Citizens Owning Guns: Quotes on the Second Amendment and Individual Freedom

Citizens Owning Guns: Quotes on Self-Defense and the Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment is uniquely American. It was the work of the Founding Fathers – men who had to fight for their freedom from tyranny, and who intended for the means of that fight to never be taken away from American citizens. Here are our favorite quotes on the right to bear arms:

“Arms are the only true badge of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave.”

“An armed society is a polite society.”

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves... and include all men capable of bearing arms.”

“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.”

“Nowhere else in the Constitution does a 'right' attributed to 'the people' refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention 'the people,' the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset...The Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms...The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.'”

“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 the 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.”

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

“The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an 'equalizer.'”

“A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.”

“Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.”

“When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state...this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.”

“Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Castro, Pol Pot, all these monsters began by confiscating private arms, then literally soaking the earth with the blood of tens and tens of millions of their people...There can be no free speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to protest, no freedom to worship your god, no freedom to speak your mind, no freedom from fear, no freedom for your children and for theirs, for anybody, anywhere, without the Second Amendment freedom to fight for it.”

“When the history of the 20th century is finally written, one of its key features will be the wanton slaughter of more than 170 million people, not in war, but by their own government. The governments that led in this slaughter are the former USSR (65 million) and the Peoples Republic of China (35-40 million). The point to remember is that these governments were the idols of America's leftists. Part of reason for these and other tyrannical successes was because the people were first disarmed.”

“Any unarmed people are slaves, or are subject to slavery at any given moment. If the guns are taken out of the hands of the people and only the pigs have guns, then it's off to the concentration camps, the gas chambers, or whatever the fascists in America come up with. One of the democratic rights of the United States, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, gives the people the right to bear arms. However, there is a greater right; the right of human dignity that gives all men the right to defend themselves.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not "brainwashed" about gun ownership and had been well armed. ... Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half-starved group of Jews took 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis.”

“War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.”

“It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience...You won't get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There's only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up, and if you don't actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time.”

“But to ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow.”

“Disarmament palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind; an habitual disuse of physical force totally destroys the moral; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.”

“When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.”

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

“An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”

“A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

Ida B. Wells, famed anti-lynching crusader in 1892, when on average more than one black person was lynched every three days in the South

“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.”

“I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”

“Those, who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.”

“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. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty...and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? 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.”

“No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.”

“Want social security? Invest in lead.”

Unknown

“You can have my guns, bullets first then the bayonet.”

Unknown

“'A well-crafted pepperoni pizza, being necessary to the preservation of a diverse menu, the right of the people to keep and cook tomatoes, shall not be infringed.' I would ask you to try to argue that this statement says that only pepperoni pizzas can keep and cook tomatoes, and only well-crafted ones at that. This is basically what the so-called states rights people argue with respect to the well-regulated militia, vs. the right to keep and bear arms.”

“I've got a firm policy on gun control; If there's a gun around, I want to be the one controlling it.”

“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”

“A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.”

Frederick Douglass, famed civil rights leader in 1867, in response to post-Civil War segregation laws

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