Category Archives: Second Amendment

Taking Up Arms to Preserve Their Property as Individuals and Their Rights as Freemen…

Josiah Quincy, Jr

Josiah Quincy, Jr

“No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…. Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” — Josiah Quincy, Jr., Thoughts on Standing Armies, 1774.

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Filed under Bill of Rights, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Individual Responsibility, Limited Government, Second Amendment

To Disarm the People is the Best and Most Effectual Way to Enslave Them…

George Mason

George Mason

“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”George Mason, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention,  1788

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Filed under Abuse & Misuse of Power, Bill of Rights, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, George Mason, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Limited Government, Second Amendment, Tyranny

A Revolution Brought About By Those Who Had No Power At All?

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

“O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”  — Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

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Filed under American Revolution, Bill of Rights, Checks & Balances in Government, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Patrick Henry, Second Amendment

Americans Possess the Advantage of Being Armed

James Madison

James Madison

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nations, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” — James Madison,
Federalist No. 46, 1788

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The People Have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Virginia Ratifying Convention 1788“That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” —  Recommended Bill of Rights from the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1778

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Who Are the Militia? Are They Not Ourselves?

Tench Coxe

Tench Coxe

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against 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.” — Tench Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788

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Filed under Bill of Rights, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Second Amendment, Tench Coxe

Before a Standing Army Can Rule the People Must Be Disarmed

Noah Webster

Noah Webster

“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 band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.” — Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

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Filed under Balance of Power, Bill of Rights, Checks & Balances in Government, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Noah Webster, Second Amendment, Tyranny