The Second Amendment

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.

Court Decisions: 

 

Articles:
http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/why-not-renew-the-assault-weapons-ban-well-ill-tell-you/

Quotations:

Armed people are free. No state can control those who have the machinery and the will to resist, no mob can take their liberty and property. And no 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being or dignity of a 110-pound woman who has two pounds of iron to even things out … People who object to weapons aren’t abolishing violence, they’re begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically right. Guns ended that, and a social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work. – L. Neil Smith (from The Probability Broach)

When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor… – George Mason, Virginia Constitution Convention

The police can’t stop an intruder, mugger, or stalker from hurting you. They can pursue him only after he has hurt or killed you. Protecting yourself from harm is your responsibility, and you are far less likely to be hurt in a neighborhood of gun owners than in one of disarmed citizens – even if you don’t own a gun yourself. – Harry Browne

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 Browne

An armed society is a polite society. – Robert A. Heinlein

Criminals obey “gun control” laws in the same manner politicians follow their oaths of office. – Anonymous

Suppose the Second amendment said “A well-educated electorate being necessary for self-governance in a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.” Is there anyone who would suggest that means only registered voters have a right to read? – Robert Levy, Georgetown University professor

The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. –Thomas Jefferson

We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. – Patrick Henry

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, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. – George Washington

Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not – Thomas Jefferson

The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution – Thomas Jefferson

There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. – Noah Webster

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. – Edmund Burke, British Statesman

What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms. – Thomas Jefferson

They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake. – Malcolm Wallop, US Senator

An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject. – Anonymous

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

Let us hope our weapons are never needed –but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government — and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws. – Edward Abbey ‘Abbey Road’ 1979

.. a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen…- Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.- Report of the Subcommittee On The Constitution of the Committee On The Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, second session (February, 1982), SuDoc# Y4.J 89/2: Ar 5/5

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

I don’t like the idea that the police department seems bent on keeping a pool of unarmed victims available for the predations of the criminal class. – – David Mohler, 1989, on being denied a carry permit in NYC

Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don’t have a gun, freedom of speech has no power. – Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992

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 a right to deprive them of.- Albert Gallatin, Oct 7 1789

Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such [gun control] laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist. – Robert Anson Heinlein, 1949

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,” Law and Contemporary Problems 49, no. 1. (Winter 1986.): 35-62.

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 — 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, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 — establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime. – Senator Orrin Hatch in a 1982 Senate Report

Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms. – Aristotle

The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale developments with armed security guards — and who want to keep other people from having guns to defend themselves. But what about lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods? Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine liberals can ‘make a statement’ by adding to the thousands of gun laws already on the books? – Thomas Sowell

Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns. – U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, “Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse,” August 1995.

Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound. – L. Neil Smith

The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the *government*, not to *society*; and as long as they have nothing to revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the use of arms, and no possible disadvantage. – Joel Barlow, Advice to the Privileged Orders 1792-93

[The disarming of citizens] has a double effect, it palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind: a habitual disuse of physical forces totally destroys the moral [force]; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression. 1792-93

Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. – John F. Kennedy

Those who beat their swords into plough shares shall plough for those who don’t. – Anonymous

The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms – Samuel Adams

Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.’ – Mao Tse-tung, 1938

“ 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. ”

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used, and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” Sen. Hubert Humphrey

“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson

The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed. – Jeff Snyder

As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people. – Jeff Snyder

Probably fewer than 2% of handguns and well under 1% of all guns will ever be involved in a violent crime. Thus, the problem of criminal gun violence is concentrated within a very small subset of gun owners, indicating that gun control aimed at the general population faces a serious needle-in-the-haystack problem. – — Gary Kleck, “Point Blank: Handgun Violence In America”

When only cops have guns, it’s called a “police state”. – Claire Wolfe ‘101 Things to do until the Revolution’

The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed. – Alexander Hamilton ‘The Federalist Papers’

Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. – Mohandas Ghandi

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

One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms – Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1840

The bearing of arms is the essential medium through which the individual asserts both his social power and his participation in politics as a responsible moral being… – J.G.A. Pocock

As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks. – Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenage nephew

Taking my gun away because I might shoot someone is like cutting my tongue out because I might yell `Fire!’ in a crowded theater. – Peter Venetoklis

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story

Militias, 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. – Senator Henry Richard Lee on ‘militia’ in the second amendment

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. – Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson’s Commonplace book

No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. – “Political Disquisitions”, a British republican tract of 1774-1775

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence 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, June 9 1788

To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. George Mason, June 14, 1788

No one should have any illusions about what was accomplished [by the ban]. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.” – Washington Post September 15, 1994

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