What are some famous quotes from the founding fathers regarding the right to bear arms?

I already know that Jefferson said:

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

Isn't there also a quote by one of the other founding fathers which states that your gun should be your constant companion? What about other famous quotes?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Looked this up when the Supreme Court ruling came out... here you go:

    “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms

    [within his own lands or tenements].” (The Papers of

    Thomas Jefferson 344 (J. Boyd ed. 1950)).

    "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

    Thomas Jefferson (attributed without source)

    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, 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 the constant companion of your walks."

    Thomas Jefferson's advice to his 15 year-old nephew

    "Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."

    Samuel Adams

    "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."

    Samuel Adams of Massachusetts -- U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

    "(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."

    James Madison, The Federalist Number 46

    Arms in the hands of individual citizens [may] be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense..."

    John Adams, A Defense of the Constitution of Government of the United States of America, 1788

    "Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense."

    John Adams (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large, is that they be properly armed."

    Alexander Hamilton

    "The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."

    President James Monroe (November 16, 1818)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."

    George Washington

    "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole body of the people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them..."

    George Mason

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

    Patrick Henry

    "Are we at least 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 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, 3 Elliot Debates 168-169.

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe."

    Noah Webster – Author of America’s first dictionary. It is interesting to note, to this day, most of the Citizens of Europe are not allowed firearms except for hunting, and those are limited greatly.

    "The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world not 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 ... the weak will become prey to the strong."

    Thomas Paine

    Source(s): Sources, if available, listed with quote.
  • 1 decade ago

    * " Make Yourselves Sheep and the Wolves Will Eat You.*.<> Benjamin Franklin.*.. " Government is not Reason; it is not Eloquent; it is Force, Like Fire. it is a Dangerous Servant and a Fearful Master.".<> Benjamin Franklin.*.. This next one is my Favorite by Abraham Lincoln: " The People are the Masters of Both Congress and the Courts, Not To Overthrow the Constitution but to Overthrow the Men Who Would Pervert It."..." Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God.".<> Thomas Jefferson.*.. My Personal Quotes are " Try Living Free in America Without Your Guns and Ammo; I Dare You.".. Me.*.. " Only a Criminal, Tyrant, or a Tyrannical Government is Afraid of the Armed American Citizen."..Me.*

    Source(s): * Run like a Deer.*...............Fly like an Eagle.*~~
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Right now this is a little more important than your answer: Last night I learned of a memo sent out to law enforcement throughout the U.S. by the Department Homeland Security...go to hotair.com /then go to vault/then look up april 2009- The excrable DHS report on Right-wing Extremism........

    Source(s): Sorry boy's it has started and we have been labled!...And I'm betting dollars to dougnuts Y/A will pull your question because it's too political and they are afraid...1984 all over again only real....some scary shit!
  • bferg
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

    - Benjamin Franklin

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When it comes to gun control, Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who trade liberty for safety deserve neither."

  • Jeff
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    paraphrased... didnt T Jefferson say that the tree of liberty needs the blood of tyrants and patriots from time to time to flourish?

  • 1 decade ago

    Who pound their swords into plowshares will farm for those who did not.

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