Issues: Gun Control

From an e-mail received July 17,
      of information posted to the dc.politics newsgroup.
G U N S,   C R I M E,   A N D   F R E E D O M
What Famous People Had To Say About It:
"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at the individual
in private self-defense."  John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions
Government of the United States of America, 1787-88
"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, During the Massachusetts U.S. Constitution ratification
convention, 1788
"Congress has no power to disarm the militia.  Their swords, and every
other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of
an American.  The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of
either the federal or state government, but, where I trust God it will
forever remain, in the hands of the people." Tench Coxe, Philadelphia
Federal Gazette, Feb 20, 1788
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them,
may attempt to tyrannize, as the military forces which must be
occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their
power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are
confirmed by he (SECOND) article in their right to keep and bear
their private arms."  Tench Coxe, in "Remarks on the First Part
of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution."  Philadelphia
Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is
that they be properly armed."  Alexander Hamilton, The
Federalist Papers at 184-8
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.  Suspect
everyone who approaches that jewel.  Unfortunately, nothing
will preserve it but downright force.  Whenever you give up
that force, you are ruined.  The great object is that every
man be armed.  Every man who is able may have a gun."
Patrick Henry, During Virginia's ratification convention, 1788
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.  The
strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep
and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government."  Thomas Jefferson, Proposed
Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344
"And what country can preserve it's liberties, if the rulers
are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the
spirit of resistance?  Let them take up arms.  The tree of
liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood
of patriots and tyrants."  Thomas Jefferson, Letter to
William S. Smith, 1787
"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 then
to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked
with greater confidence than an armed man."
Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist
Cesare Beccaria in "On Crimes and Punishment", 1764
"The Constitution of most of our states, and 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; that they are
entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion,
freedom of property, and freedom of the press."
Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776
"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 people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially
when young, how to use them."  Richard Henry Lee, Initiator
of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first
Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.  Additional Letters
From the Federal Farmer 53, 1788
"The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed
which Americans possess over the people of almost every
other nation where the governments are afraid to trust
the people with arms."  James Madison, The Federalist No. 46
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not
be infringed.  A well regulated militia, composed of the
body of people, trained in arms, is the best and most natural
defense of a free country."  James Madison, I Annuals of
Congress 434 (June 8, 1789)
"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, during Virginia's ratification
convention, 1788
"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe,
and preserve order in the world as well as property.  Horrid
mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived the use of
them."  Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775
"A free people ought to be armed.  When firearms go, all goes,
we need them by the hour.  Firearms stand next to importance
to the Constitution itself.  They are the American people's
liberty teeth and keystone under independence."
George Washington, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1785
"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 is good."
George Washington, The Federalist No. 53
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and
emotional maturity." Sigmond Freud, General Introduction to
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be
to allow the subjected people to carry arms.  History shows
that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples
to carry arms have prepared their own fall."
Adolf Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938

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