The 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights: "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."
- "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms..." - Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Member of the First U.S. Senate.
- "That the said Constitution shall never be 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..." - Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850. 2, col. 2.
- "If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878
- "The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." - Senator Hubert H. Humprey (D-Minnesota)
- "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Ghandi
- "...to disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them..." - George Mason
- "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" - Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d Ed. Philadelphia, 1836.
- "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 and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press." - Thomas Jefferson
- "What the subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear -- and long-lost proof that the Second Amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for the protection of himself, his family, and his freedom." - Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Preface, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms"
- "If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, and the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 - establishes the repeated, complete, and inevitable failure of gun laws to control crime." -- Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) quoted from "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Report of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, February 1982, p. vii."
- "Congress has 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, 20 Feb 1788;
- "Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is a force, like fire: a dangerous servant and a terrible master." - George Washington
- "God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." - Daniel Webster
- "The ultimate authority...resides in the people alone." - James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.
- "The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals...It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has the right to deprive them of." - Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789.
- "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
- "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
- "We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts -- not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." - Abraham Lincoln
- "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." -William Pitt (Pitt the Younger)
- "They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
- "With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but with tyrants, I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost." - William Lloyd Garrison
- "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." -Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged
- "You don't expect governments to obey the law because of some higher moral development. You expect them to obey the law because they know that if they don't, those who aren't shot will be hanged." - Michael Shirley
- "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment... to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas." - Stephen Bryer US Supreme Court Justice, 26 June 2009
- "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 start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next 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 first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get all handguns 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."- Mr.. Nelson T. Shields, III. "Pete" founder of the National Council To Control Handguns, which became Handgun Control, Inc. quoted from July 26, 1976 issue of The New Yorker Interview "A Reporter At Large - Handguns", page 53.
- "Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed by sister democracies such as Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic - purely symbolic - move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. " - Charles Krauthammer,The Washington Post, Friday, April 5, 1996, page A19 op-ed piece entitled "Disarm The Citizenry"
- "I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns." Senator Howard Metzenbaum 1994
- "Gun registration is not enough." - Janet Reno (Attorney General) December 10th, 1993
- "[the United States] can't be so fixed on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans." - President Bill Clinton, Piscataway, NJ March 1, 1993
- "We're here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true! We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy. We're going to beat guns into submission!" - NY Representative Charles Schumer November 30, 1993
- "The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security." - Louis Freeh 1993 (FBI director)
- "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so." -- Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitlers Tischegesprache Im Fuhrerhauptquartier 1941-1942. [Hitler's Table-Talk at the Fuhrer's Headquarters 1941-1942], Dr. Henry Picker, ed. (Athenaum-Verlag, Bonn, 1951)
- "Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins." -- Former Mafia hit man turned informant Sammy "the Bull" Gravano
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