects of the drug trafficking problem. On average, drug use under legalization might not be as destructive to users and to society as under the current prohibition, because drugs would be less expensive, purer, and more conveniently available.
Robert NozickThe socialist society would have to forbid capitalist acts between consenting adults.
P. J. O'RourkeIf you are young
and you drink a great deal
it will spoil your health,
slow your mind,
make you fat --
in other words,
turn you into an adult.
Dr. Fred OertherShould we believe self-serving, ever-growing drug enforcement/drug treatment bureaucrats, whose pay and advancement depends on finding more and more people to arrest and "treat"? More Americans die in just one day in prisons, penitentiaries, jails and stockades than have ever died from marijuana throughout history. Who are they protecting? From what?
George OrwellAt any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is “not done”… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.
John OsborneCensorship is the commonest social blasphemy because it is mostly concealed, built into us by indolence, self-interest and cowardice.
Judge James PaineAlcohol didn’t cause the high crime rates of the ‘20s and ‘30s, Prohibition did. And drugs do not cause today’s alarming crime rates, but drug prohibition does.... Trying to wage war on 23 million Americans who are obviously very committed to certain recreational activities is not going to be any more successful than Prohibition was.
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...
Isabel PatersonMost of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.
Katherine PattersonAll of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf -- that book I abhor -- then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us.
Dr. Ron PaulUnder the constitution, there was never meant to be a federal police force. Even an FBI limited only to investigations was not accepted until this century. Yet today, fueled by the federal government’s misdirected war on drugs, radical environmentalism, and the aggressive behavior of the nanny state, we have witnessed the massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators prowling the States where they have no legal authority. The sacrifice of individual responsibility and the concept of local government by the majority of American citizens has permitted the army of bureaucrats to thrive.
Ron PaulWhen we finally decide that drug prohibition has been no more successful than alcohol prohibition, the drug dealers will disappear.
Pope Pius XHenceforth it will be the task of this Sacred Congregation not only to examine carefully the books denounced to it, to prohibit them if necessary, and to grant permission for reading forbidden books, but also to supervise, ex officio, books that are being published, and to pass sentence on such as deserve to be prohibited.
PlatoGood people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
Daniel D. Polsby[A] public policy of simply discouraging people from owning or using firearms is not, in and of itself, a constitutionally permissible
objective, any more than discouraging people from religious observance would be permissible to some oh-so-progressive government
that considered religion as hopelessly declassé as progressives nowadays consider the right to keep and bear arms .... And any statute or regulation
that burdens the right to keep and bear arms on the ground that guns are a public health hazard should enjoy the same frosty reception in court that
would be given a statute or regulation that burdened the free exercise of religion as a mental hazard.
John Norton PomeroyThe object of this clause [the right of the people to keep and bear arms] is to secure a well-armed militia.... But a militia
would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons. To preserve this privilege, and to secure to
the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that
government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms.
Robert N. ProctorJena by this time was a center of antitobacco activism -- mainly through the labors of Karl Astel, director of the new institute [Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research] and president, since the summer of 1939, of the University of Jena. Astel was head of the Thuringia's office of Racial Affairs and a notorious antisemite and racial hygienist (he had joined the Nazi party and the SS in July of 1930) ... Astel was also a militant antismoker and teetolater who once characterized opposition to tobacco as a 'national socialist duty.' On May 1, 1941, he banned smoking in all buildings and classrooms of the University of Jena, and the following spring, as head of Thuringia's Public Health Office, he announced a smoking ban in all regional schools and health offices. Tobacco in his view had to be fought 'cigar by cigar, cigarette by cigarette, and pack by pack' -- hence his notoriety for snatching cigarettes from the mouth of students who dared to violate his Jena University tobacco ban.
Robert N. ProctorOne topic that has only recently begun to attract attention is the Nazi anti-tobacco movement. Germany had the world's strongest antismoking movement in the 1930s and early 1940s, supported by Nazi medical and military leaders worried that tobacco might prove a hazard to the race. Many Nazi leaders were vocal opponents of smoking. Anti-tobacco activists pointed out that whereas Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt were all fond of tobacco, the three major fascist leaders of Europe -- Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco -- were all non-smokers.
Terence H. QualterThe weapon of the dictator is not so much propaganda as censorship.
Janet RenoWaiting periods are only a step.
Registration is only a step.
The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.
Glenn Harlan ReynoldsA 'well regulated militia' was thus one that was well-trained and equipped, not one that was 'well-regulated' in the modern sense of being subjected to numerous government prohibitions and restrictions.
Keith RichardsI've never had a problem with drugs.  I've had problems with the police.
Will RogersInstead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth!
Bertrand RussellWe may define a Puritan as a man who holds that certain kinds of acts, even if they have no visible bad effects upon others than the agent, are inherently sinful, and, being sinful, ought to be prevented by whatever means is most effectual - the criminal law if possible, and, if not that, then public opinion backed by economic pressure.
Bertrand Russell "The laws in question can, therefore, only be justified by the theory of vindictive punishment, which holds that certain sins, though they may not injure anyone except the sinner, are so heinous as to make it our duty to inflict pain upon the delinquent. This point of view, under the influence of Benthamism, lost its hold during the nineteenth century. But in recent years, with the general decay of Liberalism, it has regained lost ground, and has begun to threaten a new tyranny as oppressive as any in the Middle Ages.
Bertrand RussellNext to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power. Consequently those who live under the dominion of Puritanism become exceedingly desirous of power. Now love of power does far more harm than love of drink or any of the other vices against which Puritans protest. Of course, in virtuous people love of power camouflages itself as love of doing good, but this makes very little difference to its social effects. It merely means that we punish our victims for being wicked, instead of for being our enemies. In either case, tyranny and war result. Moral indignation is one of the most harmful forces in the modern world, the more so as it can always be diverted to sinister uses by those who control propaganda.
Willy RussellI pray that no child of mine would ever descend into such a place as a library. They are indeed most dangerous places and unfortunate is she or he who is lured into such a hellhole of enjoyment, stimulus, facts, passion and fun.
Dr. Mary J. RuwartUsing aggression to stop drug abuse kills more people than the drugs themselves! If we honored our neighbor’s choice, the people now enforcing the minimum wage and licensing laws would be available to go after the real criminals. In 1987, drug offenders made up 36% of the federal prison population. As the War on Drugs escalates, more of our law enforcement dollar will be spent on drug-related crimes and less on rapists, murderers, and thieves. Is this the best way to deal with the drug problem? ... People who drink an alcoholic beverage in the privacy of their own homes are not using first-strike force, theft, or fraud against anyone else. Nor is a person smoking a joint or snorting cocaine, under the same conditions, guilty of anything more sinister than trying to feel good. We see no contradiction in arresting the cocaine user while we enjoy our favorite cocktail. Are we once again sanctioning aggression-through-government in an attempt to control the lives of others? In the early 1900s, many people supported aggression through-government to stop the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As we all know, Prohibition was tried, but it just didn’t work. People still drank, but they had to settle for home-brews, which were not always safe. Some people even died from drinking them. Since business people could no longer sell alcohol, organized crime did. Turf battles killed innocent bystanders, and law enforcement officials found they could make more money taking bribes than jailing the bootleggers. Aggression was ineffective—and expensive, both in terms of dollars and lives. When Prohibition was repealed, people bought their alcohol from professional brewers instead of criminals. As a result, they stopped dying from bathtub gin. The turf fighting subsided, since there was no turf to fight about. The murder and assault rate that had skyrocketed during Prohibition fell steadily after its repeal.
Dr. Mary J. RuwartWhen marijuana was legalized in Alaska, consumption went down. The Netherlands had a similar experience. In Amsterdam, heroin addiction is half that of the U.S. rate, and crack is not widely available. When we honor our neighbor’s choice, he or she will often act differently than we would have predicted. ... The excessive profit that comes from prohibitive licensing would not exist in the self-regulating marketplace ecosystem. Alcohol and cigarettes, which are illegal for minors, are less of a problem because they are less profitable. If recreational drugs were legal, their medicinal properties could be more easily studied and employed. Today, red tape discourages physicians from giving marijuana to their patients, even though it can slow the progress of glaucoma, keep cancer patients from being nauseated by chemotherapy, and help treat multiple sclerosis. Until it became illegal, marijuana was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia for some of these purposes. Instead, our enforcement agents seized the marijuana plants of a retired postal worker suffering from cancer. Robert Brewser had used them to control the pain and nausea from his radiation therapy. The agents also took -- without trial -- the van his wife used to take him to the hospital for treatment! How much universal love do we show our neighbors when we support laws that make this possible? ... Aggression-through-government sets the stage for drug problems. When we discriminate against disadvantaged workers through minimum wage and licensing laws, we frustrate their economic goals. Getting high is certainly more attractive when other parts of one’s life don’t seem to be working. Selling drugs certainly seems like a lucrative career for a ghetto youth banned from legitimate paths of creating wealth. In addition to the other deleterious effects of licensing laws, they may well contribute to the drug problem. Drug prohibition is counterproductive. We resist this conclusion, however, because we want to control other people’s choices. Some people will indeed make what we consider to be poor choices for themselves. People who overeat, drink heavily, or engage in dangerous activities may prefer a shorter, more exciting, and intense life to a longer one with different rewards. They may prefer gratification over longevity. It is their life and their choice -- if only we would honor it.
Florence SabinThe prohibition law,
written for weaklings and derelicts,
has divided the nation,
like Gaul, into three parts --
wets, drys, and hypocrites.
Carl SaganThere is a lurking fear that some things are not meant “to be known,” that some inquiries are too dangerous for human beings to make.
Kurt L. SchmokeDecriminalization would take the profit out of drugs and greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the drug-related violence that is currently plaguing our streets.
Ken SchoollandFor thousands of years, the tireless effort of productive men and women has been spent trying to reduce the distance between communities of the world by reducing the costs of commerce and trade. Over the same span of history, the slothful and incompetent protectionist has endlessly sought to erect barriers in order to prohibit competition—thus, effectively moving communities farther apart. When trade is cut off entirely, the real producers may as well be on different planets. The protectionist represents the worst in humanity: fear of change, fear of challenge, and the jealous envy of genius. The protectionist is not against the use of every kind of force, even warfare, to crush his rival. If mankind is to survive, then these primeval fears must be defeated.
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.
George Bernard ShawCensorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.
Morris SheppardThere is as much chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a humming-bird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail.
Nelson ShieldsI'm convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest. Of course, it's true that politicians will then go home and say, 'This is a great law. The problem is solved.' And it's also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-control issue for a time. So then we'll have to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen that law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States -- is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal.
Nelson Turner Shields, IIIThe first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition ... totally illegal.
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.
Alexander SolzhenitsynIn our country, the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.
Thomas SowellThe fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices -- paid by others.
Baruch SpinozaLaws which prescribe what everyone must believe, and forbid men to say or write anything against this or that opinion, are often passed to gratify, or rather to appease the anger of those who cannot abide independent minds.
Lysander SpoonerA man who is without capital, and who, by prohibitions upon banking, is practically forbidden to hire any, is in a condition elevated but one degree above that of a chattel slave. He may live; but he can live only as the servant of others; compelled to perform such labor, and to perform it at such prices, as they may see fit to dictate.
Lysander SpoonerIf, then, it became so difficult, so nearly impossible, in most cases, to determine what is, and what is not, vice; and especially if it be so difficult, in nearly all cases, to determine where virtue ends, and vice begins; and if these questions, which no one can really and truly determine for anybody but himself, are not to be left free and open for experiment by all, each person is deprived of the highest of all his rights as a human being, to wit: his right to inquire, investigate, reason, try experiments, judge, and ascertain for himself, what is, to him,virtue, and what is, to him, vice; in other words: what, on the whole, conduces to his happiness, and what, on the whole, tends to his unhappiness. If this great right is not to be left free and open to all, then each man’s whole right, as a reasoning human being, to "liberty and the pursuit of happiness," is denied him.
Lysander SpoonerIf those persons, who fancy themselves gifted with both the power and the right to define and punish other men’s vices, would but turn their thoughts inwardly, they would probably find that they have a great work to do at home; and that, when that shall have been completed, they will be little disposed to do more towards correcting the vices of others, than simply to give to others the results of their experience and observation.
Lysander SpoonerVices are not crimes.
Lysander SpoonerVices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.
Lysander SpoonerFor a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be a falsehood, or falsehood a truth.
State Department Paper 7277The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament...
Judge Robert SweetFinally, the fundamental flaw, which will ultimately destroy this prohibition as it did the last one, is that criminal sanctions cannot, and should not attempt to, prohibit personal conduct which does no harm to others.
Cornelius TacitusThe more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
Henry David ThoreauTrade and commerce, if they were not made of Indian rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way.
Mark ThorntonThe new puritans have been highly successful. All of the preconditions for new prohibitions on alcohol and tobacco are in place. ... Indeed, the future agenda of the federal government has already been established to outlaw alcohol and tobacco in the near future. ... If current trends persist, America will be moving toward stricter prohibitions, greater restrictions, and more centralized control over consumption. This represents an erosion of liberty at its most fundamental level.
Pierre TrudeauObviously, the state's responsibility should be to legislate rules for a well-ordered society. It has no right or duty to creep into the bedrooms of the nation.
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.
Carlton TurnerMarijuana leads to homosexuality ... and therefore to AIDS.
Mark TwainCensorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
Mark TwainNothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
Mark TwainI am aware that when even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition... (more)
Paul ValéryLiberty is the hardest test that one can inflict on a people. To know how to be free is not given equally to all men and all nations.
Abigail Van BurenI agree that marijuana laws are overdue for an overhaul. I also favor the medical use of marijuana -- if it's prescribed by a physician. I cannot understand why the federal government should interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, nor why it would ignore the will of a majority of voters who have legally approved such legislation.
Mark Van DorenAn unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure.
Jesse VenturaThe prohibition of drugs causes crime. You don’t have to legalize, just decriminalize it.
VoltaireIt is the characteristic of the most stringent censorships, that they give credibility to the opinions they attack.
VoltaireOur wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Josiah C. WedgwoodMen must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if he shall ever learn to choose right.
Andrew Weil, MDIn Europe, when tobacco
was first introduced,
it was immediately banned.
In Turkey, if you
got caught with tobacco,
you had your nose slit.
China and Russia imposed
the death penalty
for possession of tobacco.
Mae WestWhen choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I've never tried before.
Rebecca WestThere is a point, and it is reached more easily than is supposed, where interference with freedom of the arts and literature becomes an attack on the life of society.
Justice Byron R. WhiteWhile the collateral consequences
of drugs such as cocaine
are indisputably severe,
they are not unlike those
which flow from the misuse
of other, legal, substances.
Oscar WildeHe hasn't one redeeming vice.
Virginia WoolfTo admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries.
Virginia WoolfIf we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
Frances WrightPersecution for opinion is the master vice of society.
John Peter ZengerNo nation, ancient or modern, ever lost the liberty of speaking freely, writing, or publishing their sentiments, but forthwith lost their liberty in general and became slaves.
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