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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
Browse quotes by category or select from the list below.
|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.|
|Edward Abbey||The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy... If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government—and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.|
|Lord Acton||Government by idea tends to take in everything, to make the whole of society obedient to the idea. Spaces not so governed are unconquered, beyond the border, unconverted, a future danger.|
|Samuel Adams||A standing army, however necessary it may be at some times, is always dangerous to the liberties of the people. Such power should be watched with a jealous eye.|
|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.|
|Publius Terentius Afer||Fortune helps the brave.|
|Eric Alterman||History is replete with examples of empires mounting impressive military campaigns on the cusp of their impending economic collapse.|
|Aristophanes||The wise learn many things from their enemies.|
|Aristotle||Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil -- and if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.|
|William J. Astore||1. Our military is supposed to be a means to an end: national security. Due to its immense size and colossal budget, has our military not become an end as well as a means?|
2. In World War II, Americans could explain “Why We Fight” in part because the government provided a clear and compelling rationale for war. Why are the goals of today’s wars so opaque to most Americans?
3. If our military provides us with our way of “nation building” abroad, won’t countries and peoples be more likely to copy our military ways and weaponry than our democratic teachings?
4. America is facing painful budgetary belt tightening. Why is the military immune?
5. Why does “support our troops” seemingly end when they leave the service, leading us to tolerate such inequities as an unemployment rate of 21% for young veterans?
|William J. Astore||When it comes to our nation's military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What's remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know.|
|Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition||Militia: The body of citizens in a state, enrolled for discipline as a military force, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies, as distinguished from regular troops or a standing army.|
|Napoleon Bonaparte||I have made all the calculations; fate will do the rest.|
|Justice William J. Brennan||The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.|
|George Herbert Walker Bush||My vision of a 'new world order' foresees a United Nations with a revitalized peacekeeping function.|
|George W. Bush||We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans,|
and confront the worst threats before they emerge.
|George W. Bush||We will fight with full force and might of the United States military.|
|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.|
|George W. Bush||There are some who feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there [in Iraq]. My answer is, 'Bring 'em on.' |
|Major General Smedley Darlington Butler||My mental faculties remained in suspended animation|
while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups.
This is typical with everyone in the military.
|Gaius Julius Caesar||When the swords flash let no idea of love, piety, or even the face of your fathers move you.|
|Jimmy Carter||The decision to attack the entire nation [of Yugoslavia] has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal. ... The United States' insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on our nation (as does our refusal to support a ban on land mines). Even for the world's only superpower, the ends don't always justify the means.|
|Quintus Tullius Cicero||During war, the laws are silent.|
|Georges Clemenceau||War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.|
|Bill Clinton||There is no reason for anyone in this country -- anyone except a police officer or military person -- to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns.|
|Bill Clinton||A lot of wonderful people love their country and hate the military.|
|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.
|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.|
|Justice William O. Douglas||Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.|
|Robert Dowlut||[R]estricting arms to the military and police eviscerates the principle that power should flow from the people to government, and turns the government into a master rather than a servant.|
|Clint Eastwood||At Waco, was there really an urgency to get those people out of the compound at that particular time? Was the press going to make it look heroic for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms? At Ruby Ridge, there was one guy in a cabin at the top of the mountain. Was it necessary for federal agents to go up there and shoot a 14-year-old in the back and shoot a woman with a child in her arms? What kind of mentality does that?|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower||All of us have heard this term "preventive war" since the earliest days of Hitler. ... A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war. ... I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.|
|William Norman Ewer||I gave my life for freedom--This I know;|
For those who bade me fight had told me so.
|William Faulkner||We cannot choose freedom established on a hierarchy of degrees of freedom, on a caste system of equality like military rank. We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.|
|John A. Fisher||The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility.|
|Benjamin Franklin|| ... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ...|
|French Aphorism||Constitutions are made of paper; Bayonets are made of steel.|
|Michael Gartner||There is no reason for anyone in this country, anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. I used to think handguns could be controlled by laws about registration, by laws requiring waiting periods for purchasers, by laws making sellers check out the past of buyers. I now think the only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution.|
|Gazette of the United States||The 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.|
|Richard Gephardt||We can see beyond the present shadow of war in the Middle East to a new world order where the strong work together to deter and stop aggression. This was precisely Franklin Roosevelt's and Winston Churchill's vision for peace in the post-war period.|
|Elbridge Gerry||What, 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.|
|Emma Goldman||Order derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet that is the only "order" that governments have ever maintained. True social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests. In a society where those who always work never have anything, while those who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of interests is non-existent; hence social harmony is but a myth.... Thus the entire arsenal of governments - laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, prisons - is strenuously engaged in "harmonizing" the most antagonistic elements in society.|
|Ulysses S. Grant||The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on.|
|Colin Gray||American strategic [nuclear] forces do not exist solely for the purpose of deterring a Soviet nuclear threat or attack against the U.S. itself. Instead, they are intended to support U.S. foreign policy.|
|Richard Grenier||As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.|
|Alexander Haig||There are contingency plans in the NATO doctrine to fire a nuclear weapon for demonstrative purposes, to demonstrate to the other side that they are exceeding the limits of toleration in the conventional area.|
|Alexander Hamilton||Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government|
which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself?
|Alexander Hamilton||The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the land and naval forces, as first general and admiral ... while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies -- all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.|
|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.|
|William Henry Harrison||The plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.|
|B. H. Liddell Hart||The profoundest truth of war is that the issue of battle is usually decided in the minds of the opposing commanders, not in the bodies of their men.|
|B. H. Liddell Hart||In strategy the longest way round is often the shortest way there; a direct approach to the object exhausts the attacker and hardens the resistance by compression, whereas an indirect approach loosens the defender's hold by upsetting his balance.|
|Friedrich August von Hayek||The ultimate decision about what is accepted as right and wrong will be made not by individual human wisdom but by the disappearance of the groups that have adhered to the "wrong" beliefs.|
|Sidney Hook||If one shoots at a king, one must not miss.|