Thursday, May 21, 2009

2nd Amendment Quotes - The Right to Bear Arms

Enjoy and use these quotes to defend our right to bear arms!

"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 to the Constitution of the United States of America

"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there! "- George Orwell, Orwell: The Authorized Biography (1940) by Michael Shelden

"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson, proposal for Virginia's constitution of 1776.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government. -- This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty... The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." - St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1803)

"It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. " - Unknown

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington, in a speech to Congress, January 7,1790. (Note: There is a rumor that this quote was NOT made by Washington.)

"One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular army in the stead of a resort to the militia. The friends of a free government cannot be too watchful, to overcome the dangerous tendency of the public mind to sacrifice, for the sake of mere private convenience, this powerful check upon the designs of ambitious men.." - Joseph Story, Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (1840)

"The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of unnecessary implements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues and tends to foment uprisings." - Toyotomi Hideyoshi, dictator of Japan, August 1588

I think there should be a law -- and I know this is extreme -- that no one can have a gun in the U.S. If you have a gun, you go to jail. Only the police should have guns. - Shannon Hawkins, Rosie Takes on the NRA, Ottawa Sun, April 29, 1999 (quoting talk show hostess Rosie O'Donnell) (boldface added).

"When only cops have guns, it's called a "police state"." - Claire Wolfe, "101 Things To Do Until The Revolution"

If it was up to me, no one but law enforcement officers would own hand guns... - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Federal Gun Legislation Press Conference in Washington, D.C., November 13, 1998.

The only way to discourage the gun culture is to remove the guns from the hands and shoulders of people who are not in the law enforcement business. - New York Times, September 24, 1975

"Rome remained free for four hundred years and Sparta eight hundred, although their citizens were armed all that time; but many other states that have been disarmed have lost their liberties in less than forty years." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one." - Rush Limbaugh, 17 Aug 1993

"I say that the Second Amendment doesn't allow for exceptions -- or else it would have read that the right 'to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless Congress chooses otherwise.' And because there are no exceptions, I disagree with my fellow panelists who say the existing gun laws should be enforced. Those laws are unconstitutional [and] wrong -- because they put you at a disadvantage to armed criminals, to whom the laws are no inconvenience." - Harry Bowne, Aug 8, 2000, at a Second Amendment rally in Arkansas

"In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis." - Stephen P. Halbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed", 1984

"The prohibition is general. No clause in the constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both. " - William Rawle, "A View of the Constitution of the United States of America" (1829)

The citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law: (a) Freedom of Speech; (b) Freedom of the Press; (c) Freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings; (d) Freedom of street processions and demonstrations. - "Constitution of the U.S.S.R." - 1924

"(Those) who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right (are) courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like. " - Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School

"If the American people really tire of democracy and want to make a trial of Fascism, I shall be the last person to object. But if that is their mood, then they had better proceed toward their aim by changing the Constitution and not by forgetting it." - H.L. Mencken

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. (Der größte Unsinn, den man in den besetzen Ostgebieten machen könnte, sei der, den unterworfenen Völkern Waffen zu geben. Die Geschicte lehre, daß alle Herrenvölker untergegangen seien, nachdem sie den von ihnen unterworfenen Volkern Waffen bewilligt hatten. ) - Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitlers Tischegesprache Im Fuhrerhauptquartier 1941-1942.

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." - Mahtma Gandhi, Indian Political Leader

"The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson (Note: It has been determined that this quote may be falsely attributed to Jefferson)

"The militia is the dread of tyrants and the guard of freemen." - Gov. R. Lucas, former Major General of the Ohio Militia, 1832

The United States should get rid of its militias. - Joseph Stalin, 1933

Gun Control
"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" - Bumper Sticker

"Strict gun laws are about as effective as strict drug laws...It pains me to say this, but the NRA seems to be right: The cities and states that have the toughest gun laws have the most murder and mayhem." - Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune

"According to the National Crime Survey administered by the Bureau of the Census and the National Institute of Justice, it was found that only 12 percent of those who use a gun to resist assault are injured, as are 17 percent of those who use a gun to resist robbery. These percentages are 27 and 25 percent, respectively, if they passively comply with the felon's demands. Three times as many were injured if they used other means of resistance." - G. Kleck, "Policy Lessons from Recent Gun Control Research"

"Our most conservative estimates show that by adopting shall-issue laws(concealed carry laws), states reduced murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%... While support for strict gun-control laws usually has been strongest in large cities, where crime rates are highest, that's precisely where right-to-carry laws have produced the largest drops in violent crimes." - "More Guns, Less Violent Crime", Professor John R. Lott, Jr.,The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 1996

"[President Clinton] boasts about 186,000 people denied firearms under the Brady Law rules. The Brady Law has been in force for three years. In that time, they have prosecuted seven people and put three of them in prison. You know, the President has entertained more felons than that at fundraising coffees in the White House, for Pete's sake." - Charlton Heston, FOX News Sunday, 18 May 1997

"If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of criminal acts reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying ... establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime." - Senator Orrin Hatch, in a 1982 Senate Report

"Gun control advocates used to claim that more guns meant more crime. Research demonstrated, though, that more guns meant less crime. As the criminology argument faded, gun control advocates began arguing guns were a public health problem." - Steven Milloy (, "Gun Control Science Misfires", Friday, Apr 13, 2001

"Don't think of it as `gun control', think of it as `victim disarmament'. If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals. " - Unknown

"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
I am not sure of the legitimacy of this quote. It seems a little strange for Thomas Jefferson to make such a "modern" argument against gun control.

"Children younger than 5 are twice as likely to die from ingesting household poisons than by gunfire - So the question for the Legislature should be: Is a parent criminally responsible for leaving an unlocked container of bleach below the sink?" - Don Kates, civil rights lawyer, quoted from "Trigger locks may not be solution to gun problems," Detroit Free Press, March 29, 2000

"The use of trigger locks requires the violation of a fundamental rule of gun safety. The rule: Keep your finger off the trigger unless you intend to shoot (in case you’re mistaken about whether the gun is loaded). - It’s easy to attach a trigger lock loosely so that it still allows the trigger to be pulled. Thus the gun may appear “safe” when it isn’t... Bottom line: I don’t use trigger locks. I wouldn’t leave a trigger-locked gun where a child could get it. If someone pointed a trigger-locked gun at me, I would duck for cover. And while I know many responsible gun owners and safety instructors, I don’t know any who use trigger locks." - Ralph D. Sherman, a firearms safety instructor & an attorney,"Trigger locks are dangerous", "Op-ed" article published in The Hartford Courant, September 12, 1998 by

"The White House Working Group praises the 1976 Bartley-Fox law in Massachusetts. This law imposes a mandatory one year term in prison for carrying a gun without a permit. In one notorious case, the law was applied to a man who started carrying a gun after a co-worker assaulted him, and repeatedly threatened to kill him. The co-worker did attack later, and the victim successfully defended himself. The crime victim was then sentenced to a mandatory one year in prison for carrying a gun without a permit. This is the kind of law that the Clinton/Gore administration wants to apply nationwide." - Dave Kopel, The Gore Gun Agenda, 05/05/00

"Brady has done little or nothing to stop felons from either getting guns or reducing crime. Figures from the BATF show that fewer than 7 percent of the guns used in a crime are bought over the counter from legitimate firearms dealers. The other 93 percent are stolen or bought on the black market, and Brady does not affect such sales." - H. Sterling Burnett, "Brady Bill Will Soon Be Dead-Do Not Resuscitate!", Sept.1998

"When innocent citizens are wrongfully denied their right to obtain a firearm in a timely fashion, the results are sometimes tragic. For example, when Phillip Coleman of Shreveport, Louisiana, attempted in 1995 to purchase a handgun for self-defense, the sale was mistakenly rejected. Coleman appealed the decision, pointing out the error. Unfortunately, he was shot to death outside of his work while his application was still pending. Three days after his murder, the approval arrived by fax." - H. Sterling Burnett, "Brady Bill Will Soon Be Dead-Do Not Resuscitate!"

"There already are 20,000 federal gun laws and regulations on the books. If those laws haven't made America safe by now, why should we think 20,001 laws will suffice?"- Harry Brown, Libertarian


  1. John,

    Thank you for posting and for following me on Twitter. I'm following you likewise, and I'm adding you to my blog roll (Sarah Palin's Accomplishments -- she is the only politician in the world I would give the second key to my rifle closet). I am an EPL member of the NRA.

  2. Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? -Patrick Henry

  3. Constitution be never construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." -Samuel Adams

  4. to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. - goerge mason

  5. Great Post! We will save it!

  6. An interesting collection of quotes, opinions and aphorisms on the subject. My comment on the dizzying variety of opinions, and on the statistics mentioned in some quotes, are:

    1) "Words, words, words..." Hamlet II / 2

    2) "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Mark Twain

  7. "You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting: by law or by force. The first way is natural to men, and the second to beasts. But as the first way often proves inadequate one must needs have recourse to the second." (Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince")

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