Founding Fathers Quotes on Guns and the Second Amendment's Right to Keep & Bear Arms

Discussion in 'Political/Religious Topics' started by ammodotcom, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. ammodotcom

    ammodotcom G&G Evangelist


    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    – Amendment II, The U.S. Constitution

    The Second Amendment is perhaps one of the most straightforward Amendments in the Bill of Rights. Yet, it remains one of the most controversial, mostly due to the clause regarding “a well regulated militia” – a topic we've written about before.

    While the freedom of association clause in the First Amendment is one of the most eroded in the Constitution, the Second Amendment is perhaps the most under attack. Few would argue in favor of repealing the First Amendment or even ignoring it because it is politically inconvenient. However, this is precisely what the champions of gun control advocate for – either radical abridgements of the Second Amendment or its direct repeal. Fortunately, there are also well-funded organizations fighting these forces in the American political sphere, but it is a tough and constant battle.

    It’s not there for hunters. The Founders were very clear: The Second Amendment exists for citizens to protect themselves against tyranny.

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”
    – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

    “I heard the bullets whistle; and believe me, there is something charming in the sound.”
    – George Washington

    “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; and you have no longer an aristrocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
    – Patrick Henry, Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1788

    “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.”
    – George Washington

    “It is a great mark of the corruption of our natures, and what ought to humble us extremely, and excite the exercise of our reason to a nobler and juster sense, that we cannot see the use and pleasure of our comforts but by the want of them. As if we could not taste the benefit of health, but by the help of sickness; nor understand the satisfaction of fullness without the instruction of want; not, finally, know the comfort of peace but by the smart and penance of the vices of war: And without dispute that is not the lest reason that God is pleased to chastise us so frequently with it.”
    – William Penn

    “Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”
    – Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, Spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, Annals of Congress, August 17, 1789

    “A people who would stand fast in their liberty, should furnish themselves with weapons proper for their defence, and learn the use of them. It is indeed an hard case, that those who are happy in the blessings of providence, and disposed to live peaceably with all men, should be obliged to keep up the idea of blood and slaughter, and expend their time and treasure to acquire the arts and instruments of death. But this is a necessity which the depravity of human nature has laid upon every state. Nor was there ever a people that continued, for any considerable time, in the enjoyment of liberty, who were not in a capacity to defend themselves against invaders, unless they were too poor and inconsiderable to tempt an enemy.”
    – Simeon Howard to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston, June 7, 1773

    “For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Eighth State of the Union Address, 1808

    “Men are also bound, individuals and societies, to take care of their temporal happiness, and do all they lawfully can, to promote it. But what can be more inconsistent with this duty, than submitting to great encroachments upon our liberty? Such submission tends to slavery; and compleat slavery implies every evil that the malice of man and devils can inflict.”
    – Simeon Howard to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston, June 7, 1773

    “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

    “In a general view there are very few conquests that repay the charge of making them, and mankind are pretty well convinced that it can never be worth their while to go to war for profit sake. If they are made war upon, their country invaded, or their existence at stake, it is their duty to defend and preserve themselves, but in every other light and from every other cause is war inglorious and detestable.”
    – Thomas Paine, The Crisis, 1778

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  2. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    ammodotcom: Sir; Trent Coxe

    Quotes on the Second Amendment:
    "As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." (Tench Coxe in ‘Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution' under the Pseudonym ‘A Pennsylvanian' in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

    "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American.... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." (Tench Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.)

  3. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor


    a Pennsylvania Gazette article published February 20, 1788, Coxe addressed the right to keep and bear arms: “The power of the sword, [opponents] say … 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 … Who are the militia? are they not ourselves[?].”

    Coxe added, “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.”

    In other words, all able-bodied adult men have the right to keep and bear arms — not just law enforcement and the military. (Since ratification of the 14th Amendment, women also possess the right.)
  4. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

  5. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Magna Carta 1215 addressed the right of freemen to keep and bear arms. The British voided this right. Our Founding Fathers landed on these shores. They wanted to regain many lost freedoms. :usa2:
  6. chris l2018

    chris l2018 G&G Evangelist

    "Magna Carta 1215 addressed the right of freemen to keep and bear arms."

    In which section? the only reference to weapons I can find is in 51

    "* (51) As soon as peace is restored, we will remove from the kingdom all the foreign knights, bowmen, their attendants, and the mercenaries that have come to it, to its harm, with horses and arms."

    The charter guarantees the right to a fair trial and prevent unlawful detention. It guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of thought whilst legislating against discrimination.

    The Bill of Rights of 1689 allowed Protestant citizens of England to "have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law" and restricted the ability of the English Crown to have a standing army or to interfere with Protestants' right to bear arms "when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law"
    K75RT, Huey Rider and neophyte like this.
  7. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    The Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The Magna Carta is one of the earliest ancestors of the United States Constitution. This is a translation from the Latin. The 1225 charter omitted passages marked with an asterisk (*). This translation conveys the sense rather than the precise wording. The original charter ran continuously; it is numbered and broken into paragraphs here for easier understanding. The term "Magna Carta" means "Great Charter."
    Ten Man likes this.
  8. chris l2018

    chris l2018 G&G Evangelist

    I am fairly familiar with the text; weapons are not mentioned
    neophyte and Huey Rider like this.
  9. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    blaster, Huey Rider and K75RT like this.
  10. ammodotcom

    ammodotcom G&G Evangelist

    Hear hear. Anti-gunners love to point fingers at amateurish militia groups – weekenders, who join to train and socialize – and deride them. They are either unaware or willfully ignore the fact that militia must be able to arise as they're needed.