Each and every one one us has the right to keep and bear arms.* It’s our birthright as an American. We also have a corresponding obligation to know both our rights as well as what they mean to ourselves and others, if for no other reason than to avoid falling prey to the significant volumes of misinformation being spread by those who’re largely ignorant of our nation’s rights and freedoms. More ominously, it is our duty to be knowledgeable, so we don’t fall pray to those who would undermine our liberties.
“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.” – Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Please enjoy the remaining quotes, from those who signed our Second Amendment into law:
James Madison: “As the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them by an effectual provision for a good militia.”
Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.”
George Mason: “I ask you sir, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people.”
George Washington: “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.”
Patrick Henry: “The people have a right to keep and bear arms.”
Tenche Coxe: “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 birthright 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.”
*U.S. citizens who have not forfeited that right due to a qualifying offense (usually involving a felony or domestic violence conviction).
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