The Constitution: Second Amendment


“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” (Thomas Jefferson)

“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 those only 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 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.” (Thomas Jefferson, Sentiments from On Crimes and Punishments, Commonplace Book, 1764.)

“The beauty of the second Amendment is, that it will never be needed until they try to take it away!” (Thomas Jefferson)

“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)

“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 pretence, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787.)

“...we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.” (Scriptural, Doctrine and Covenants, 134:11.)

“…the single largest source of…lethal violence was the unrestrained, lawless state in all of its manifestations, which according to political scientist R. J. Rummel killed nearly 170,000,000 human beings during that period. This hideous accomplishment easily dwarfs the combined achievements of all private sector criminal syndicates throughout recorded history.” (William Norman Grigg, describing the folly of disarming civilians and giving a monopoly of power to the state. Global Gun Grab: The United Nations Campaign to Disarm Americans, p. 9-10.)

“Previous to this period…the dispute had been carried on by the pen…but from this time forward it was conducted by the sword. The crisis had arrived when the colonies had no alternative, but either to submit to the mercy, or to resist the power of Great Britain. An unconquerable love of liberty could not brook the idea of submission…[The Americans] were fully apprised of the power of Britain—they knew that her fleets covered the ocean, and that her flag had waved in triumph through the four quarters of the globe; but the animated language of the time was, ‘It is better to die freemen, than to live as slaves.’” (Historian David Ramsey describing the prevailing attitude of Americans during several attempts by the British Empire to disarm them. The History of the American Revolution, Volume 1, p. 176-177.)

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” (Adolf Hitler, Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews, Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, p. 483.)

“There is not a moment to lose; you must act resolutely, with massive reprisals [against peasants resisting Communist rule]. Immediate execution for anyone caught with a firearm.” (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, in a telegram to Communist Party officials in Nizhni Novgorod August 9, 1918.)

“Let's Go Out Into the World and Gather Up the Small Arms” (Title of an essay by Mark Malloch Brown of the UN Development Program and Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Undersecretary-General for Disarmament Affairs.)

“…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. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 29.)

“[The UN propaganda film Armed to the Teeth: The World-Wide Plague of Small Arms] imputes to firearms a capacity for independent malice and the ability to ‘murder indiscriminately.’ Curiously, however, the UN seems to believe that firearms are miraculously purged of their demonic qualities when they are wielded by representatives of the State.” (William Norman Grigg, Global Gun Grab: The United Nations Campaign to Disarm Americans, p. 72. October 2001.)

“The most effective means of enforcing civilian disarmament, as we have seen, is psychological disarmament—inducing people to turn in their weapons voluntarily. After all, even the most efficient and comprehensive police state ultimately depends upon the cooperation of its subjects.” (William Norman Grigg, Global Gun Grab: The United Nations Campaign to Disarm Americans, p. 81. October 2001.)

“The chief problem with the NRA's decision to obtain NGO status is that by doing so, it—like scores of other ‘conservative’ organizations—has helped to advance the UN's claim to be a global legislature acting on behalf of the peoples of the world.” (William Norman Grigg, Global Gun Grab: The United Nations Campaign to Disarm Americans, p. 112. October 2001.)

“Besides, the advantage of being armed forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would certainly shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did.” (James Madison)

“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason)

“The smallness of the army renders the natural strength of the community an overmatch for it; and the citizens, not habituated to look up to the military power for protection, or to submit to its oppressions, neither love nor fear the soldiery; they view them with a spirit of jealous acquiescence in a necessary evil and stand ready to resist a power which they suppose may be exerted to the prejudice of their rights.

“The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theater of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power.” (Alexander Hamilton, commenting on the evils of standing armies, and the superiority of armed citizens against it. Having armed citizens is implied in this article. See No. 29 for Hamilton's views regarding an armed community as a protection against standing armies. The Federalist Papers, No. 8.)

“One man with a gun can control one hundred without one.” (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)

“History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms prepared their own downfall” (Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Table-Talk at the Fuhrer's Headquarters, April 11, 1942.)

“When a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 28.)

“The ultimate authority resides in the people, and that if the federal government go too powerful and overstepped its authority, then the people would develop plans of resistance and resort to arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.)

“What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Smith, November 13, 1787.)