"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
"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 Gandhi
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficient... The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."
-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue."
-- Barry Goldwater
"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787
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, Shogun, August 1588
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
-- Abraham Lincoln, 4 April 1861
"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."
-- Constitutional scholar 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, describing the beliefs of the founders of the U.S.
Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.
-- From the Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775.