"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed."
"And He said to them, 'But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.'"
"Arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well as property."
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment.
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People."
Tench Coxe (1788)
The militia of each state includes "all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are or have [made] a declaration of intent to become citizens."
Title 10, section 31 of the U.S. Code
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in 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 band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States."
Blackstone commentaries on the laws of England listed the 'having and using arms for self preservation and defense' among the 'absolute rights of individuals.'
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government..."
"The Constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable...The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interferencethey deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
"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 than to prevent homicides, for an
unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence
than an armed man."
"Resistance To Tyranny Is Obedience To GOD."
"Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense..."
"No freeman 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."
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..."
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation."
"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..."
Richard Henry Lee.
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one 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."
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium (safeguard) 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."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1833
"If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of tryingthat they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, and the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976establishes the repeated, complete, and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime."
Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Samual Adams