“To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them…”
“Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great-Britain, the British parliament was advised by an artful man, [Sir William Keith] who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people. That it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
According to Wikipedia, “George Mason IV (December 11, 1725 – October 7, 1792) was a United States patriot, statesman, and delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Along with James Madison, he is called the “Father of the Bill of Rights”. For all of these reasons he is considered to be one of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States.” For more information on George Mason see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mason
3rd President of the United States, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Founding Father.
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
“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.”
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. -Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
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. -Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774_1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” -Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344.
THOMAS PAINE – Revolutionary and philosopher.
“The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world not 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 … the weak will become prey to the strong.”
JAMES MADISON – Father of the Bill of Rights, Fourth President of the United States,.
“Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms.”
SAMUEL ADAMS – American Revolutionary, philosopher, Founding Father – beer guy. 🙂
“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms . . .”
NOAH WEBSTER – Early American political writer and author of the Webster dictionary.
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in 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 band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
TENCHE COXE – American political and a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress.
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he 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.”
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN – Founding Father, Pennsylvania delegate to Second Continental Congress, drafter of the Declaration of Independence.
“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
RICHARD HENRY LEE – Delegate to first Continental Congress, put forth the resolution on June 7, 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain.
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
“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.”
ELBRIDGE GERRY – 5th Vice President of the United States, signer of Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. Refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights.
“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.”
GEORGE WASHINGTON – duh, please tell me you already know who this guy was J First President of the United States.
“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”
“A free people ought not only to be armed…”
PATRICK HENRY – prominent figure in American Revolution, thought the Constitution afforded the government too much power, instrumental in the creation of the Bill of Rights.
“The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.”
“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?”
March 23, 1775:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”