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Some RKBA quotes:
Don't think of it as `gun control', think of it as `victim disarmament'. If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals.
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"
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
-- James Madison, The Federalist Papers
"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 British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
-- Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446
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."
-- Constitutional scholar and 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, 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.
"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 teenaged 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
...Virtually never are murderers the ordinary, law-abiding people against whom gun bans are aimed. Almost without exception, murderers are extreme aberrants with lifelong histories of crime, substance abuse, psychopathology, mental retardation and/or irrational violence against those around them, as well as other hazardous behavior, e.g., automobile and gun accidents."
-- Don B. Kates, writing on statistical patterns in gun crime
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 of the John Marshall Court
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 Richard Henry Lee, 1788, on "militia" in the 2nd Amendment
"...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est." [...a sword never kills anybody; it's a tool in the killer's hand.]
-- (Lucius Annaeus) Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD),
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, speech of June 9 1788
"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
-- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788
"The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one who is able may have a gun."
-- Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788
Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
-- "M.T. Cicero", in a newspaper letter of 1788 touching the "militia" referred to in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms...
-- Samuel Adams, in "Phila. Independent Gazetteer", August 20, 1789
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.
-- Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93
Every Communist must grasp the truth, 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'
-- Mao Tse-tung, 1938, inadvertently endorsing the Second Amendment.
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. [...] The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.
-- Majority Supreme Court opinion in "U.S. vs. Miller" (1939)
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
-- Robert A. Heinlein, "Beyond This Horizon", 1942
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.
-- Adolph Hitler, April 11 1942.
The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.
-- A.E. Van Vogt, "The Weapon Shops Of Isher", ASF December 1942
Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon -- so long as there is no answer to it -- gives claws to the weak.
-- George Orwell, "You and the Atom Bomb", 1945
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. [...] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one 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.
-- Hubert H. Humphrey, 1960