Skip to comments.The Second Amendment - Commentaries
Posted on 11/06/2003 6:19:06 PM PST by PsyOp
Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense. - John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787-88.
To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws. - John Adams, ibid.
And that the said Constitution [shall] be never 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; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possesions. - Samuel Adams, ibid.
The commonwealth is theirs who hold the arms: the sword and sovereignty ever walk hand-in-hand together. - Aristotle.
Those who possess and can wield arms are in a position to decide whether the constitution is to continue or not. - Aristotle.
The farmers have no arms, the workers have neither land nor arms; this makes them virtually the servants of those who possess arms. In these circumstances the equal sharing of offices and honors becomes an impossibility. - Aristotle.
Let us then enunciate the functions of a state and we shall easily elicit what we want: First there must be food; secondly, arts for life requires many instruments; thirdly, there must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants ... - Aristotle, Politics, c.334-23 B.C.
Citizenship ought to be reserved for those who carry arms. - Aristotle, ibid.
Those who are in sovereign control of arms are in a sovereign position to decide whether the constitution is to continue or not. -Aristotle, ibid.
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 -so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator- 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. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree. - Cesare Beccaria, ibid.
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.... 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. - Cesare Beccaria, ibid.
He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. - The Bible, New Testament, Luke 11:36.
For target shooting, that's okay. Get a license and go to the range. For defense of the home, that's why we have police departments. - James Brady, Parade Magazine, June 26, 1994.
We must get rid of all the guns. - Sarah Brady, speaking on behalf of HCI with Sheriff Jay Printz & others on "The Phil Donahue Show", September, 1994.
Unless they're a fugitive or a felon, or adjudicated mentally ill, we're not against them buying guns at all. - Sarah Brady, October 1997.
They are looking only to protect gun owners' quote - and I stress that - rights, because I don't believe gun owners have rights. The Second Amendment has never been interpreted that way. Now I am not for taking guns away or denying guns to law-abiding citizens, but I don't think it's a constitutional right that they have, and every court case that's ever come down has shown that. - Sarah Brady, "Handguns in America", Hearst Newspapers Special Report, October, 1997.
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. And though for a while, those, who have the sword in their power, abstain from doing him injury, yet by degrees he will be awed. - James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses, 1774.
Do I wish America had never stockpiled millions upon millions of guns in the first place? Yes. Do I wish it were possible to keep guns from criminals through licensing and registration? Emphatically yes. But public policy cannot be based on wishes.
The key to Columbine and the other acts of savagery in modern America is, to borrow a Vietnam-era phrase, a matter of "hearts and minds," not guns. We have a huge job of soul searching to do as a nation. Is it the flaccid morality we've preached? Is it the entertainment we permit? Is it the collapse of the family? Is it the sunset of the traditional, religious understanding of life? These are not answers. But they seem good places to start. - Mona Charen, ibid.
We have always had bullies. Yet for hundreds of years, kids endured bullying without resorting to murder. We have always had guns, and young people arguably had greater access to them 50 years ago than they do today. Yet our parents' generation would no more take a gun to school and shoot their tormentors than fly to Mars.
Yes, it was partly because they believed in God and the Ten Commandments. But more immediately, they feared the certain terrible judgment of their families, friends and neighbors. Fear of what the neighbors would think is a great and powerful weapon of civilization, and judgment is its indispensable sword.
Most Americans today pride themselves on being "nonjudgmental." It hasn't yet dawned on most of them that the body count in our high schools is their reward. - Mona Charen, "How to Stop School Shootings," townhall.com, March 27, 2001.
There's no correlation between tough gun laws and lower crime. Indeed all the liberal prognostication on Florida's "right to carry" law, the first in the nation in 1987, proved wrong. Not only did Florida's streets not turn into public shooting galleries, as liberals predicted, but 24 other states have followed suit. There has been no discernible increase in violence as a result and not a single conviction of a permit-holder for killing an innocent party. Linda Chavez, ibid.
And indeed, gentlemen, there exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our own lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right. - Cicero.
Civilized people are thought by logic, barbarians by necessity, communities by tradition; and the lesson is inculcated even in wild beasts by nature itself. They learn that they have to defend their own bodies and persons and lives from violence of any and every kind by all the means within their power. - Cicero.
We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans to own firearms... - President Bill Clinton, USA TODAY, March 11, 1993.
I feel very strongly about it [the Brady Bill]. I think - I also associate myself with the other remarks of the Attorney General. I think it's the beginning. It's not the end of the process by any means. - President Bill Clinton, on the Brady Bill, August 11, 1993.
You don't need an Uzi to go deer hunting, and you don't need an AK-47 to shoot skeet. They are military weapons, not meant for a day in the country and certainly not meant for a night on the street. - President Bill Clinton, April 6, 1998.
Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that assault weapons are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to encounter an escaped tiger from the zoo than to confront an assault weapon in the hands of of a drug-crazed killer on the streets... - Joseph Constance, Deputy Police Chief, Trenton, NJ, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, August, 1993.
Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that assault weapons are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets. - Joseph Constance, ibid.
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. - Jeff Cooper.
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that "violence begets violence." I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure - and in some cases I have - that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy. - Jeff Cooper, "Cooper vs. Terrorism", Guns & Ammo Annual, 1975.
The honorable gentleman then urges an objection respecting the miitia, who, he tells us, will be made instruments of tyranny to deprive us of our iberty. Your militia, says he, will fight against you. Who are the militia? Are we not militia? Shall we fight against ourselves? No, Sir; the idea is absurd. We are also terrified by the dread of a standing army. It cannot be denied that we ought to have a means of defense, and be able to repel an attack. - Francis Corbin, ibid.
This might not be a big deal, except that I always get a little suspicious when I'm being lied to. My assumption is that only by claiming that rampage killings have suddenly increased--falsely as it turns out--can even the Times justify its demand for stupid counterintuitive emergency measures like raising taxes--whoops!--I mean tighter gun control. - Ann Coulter, ibid.
The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them. - Tench Coxe, October 21, 1787.
The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistable. 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 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. - Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788.
The powers of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. 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 have no right 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 the state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. - Tench Coxe, ibid.
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, 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.
I'm a moderate on gun control. From a political point of view I'm a radical. I'd like to abolish guns, but from a balancing of constitutional perspective, I would favor the Brady Bill. I'm in favor of registration. I'm in favor of broad controls on guns. - M. Alan Dershowitz.
[Those] who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right [are] courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like. - M. Alan Dershowitz.
The consequences of the behavior of the BATF in these kinds of cases is that they are not trusted. They are detested, and I have described them properly as jackbooted American fascists. They have shown no concern over the rights of ordinary citizens or their property. They intrude without the slightest regard or concern. - Congressman Dingell (D-Mich), The Congressional Record, February 8, 1995.
The consequences of the behavior of the BATF in these kinds of cases is that they are not trusted. They are detested, and I have described them properly as jackbooted American fascists. They have shown no concern over the rights of ordinary citizens or their property. They intrude without the slightest regard or concern. Now, if you want a more recent event, take a look at what they did in Waco, TX. Is that a defensible event? Scores of Americans were killed because of ineptitude by BATF acting under legal process, as they said, and that whole matter is going to be suppressed after scores of Americans have been killed because of the ineptitude and crass misbehavior of the BATF. - U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, ibid.
Gun control laws will primarily be obeyed by law-abiding citizens and risk making it less likely that good people have guns compared to criminals. Deterrence is important and disarming good people relative to criminals will increase the risk of violent crime. If we really care about saving lives we must focus not only on the newsworthy events where bad things happen, but also on the bad things that never happen because people are able to defend themselves. - ibid.
Few people would voluntarily put up a sign in front of their homes stating, ``This home is a gun free zone.'' The reason is very simple. Just as we can deter criminals with higher arrest or conviction rates, the fact that would-be victims might be able to defend themselves also deters attacks. Not only do guns allow individuals to defend themselves, they also provide some protection to citizens who choose not to own guns since criminals would not normally know who can defend themselves before they attack. - ibid.
Police are extremely important at deterring crime, but they simply cannot be everywhere. Individuals also benefit from being able to defend themselves with a gun when they are confronted by a criminal. - ibid.
The Clinton administration wants to raise the age at which citizens can posses a handgun to 21, and they point to the fact that 18- and 19-year-olds commit gun crimes at the highest rate. Yet, Department of Justice numbers indicate that 18- and 19-year-olds are also the most likely victims of violent crimes including murder, rape, robbery with serious injury, and aggravated assault. The vast majority of those committing crimes in this age group are members of gangs and are already breaking the law by having a gun. This law will primarily apply to law-abiding 18- to-21-year-olds and make it difficult for them to defend themselves. - ibid.
Gun locks may prevent some accidental gun deaths, but they will make it difficult for people to defend themselves from attackers. We believe that the risks of accidental gun deaths, particularly those involving young children, have been greatly exaggerated. In 1996, there were 44 accidental gun deaths for children under age 10. This exaggeration risks threatening people's safety if it incorrectly frightens some people from having a gun in their home even though that is actually the safest course of action. - ibid.
With the 20,000 gun laws already on the books, we advise Congress, before enacting yet more new laws, to investigate whether many of the existing laws may have contributed to the problems we currently face. The new legislation is ill-advised. - ibid.
Of seeming arms to make a short essay,
Then hasten to be drunk, - the business of the day.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the houses of its children.
This is not a way of life.... Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging itself on a cross of iron. - Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech. April 16, 1953.
Celebrity Million Mom March organizer Rosie O'Donnell appeared on ABC's "This Week With Sam and Cokie." Cokie Roberts asked, "In Washington, we have about the toughest gun laws that there are in the country. And yet we have shootings all the time. At the National Zoo just the other day, a child was shot. What good does it do?"
Incredibly, O'Donnell responded, "Well, there are 200 million guns in America and 20,000 gun laws. But the guns are winning. There are also 20,000 loopholes. There are loopholes for every single law. You know, basically, when you have a lethal weapon, and you have no registration and no license in order to use it, you're looking for chaos, and you're headed towards chaos and that's exactly where we are today." Does Ms. O'Donnell suggest that 200 million anti-gun laws, one for every firearm in the country, would just about do the trick? - Larry Elder, "Guns and Rosie", May 18, 2000.
What about licensing and registration? Supporters claim that this enables police to track down the owner of a gun used in a crime. Great, assuming the shooter was lawful enough to A) register his handgun, and B) leave it at the crime scene so that authorities might trace it back to him. Not very likely. Bad guys don't buy guns legally. They steal them or purchase them through the black market. - ibid.
A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders. Because of the difference in physical strength between men and women, guns provide women with a way to level the playing field. Former Manhattan assistant district attorney David Kopel says, "When a robbery victim does not defend himself, the robber succeeds 88 percent of the time, and the victim is injured 25 percent of the time. When a victim resists with a gun, the robbery success rate falls to 30 percent, and the victim injury rate falls to 17 percent. No other response to a robbery--from drawing a knife to shouting for help, to fleeing--produces such low rates of victim injury and robbery success.... In the 1960s, the Orlando (Florida) police responded to a rape epidemic by training 2,500 women to use guns. The next year, rape fell 88 percent and burglary by 25 percent." - ibid.
Dr. Phil said, "America kills more kids with guns than any other industrialized nation," later adding, "There are five children a day killed with guns through either accidents or suicides. Five children a day in America are killed with guns." The five children per day figure adds up to over 1,800 per year.
Dr. Phil never defined what he meant by "children." Independence Institute researcher Dave Kopel notes that many of the reported gun deaths involving "children" include those aged 14 through 19, many of them gangbangers. If, by children, Dr. Phil meant 10 and under, approximately 50 children--or less than one child per state per year under 10--die from handgun violence. - Larry Elder, "Kids, Guns, And Dr. Phil," townhall.com, November 29, 2002.
As usual with programs stacked against guns, Dr. Phil failed to even address the number of children saved by handguns per year. In other words, how many kids remain with us because Mommy or Daddy--or in some cases a child--used a gun to defend the household. According to the Department of Justice, Americans use guns for defensive purposes 1.5 million times a year. And, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention--a division of the Justice Department--the government found that children taught appropriate use of guns by their parents turn out to be far less likely to use those guns for criminal purposes than those without such instruction....
Some suggestions: Don't go to your gun store for psychological counseling; and don't go to a mental health therapist for advice on guns. - ibid.
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.... - ibid.
After the murder of 6-year-old Kayla Rolland by one of her first-grade classmates, Gore asked what it would take to wake up Congress to the urgent need for more regulation. "Shootings in kindergarten? Shootings in nursery school?"
The child who killed Kayla has a father in jail and a mother on drugs, and lived in a crack house with his uncle. Clearly, we need a new law to make drug dealers behave responsibly with their illegal handguns. - ibid.
In 1993, McCarthy's husband was killed and her son critically wounded by the Long Island Railroad gunman. Colin Ferguson's rampage was triggered by the anti-white racism spewed by the likes Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Muhammad. (The latter even suggested that God guided Ferguson's hand.)
McCarthy blames not the racists who incited her husband's killer but the weapon he used. It's so much easier to demonize an object than confront human evil. - ibid.
Each new gun law is the magic bullet, so to speak, guaranteed to counter criminals who, by definition, ignore legal enactments. After it passes, we hear no more about it, as it's on to the next proposal, which it is urged, will accomplish what the last law--and all those that preceded it- failed to achieve. - ibid.
Even with all the controls on the books--the manufacture and sale of firearms may be our most regulated industry--there are guns in half of American homes.
For some, this is intolerable. They have a mystical faith in the notion that fewer guns equal less crime, despite the fact that in the '90s the number of guns in circulation went up while the crime rate declined.
So, prohibitionists have decided to attack ownership at the source. Various suits seek to hold gun-makers liable for "defective and unreasonably dangerous" products and sales techniques that "create a public nuisance." - Don Feder, "Gun Suits Seek To End Private Ownership," townhall.com, August 15, 2001.
If Colt and Smith and Wesson are responsible for the ways their products are used, perhaps they should be paid a bonus every time one of their guns is used to accomplish good. - ibid.
Guns perform exactly as advertised. You put a bullet in the chamber, pull the trigger and a potentially lethal projectile issues from the barrel. However--and this should be axiomatic--a gun does not have a will of its own. The instruments fashioned by the firearms industry can be used offensively or defensively, for recreation or homicide, depending on the owner's will. - ibid.
The goal of gun liability suits is to put manufacturers out of business. When his city sued, then Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell gloated that gun-makers "don't have deep pockets'' and thus couldn't absorb high-dollar verdicts.
Politicians and ideologues behind this litigation are opposed to gun ownership. Since they can't convince individuals not to buy guns, or persuade legislators to enact controls that amount to prohibition, they hope to end private ownership by eliminating the supply.
This is undemocratic, coercive and utopian. In other words, worthy of the likes of Sarah Brady, Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein. - ibid
Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe. - U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, quoted by the Associated Press, November 18, 1993.
If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them... "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in," I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't there. - U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, speaking about her authorship of the 1994 "assault weapons" ban CBS-TV's "60 Minutes," February 5, 1995.
This is a munitions manufacturer owned by the State of Israel, and by advancing this export, the Israeli government is putting the official imprimatur of its people on the commercial sale of weapons designed not for hunting, but for combat; not to protect, but to kill. It is my hope that the Israeli government will lead the way and set an example that others will follow. - U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California, letter to President Bill Clinton regarding Israeli Military Industries, September 17, 1997.
Before more taxpayer money is used to entice yet another rusty revolver out of the old shoebox under the bed, we need proof that buybacks reduce crime. Until then, its proponents are just shooting blanks. - ibid.
He that is armed is always master of the purse of him that is unarmed. - Andrew Fletcher, 1688.
And I cannot see, why arms should be denied to any man who is not a slave, since they are the only true badges of liberty. - Andrew Fletcher, 1688.
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.
If you've got a gun law that criminals will obey, why not just turn it into a murder law that criminals will obey-then we won't have to worry about the gun part. - Andrew Ford.
Without either the First or Second Amendment, we would have no liberty; the first allows us to find out what's happening, the second allows us to do something about it! The second will be taken away first, followed by the first and then the rest of our freedoms. - Andrew Ford.
True, guns can cause terrible accidents if not properly cared for, but so can chain saws -- and I have one of those in the attic.
Maybe maternal guilt is why I react so negatively to politicians like Sen. Charles Schumer, who according to USA Today actually threatened to revoke tax breaks for any landlord with the nerve to rent space to the NRA for a new sports cafe and video sports shooting arcade, a perfectly legal enterprise....
Excuse me,... but have you been to some of the video arcades on Times Square lately? I have. After the blood-spurting body blasts and gunning-down-girl games now regnant, NRA video games inviting families to target imaginary clay pigeons would be positively wholesome. - ibid.
There is no reason for anyone in this country, for anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use, a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution. - Michael Gartner, president of NBC News, January, 1992.
We don't need more concealed weapons in our malls, in our movie theaters, and our streets. We need fewer concealed weapons in our society. - Vice President Al Gore, on concealed weapons licences, Houston Chronicle, May 27, 1999.
[N]obody is talking about taking guns away from hunters or sportsmen or banning all guns. Nobody is talking about that. - Al Gore, Larry King Live, September 17, 1999.
I think that we should ban so-called junk guns. I think we should ban assault weapons like the weapons used here [in Fort Worth], yes. I think that the kinds of weapons that have no legitimate use for hunting or the kind of weapon that a homeowner would use, I think they should be banned, yes, those kind of weapons. - Al Gore, on the 1999 Fort Worth shooting (the "assault weapons" being referred to are semi-automatic handguns), Larry King Live, September 17, 1999.
These automatic, semiautomatic handguns and assault weapons, they really have no place in our society. - Al Gore, Larry King Live, September 17, 1999.
Let me make a point here, in case this isn't becoming extremely clear. My state has gun control laws. It did not keep Hennard from coming in and killing everybody! What it did do, was keep me from protecting my family! That's the only thing that cotton pickin' law did! OK! Understand that! That's ...that's so important! - Dr. Suzanne Gratia, Killeen Texas Luby's massacre survivor, 1994.
Somewhere along the line I made one of my stupidest decisions... I was afraid that ... if ... somebody caught me with the gun in my purse, I could lose my license to practice, lose my ability to make a living. So I took the gun out of my purse and I left it in my car ... which the laws in my state are kinda wishy- washy on ...and I thought, 'Heck, if I needed it, it's probably going to be when I'm out on the road ... in the middle of nowhere and, you know, my car's broke down or something ... - Dr. Suzanne Gratia, Killeen Texas Luby's massacre survivor, 1994.
A Beretta in hand is worth any number of theories in the bumbling hands of the Department of Transportation and Obfuscation. - ibid.
How could the terrorists know which crews were packing heat? How could they hope to overcome it? Suddenly box cutters might no longer seem the ideal weapon. No wonder three-quarters of the country's airline pilots, according to one poll, want the right to bear arms. - ibid.
But can we trust pilots with weapons? Goodness, we trust them with the whole plane, why not sidearms?...
What might comfort passengers is knowing that their cockpit crew is armed, unlike those on the planes that were hijacked and turned into guided missiles Sept. 11. - ibid.
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. - Theodore Haas, Dachau Survivor.
These Sarah Brady types must be educated to understand that because we have an armed citizenry, that a dictatorship has not happened in America. These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to Liberty than street criminals or foreign spies. - Theodore Haas, Dachau Survivor.
When the perfect order and discipline which are essential to regular troops are contemplated, and with what ease and precision they execute the difficult manuevers indispensable to the success of offensive or defensive operations, the conviction cannot be resisted that such troops will always have a decided advantage over the more numerous forces composed of uninstructed militia or undiscipllined recruits. - Alexander Hamilton.
...for it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion. - Alexander Hamilton.
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed. - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers.
The American Militia, in the course of the late war, have by their valor on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them feel and know, that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were. - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #25. December 21, 1787.
We take into our view the aid to be derived from the militia, which ought always to be counted upon, as a valuable and powerful auxiliary. - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #26. December 22, 1787.
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. - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #28, December 28, 1787.
Where in the name of common sense are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist #29, January 9, 1788.
If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens. - ibid.
If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought as far as possible to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. - ibid.
It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense.... And it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions, which would be essential to their usefulness. - ibid.
The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day or even a week that will suffice for the attainment of it.... Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year. - ibid.
On the militia bill, and in a variety of minor cases, he [Jefferson] has leaned as much as possible to the States; and he lost no opportunity of sounding the alarm, with great affected solemnity, at encraochments, mediated on the rights of the States, and of holding up the bugbear of faction in the government having designs unfriendly to liberty. - Alexander Hamilton, letter to Edward Carrington. May 26, 1792.
The militia of a nation is either an army in the field or ready for the field upon occasion. - James Harrington, The Commonwealth of Oceana, 1656.
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 trying--that 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, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976--establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime. - Senator Orrin Hatch, Senate Report, 1982.
The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom. - ibid.
...I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals... I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self defeating in their purpose. - Robert Heinlein, in a letter concerning "Red Planet", 1949.
There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men. - Robert A. Heinlein, Methuselah's Children, 1958.
Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is the least to be cheap and is never free of cost. - Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers, 1959.
Anyone who clings to the hostorically untrue--and thoroughly immoral--doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms. - ibid.
The gun-violence problem is more than the problem of guns in the hands of bad people. Its also a problem of guns in the hands of good people. - Dennis Henigan, Gun control attorney, quoted in a New York articale by Peter J. Boyer. Houston Chronicle, May 24, 1999.
Who are the militia? They consist of the whole people. - Patrick Henry, speech , 1782.
Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? 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 defense is the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety, as in our own hands? - Patrick Henry, in Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Jonathan Elliot, ed. 1836.
I have thus candidly submitted to you, Mr. Chairman, and this committee, what occurred to me as proper amendments to the Constitution, and the declaration of rights containing those fundamental, inalienable privileges, which I conceive to be essential to liberty and happiness. I believe that, on a review of these amendments, it will still be found that the arm of power will be sufficiently strong for national purpose, when these restrictions shall be a part of the government. - Patrick Henry, speech, 1788.
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. Everyone who is able may have a gun. Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own self defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of congress? If our defense 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, The Virginia Ratifying Convention, June, 1788.
O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone... Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation...inflicted by those who had no power at all? - Patrick Henry, The Virginia Ratifying Convention, June, 1788.
I feel myself distressed, because the necessity of securing our personal rights seems not to have pervaded the minds of men; for many other valuable things are omitted [from the Constitution].... Another most fatal omission is with respect to standing armies. In your Bill of Rights of Virginia, they are said to be dangerous to iberty; and it tells you that the proper defense of a free State consists in militia; and so I might go on to ten or eleven things of immense consequence, secured in your Bill of Rights, concerning which that proposal is silent. - Patrick Henry, speech. 1788.
When the means of great violence [guns/weapons] are wide spread, nothing is more dangerous to the powerful than that they create outrage, and injustice will certainly ignite retaliation in kind. - ibid.
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to posess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. - Adolf Hitler, quoted in, Trevor-Roper, Hitler's Table Talks 1941-1944, 1953.
It is each individual that must ultimately be his own protector. - Thomas Hobbes.
The right men have by nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no covenant be relinquished. - Thomas Hobbes.
The sum of the right of nature; which is, by all means we can, to defend ourselves. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651.
A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them, that assault him by force, to take away his life. Because a man cannot tell, when he seeth men proceed against him by violence whether they intend his death or not. - ibid.
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government,no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible. - U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, (D-Minn), 1960.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. - Thomas Jefferson.
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms. - Thomas Jefferson, Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.
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 that liberty which the Bill of Rights has made inviolable, and for the protection of which our government has been charged. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Monroe, 1782.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives 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 your constant companion of your walks. - Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785.
I will now tell you what I do not like [about the Constitution]. First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction against monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787.
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel William S. Smith, November 17, 1787.
I have a right to nothing, which another has a right to take away; and Congress will have a right to take away trials by jury in all civil cases. Let me add, that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787.
There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation, and which place them so totally at the mercy of their governors, that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot, but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument is a standing army. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to David Humphreys, 1789.
The declaration of rights, is, like all other human blessings, alloyed with some inconveniences, and not accomplishing fully it's object. But the good in this instance, vastly overweighs the evil. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1789.
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. - Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796.
I am relying, for internal defense, on our militia men solely, till actual invasion, and for such a naval force only as may protect our coasts and harbors from such degradations as we have experienced; and not for a standing army in time of peace, which may ever awe the public sentiment. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799.
A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them. - Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address. March 4, 1801.
A statement has been formed by the secretary of war, on mature consideration, of all the posts and stations where garrisons will be expedient, and of the number of men requisite for each garrison. The whole amount is considerably short of the present military establishment. For the surplus no particular use can be pointed out. For defence against invasion, their number is as nothing; nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace for that purpose. Uncertain as we must ever be of the particular point in our circumference where an enemy may choose to invade us, the only force which can be ready at every point and competent to oppose them, is the body of neighboring citizens as formed into a militia. On these, collected from the parts most convenient, in numbers proportioned to the invading foe, it is best to rely, not only to meet the first attack, but if it threatens to be permanent, to maintain the defence until regulars may be engaged to relieve them. These considerations render it important that we should at every session continue to amend the defects which from time to time show themselves in the laws for regulating the militia, until they are sufficiently perfect. Nor should we now or at any time separate, until we can say we have done everything for the militia which we could do were an enemy at our door. - Thomas Jefferson, First Annual Message, December 8, 1801.
None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important, but especially so at a moment when rights the most essential to our welfare have been violated. - Thomas Jefferson, letter. February 25, 1803.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed milita is their best security. - Thomas Jefferson, 1808.
[The] governor [is] constitutionally the commander of the militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms. - Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811.
Are we not men? Yes; but our men are so happy at home that they will not hire themselves to be shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we can have no standing armies for defense, because we have no paupers to furnish the materials. The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and obige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, 1814.
We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. - Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.
And what is our resource for the preservation of the constitution? Reason and Argument? You might as well reason and argue with the marble columns encircling them. The representatives chosen by ourselves? They are joined in the combinations, some from incorrect views on government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient in voting together to outnumber the sound parts; and with majorities of only one, two, or three, bold enough to go forward in defiance.
Are we then to stand to our arms....? No. That must be the last resource, not to be thought of until longer and greater sufferings. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to W.B. Giles. 1825.
What in the name of conscience will it take to pass a truly effective gun-control law? Now in this new hour of tragedy, let us spell out our grief in constructive action. Lyndon B. Johnson, speech following the assassination of Robert Kennedy, June 6, 1968.
I am pleased to accept Life Membership in the National Rifle Association and extend to your organization every good wish for continued success. - John F. Kennedy, March 20, 1961.
The traditional conceptualization of victims as either passive targets or active collaborators overlooks another possible victim role, that of the active resister who does not initiate or accelerate any illegitimate activity, but uses various means of resistance for legitimate purposes, such as avoiding injury or property loss.
Victim resistance can be passive or verbal, but much of it is active and forceful. Potentially, the most consequential form of forceful resistance is armed resistance, especially resistance with a gun. This form of resistance is worthy of special attention for many reasons, both policy-related and scientific. The policy-related reasons are obvious: if self-protection with a gun is commonplace, it means that any form of gun control that disarms large numbers of prospective victims, either altogether, or only in certain times and places where victimization might occur, will carry significant social costs in terms of lost opportunities for self-protection. - Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Northwestern University School of Law, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1995.
Research has consistently indicated that victims who resist with a gun or other weapon are less likely than other victims to lose their property in robberies and in burglaries. Consistently, research also has indicated that victims who resist by using guns or other weapons are less likely to be injured compared to victims who do not resist or to those who resist without weapons. This is true whether the research relied on victim surveys or on police records.... - ibid.
Huge numbers of Americans not only have access to guns, but the overwhelming majority of gun owners, if one can believe their statements, are willing to use a gun defensively. In a December 1989 national survey, 78% of American gun owners stated that they would not only be willing to use a gun defensively in some way, but would be willing to shoot a burglar. The percentage willing to use a gun defensively in some way, though not necessarily by shooting someone, would presumably be even higher than this. - ibid.
In a ten state sample of incarcerated felons interviewed in 1982, 34% reported having been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim." From the criminals' standpoint, this experience was not rare.
How could such a serious thing happen so often without becoming common knowledge? This phenomenon, regardless of how widespread it really is, is largely an invisible one as far as governmental statistics are concerned. Neither the defender/victim nor the criminal ordinarily has much incentive to report this sort of event to the police, and either or both often have strong reasons not to do so. Consequently many of these incidents never come to the attention of the police, while others may be reported but without victims mentioning their use of a gun. - ibid.
While only 14% of all violent crime victims face offenders armed with guns, 18% of the gun-using victims in our sample faced adversaries with guns. Although the gun defenders usually faced unarmed offenders or offenders with lesser weapons, they were more likely than other victims to face gun-armed criminals. This is consistent with the perception that more desperate circumstances call forth more desperate defensive measures. The findings undercut the view that victims are prone to use guns in "easy" circumstances which are likely to produce favorable outcomes for the victim regardless of their gun use. Instead, gun defenders appear to face more difficult circumstances than other crime victims, not easier ones. - ibid.
A gun allows either criminals or victims to handle a larger number of adversaries. Many victims facing multiple offenders probably would not resist at all if they were without a gun or some other weapon. - ibid.
There seems little legitimate scholarly reason to doubt that defensive gun use is very common in the U.S., and that it probably is substantially more common than criminal gun use. This should not come as a surprise, given that there are far more gun-owning crime victims than there are gun-owning criminals and that victimization is spread out over many different victims, while offending is more concentrated among a relatively small number of offenders. - ibid.
In sum, measures that effectively reduce gun availability among the noncriminal majority also would reduce DGUs [Defensive Gun Uses] that otherwise would have saved lives, prevented injuries, thwarted rape attempts, driven off burglars, and helped victims retain their property. - ibid.
Since as many as 400,000 people a year use guns in situations where the defenders claim that they "almost certainly" saved a life by doing so, this result cannot be dismissed as trivial. If even one-tenth of these people are accurate in their stated perceptions, the number of lives saved by victim use of guns would still exceed the total number of lives taken with guns. It is not possible to know how many lives are actually saved this way, for the simple reason that no one can be certain how crime incidents would have turned out had the participants acted differently than they actually did. But surely this is too serious a matter to simply assume that practically everyone who says he believes he saved a life by using a gun was wrong. - ibid.
Why was Dick Cheney one of 21 representatives to vote against a ban on so-called "cop killer bullets"?
Al Gore's surrogates would have you believe that Cheney supports the murder of police officers. In truth, the Cheney vote was a vote for truth over lies, and principle over expediency. There never has been such a thing as a "cop-killer bullet." That the issue ever arose in Congress shows that modern Washington is just as susceptible to believing impossible things as was the English Parliament that made it a felony to use "Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charm or Sorcery, to tell where Treasure is to be found, or where Things lost or Stolen may be found." - David Kopel, the Independence Institute, "Cheney's Cop-Killer Rap", July 31, 2000.
The way to get to a gun-free world, the gun-prohibition groups tell us, is to pass laws banning them. We can begin by imagining the enactment of laws which ban all non-government possession of firearms....
Laws affect mainly those willing to obey them. And where there's an unfulfilled need - and money to be made - there's usually a way around the law. Enter the black market, which flourishes all the more vigorously with ever-increasing restrictions and prohibitions. - Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant, and Joanne Eisen, "A World Without Guns", National Review Online, December 5, 2001.
Jamaica's Gun Court Act of 1974 contained just such a [death] penalty, and even that wasn't sufficient. On August 18, 2001, Jamaican Melville Cooke observed that today, "the only people who do not have an illegal firearm [in this country], are those who do not want one." Violent crime in Jamaica is worse than ever, as gangsters and trigger-happy police commit homicides with impunity, and only the law-abiding are disarmed.
Yet the Jamaican government wants to globalize its failed policy. In July 2001, Burchell Whiteman, Jamaica's Minister of Education, Youth and Culture spoke at the U.N. Disarmament Conference to demand the "implementation of measures that would limit the production of weapons to levels that meet the needs for defence and national security." - ibid.
A complete gun ban, or highly restrictive licensing amounting to near-ban, would create a real incentive for gun making to become a "cottage industry".
It's already happening in Great Britain, a consequence of the complete ban on civilian possession of handguns imposed by the Firearms Act of 1997. Not only are the Brits swamped today with illegally imported firearms, but local, makeshift gun factories have sprung up to compete. - ibid.
At the United Nations Asia Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference held in Spring 2001, it was quietly admitted that the BRA [Bougainville Revolutionary Army], within ten years of its formation, had managed to manufacture a production copy of the M16 automatic rifle and other machine guns. (That makes one question the real intent behind the U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, which followed several months later: the U.N. leadership can't be so daft as to fail to recognize the implications for world disarmament after learning of the success of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.) - ibid.
Auto repair shops, hobbyists, revolutionaries - everyone with decent machine shop skills - can make a gun from something. This takes us down the same road as drug prohibition: With primary anti-drug laws having proven themselves unenforceable, secondary laws have been added to prohibit possession of items which could be used to manufacture drugs. Even making suspicious purchases at a gardening store can earn one a "dynamic entry" visit from the local SWAT team.
But laws proscribing the possession of gun-manufacturing items would have to be even broader than laws against possession of drug-manufacturing items, because there are so many tools which can be used to make guns, or be made into guns. - ibid.
To imagine a world with no guns is to imagine a world in which the strong rule the weak, in which women are dominated by men, and in which minorities are easily abused or mass-murdered by majorities. Practically speaking, a firearm is the only weapon that allows a weaker person to defend himself from a larger, stronger group of attackers, and to do so at a distance. As George Orwell observed, a weapon like a rifle "gives claws to the weak."
The failure of imagination among people who yearn for a gun free world is their naive assumption that getting rid of claws will get rid of the desire to dominate and kill. They fail to acknowledge the undeniable fact that when the weak are deprived of claws (or firearms), the strong will have access to other weapons, including sheer muscle power. A gun free world would be much more dangerous for women, and much safer for brutes and tyrants. - ibid.
More gun control, more genocide. That's the lesson of the 20th century in many nations, including Uganda. Yet the United Nations is again trying to make it impossible for Ugandans to protect themselves. Once again, the U.N. is supporting repression rather than human rights. - Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen, "Disarming Uganda", National Review Online, December 11, 2002.
Like the Saudi's funding to spread Wahabbi teachings of totalitarian assaults on people of diverse religious faiths all over the world, the U.N. disarmament campaign is a global attack on human rights. The result is widespread murder by governments and by terrorist groups, and the suppression of human rights. - ibid.
The Gray Lady of American newspapers is red with embarrassment caused by reporter Jayson Blair, who admitted that many of his stories involved invention or plagiarism. Some New York Times reporters have expressed concern that the exposure of so many bogus stories over such a long period of time from such a respected newspaper could cause readers of American newspapers to doubt the credibility of what they read. On gun-control issues, those doubts are well-merited; the Times's credibility when it comes to guns is about equal to that of the National Enquirer's reporting on celebrity romances: Some of it is true, a large part is false, and much of the rest is presented in a significantly misleading way. - Dave Kopel & Paul H. Blackman, "Gray Gun Stories", National Review Online, June 9, 2003.
The core problem is the bureaucrats really do not want pilots to be armed. "I don't think we want to equip our pilots with firearms," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Asked why, Ridge replied "Where would it end?" In other words, if we arm pilots, then we have to let other potential terror victims arms themselves, and that would be crazy! Actually, since 1989 Ridge's home state of Pennsylvania has allowed any law-abiding adult who wants to carry a concealed handgun for protection obtain a permit to do so. There is a background check requirement, but, unlike in many other states, no training requirement.
The law in Pennsylvania is working just fine. So fine, in fact, that when Ridge was governor, he signed legislation eliminating a loophole in the Pennsylvania carry law which had prevented Philadelphia residents from obtaining permits. So if concealed handguns work on the mean streets of Philadelphia, with no training requirement, what's wrong with trained pilots having guns? - Dave Kopel & David Petteys, "Air Neglect: What's wrong with trained pilots having guns?" July 2, 2003.
Whenever, therefore, the profession of arms becomes a distinct order in the state... the end of the social compact is defeated.... No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... 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. - Richard Henry Lee.
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... The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle. - Richard Henry Lee, "Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer," The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1788.
[W]hereas, 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; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it. - Richard Henry Lee, "Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer," The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788.
No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state... such area 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. - Richard Henry Lee, (Charleston) State Gazette , September 8, 1788.
A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie. - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
...one of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the [Communist] workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie [middle class]. - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Sarah Brady, chairman of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is upset with Attorney General John Ashcroft over a letter he wrote to the National Rifle Association in May.
In response to an inquiry from James Baker, the NRA's main lobbyist, Ashcroft expressed his view that the Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear firearms.
This was utter heresy to Brady et al., who maintain that the amendment only protects the rights of state militias (the collective rights view), not individuals....
Those of you on the Pollyannaish side better wake up. The gun-control extremists see no redeeming value in individual gun ownership, but rather positive harm. They therefore refuse to recognize a constitutional right guaranteeing it.
I think it's reasonable to infer that they will not be satisfied until the citizenry is disarmed. They say we should be afraid of weapons. Perhaps we should be afraid of them. - David Limbaugh, "Gun-Control Radicals Target Ashcroft," townhall.com, July 17, 2001.
Plaintiffs' lawyers tout products liability cases as a remedy that allows injured poor people to take on powerful corporations, but they can't credibly make that claim with respect to certain recent suits against gun manufacturers....
What's noteworthy is that the basis for liability was not that the gun was a defective product, which is usually the case in products suits. In fact, the jury specifically found the gun was not defective, but that Valor was negligent for not supplying a lock with the weapon....
In the absence of a claim that these guns were defective or illegally made or sold, it is outrageous to hold their manufacturers and sellers liable for the intentional (or negligent) acts of third parties not under their control. The tort system is designed to assess culpability of defendants, not to shift blame from the actual wrongdoers to individuals or companies against whom some special interest group has a vendetta. - David Limbaugh, "Gun-Control Bullies," townhall.com, February 5, 2003.
Thus, a thief whom I cannot harm, but by appeal to the law, for having stolen all that I am worth, I may kill when he sets on me to rob me... because the aggressor allows not time to appeal to our common judge, nor the decision of the law, for remedy in a case where the mischief may be irreparable. - ibid.
When all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred; and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion, because such men are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power. - ibid.
How to resist force without striking again, or how to strike with reverence, will need some skill to make intelligible. He that shall oppose an assault with a shield to receive the blows, or in any more respectful posture, without a sword in his hand to abate the confidence and force of the assailant, will quickly be at an end of his resistance, and will find such a defense serves only to draw on himself the worse usage.... He, therefore, who may resist must be allowed to strike. - ibid.
The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction; and therefor declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but sedate, settled design upon another man's life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other's power to be taken away by him, or anyone that joins with him in his defense, and espouses his quarrel, it being reasonable and just I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction. - ibid.
By the law of nature, every man upon the score, by the right he hath to preserve mankind in general, may restrain, or where it is necessary, destroy things noxious to them, and so many bring such evil on anyone, who hath transgressed that law, as may make him repent the doing of it, and thereby deter, by his example, others from doing the like mischief. And in this case, and upon this ground, every man hath a right to punish the offender, and be executioner of the law of nature. - ibid.
And that all men may be restrained from invading others rights, and from doing hurt to one another, and the law of nature be observed, which willeth the peace and preservation of all mankind, the execution of the law of nature is, in that state, put into every man's hands, whereby everyone has a right to punish the transgressions of that law to such a degree, as may hinder its violation. - ibid.
Anti-gun-control activists love the slogan "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." But that doesn't quite capture the complexity of the situation. If you make enough cumbersome gun control rules, you can also make ordinary, gun-owning citizens outlaws. - ibid.
Only in Washington would it be considered imperative to extend legislation precisely because it's been so ineffectual. Such is the logic behind a Democratic push to prevent the assault-weapons ban from expiring next year, and even to broaden it....
Thus gun-controllers demonstrate the fine political art of how to win by repeatedly doing things that don't work. In the rest of the world, that fits the loose definition of insanity -- "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"--but in Washington, it defines success. - Rich Lowry, "An assault on common sense," townhall.com, May 19, 2003.
The assault-weapons ban was a product of the manufactured label "assault weapons." It's a wonder that other advocates haven't duplicated the experience by forging similar labels for things they want to ban. SUVs? Assault cars. Soft money? Assault contributions. - ibid.
Congress also enumerated [Assault Weapon] characteristics, including bayonet mounts and pistol grips, that would be verboten on certain semiautomatics. None of these characteristics have anything to do with the lethality of the guns. And if you think there is danger of assault weapons armed criminals charging with their bayonets fixed, you have probably seen "Lethal Weapon 4" one too many times. - ibid.
If gun-controllers were to be consistent, they would drop the fuzzy "assault weapons" label and seek to ban all semiautomatic longarms....
That would be politically fatal. So gun-control forces try to extend the assault-weapons ban instead, a salami-slice strategy toward an ultimate, much broader gun prohibition. A whiff of their dishonesty can be detected in the senselessness of their argumentation: If the ban hasn't worked, why end it now? - ibid.
If a city be armed and disciplined as Rome was, and all its citizens, alike in their private and official capacity, have a chance to put alike their virtue and the power of fortune to the test of experience, it will be found that always and in all circumstances they will be of the same mind and will maintain their dignity in the same way. But when they are not familiar with arms and merely trust to the whim of fortune, not to their own virtue, they will change with the changes of fortune. - Niccoló Machiavelli.
The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince, 1537.
When you disarm your subjects you offend them by showing that either from cowardliness or lack of faith, you distrust them; and either conclusion will induce them to hate you. - ibid.
There is no comparison whatever between an armed and disarmed man; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe.... - ibid.
A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful and those that were faithful remain so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans... But when you disarm them, 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 against you. - ibid.
We plainly see the folly and imprudence of demanding a thing, and saying beforehand that it is intended to be used for evil; and that one should never show one's intentions, but endeavor to obtain one's desires anyhow. For it is enough to ask a man to give up his arms without telling him that you intend killing him with them; after you have the arms in hand, then you can do your will with them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses, c.1515.
These are some of the unhappy consequences of disarming the people; whence also results another and even greater evil, namely, that the more the enemy penetrates into your county, the more will he discover your weakness. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses, c.1515.
Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion. - James Madison.
A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression. - James Madison.
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.... - James Madison.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. - James Madison, The Federalist #46. January 29, 1788.
A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace. - ibid.
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Federal Government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State Government with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger. - ibid.
[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. - ibid.
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. - ibid.
No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the State. 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. - James Madison, United States Congress, Bill of Rights Ratification, 1789.
The right of the people to keep and bear... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country... - James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789.
Always remember that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics-that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe. James Madison, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809.
With the anniversaries of Waco, Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge and Columbine fast approaching, those of us who keep and bear arms will once again be scapegoated and demonized by press and politicians. We will be cast as the nation's greatest threat to our children's safety, and ostracized as anti-government extremists.
But if it weren't for the courage and convictions of an armed citizenry willing to go to extremes, none of us would be here today. - Michelle Malkin, "In Defense Of An Armed Citizenry," April 12, 2000.
It's hard to believe that one of the most liberal, pro-tax, anti-gun states in the country today was the home of the musket-toting sons and daughters of liberty.
Two centuries after the minutemen used their guns to oppose unreasonable tyranny, the state of Massachusetts clamped trigger locks on two of the historic muskets from Lexington and Concord that hang in the state Senate chamber. The Patriot's Day celebration this year was nearly derailed because of stringent gun-control laws embraced by the state. Last week, the Massachusetts attorney general greatly expanded his regulatory oversight of guns as "consumer products," and announced plans to conduct sting operations--a la Thomas Gage--on federally licensed dealers....
Who would have guessed that the shots heard 'round the world 225 years ago would fall on deaf ears in a nation now more sympathetic to the gun-grabbing Redcoat than the gun-bearing rebel? - ibid.
It is simply not true, as the gun-control lobby claims, that gun shows foster more gun-related crime. A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report on federal firearms offenders released last year reported that a mere 1.7 percent of crime guns are acquired at gun shows. Frank Krasner, owner of Silverado Promotions, adds that his shows are heavily policed--and attended by many cops who are hobbyists and collectors themselves. "The only complaint I've ever gotten from police is that there aren't enough parking spaces for their cars," Krasner told me. - Michelle Malkin, "Gun Shows Under Fire," townhall.com, January 26, 2001.
Gun show bans aren't about promoting safety. They're about cracking down on the free speech and free assembly of law-abiding citizens who have a passion for exercising their Second Amendment rights. At gun shows across the country, hunters shop for equipment, buy books and swap tips. Families browse historical exhibits, antiques, collectibles and war memorabilia. And yes, people from all walks of life come to buy guns for recreation and self-defense. "There's a lot of education and political activity that goes on at our shows," Krasner notes. "The real problem these gun bigots have is not with crime, but with the lawful civilian ownership of firearms." - ibid.
This may be hard for gun-grabbers to swallow, but the First Amendment applies to Second Amendment advocates, too. Government officials who are pursuing gun show bans nationwide may be winning in the court of public opinion. But in the court of law, thanks to our Founders, the basic constitutional rights of gun show operators and attendees are bulletproof. - ibid.
Let us, for a moment, take the sex-education pushers at their word: If you teach a child how to use a condom, you're promoting safety--not usage.... Why, then, doesn't the same logic apply to guns?... Giving kids basic information about how guns work promotes safety -- not usage. Like the captains of kiddie condom classes always say, knowledge isn't deadly. Ignorance is. - Michelle Malkin, "Kids, Condoms, and Guns," townhall.com, June 1, 2001.
In Maryland, Democrat Gov. Parris Glendening has just vetoed bipartisan gun safety education legislation. It would have made Maryland the first in the nation to establish public-school guidelines for gun safety instruction from kindergarten through grade 12....
Gov. Glendening's objections show just how willing some liberals are to sacrifice children's safety to absolutist anti-gun ideology. The bill, Glendening said, "would create a clear appearance of the state encouraging young people to handle weapons and potentially furthering their interest in a time when we are trying to fight the scourge of gun violence."...
As if licensed [Eddie Eagle program] gun-safety instructors were on par with Uzi-waving gangsta rappers and thugs.... - ibid.
The liberal mindset never ceases to amaze. When it comes to teaching kids about sex, the more the better. The younger the better. Bring on the condoms and bananas, diaphragms and diagrams. Don't worry about the heightened interest and glorification of pre-marital sex that might result from young, impressionable children handling contraceptives. But when it comes to guns, Glendening and his ilk turn into tight-lipped prudes preaching absolute abstinence. - ibid.
...to disarm the people--that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. - George Mason, Debates.
That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe Defence of a free state. - George Mason, declaration of "the essential and unalienable Rights of the People," later adopted by the Virginia ratification convention, 1788.
Ladies and gentlemen, the debate is not about guns. It is about freedom. And the wheel has come full circle. Our generation must study politics that we may restore the liberty that our parents and grandparents expect us to pass on to our children and grandchildren.
If we fail, what history will demand of our children and grandchildren, in a society where their only right is to their own thoughts, is simply unthinkable. And be assured, history will find it unforgivable. A generation that is handed the most precious gift in all the universe freedom and throws it away -- deserves to be reviled by every generation that follows and will be, even though the only right left to them is their own thoughts. - ibid.
As much as I oppose the average person's having a gun, I recognize that some people have a legitimate need to own one. A wealthy corporate executive who fears his family might get kidnapped is one such person. A Hollywood celebrity who has to protect himself from kooks is another. If Sharon Tate had had access to a gun during the Manson killings, some innocent lives might have been saved. - Joseph McNamara, former San Jose, California Police Chief and Handgun Control Inc. spokesman, cited in Safe and Sane, 1984.
Until we can ban all of them [firearms], then we might as well ban none. - U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), Senate Hearings, 1993.
No, we're not looking at how to control criminals... we're talking about banning the AK-47 and semi-automatic guns. - U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), Constitution Subcommittee meeting, February 10, 1989.
I'm not interested in getting a bill that deals with airport security... all I want to do is get at plastic guns. - U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), 1993.
I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns. - U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), 1994.
The act of a private citizen in striking down a criminal, who, by raising himself above the law, has placed himsef beyond the reach of legal punishment or control, has been accounted by whole nations, and by some of the best and wisest of men, not a crime, but an act of exalted virtue; and that, right or wrong, it is not of the nature of assasination, but of civil war. - ibid.
The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals. - James Monroe, second annual message to Congress, November 16, 1818.
When a Southern White man tells me that I don't need guns or the Fourth Amendment, I start to get the idea that he sees either chains and a bag of cotton in my future; or a rope and a tree. - Chris Morton.
The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all, the elimination of the so-called subversive elements.... They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results. - Benito Mussolini, speech delivered at the Italian Senate, June 8, 1923.
The notion that [our] government spends more for arms than for social programs is a myth. Richard M. Nixon, The Real War, 1980.
I know it's in the Constitution. But you know what? Enough! I would like to say, I think there should be a law-and I know this is extreme-that no one can have a gun in the U.S. If you have a gun, you go to jail. Only the police should have guns. It's ridiculous. - Rosie O'Donnell during interview with Carolyn McCarthy as quoted in the Ottawa Sun, April 29, 1999.
The interesting thing about staring down a gun barrel is how small the hole is where the bullet comes out, yet what a big difference it would make in your social schedule. - P.J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell, 1988.
And the Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps volunteers? Or maybe the people in Texas were attacked because of child abuse. But, if child abuse was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno tear-gas Woody Allen? - P. J. O'Rourke, "The Liberty Manifesto", The American Spectator, July, 1993.
It takes a lot of weapons to do good works (as Richard the Lionhearted could have told us). And this is not just a Somali problem. We have poverty and deprivation in our own country. Try standing unarmed on a street corner in Compton handing out twenty-dollar bills and see how long you last. - P.J. O'Rourke, All The Trouble in The World, 1994.
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.
We have to start with a ban on the manufacturing and import of handguns. From there we register the guns which are currently owned, and follow that with additional bans and acquisitions of handguns and rifles with no sporting purpose. - U.S. Representative (D), Major Owens.
I would gladly agree with all the world to lay aside the use of arms, and settle matters by negotiation; but unless the whole will, the matter never ends, and I take my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power. - Thomas Paine, "Thoughts on Defensive War," Pennsylvania Magazine, July, 1775.
The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them... - ibid.
I always considered militia as the best troops in the world for a single exertion, but they will not do for a long campaign. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis. #1. December 23, 1776.
Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man? - ibid.
In this country every man is a militia-man. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis #9. June 9, 1780.
Arms they had none, nor scarcely any who knew the use of them; but desperate resolution, when every hope is at stake, supplies for a while, the want of arms. - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, Pt. I. 1791.
If representatives, who cannot act as administrators or judges, are often renewed, if their functions are determined by law, if the people can summon at any moment their national conventions and primary asemblies, the tyranny of a legislature would have only a very short existence, especially among a people capable of self-defense, who can read, and have newspapers, guns and pikes. - Thomas Paine, "A Essay For New Republicans," Le Patriote Francois, October 20, 1792.
Guns in the wrong hands are a problem; guns in the right hands aren't.... Including handguns. Years ago, I interviewed various murderers, rapists and their victims for a series on gun violence. One would-be victim of rape (ital) did (end ital) carry a small pistol in her purse. When her attacker pinned her against the wall, the woman reached inside her purse, pulled out her pearl handled derringer and stuck it in the man's side. He died that night, and she never needed a Condit video to fall asleep. - Kathleen Parker, "Guns in wrong hands are a problem; guns in right hands aren't," townhall.com, September 2, 2001.
[L]egitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the State. Unfortunately, it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose actions brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason. - ibid.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to restore the right the founding fathers saw as ``the guarantee of every other right'' by introducing the Second Amendment Protection Act. This legislation reverses the steady erosion of the right to keep and bear arms by repealing unconstitutional laws which allow power hungry federal bureaucrats to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners....
Thomas Jefferson said ``The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; ..... that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.'' Jefferson, and all of the Founders, would be horrified by the proliferation of unconstitutional legislation which prevent law-abiding Americans from exercising their ``right and duty,'' to keep and bear arms. I hope my colleagues will join me in upholding the Founders' vision a free society by cosponsoring the Second Amendment Restoration Act. - Congressman Ron Paul, (R-TX), to The House of Representatives, January 8, 2003.
Mankind's best defense against tyranny and want is limited government -- a government which empowers its people, not itself, and which respects the wit and bravery, the initiative, and the generosity of the people. For, above all, human rights are rights of individuals: rights of conscience, rights of choice, rights of association, rights of emigration, rights of self-directed action, and the right to own property. The concept of a nation of free men and women linked together voluntarily is the genius of the system our Founding Fathers established. - ibid.
...The founding father boasted that all Americans were armed; of course, they governed free men, not a herd of sheep. - Charlie Reese, syndicated columnist.
Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal. - U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, December 1993.
Gun registration is not enough. - U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno on "Good morning America," December 10, 1993.
When Pennsylvania gun-shop owner Jack Weigand ordered a Dell laptop computer, the company refused to sell it to him. Handguns, the company explained, imply, well, terrorism, and Dell is prohibited under U.S. law from exporting computers to terrorists. - ibid.
Great Britain and Australia are thoroughly gun-controlled countries. The British are allowed only shotguns and birdshot. The two countries have the highest violent crime rates in the developed world.
Do you remember when England had very little crime and unarmed Bobbies (police)? Since those halcyon days, the British have had their guns confiscated, and are now being shot, raped, burgled, robbed and assaulted at record rates. Violent crime rates in Britain far outstrip those in the United States.
All licensed handgun owners were confiscated in 1997-98 in order to prevent "legally held handguns from falling into the wrong hands." London murders with handguns promptly shot up 83 percent, and armed muggings rose 53 percent. The BBC reports that residents of other cities also are experiencing high rates of attack from armed criminals. - ibid.
I have always wondered what the real agenda of the gun-control lobby is. Now I know. Gun controllers represent the criminal lobby. The purpose of gun control is to make criminals safe when they rob, burgle, rape and murder. - ibid.
Did you know that water is 19 times more dangerous to a child than a firearm? In 1996, 805 children died from accidental drownings and 42 died from firearm accidents. (Gun-control zealots inflate "child" firearm deaths by including teen-age drug-gang members killed in turf battles.) - Paul Craig Roberts, "Guns And Violence," townhall.com, July 29, 2002.
Bathtubs are twice as dangerous to children as guns. Fire is 18 times more dangerous to children than guns. Cars are 57 times more dangerous. Household cleaners and poisons are twice as dangerous. - ibid.
When the English were armed to the teeth, violent crime was rare. Now that the English are disarmed, violent crime has exploded. Indeed, crime in England is out of control....
The English Bill of Rights guarantees English citizens "arms for their defense." Politicians and bureaucrats stole this right from the people by subterfuge. In England today, only outlaws have guns. Sens. Lieberman, McCain and Schumer are working to duplicate the English calamity by stealing gun rights from the American people. Do these three senators represent the criminal lobby? Are they trying to create a black market in guns? - ibid.
Did you know that defensive gun use prevents far more crimes than the police?... In 98 percent of the cases, the armed citizen merely has to brandish his weapon. As many as 400,000 people each year believe they saved a life by being armed. Contrary to Handgun Control's propaganda, in less than 1 percent of confrontations do criminals succeed in taking the gun from the intended victim.
Did you know that the testimony of incarcerated felons supports the large number of defensive gun uses? Thirty-four percent of felons said they were scared off, wounded or captured by victims who turned out to be armed. - ibid.
Convicted felons say that they are more deterred by armed victims than by the police. In the United States, where roughly 50 percent of households are armed, only 13 percent of burglaries occur with residents at home. In contrast, in Britain, where homeowners are disarmed, 50 percent of home burglaries take place with the residents present. - ibid.
Gun-control zealots claim that the availability of guns is the primary cause of homicides. Between 1973 and 1994, the number of guns in private ownership in the United States rose by 87 million. During this period, both the homicide rate and the percent of homicides committed with firearms dropped. - ibid.
Did you know that a person's chances of being mugged in London are six times higher than in New York City?
Did you know that assault, robbery and burglary rates are far higher in England than in the United States?
Did you know that in England self-defense of person or property is regarded as an anti-social act, and that a victim who injures or kills an assailant is likely to be treated with more severity than the assailant? - Paul Craig Roberts, "How The British Maximize Crime," townhall.com, August 1, 2002.
In England, the penalty for possessing a handgun is 10 years in prison. The result is the one predicted by the National Rifle Association: "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns." During the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent. During seven months of 2001, armed robberies in London rose by 53 percent.... A disarmed public now faces outlaws armed with machine-guns. People in London residential neighborhoods have been machine-gunned to death. Gunmen have even burst into court and freed defendants. - ibid.
In 1999, Tony Martin, a farmer [in England], turned his shotgun on two professional thieves when they broke into his home at night to rob him a seventh time. Martin received a life sentence for killing one criminal, 10 years for wounding the second and 12 months for having an illegal shotgun. The wounded burglar has already been released from prison.
American prosecutors now follow British ones in restricting self-defense to reasonable force as defined by prosecutors. Be forewarned that Americans can no longer use deadly force against home intruders unless the intruder is also armed and the homeowner can establish that he could not hide from the intruder and had reason to believe his life was in danger. - ibid.
The assault on England's version of the Second Amendment was conducted by unsavory characters in the British Home Office. Long before guns were banned, the Home Office secretly instructed the police not to issue licenses for weapons intended to protect home and property.
In the British welfare state, crimes against property are not taken seriously. Malcolm reports that criminals face minimal chances of arrest and punishment, but a person who uses force to defend himself or his property is in serious trouble with the law. A recent British law textbook says that the right to self-defense is so mitigated "as to cast doubt on whether it still forms part of the law."
An Englishman's home is no longer his castle. Thanks to gun control zealots, England has become the land of choice for criminals. - ibid.
[C]ities... routinely sell thousands of used police weapons on the gun market, fronting for lawsuits against gun manufacturers for selling their wares to federally licensed dealers. Olson exposes the dishonesty of representing anti-gun billionaires, such as George Soros, and billionaire class action lawyers, whose trophy investments include sports teams, as "underdogs" in their onslaught against small, thinly financed family-owned gun manufacturers.
Gullible Americans are not rare. All that is required for a small wealthy elite to destroy the Second Amendment is a gullible jury and a judge who permits a class action suit to expropriate the powers of legislators. - Paul Craig Roberts, "Gun Control: The Criminal Lobby," townhall.com, April 23, 2003.
New York's Sullivan Act, the original gun control law, was passed in response to the criminal lobby in New York's Red Hook district. Robbers objected to the right of their intended victims to carry concealed weapons and succeeded in getting the right outlawed.... It is equally clear today that criminals are the only beneficiary of gun control laws.... A disarmed public is at the mercy of well-armed thugs. - ibid.
If I am waylaid by a footpad at the corner of a wood, I am constrained by force to give him my purse. But if I can manage to keep it from him, is it my duty to hand it over? His pistol is also a symbol of power. It must then, be admitted that Might does not create Right, and that no man is under an obligation to obey any the legitimate powers of the State. - ibid.
It's obvious that the United States is the target because we are the only country with a Second Amendment, and other democracies such as England, Canada and Australia have either banned or severely restricted private gun ownership.
The Draft Program wraps its gun-confiscation message in typical UN semantics, but makes little attempt to conceal the mailed fist in the velvet glove. It states: "In order to promote peace, security, stability and sustainable development in the world, we commit ourselves to addressing this problem in a comprehensive, integrated, sustainable, efficient and urgent manner."
Indeed, the plan is comprehensive and integrated. According to the Draft Program, "Preventing and reducing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons consists of two sets of measures: the national control of manufacture and the proper marking of small arms and light weapons, coupled with accurate, sustained record-keeping and exchanges of information." - Phyllis Schlafly, "United Nations Attack on Gun Ownership," townhall.com, May 26, 2001.
When the United Nations bounced us from the Human Rights Commission, while giving seats to Sudan, Libya, China and Cuba, that was just an insult. But it's deadly serious business when the UN tries to take away our guns. - Phyllis Schlafly, "United Nations Attack on Gun Ownership," townhall.com, May 26, 2001.
We're here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true... - U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, (D NY), quoted on NBC, November 30, 1993.
We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We're going to beat guns into submission! - U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, (D-NY), quoted on NBC, December 8, 1993.
Gun traffickers have found a new avenue for dealing guns to criminals, to the mentally ill, and the under-aged - the Internet. The firepower available on the Internet is chilling. Machine guns, assault weapons and cheaply made pistols are available in cyberspace for the taking. And they are available to those who could never buy a gun under the Brady law. - U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, March 16, 1999. [Class III applications are easier to get approved than Brady paperwork? Sorry Chuck, you need a new fact checker].
In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent of defend the NRA-because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent. - ibid.
We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily, given political realities, going to be very modest. Our ultimate goal, total control of handguns in the United States, is going to take time. The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered, and the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns, and all handgun ammunition illegal. - Nelson T. Shields of Hangun Control, Inc., quoted in the New Yorker, July 26, 1976.
The law was plain, but it has been industriously rendered perplex: they who were to have upheld it are overthrown, that which might have been easily performed when the people were armed... is made difficult, now they are disarmed. - Algernon Sidney.
Nay, all laws must fall, human societies that subsist by them dissolved, and all innocent persons be exposed to the violence of the most wicked, if men might not justly defend themselves against injustice by their own natural right, when the ways prescribed by public authority cannot be taken. - Algernon Sidney.
When a civilized nation depends for its defense upon a militia, it is at all times exposed to be conquered by any barbarous nation which happens to be in its neighborhood. ibid.
The victories which have been gained by militias have generally been, not over standing armies, but over other militias in exercise and discipline inferior to themselves. ibid.
A militia of any kind, it must be observed which has served for several successive campaigns in the field, becomes in every respect a standing army. The soldiers are every day exercised in the use of their arms, and, being constantly under the command of their officers, are habituated to the same prompt obedience which takes place in standing armies. What they were before they took to the field is of little importance. They necessarily become in every respect a standing army after they have passed a few campaigns in it. Should the war in America drag out through another campaign, the American militia may become in every respect a match for that standing army of which the valour appeared, in the last war, at least not inferior to that of the hardiest veterans of France or Spain. ibid.
Whereas to maintain, even in tolerable execution, the complex regulations of any modern militia, requires the continual and painful attention of government, without which they are constantly falling into total neglect and disuse. ibid.
The practice of military exercises is the sole or principal occupation of the soldiers of a standing army, and the maintenance or pay which the state affords them is the principal and ordinary fund of their subsistence. The practice of military exercises is only the occasional occupation of the soldiers of a militia, and they derive the principal and ordinary fund of their subsistence from some other occupation. In a militia, the character of the laborer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier; in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character: and in this distinction seems to consist the essential difference between those two different species of military force. ibid.
A militia in whatever manner it may be either disciplined or exercised, must always be much inferior to a well-disciplined and well-exercised standing army.
The soldiers who are exercised only once a week, or once a month, can never be so expert in the use of their arms as those who are exercised every day, or every other day.
The soldiers who are bound to obey their officer only once a week or once a month, and who are at all other times at liberty to manage their own affairs their own way, without being in any respect accountable to him, can never be under the same awe in his presense, can never have the same disposition to ready obedience, with those whose whole life and conduct are everyday directed by him, and who are every day even to rise and go to bed, or at least retire to their quarters, according to his orders. ibid.
That the progress of improvement of military exercises, unless the government takes proper pains to support it, goes gradually to decay, and, altogether with it, the martial spirit of the great body of the people, the example of modern Europe sufficiently demonstrates. But the security of every society must always depend, more or less, upon the martial spirit of the great body of the people. In the present times, indeed, that martial spirit alone, and unsupported by a well-disciplined standing army, would not perhaps be sufficient for the defense and security of any society. But where every citizen had the spirit of a soldier, a smaller standing army would surely be requisite. That spirit, besides, would necessarily diminish very much the dangers to liberty, whether real or imaginary, which are commonly apprehended from a standing army. As it would very much facilitate the operations of that army against a foreign invader, so it would obstruct them as much if, unfortunately, they should ever be directed against the constitution of the state. ibid.
If you're not shootin', you should be loadin'. If you're not loadin', you should be movin'. If you're not movin', someone's gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick. - Clint Smith.
I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty. - Clint Smith.
74 percent of criminals agreed with the statement, "One reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime." The result is that most burglaries do not result in personal encounters between the burglar and the victim.... It is noteworthy that England has essentially outlawed most private possession of guns and has a philosophy that self defense is not a valid reason for shooting an assailant. Possibly because of those factors, there is a much higher rate of burglary of occupied homes in England than there is in the United States. - ibid.
The total self-defense results are approximately.... 570,000 fewer violent crimes as the result of gun carrying civilians. - ibid.
A Los Angeles Times poll found that 8 percent of the civilian population had ever used or displayed a gun for self-defense purposes. In 1994, there were about 195 million adults. With 5 percent saying "once" and 3 percent saying "more than once", at least 20.4 million usages are implied. Prorating over 20 years, it implies at least 1 million defensive gun uses per year. Accidental deaths have fallen steadily, from some 13 per million population to under 5 per million population in the period 1960 to 1995. During this same period, gun ownership has dramatically increased, from 330,000 per million population to almost 900,000 per million population. This would seem either to imply that people are aware of the greater safety and are responding by buying more guns or they believe (correctly) that they can reduce the risks by proper training and appropriate behavior.
It would appear that people are buying guns in response to crime in order to deter it or ward off attackers.... guns are useful in doing exactly that. - ibid.
Somewhere around 0.8 to 2.0 million violent crimes are deterred each year because of gun ownership and use by civilians. In addition, another 1.5 to 2.5 million crimes are stopped by armed civilians.... Without... civilian guns being used to deter and stop crimes, the numbers of completed crimes could well double. It would undoubtedly be the case that increased gun ownership would further reduce crime. - ibid.
It would defy economic logic if people bought guns in order to improve their safety from crime if that improved safety were more than offset by greater risk from accident and theft. In order to assert such an hypothesis, it is necessary to believe either that people are irrational or that they are unaware of the risks of owning firearms. - ibid.
The empirical data are very clear. Where ordinary, law-abiding citizens have been allowed to carry firearms, violent crimes--including shootings--have gone down, not up. Where local governments have begun restricting the availability of firearms, including requiring all sorts of "safety" provisions, violent crimes have gone up, even at a time when such crimes are going down nationally. - ibid.
Obviously, whenever guns are widely available in a country of a quarter of a billion people, somebody somewhere is going to get killed accidentally or by someone whose anger or viciousness gets out of hand. That has to be weighed against the lives that are saved when an armed citizenry reduces violent crime. Taking both these things into account, there has still been a net reduction in violent crime and deaths from allowing law-abiding people ready access to firearms.
This is not a theory. It is what has happened, again and again, in communities all across this country. The facts simply do not fit the gun control advocates' theories. - ibid.
But both criminals and law-abiding citizens have common sense. An intruder in your home who hears you loading a shotgun in the next room is going to be out of there before you can get to where he is -- and he is very unlikely ever to come back. Muggers or rapists who are ready to attack you on the street are likely to have a sudden change of plans if you pull out a gun. - ibid.
In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s, there were more than a hundred times as many. In England, as in the United States, drastic crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens were accompanied by ever greater leniency to criminals. In both countries, this turned out to be a formula for disaster.
While England has not yet reached the American level of murders, it has already surpassed the United States in rates of robbery and burglary. Moreover, in recent years the murder rate in England has been going up under still more severe gun control laws, while the murder rate in the United States has been going down as more and more states have allowed private citizens to carry concealed weapons--and have begun locking up more criminals. - Thomas Sowell, "Gun Control Myths: Part I," townhall.com, November 26, 2002.
Facts have no effect whatever on the dogmas of gun control zealots. The fact that most guns used to murder people in England were not legally purchased has no effect on their faith in gun control laws there, any more than faith in such laws here is affected by the fact that the gun used by the recent Beltway snipers was not purchased legally either. - ibid.
In England as in America, sensational gun crimes have been seized upon and used politically to promote crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing about criminals. American zealots for the Brady bill say nothing about the fact that the man who shot James Brady and tried to assassinate President Reagan has been out walking the streets on furlough. - ibid.
The grand dogma of the gun controllers is that places with severe restrictions on the ownership of firearms have lower rates of murder and other gun crimes. How do they prove this? Simple. They make comparisons of places where this is true and ignore all comparisons of places where the opposite is true.
Gun control zealots compare the United States and England to show that murder rates are lower where restrictions on ownership of firearms are more severe. But you could just as easily compare Switzerland and Germany, the Swiss having lower murder rates than the Germans, even though gun ownership is three times higher in Switzerland. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand and Finland. - Thomas Sowell, "Gun Control Myths: Part II," townhall.com, November 27, 2002.
Within the United States, rural areas have higher rates of gun ownership and lower rates of murder, whites have higher rates of gun ownership than blacks and much lower murder rates. For the country as a whole, handgun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down. But such facts are not mentioned by gun control zealots or by the liberal media. - ibid.
Another dogma among gun control supporters is that having a gun in the home for self-defense is futile and is only likely to increase the chances of your getting hurt or killed. Your best bet is to offer no resistance to an intruder, according to this dogma.
Actual research tells just the opposite story. People who have not resisted have gotten hurt twice as often as people who resisted with a firearm. Those who resisted without a firearm of course got hurt the most often. - ibid.
Most uses of guns in self-defense--whether in the home or elsewhere--do not involve actually pulling the trigger. When the intended victim turns out to have a gun in his hand, the attacker usually has enough brains to back off. But the lives saved this way do not get counted. - ibid.
Neither are most "children" who are killed by guns just toddlers who happened to find a loaded weapon lying around. More of those "children" are members of teenage criminal gangs who kill each other deliberately. - ibid.
Most people who are in favor of gun control laws support such laws because they believe that these laws will reduce the number of firearms deaths. Such people are not the problem. Their minds can be changed when they learn that the facts are very different from what they have imagined or have been led to believe.
The problem is with very different kinds of people, often in leadership positions, whose support for gun control laws is strong enough to override any facts. When John Lott's empirical study of the effects of gun control laws found that gun ownership tended on net balance to reduce crime in general and murder in particular, he offered to give a copy of that study to a member of a gun control advocacy group, but she refused to look at it....
Facts are not the real issue to gun control zealots, who typically share the left's general vision of the world, in which their own superior wisdom and virtue need to be imposed on others, whether on guns, the environment, or other things.
When John Lott asked the gun control crusader to look at the facts he had amassed, he may have thought that the issue was simply whether one policy was better than another. But what was really at stake was a whole vision of society and the crusader's own sense of self. No wonder she could not risk looking at the facts. - Thomas Sowell, "Gun Control Myths: Part III," townhall.com, November 28, 2002.
If the [politcal] opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves. - Josef Stalin.
The United States should get rid of its militias. - Josef Stalin, 1933.
Gun violence is a scourge on our Nation, and we have a responsibility to tackle this plague, not with empty gestures, but with solid action. Instead of passing new gun laws, we should enforce those already on the books....
The President and his supporters want to create a false sense of security by enacting more laws with little or no real impact on the problem. A stronger commitment to enforcing the laws already on the books will do far more to protect our communities and our school rooms from gun violence. - Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), House of Representatives, March 21, 2000.
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. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1890-91, 1930.
Gun control is a band-aid, feeling good approach to the nation's crime problem. It is easier for politicians to ban something than it is to condemn a murderer to death or a robber to life in prison. In essence, "gun control" is the coward's way out. - Gabriel Suarez, police officer, California.
Assault weapons... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons - anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun - can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. - Josh Sugarmann, "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation", March, 1989.
That fact [unreliabillity] did not stop the New Jersey legislature from passing the country's first "smart gun" mandate the other day. The bill, which Gov. James McGreevey has promised to sign, requires that all handguns sold in the state incorporate some form of personalization within three years after the first such model is introduced....
Revealingly, the mandate exempts police weapons, even though research on personalized firearms was initially aimed at stopping criminals from firing guns grabbed during struggles with cops. The exemption is also odd because one of the bill's avowed goals is to prevent adolescent suicides. "What children have more access to guns than the children of police officers?" asked a lobbyist who fought the mandate....
Legislators must have recognized that police officers would not want their lives to depend on batteries, electronic chips or recognition devices that could fail in an emergency. - Jacob Sullum, "Lock Step: The Hazards of 'Smart Guns'," townhall.com, December 20, 2002.
Supporters of the lawsuits make no bones about what they're trying to accomplish.... "Litigation is a powerful tool to promote the public's health--especially when other avenues are stymied...." Notice that it doesn't matter whether the cases have any merit.... Cigarette billboards are a thing of the past not because of a statutory ban (which would have violated the First Amendment) but because eliminating outdoor advertising was part of the price for settling state lawsuits against the tobacco companies. Gun makers, whose financial resources are puny compared to the tobacco industry's, are especially vulnerable to that sort of pressure. - Jacob Sullum, "Is Gun Lawsuit Pre-Emption Unconstitutional?" townhall.com, April 18, 2003.
Citizens have the natural right and the common sense duty to protect themselves, their families, their communities, and their property... guns are the equalizing tools of self-protection, utopian lamentations notwithstanding. - Dr. Edgar A. Suter.
The data from the 1990 Harvard Medical Practice Study suggest that 150,000 Americans die every year from doctors' negligence--compared with 38,000 gun deaths annually. Why are doctors not declared a public health menace? Because they save more lives than they take. And so it is with guns. Every year, good Americans use guns about 2.5 million times to protect themselves and their families, which means 65 lives are protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. - Dr. Edgar A. Suter, "Opinion" , San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 1994.
(San Francisco, CA) - Like a child who fears monsters under the bed at night, California Assemblyman Louis Caldera has an irrational and unjustifiable fear of good citizens with guns. He and his allies in the anti-self-defense lobby have ignored or defamed the mountain of research that shows guns in the hands of good citizens have an enormous public safety benefit--as many as 2.5 million lives protected annually. They have ignored or defamed the research showing the public safety benefits of reforming concealed weapon licensing as California's AB 638 would do. - "Doctors Treat Assemblyman's Unfounded Fears with Facts," Press Release, Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research, Inc., Edgar A. Suter MD, National Chair, February 25, 1996.
Guns are used to save lives, prevent injuries, avert medical costs (because lives are saved and injuries are prevented), and protect property.... [However], Assemblyman Caldera and his allies in the anti-self-defense lobby routinely portray good citizens with guns as inept and dangerous, but good citizens use guns about seven to ten times as frequently as the police to repel crime and apprehend criminals and they do it with a better safety record than the police. - ibid.
In California, as in Florida and other states where they have opposed reform, the anti-self defense lobby predict that blood would run in the streets, that inconsequential family arguments and traffic disputes "could" lead to murder and mayhem and that many innocent people "might" be killed--but we do not have to rely on irrational propaganda or political histrionics about what "might" or "could" happen. We can examine the data that show what has actually happened.
As of April 30, 1994, Florida had issued 233,870 licenses and not one innocent person had been killed or injured by a concealed weapon licensee in the 7 years post-reform. Of the nearly quarter-million licenses, 22 (1/100th of 1%) were revoked for misuse of the firearm. Not one of those revocations were associated with any injury whatsoever. - ibid.
Guns save lives, prevent injuries, avert medical costs, and protect property as many as 2.5 million times annually. Americans use guns to protect themselves, their families, and their livelihoods. These are savings with which we can live . Those who advocate restricting gun rights often justify their proposals "if it saves only one life...." There have been matched state pair analyses, crime trend studies, and county-by-county research demonstrating that licensing good, mentally competent adults to carry concealed weapons for protection outside their homes saves many lives, so gun prohibitionists should support such reforms, if saving lives is truly their motivation. - ibid.
Many believe the National Guard is the same as a state militia--a reserve force trained at federal expense for immediate service in the event of an emergency. But the militia of which the Founders spoke was something entirely different. They viewed an armed citizenry that could be mustered into a fighting force or used to defend the rights and property of the individual as a last defense against those who would deny such rights. - ibid.
The best organization you've got there, the biggest organization you've got there is the NRA. We don't have an organization that size. We didn't have an organization that size, and as a consequence, we suffered. And we hope that you don't suffer... - Keith Tidswell, Sporting Shooter's Association, on Australia's gun ban.
The man who submits to violence is debased by his compliance; but when he submits to that right of authority which he acknowledges in a fellow-creature, he rises in some measure above the person who gives the command. - ibid.
Violence may seem to be excusable, in defense of the cause of oppressed right. Thus it is, in the vast complication of human laws, that extreme liberty sometimes corrects abuses of liberty, and that extreme democracy obviates the dangers of democracy. - ibid.
No one measure in either gun control legislation or in addressing this problem generally is going to solve the problem. - ibid.
In the last 2 months the shootings in Littleton, CO, and Conyers, GA, have represented a potential historic turning point on this issue. Almost certainly, when the history of our generation is written, the events in Conyers and Littleton will be seen in the same light as the publishing of Rachel Carlson's ``Silent Spring'' is seen as the beginning of the environmental movement or the 1960s march on Washington is for civil rights. - ibid.
The simple truth is, in a society in which the Federal Government regulates the content of our air, the quality of our water, virtually every measure of consumer product for its safety, its design and its content, the single exception is guns manufactured in the United States. By statute, the ATF is prohibited from engaging in the regulation of the design and distribution of firearms. - ibid.
A toy gun is regulated for its design: The size of its parts, to protect an infant child, the contents of the materials. A toy gun is completely regulated by the Federal Government. But the actual gun, including the TEC-9 used in Columbine High School, is not. No one could rationally explain that contradiction, but it is the truth. Indeed, as I have demonstrated on this chart, a child's teddy bear is regulated for its edges, its points, small parts, hazardous materials, its flammability, but a gun--which 14 times a day takes a life--that may be in the same home, in proximity to that child is not. - ibid.
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. - ibid.
To avoid domestic tyranny, the people must be armed to stand upon [their] own Defence; which if [they] are enabled to do, [they] shall never be put upon it, but [their] Swords may grow rusty in [their] hands; for that Nation is surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it. - ibid.
After the enemies with guns have been wiped out, it will be time to wipe out our other enemies who do not have guns. - Mao Tse Tung.
Men just dragged from the tender scenes of domestic life; unaccustomed to the din of arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge, and superior in arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows. - George Washington, letter to Congress. September 24, 1776.
Regular troops alone are equal to the exigencies of modern war, as well as for defence as offence, and whenever a substitute is attempted it must prove illusory and ruinous. - George Washington, letter to Congress, September 15, 1780.
No militia will ever acquire the habits necessary to resist a regular force.... The firmness requisite for the real business of fighting is only to be attained by a constant course of discipline and service. I have never yet been witness to a single instance that can justify a different opinion, and it is most earnestly to be wished that the liberties of America may no onger be trusted, in any material degree, to so precarious a dependence. - ibid.
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 interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that's good... A free people ought to be armed. - George Washington, Speech, printed in the "Boston Independent Chronicle", January 7, 1790.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined. - George Washington, First Annual Address, January 8, 1790.
[Arms] are incapable of abuse in the hands of the militia, who ought to possess a pride in being the depository of the force of the Republic, and may be trained to a degree of energy equal to every military exigency of the United States. - George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, Philadelphia, December 3, 1793.
Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. 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. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. - ibid.
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 the reason for these and other tyrannical successes was because the people were first disarmed. - Walter E. Williams, Professor of Economics George Mason University, 2001.
During last week's Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., laid into President Bush's attorney general nominee John Ashcroft about his strong support for the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. Kennedy demanded that Ashcroft apologize to the American people.
For what did Kennedy think Ashcroft should apologize? In a speech, Ashcroft said that the reason the Framers demanded a constitutional protection for "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" was to provide a measure of protection against tyranny in government.
Kennedy demonstrated gross ignorance about the founding of our nation. To throw such an intemperate, public hissy-fit, he must have counted on--and correctly so--the ignorance of his senatorial colleagues, the news media and most Americans.
Ashcroft didn't bother to defend himself. He might have figured that Kennedy and his colleagues were uneducable, and possibly feared that producing facts would have brought on even greater ire. - Walter Williams, "Constitutional Ignorance," townhall.com, January 24, 2001.
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. - ibid.
Every time there's a school shooting, there are demands for greater gun control measures that range from longer waiting periods and mandated gun locks to stricter licensing and restricted sales. With all the political posturing and demagoguery that follows, a hysterical public buys into the seeming plausibility that reduced availability of guns, especially to children, will reduce gun violence.
The facts of the matter are just the opposite.... The fact of the matter is that gun accessibility in our country has never been as restricted as it is now. - Walter Williams, "Kids And Guns," townhall.com, April 25, 2001.
For most of our history, a person could walk into a hardware store, virtually anywhere in the United States, and buy a rifle. Few states even had age restrictions for buying handguns. Buying a rifle or pistol through a mail catalog, such as Sears and Roebuck, was easy. Private transfers of guns to juveniles were unrestricted. Often a 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22 caliber rifle, given to a son by his father.
These facts of our history should confront us with the question: with greater youth accessibility to guns in the past, why wasn't there the kind of violence we see with today's much more restricted access to guns? Might it be global warming? Or, might it be children playing cops 'n' robbers and cowboys 'n' Indians too much? And how do we solve today's gun violence: more gun locks, longer waiting periods, more gun laws, more psycho- babbling by school psychologists? - ibid.
Moral standards of conduct have been under siege in our country for nearly half a century. Moral absolutes have been abandoned as a guiding principle. We've been taught not to be judgmental -- that one lifestyle or value is just as good as another.
More often than not, the attack on moral standards has been orchestrated by the education establishment and liberals. School shootings just might represent chickens coming home to roost where they were born.
If we refuse to seriously ask why young people weren't shooting one another at a time when guns were far more accessible than they are today, we do so at our peril. - ibid.
A Well Regulated Militia
American Self-Defense Institute
AWARE - Arming Women Against Rape & Endangerment
Bill of Rights
Citizens' Committee For The Right To Keep And Bare Arms
Constitution of the United States
Enemies Foreign & Domestic
The Federalist Papers
Gun Owners of America
Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership
Keep And Bear Arms
National Rifle Association
The Paul Revere Network
Second Amendment Foundation
Second Amendment Sisters, Inc.
Self-Defense: a Basic Human Right
United States Practical Shooting Association
Women & Guns
Women Against Gun Control
Women to Arms
I have no idea. The root of all animus against guns is ignorance of facts (on the part of the people) or lust for power (on the part of politicians). Or it could be blind stupidity.
I just had a conversation with Mr. A. C. Brocki, Editorial Coordinator for the Office of Instruction of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Mr. Brocki taught Advanced Placement English for several years at Van Nuys High School, as well as having been a senior editor for Houghton Mifflin. I was referred to Mr. Brocki by Sherryl Broyles of the office of Instuction of the L.A. Unified School District, who described Mr. Brocki as the foremost expert in grammar in the Los Angeles Unified School District--the person she and others go to when they need a definitive answer on English grammar.
I gave Mr. Brocki my name, told him Sherryl Broyles referred me, then asked him to parse the following sentence: "A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed." Mr. Brocki informed me that the sentence was over punctuated, but that the meaning could be extracted anyway.
"A well-schooled electorate" is a nominative absolute.
"being necessary to the security of a free State" is a participial phrase modifying "electorate".
The subject (a compound subject) of the sentence is "the right of the people".
"shall not be infringed" is a verb phrase, with "not" as an adverb modifying the verb phrase "shall be infringed".
"to keep and read books" is an infinitive phrase modifying "right".
I then asked him if he could rephrase the sentence to make it clearer. Mr. Brocki said, "Because a well-schooled electorate is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
I asked: "Can the sentence be interpreted to restrict the right to keep and read books to a well-schooled electorate--say, registered voters with a high-school diploma?" He said, "No."
I then identified my purpose in calling him, and read him the Second Amendment in full: "A well-regulated Militia, being necesasary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." He said he thought the [original] sentence had sounded familiar, but that he hadn't recognized it.
I asked, "Is the structure and the meaning of this sentence the same as the sentence I first quoted you?" He said, "yes." I asked him to rephrase this sentence to make it clearer. He transformed it the same way as the first sentence: "Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
I asked him whether this sentence could be interpreted to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to "a well-regulated militia." He said "no." According to Mr. Brocki, the sentence means that the people are the militia, and that the people have the right which is mentioned.
I asked him again to make sure:
Schulman: "Can the sentence be interpreted to mean that the right can be restricted to a well regulated militia?"
Brocki: "No, I can't see that."
Schulman: "Could another, professional in English grammar or linguistics interpret the sentence to mean otherwise?"
Brocki: "I can't see any grounds for another interpretation."
Freedom and Firearms
Senator Tom McClintock
Date: June 9, 2001
Publication Type: Speech or Statement
A Speech by Senator Tom McClintock
Western Conservative Conference, Los Angeles, June 9, 2001
There are two modern views of government that begin from entirely different premises.
There is the 18th Century American view propounded by our nations founders. They believed, and formed a government based upon that belief, that each of us is endowed by our creator with certain rights that cannot be alienated, and that governments are instituted to protect those rights. This view is proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and reflected in the American Bill of Rights.
The second view is 19th Century German in origin and expressed in the philosophies of Marx and Hegel and Nietzsche. It is a restatement of philosophies of absolutism that have plagued mankind for millennia. In this view, rights come not from God, but from the state. What rights you have are there because government has given them to you, all for the greater good defined, of course, by government.
In the 20 years I have been actively engaged in public policy, I have seen the growing influence of this 19th Century German view. It disdains the view of the American Founders. It rejects the notion of inalienable rights endowed equally to every human being by the laws of nature and of natures God. In this view, it is the state, and not the individual, where rights are vested.
I mention this, because of a debate that occurred last week on the floor of the State Senate. It was a debate that occurred under the portrait of George Washington and the gold-emblazoned motto, Senatoris Est Civitatis Libertatum Tueri The Senators protect the Liberty of the Citizens.
At issue was a measure, SB 52, which will require a state-issued license to own a firearm for self-defense. To receive a license, you would have to meet a series of tests, costs and standards set by the state.
We have seen many bills considered and adopted that would infringe upon the right of a free people to bear arms. But this was the most brazen attempt in this legislature to claim that the very right of self-defense is not an inalienable natural right at all, but is rather a right that is licensed from government; a right that no longer belongs to you, but to your betters, who will license you to exercise that right at their discretion.
During the debate on this measure, which passed the Senate 25 to 15, I raised these issues. And I would like to quote to you the response of Senator Sheila Kuehl, to the approving nods of the Senators whose duty is to protect the liberty of the citizens.
She said, There is only one constitutional right in the United States which is absolute and that is your right to believe anything you want.
I want to focus on that statement. The only constitutional right which is absolute is your right to believe anything you want.
Now, compare that to the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
What rights have a slave? There is only one: a slave can think anything he wants: as long as he doesnt utter it or act on it he may think what he wants. He has no right to the fruit of his labor; no right to self-defense, no right to raise his children, no right to contract with others for his betterment, no right to worship except as his master allows. He has only the right to his own thoughts. All other rights are at the sufferance of his master whether that master is a state or an owner.
Now, let us continue to look at this new constitutional principle propounded by Senator Kuehl, under the portrait of George Washington to the delight of her colleagues whose duty, according to the proud words above them, is to Protect the Liberty of the Citizens.
She continued, Other than that, (the right to your own thoughts) government has the ability to say on behalf of all the people I will put it in the colloquial way as my grandmother used to your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Its a balance of your rights and my rights because we all have constitutional rights. And the question for government is how do we balance those rights?
Indeed, the right to swing your fist does end where my nose begins. An excellent analogy. Shall we therefore amputate your fist so that you can never strike my nose? And would you deny me the use of my own fist to protect my nose?
Senator Kuehl and her colleagues believe government has the legitimate authority to do so. It is simply the question of balancing.
It is very important that we understand precisely what Senator Kuehl and the Left are saying.
A thief balances your right to your wallet against his right to eat. A murderer balances your right to life against his right to freedom. A master balances your right to work and toil and make bread, against his right to eat it. These are matters of balance.
The American view is quite different. In the view of the American Founders, the Laws of Nature and of Natures God endow each of us with rights that are inalienable, and we are each equal in those rights. It is not a balancing act. These rights are absolute. They cannot be alienated.
But in a state of nature, there are predators who would deny us those rights. And thus we come together to preserve our freedom. In the American view, the only legitimate exercise of force by one person over another, or by one government over its people, is to secure these rights.
Senator Kuehl continues, My right to defend myself in the home does not extend to my owning a tank, though that would make sense to me, perhaps, that no one would attack my home if I had a tank sitting in the living room.
Let us put aside, for a moment, the obvious fact that a tank is only an instrument of self-defense against a power that employs a tank. But let us turn to the more reasonable side of her argument: that rights can be constrained by government; that there is, after all, no right to shout fire in a crowded theater. How can a right be absolute and yet constrained by government?
To Senator Kuehl and the Left, the answer is simply, its easy -- whenever we say so. Or, in her words, government has the ability to say (so) on behalf of all the people.
The American Founders had a different view, also, not surprisingly, diametrically opposed to Senator Kuehls way of thinking.
The right is absolute. In a free nation, government has no authority to forbid me from speaking because I might shout fire in a crowded theater. Government has no authority to forbid me from using my fist to defend myself because I might also use it to strike your nose. And government has no authority to forbid me from owning a firearm because I might shoot an innocent victim.
Government is there to assure that the full force of the law can be brought against me if I discharge that right in a manner that threatens the rights of others. It does not have the authority to deny me those very rights for fear I might misuse them.
Senator Kuehl continues, In my opinion, this bill is one of those balances. It does not say you cannot have a gun. It does not say you cannot defend yourself. It says if you are going to be owning and handling and using a dangerous item you need to know how to use it, and you need to prove that you know how to use it by becoming licensed.
How reasonable. How reassuring. How despotic.
We must understand what they are arguing, because it is chilling. They are arguing that any of our most precious rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights any at least they decide are conceivably dangerous -- may only be extended through the license of the government.
If that is the case, they are not rights. With that one despotic principle, you have just dissolved the foundation of the entire Bill of Rights. You have created a society where your only right is to your own thoughts.
Inalienable rights are now alienated to government, and government may extend or refuse them upon its whim or more precisely, upon a balancing act to be decided by government. Let us follow in our minds at least a little farther down this path.
Hate groups publish newsletters to disseminate their hatred and racism. Sick individuals in our society act upon this hatred. The Oklahoma City bombing killed a score of innocent children. Shouldnt we license printing presses and Internet sites to prevent the pathology of hate from spreading? Such an act doesnt say you cannot have a press. It does not say you cannot express yourself. It says if you are going to be owning and handling a printing press, you should know what not to say and prove that you can restrain yourself by becoming licensed.
And what are we to do about rogue religions like those that produced Heavens Gate and Jonestown. How many people around the world are killed by acts of religious fanaticism every year? Should we not license the legitimate churches? Such an act doesnt say you cannot have a church. It does not say you cannot worship. It says if you are going to be running and conducting a church, that you must know how to worship and prove that you know how by becoming licensed.
The only right you have is the right to believe anything you want. The only right of a slave. The rest is negotiable or to use the new word, balanceable.
In 1838, a 29 year old Abraham Lincoln posed the question for which he would ultimately give his life. Years later, he would debate Stephen Douglas, who argued that freedom and slavery were a matter of political balance. But in this speech, he spoke to the larger question that we must now confront:
"Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step over the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! -- All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a Thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
The American Founders worried about the same thing. Late in life, Jefferson wrote to Adams, "Yes we did create a near perfect union; but will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom. Material abundance is the surest path to destruction."
And as I listened to Senator Kuehl proclaim that the only constitutional right in the United States which is absolute is your right to believe anything you want, and as I gazed at the portrait of George Washington, and as I thought about the solemn words, the Senators Protect the Liberty of the Citizens, I couldnt help but think of an aide to George Washington by the name of James McHenry, who accompanied the General as they departed Independence Hall the day the Constitution was born. He recorded this encounter between Benjamin Franklin and a Mrs. Powell. She asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Answered Dr. Franklin, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
For this generation, that is no longer a hypothetical question. History warns us that to one generation in five falls the duty the highest duty and the most difficult duty of this Republic to preserve the liberty of the citizens. It is the most difficult, because as Lincoln warned, it is a threat that springs up not on a foreign shore where we can see it it springs up amongst us. It cannot be defeated by force of arms. It must be defeated by reason.
Have you noticed yet, that ours is that generation? And how ironic it would be that the freedoms won with the blood of Washingtons troops, and defended by so many who followed, should be voluntarily thrown away piece by piece by a generation that had become so dull and careless and pampered and uncaring that it lost the memory of freedom.
The Athenian Democracy had a word for citizen that survives in our language today. Politikos. Politician. The Athenians believed that a free people who declare themselves citizens assume a duty to declare themselves politicians at the same time. It is time we took that responsibility very seriously.
In 1780, the tide had turned in the American Revolution, and the Founders began to sense the freedom that was within sight. John Adams wrote these words to his wife that spring. He said, "The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."
Ladies and gentlemen, the debate is not about guns. It is about freedom. And the wheel has come full circle. Our generation must study politics that we may restore the liberty that our parents and grandparents expect us to pass on to our children and grandchildren.
If we fail, what history will demand of our children and grandchildren, in a society where their only right is to their own thoughts, is simply unthinkable. And be assured, history will find it unforgivable. A generation that is handed the most precious gift in all the universe freedom and throws it away -- deserves to be reviled by every generation that follows and will be, even though the only right left to them is their own thoughts.
But if we succeed in this struggle, we will know the greatest joy of all the joy of watching our grandchildren secure with the blessings of liberty, studying arts and literature in a free nation and under Gods grace, once again.
Ladies and Gentlemen, isnt that worth devoting the rest of our lives to achieve?
This has been debunked numerous times on FR.
The 1928 German Gun Laws required gun registration and licensing --- several yers before Hitler got power in 1933.
Brocki: "I can't see any grounds for another interpretation."
Conclusion: Among other things (like being bad at math), liberals are bad at English.
The lessons of Nazi history.
By Dave Kopel & Richard Griffiths
Yhis week's CBS miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil tries to explain the conditions that enabled a manifestly evil and abnormal individual to gain total power and to commit mass murder. The CBS series looks at some of the people whose flawed decisions paved the way for Hitler's psychopathic dictatorship: Hitler's mother who refused to recognize that her child was extremely disturbed and anti-social; the judge who gave Hitler a ludicrously short prison sentence after he committed high treason at the Beer Hall Putsch; President Hindenburg and the Reichstag delegates who (except for the Social Democrats) who acceded to Hitler's dictatorial Enabling Act rather than forcing a crisis (which, no matter how bad the outcome, would have been far better than Hitler being able to claim legitimate power and lead Germany toward world war).
Acquainting a new generation of television viewers with the monstrosity of Hitler is a commendable public service by CBS, for if we are serious about "Never again," then we must be serious about remembering how and why Hitler was able to accomplish what he did. Political scientist R. J. Rummel, the world's foremost scholar of the mass murders of the 20th century, estimates that the Nazis killed about 21 million people, not including war casualties. With modern technology, a modern Hitler might be able to kill even more people even more rapidly.
Indeed, right now in Zimbabwe, the Robert Mugabe tyranny is perpetrating a genocide by starvation aimed at liquidating about six million people. Mugabe is great admirer of Adolf Hitler. Mugabe's number-two man (who died last year) was Chenjerai Hunzvi, the head of Mugabe's terrorist gangs, who nicknamed himself "Hitler." One of the things that Robert Mugabe, "Hitler" Hunzvi, and Adolf Hitler all have in common is their strong and effective programs of gun control.
Simply put, if not for gun control, Hitler would not have been able to murder 21 million people. Nor would Mugabe be able to carry out his current terror program.
Writing in The Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law Stephen Halbrook demonstrates that German Jews and other German opponents of Hitler were not destined to be helpless and passive victims. (A magazine article by Halbrook offers a shorter version of the story, along with numerous photographs. Halbrook's Arizona article is also available as a chapter in the book Death by Gun Control, published by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.) Halbrook details how, upon assuming power, the Nazis relentlessly and ruthlessly disarmed their German opponents. The Nazis feared the Jews many of whom were front-line veterans of World War One so much that Jews were even disarmed of knives and old sabers.
The Nazis did not create any new firearms laws until 1938. Before then, they were able to use the Weimar Republic's gun controls to ensure that there would be no internal resistance to the Hitler regime.
In 1919, facing political and economic chaos and possible Communist revolution after Germany's defeat in the First World War, the Weimar Republic enacted the Regulation of the Council of the People's Delegates on Weapons Possession. The new law banned the civilian possession of all firearms and ammunition, and demanded their surrender "immediately."
Once the political and economic situation stabilized, the Weimar Republic created a less draconian gun-control law. The law was similar to, although somewhat milder than, the gun laws currently demanded by the American gun-control lobby.
The Weimar Law on Firearms and Ammunition required a license to engage in any type of firearm business. A special license from the police was needed to either purchase or carry a firearm. The German police were granted complete discretion to deny licenses to criminals or individuals the police deemed untrustworthy. Unlimited police discretion over citizen gun acquisition is the foundation of the "Brady II" proposal introduced by Handgun Control, Inc., (now called the Brady Campaign) in 1994.
Under the Weimar law, no license was needed to possess a firearm in the home unless the citizen owned more than five guns of a particular type or stored more than 100 cartridges. The law's requirements were more relaxed for firearms of a "hunting" or "sporting" type. Indeed, the Weimar statute was the world's first gun law to create a formal distinction between sporting and non-sporting firearms. On the issues of home gun possession and sporting guns, the Weimar law was not as stringent as the current Massachusetts gun law, or some of modern proposals supported by American gun-control lobbyists.
Significantly, the Weimar law required the registration of most lawfully owned firearms, as do the laws of some American states. In Germany, the Weimar registration program law provided the information which the Nazis needed to disarm the Jews and others considered untrustworthy.
The Nazi disarmament campaign that began as soon as Hitler assumed power in 1933. While some genocidal governments (such as the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia) dispensed with lawmaking, the Nazi government followed the German predilection for the creation of large volumes of written rules and regulations. Yet it was not until March 1938 (the same month that Hitler annexed Austria in the Anschluss) that the Nazis created their own Weapons Law. The new law formalized what had been the policy imposed by Hitler using the Weimar Law: Jews were prohibited from any involvement in any firearm business.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazis launched the Kristallnacht, pogrom, and unarmed Jews all over Germany were attacked by government-sponsored mobs. In conjunction with Kristallnacht, the government used the administrative authority of the 1938 Weapons Law to require immediate Jewish surrender of all firearms and edged weapons, and to mandate a sentence of death or 20 years in a concentration camp for any violation.
Even after 1938, the German gun laws were not prohibitory. They simply gave the government enough information and enough discretion to ensure that victims inside Germany would not be able to fight back.
Under the Hitler regime, the Germans had created a superbly trained and very large military the most powerful military the world had ever seen until then. Man-for-man, the Nazis had greater combat effectiveness than every other army in World War II, and were finally defeated because of the overwhelming size of the Allied armies and the immensely larger economic resources of the Allies.
Despite having an extremely powerful army, the Nazis still feared the civilian possession of firearms by hostile civilians. Events in 1943 proved that the fear was not mere paranoia. As knowledge of the death camps leaked out, determined Jews rose up in arms in Tuchin, Warsaw, Bialystok, Vilna, and elsewhere. Jews also joined partisan armies in Eastern Europe in large numbers, and amazingly, even organized escapes and revolts in the killing centers of Treblinka and Auschwitz. There are many books which recount these heroic stories of resistance. Yuri Suhl's They Fought Back (1967) is a good summary showing that hundreds of thousands of Jews did fight. The book Escape from Sobibor and the eponymous movie (1987) tell the amazing story how Russian Jewish prisoners of war organized a revolt that permanently destroyed one of the main death camps.
It took the Nazis months to destroy the Jews who rose up in the Warsaw ghetto, who at first were armed with only a few firearms that had been purchased on the black market, stolen or obtained from the Polish underground.
Halbrook contends that the history of Germany might have been changed if more of its citizens had been armed, and if the right to bear arms had been enshrined it Germany's culture and constitution. Halbrook points out that while resistance took place in many parts of occupied Europe, there was almost no resistance in Germany itself, because the Nazis had enjoyed years in which they could enforce the gun laws to ensure that no potential opponent of the regime had the means to resist.
No one can foresee with certainty which countries will succumb to genocidal dictatorship. Germany under the Weimar Republic was a democracy in a nation with a very long history of much greater tolerance for Jews than existed in France, England, or Russia, or almost anywhere else. Zimbabwe's current gun laws were created when the nation was the British colony of Rhodesia, and the authors of those laws did not know that the laws would one day be enforced by an African Hitler bent on mass extermination.
One never knows if one will need a fire extinguisher. Many people go their whole lives without needing to use a fire extinguisher, and most people never need firearms to resist genocide. But if you don't prepare to have a life-saving tool on hand during an unexpected emergency, then you and your family may not survive.
In the book Children of the Flames, Auschwitz survivor Menashe Lorinczi recounts what happened when the Soviet army liberated the camp: the Russians disarmed the SS guards. Then, two emaciated Jewish inmates, now armed with guns taken from the SS, systematically exacted their revenge on a large formation of SS men. The disarmed SS passively accepted their fate. After Lorinczi moved to Israel, he was often asked by other Israelis why the Jews had not fought back against the Germans. He replied that many Jews did fight. He then recalled the sudden change in the behavior of the Jews and the Germans at Auschwitz, once the Russian army's new "gun control" policy changed who had the guns there: "And today, when I am asked that question, I tell people it doesn't matter whether you're Hungarian, Polish, Jewish, or German: If you don't have a gun, you have nothing."
Richard Griffiths is a doctor of psychology with research interest in gun issues. Dave Kopel is a NRO contributing editor.
You have a point. But I would respond that fear is, in itself, a by-product of ignorance in most cases.
Really --- from your own post ---
" The Nazis did not create any new firearms laws until 1938. Before then, they were able to use the Weimar Republic's gun controls to ensure that there would be no internal resistance to the Hitler regime. "
"The "Hitler" Quote That Wouldn't Die: "1935 Will Go Down In History!" "This year* will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
" ---Falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, "Abschied vom Hessenland!" ["Farewell to Hessia!"], ['Berlin Daily' (Loose English Translation)], April 15th, 1935, Page 3 Article 2, Einleitung Von Eberhard Beckmann [Introduction by Eberhard Beckmann]. "
" This quotation, often seen without any date or citation at all, suffers from several credibility problems, the most significant of which is that the date given (*in alternate versions, the words "This year..." are replaced by "1935..." has no correlation with any legislative effort by the Nazis for gun registration, nor would there have been a need for the Nazis to pass such a law, since gun registration laws passed by the Weimar government were already in effect. The Nazi Weapons Law (or Waffengesetz) which further restricted the possession of militarily useful weapons and forbade trade in weapons without a government-issued license was passed on March 18, 1938. ....(continued)...."
--General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA
Any government that would attempt to disarm its people is despotic;
and any people that would submit to it deserve to be slaves!
--Stephen F. Austin, 1835
There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
--Marcus Tulius Cicero, 106-53 BC
These unchallenged acts rendered our Constitution null and void. Your attempting to draw rights from a constitution of a nation that no longer exists.
Then they no longer have any constitutional authority to make any valid rulings. We can there fore disregard anything done by them following that first unconstitutional act, and following that action, there was no legitimate federal judiciary.
Should the executive branch attempt to enforce such rulings it and those employed from it can be disregarded in exactly the same manner.
The USA is every bit a part of the past as say the USSR, Yugoslavia or the Austro-Hungarian empire.
The Constitution can be fixed, even if the Supreme Court can't; though all the constitutionally-offered methods of correction have not yet been tried.
But if it comes to that, so long as we still have the guns, the problem can be resolved. And a new set of Supreme Court Justices can be appointed to replace the ones hanging from the lampposts and other utility poles.
With the constitution gone, as you describe, there is no source for the legitimacy of laws against disposing of such persons as you see fit. The laws are as moot as the rights enumerated in the constitution they trashed.
Note that during the 4-month Finnish Civil War of 1918, those who were trying to subvert that country's constitution and turn it over to the forces of Russian communism were often dealt with by bayonetting rather than hanging. This gave inexperienced rookie soldiers the practice in the use of one of the tools available to them for preventing such activity in the future. And it's very likely that's the real reason many of those in the gun control movement are so frightened by the thought of bayonet attatchments on rifles in the hands of American citizens.
Note, though, that those attempting to consider some of those reported Hitler quotes in the original sources named were stymied by a lack of copies of origuinal material, many publishers and libraries collections having been destroyed during the war; particularly by aerial bombing.
In attempting to locate alternate reports of some of those quotations from N.S.D.A.P. party leader Hitler, the obvious source to try would seem to be the official N.S.D.A.P. newspaper, the Volkischer Beobachter, which would have been the medium most likely to have carried the text of Hitler's speeches, somtimes long-winded and borin, in full, if perhaps not on the exact same date as that given for when such quotes occurred in other newspapers, but at least closely so.
That the Volkischer Beobachter in its many editions has not also been so considered as a possible location for verification of Hitler's reputed words suggests to me that there are those on either side of the question afraid of that which they might find.
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