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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|A Bill Concerning Slaves||No slaves shall keep any arms whatever, nor pass, unless with written orders from his master or employer, or in his company, with arms from one place to another.|
|A Framer||Under every government the [last] resort of the people, is an appeal to the sword; whether to defend themselves against the open attacks of a foreign enemy, or to check the insidious encroachments of domestic foes. Whenever a people ... entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.|
|John Adams||Arms 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.|
|Samuel Adams||If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.|
|Samuel Adams||It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control ... The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them.|
|Samuel Adams||The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.|
|Samuel Adams||And 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.|
|Fisher Ames||Mr. Madison has introduced his long expected amendments... The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people.|
|Anonymous Gold Miner||All and everybody, this is my claim, fifty feet on the gulch, cordin to Clear Creek District Law, backed up by shotgun amendments.|
|Aristotle||For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends.|
|William Barclay||Self-defense is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself.|
|Cesare Beccaria||False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.|
|Sir William Blackstone||And, 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.|
|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.|
|Russel Bouchard||Firearms, especially long guns, occupy a noble place in Canadian history since they are no doubt responsible for the exploitation of a vast and wild territory that had long remained untouched. From 1534 until 1979 (!), the importance of firearms remained uncontested. More than a simple tool of everyday life, they became truly a phenomenon of civilization. At all times and whoever he was, the Canadian was directly in contact with firearms, and he cannot be imagined otherwise. Even today, this symbol of liberty remains intimately related to wide, open spaces, and to a tolerant society. It is the distinctive mark of today's and yesterday's America. Here, in New France, let's repeat it, it is not only soldiers and nobles who have the possibility or privilege to bear arms. Century-old Canadian customs recognize equally to everybody the legal and moral right to acquire a firearm and to use it freely and noncoercively.|
|Sarah Brady||Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.|
|Harry Browne||The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn't say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a 'compelling interest' in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn't say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn't say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances.|
|James Burgh||No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.|
|H. Sterling Burnett||Guns 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.|
|George W. Bush||The choice is his [Saddam Hussein's],|
and if he does not disarm,
the United States of America will lead a coalition
and disarm him in the name of Peace.
|Sir Winston Churchill||If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.|
|Winston Churchill||This truth may be unfashionable, unpalatable, no doubt unpopular, but, if it is the truth, the story of mankind shows that war was universal and unceasing for millions of years before armaments were invented or armies organized. Indeed, the lucid intervals of peace and order only occurred in human history after armaments in the hands of strong governments have come into being, and civilization in every age has been nursed only in cradles guarded by superior weapons and superior discipline.|
|Bill Clinton||The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.|
|Bill Clinton||When 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 ... And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities.|
|Bill Clinton||We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...|
|Cockrum v. State||The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the "high powers" delegated directly to the citizen, and 'is excepted out of the general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.|
|Cockrum v. State||The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.|
|Rev. Nicholas Collin||While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny.|
|Colorado Constitution||The 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.|
|Communist Rules for Revolution||Communist Rules for Revolution...|
|Connecticut Constitution||Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.|
|Maine Constitution||Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms; and this right shall never be questioned.|
|Massachusetts Constitution||The 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 Constitution||Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.|
|Montana Constitution||The 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.|
|Nevada Constitution||Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.|
|New Hampshire Constitution||All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.|
|Thomas Cooley||The 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.
|Jeff Cooper||An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.|
|Tench Coxe||The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.|
|Tench Coxe||Whereas 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.|
|Dalai Lama||If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.|
|Charles de Montesquieu||It is unreasonable ... to oblige a man not to attempt the defense of his own life.|
|Declaration of Independence||But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.|
|Don Demetrick||The 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.|
|Anthony J. Dennis||Standing armies consist of professional soldiers who owe their livelihood and income to the government. Unlike civilians who render periodic service in local militia, professional soldiers do not own property and therefore do not have any source of income other than the government’s military paymaster. Thus, they are more likely to serve the government’s interests, regardless of whether its leaders are dishonest and corrupt or not. In fact, standing armies may even promote rapacious foreign or domestic policies if such policies enrich the army. In contrast, arms bearing, property owning citizen militiamen have a stake in the health of the republic as a whole and can be trusted to act in the republic’s best interests, whether those interests call for action in support of or against the political leadership of the nation.|
|Robert Dornan||...and by the way, Mr.Speaker, the Second Amendment is not for killing little ducks and leaving Huey and Dewey and Louie without an aunt and uncle. It's for hunting politicians, like in Grozny, and in the colonies in 1776, or when they take your independence away.|
|William O. Douglas||Ideas are indeed the most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged.|