2nd Amendment & Liberty Quotations

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

- 2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Freedom is not free and it's price is eternal vigilence.
Don't ever forget it!

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is
to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence."

Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

"On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p322.

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams.

 "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." -Thomas Jefferson.

"To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..." -Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic (1787-1788).

 "The 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, debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87.

"Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual private self defense..." -John Adams, A defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the USA, 471 (1788).

"...the people have a right to keep and bear arms." -Patrick Henry and George Mason, Elliot, Debates at 185.

"The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." -James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." -George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426.

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." -Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169.

"The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age..." -Title 10, Section 331 of the U.S. Code.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." -Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334 (C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950).

"They that can give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania..

"The great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun" - Patrick Henry

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." -- Thomas Jefferson

Samuel Adams warned 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."

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouths of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson. 1st inaugural address. 1801.

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others." -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1785).

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson, Bill for the More General diffusion of Knowledge (1778).

"(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." -James Madison.

 "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...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." -Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria.

"...arms...discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ...Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them." -Thomas Paine.

"To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them..." -George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380.

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8.

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.: -Patrick Henry.

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government..."-Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28).

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -George Washington.

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the 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." -Tench Coxe, Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution, under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1989 at col. 1.

"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." -gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. the supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States." -Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the federal Constitution (1787) in Pamphlets to the Constitution of the United States (P. Ford, 1888).

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence." Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." - George Bernard Shaw

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." - Louis D. Brandeis

"Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State"- Heinrich Himmler

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.....moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue" - Barry Goldwater

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