"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 Convention to Ratify the Constitution (3 Elliot, Debates at 380.)

"It is not certain that with this aid alone [possession of arms], they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to posses the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force; and of officers appointed out of the militia , by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia , it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it."

James Madison, Federalist No. 46

"When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny."

Thomas Jefferson

"Arms are the only true badges of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave."

Andrew Fletcher 1698

"Gentlemen may cry, 'peace, peace'--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! Is life so precious, or peace so dear, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775.

"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."

James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses [London, 1774-1775].

"[The American Colonies were] all democratic governments, where the power is in the hands of the people and where there is not the least difficulty or jealousy about putting arms into the hands of every man in the country. [European countries should not] be ignorant of the strength and the force of such a form of government and how strenuously and almost wonderfully people living under one have sometimes exerted themselves in defence of their rights and liberties and how fatally it has ended with many a man and many a state who have entered into quarrels, wars and contests with them."

George Mason, "Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company" in The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792, ed Robert A. Rutland (Chapel Hill, 1970).

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and 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 the 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' under the Pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1

"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 bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States."

Noah Webster in "An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," 1787, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at p. 56 (New York, 1888).

HCI, the largest private anti-rights organization bent on disarming America says that the notion of a citizenry being armed as a check against government tyranny -- up to and including the abolition of that government -- is not only "ludicrous," but that it "has been widely discredited."


"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."--- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1st, 1776.

"Character is doing the right thing when no one is waching"

..."If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
-- Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill on the eve of Britain's entry into World War II

You can have my gun when you pry it FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS !!

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

the right to bear arms is the only reason rights exist at all.

"A mind unexamined is not worth living".

No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merit or efforts." Booker T. Washington, 1857-1915

Thomas Jefferson said: "God forbid we should go twenty years without a revolution!"


"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds"- Samuel Adams

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?...I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" --Patrick Henry

I regret that I only have one life to lose for my country--- Nathan Hale

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."--- Thomas Jefferson

"Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no ambition corrupt thee, no example sway thee, no persuasion move thee to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so thou shalt live jollily, for a good conscience is a continual Christmas." --Benjamin Franklin

"The purpose of war is to break things and kill people." Rush Limbaugh

"Walk softly, and carry a big stick." Teddy Roosevelt

"Someone convicted of murder by a jury of his peers should be hanged in the public square within 48 hours of his conviction, unless it falls on a Sunday. Then, it should be conducted on Saturday." Thomas Jefferson

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." -- Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged ~ The trial of Hank Rearden)

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits, who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight which knows not, victory nor defeat"! Teddy Roosevelt

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
- Aesop

The tyranny of the multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
- Edmund Burke

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
- Edmund Burke

Governments will always misuse the machinery of the law as far as the state of public opinion permits.
- Emile Capouya

In America, it is indispensable that every well wisher of true liberty should understand that acts of tyranny can only proceed from the publick. The publick, then, is to be watched, in this country, as, in other countries kings and aristocrats are to be watched.
- James Fenimore Cooper

It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
- Benjamin Disraeli

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
- Robert Heinlein

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
- Robert Heinlein

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.
- Robert Heinlein

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
- Eric Hoffer

They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition of their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.
- Thomas Jefferson

Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, than by one.
- Andrew Johnson

When the people have no tyrant, their own public opinion becomes one.
- Lord Lytton

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-by to the Bill of Rights.
- H.L. Mencken

It is not conclusive proof of a doctrine's correctness that its adversaries use the police, the hangman, and violent mobs to fight it. But it is a proof of the fact that those taking recourse to violent oppression are in their subconsciousness convinced of the untenability of their own doctrines.
- Ludwig von Mises

The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty.
- Ludwig von Mises

Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
- William Pitt

A always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
- Plato

I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence 'democracy,' and the other, 'tyranny.'
- Karl Popper

Volumes can be and have been written about the issue of freedom versus dictatorship, but, in essence, it comes down to a single question: do you consider it moral to treat men as sacrificial animals and to rule them by physical force?
- Ayn Rand

There are four characteristics which brand a country unmistakably as a dictatorship: one-party rule- executions without trial or with a mock trial, for political offenses- the nationalization or expropriation of private property- and censorship. A country guilty of these outrages forfeits any moral prerogatives, any claim to national rights or sovereignty, and becomes an outlaw.
- Ayn Rand

O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength! But it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
- William Shakespeare may fairly be doubted if any political tyranny ever imposed on its people such a fear, such a longing for freedom, such a paralysis of the spirit, as disease. I doubt if the average Englishman felt himself as much oppressed by Charles I as by the plague; or if any colonial American was as much in dread of taxation without representation as of smallpox. And it may reasonably be contended that Walter Reed and William Crawford Gorgas brought to man freedom in a more happy sense and in a larger measure than any military or political leader.
- Mark Sullivan

When whole races and peoples conspire to propagate gigantic mute lies in the interest of tyrannies and shams, why should we care anything about the trifling lies told by individuals?
- Mark Twain

The law giver, of all beings, most owes the law allegiance. He of all men should behave as though the law compelled him. But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently imagine we own.
- H.G. Wells

The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.
- Walter Williams

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
- Lord Acton

...Although the political liberty of this country is greater than that of nearly every other civilized nation, its personal liberty is said to be less. In other words, men are thought to be more under the control of extra-legal authorities, and to defer more to those around them, in pursuing even their lawful and innocent occupations, than in almost every other country.
- James Fenimore Cooper

Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
- James Fenimore Cooper

Mankind is at its best when it is most free. This will be clear if we grasp the principle of liberty. We must recall that

the basic principle of liberty is freedom of choice, which saying many have on their lips but few in their minds.
- Dante Alighieri

Philosophy is harmonized knowledge making a harmonious life; it is the self-discipline which lifts us to serenity and freedom. Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty.
- Will Durant

...a frequent recurrence to fundamental absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep a government free.
- Benjamin Franklin

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

If none were to have Liberty but those who understand what it is, there would not be many freed Men in the world.
- Lord Halifax

All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.
- F.A. Hayek

Equality of the general rules of law and conduct, however, is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty and the only equality which we can secure without destroying liberty. Not only has liberty nothing to do with any other sort of equality, but it is even bound to produce inequality in many respects. This is the necessary result and part of the justification of individual liberty: if the result of individual liberty did not demonstrate that some manners of living are more successful than others, much of the case for it would vanish.
- F.A. Hayek

Justice, like liberty and coercion, is a concept which, for the sake of clarity, ought to be confined to the deliberate treatment of men by other men.
- F.A. Hayek

Liberty is an opportunity for doing good, but this is only so when it is also an opportunity for doing wrong.
- F.A. Hayek

...the argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better.
- F.A. Hayek

It is seldom that any liberty is lost all at once.
- David Hume

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
- Thomas Jefferson

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot...
- Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
- Thomas Jefferson

If we are made in some degree for others, yet, in a greater, we are made for ourselves. It were contrary to feeling, and indeed ridiculous to suppose that a man had less rights in himself than one of his neighbors, or indeed all of them put together. This would be slavery, and not the liberty which the (Virginia) bill of rights has made inviolable, and for the preservation of which our government has been charged. Nothing could so completely divest us of that liberty as the establishment of the opinion, that the State has the perpetual right to the services of all its members. This, to men of certain ways of thinking, would be to annihilate the blessings of existence, and to contradict the Giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.
- Thomas Jefferson

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual
- Thomas Jefferson

In a government bottomed on the will of all, the... liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.
- Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
- Thomas Jefferson

The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
- Thomas Jefferson

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.
- Thomas Jefferson

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?
- Thomas Jefferson

Free institutions are not the property of any majority. They do not confer upon majorities unlimited powers. The rights of the majority are limited rights. They are limited not only by the constitutional guarantees but by the moral principle implied in those guarantees. That principle is that men may not use the facilities of liberty to impair them. No man may invoke a right in order to destroy it.
- Walter Lippmann

The war for liberty never ends. One day liberty has to be defended against the power of wealth, on another day against the intrigues of politicians, on another against the dead hand of bureaucrats, on another against the patrioter and the militarist, on another against the profiteer, and then against the hysteria and the passions of the mobs, against obscurantism and stupidity, against the criminal and against the overrighteous. In this campaign every civilized man is enlisted till he dies, and he only has known the full joy of living who somewhere and at some time has struck a decisive blow for the freedom of the human spirit.
- Walter Lippmann

The object and practice of liberty lies in the limitation of governmental power.
- Douglass MacArthur

When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.
- George Mason

The aim of all struggles for liberty is to keep in bounds the armed defenders of peace, the governors and their constables. The political concept of the individual's freedom means: freedom from arbitrary action on the part of the police power.
- Ludwig von Mises

The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty.
- Ludwig von Mises

In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.
- Kathleen Norris

My language has always been that of liberty and humanity, and I know by experience that nothing so exalts a nation as the union of these two principles, under all circumstances.
- Thomas Paine

...when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
- Thomas Paine

We have a solution for war. It is to expand the sphere of liberty.
- Rudolph Rummel

Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.
- Sallust

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
- George Bernard Shaw

...tradition and custom becomes intertwined and are a strong coercion which directs the society upon fixed lines, and strangles liberty.
- William Graham Sumner

If we truly cared about our children and future generations, instead of demagoging about them, we'd worry more about saving liberty than saving Social Security.
- Walter Williams

Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.
- James Wilson

Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance.
- Woodrow Wilson

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."
Ronald Reagan, 1964

"... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." - Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, see Jefferson On Democracy, 20 (S. Padover ed. 1939).

"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but with tyrants, I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost." -William Lloyd Garrison

He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
Jesus Christ, the Bible, Luke 22:36.

"When a strong man, armed keepeth his palace, his goods are at peace."
Jesus Christ, the Bible Luke 11:21

"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

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
Daniel Webster Speech, June 3, 1834. Vol. iv. p. 47

"Do you mean that the despot will dare to lay hands on this father of his and beat him if he resists? Yes, when once he has disarmed him."
Plato, Republic, (E. Cornford translation, 1945, pg. 295)

"It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law."
Malcolm X, March 12, 1964

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of Human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt - British House of Commons during the Revolutionary War and sympathetic to Colonial America.

The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience
Albert Camus

Arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well as property.
Thomas Paine, Writings of Thomas Paine, M. Conway, ed., 1894.

"In America we may reasonably hope that the people will never cease
to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty."
St. George Tucker, American Blackstone, 1803

Lt. Lowell Duckett: "Gun control has not worked in D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It's quicker to pull your Smith & Wesson than to dial 911 if you're being robbed."
Special Assistant to DC Police Chief; President, Black Police Caucus, The Washington Post, March 22, 1996.

For it's "guns this" and "guns that," and "chuck 'em out, the brutes," But they're the "Savior of our loved ones" when the thugs begin to loot.
Ruyard Kipling, "Tommy Atkins"

"Gun bans don't disarm criminals, gun bans attract them."
Walter Mondale, Former Vice President, (D) and U.S. Ambassador to Japan, 4/20/94

... I must say this concerning the great controversy over rifles and shotguns. The only thing I've ever said is that in areas where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes, it's time for Negroes to defend themselves. Article number two of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun. It is constitutionally legal to own a shogun or a rifle."
Malcolm X, April 3. 1964. *Malcolm X Speaks* ((New York: Merit Publishers, 1965)

"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."
Susan B. Anthony, during a speech in San Franscisco, July 1871

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
Samuel Adams

"Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

Thomas Jefferson

"Important principles may and must be inflexible." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."

-Captain John Parker to the company assembled on Lexington Green.

" I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve."

Admiral Yamamoto Dec7th 1941 after the assault on Pearl Harbor

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is not a vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is not a virtue." -- Barry Goldwater



"THESE are the times that try men's souls.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country;
but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us,
that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:
it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."

Thomas Paine



"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions he disbelievs, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson, 1777

"Duty is the most sublime word in the English language": Robert E. Lee.


NH License plate quote

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor;

He speaks in accents familiar to his victims, He wears their face and their garments, He appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men, He rots the soul of a nation, He works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, He infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.

A murderer is less to fear"

Marcus Tullius Cicero 42BC

""Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings"

"Freedom is individual--there is no "s" on the end of it. You can diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep 'some freedoms' while giving up others."

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we can sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

"God did give mankind virtually unlimited gifts to invent, produce and create. For that reason alone, it would be wrong for governments to devise a tax structure that suppresses and denies those gifts."

Ronald Reagan