Great quotes - freedom, liberty, and tyranny


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357Man
January 1, 2003, 03:19 PM
I always enjoy reading great quotes, especially those concerning liberty, freedom and their opposing force, tyranny.
I ran across a good one today:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be most
oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than ~ under
omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sleep, his cupidity
may at some point be satiated; but those torment us for our own good will
torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own
conscience." -- C.S. Lewis

My all time fave:
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt, 1795

Any favorites?

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pax
January 1, 2003, 03:53 PM
"A well-crafted pepperoni pizza, being necessary to the preservation of a diverse menu, the right of the people to keep and cook tomatoes, shall not be infringed." I would ask you to try to argue that this statement says that only pepperoni pizzas can keep and cook tomatoes, and only well-crafted ones at that. This is basically what the so-called states rights people argue with respect to the well-regulated militia, vs. the right to keep and bear arms. – Bruce Tiemann

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! -- Andrew Ford


The tree of liberty only grows when watered by the blood of tyrants. -- Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac (1755–1841)

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. – Jean Jacques Rousseau

Human behavior can only be initiated by an act of will originating within the person acting. It cannot be caused or controlled from the outside. If you refuse to cooperate with the tyrant, he cannot cause your cooperation. He can push you around, even kill you, but he cannot cause you to initiate any purposive action. – Greg Swann


Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything --- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. – Robert Heinlein in If This Goes On –

pax

I always have a quotation for everything -- it saves original thinking. -- Dorothy L. Sayers (who, btw, is one of my favorite writers)

Dogsoldier
January 1, 2003, 04:34 PM
Here are some of my favorites:

"Sic Pacium Para Bellum"

"Those who beat their swords into plow shears, usually end up plowing the fields of those who didn't"

"My kid can beat up your honor role student"

"911, Government sposored dial a prayer"

"Fear the government that fears your guns"

:what: (no reason for the smilie, just thought it looks cool)

Nanook
January 1, 2003, 05:22 PM
Here's one you don't see much:

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. -- THOMAS B. REED (1886)

Another that's appropriate to our fight:

"One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them." Thomas Sowell

And one for the Statists: (It's for your own good...)

"We are the priests of power - do not forget this, Winston - always there will be the intoxication of power . . . If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face –– forever."
O'Brien, Inner Party member of the collectivist oligarchy and brain washing specialist in the final scene of Orwell's 1984

Nanook
January 1, 2003, 05:29 PM
Some more:

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Samuel Adams

Here's one from a well-known Democrat:

"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which... historically has proven to be always possible." Hubert H. Humphrey

And from the emperor of scumbags:

"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans ..."
Bill Clinton (USA TODAY, 11 March 1993, page 2A)

4v50 Gary
January 1, 2003, 05:38 PM
"Juden haben waffen!" - unknown German askari. The Germans marched into the Jewis Ghetto at Warsaw to remove the last Jews. The Jews didn't behave according to German rules and opened fire on them.

MountainPeak
January 1, 2003, 05:44 PM
"There are essentially two kinds of tyranny. The tyranny of the strong and the tyranny of the weak. Fascism,which appeals to the bully in all of us, has always been of the former sort; identity politics, which appeals to the groupie in all of us, has denegrated into the latter. Why? Because it is billed as a fight for the under dog-and who can quarrel with that?-the proverbial fine print says something else. Namely, that the cause of the underdog justifies depriving the overdog of his constitutional rights. So. though they don't violate people's rights by beating them with nightsticks, identity politicians tend to accomplish a similar tyranny by committee, behind closed doors". Norah Vincent

shu
January 1, 2003, 06:22 PM
My source for /etc/motd:

http://www.boortz.com/great.htm

dev_null
January 1, 2003, 06:33 PM
"A militia when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves." - Richard Henry Lee, Januar 25, 1788, Letters from the Federal Farmer to The Republican, 18

"Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers." - George Mason, Virginia Ratification Convention, 1788

"What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty." - Rep. Edbridge Gerry, debating the Second Amendment, 1789

"But it ought always to be held prominently in view that the safety of these States and of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia. Invasions by be made too formidable to be resisted by any land and naval force which would comport either with the principles of our Government or the circumstances of the United States to maintain. In such cases recourse must be made to the treat body of the people, and in a manner to produce the best effect." - President James Madison's First Inaugural Address, 1817

"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." - Richard Henry Lee, 1788

"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms within his own lands or tenements." - Thomas Jefferson, Draft of the Virginia Constitution, 1776

"Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual discretion in private self defense" - John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the United States of America, 1788

"No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people," - William Rawle, A View of the Constitution, 1829

"To disarm the people (is) the best and most efficient way to enslave them" - George Mason, Virginia Ratification Convention, june 14, 1788

"But to be in conflict with the Constitution, it is not essential that the act should contain a prohibition against bearing arms in every possible form; it is the right to bear arms in defense of the citizens and the state, that is secured by the constitution, and whatever restrains the full and complete exercise of that right, though no an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution." - Kentucky Supreme Court, 1822

"Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind." - New Hampshire Constitution, 1784

"Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion." - New Hampshire's request for a Bill of Rights, June 21, 1788

"A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington, speech of January 7, 1790, published in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790

"Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks." - Thomas Jefferson, 1785

pax
January 1, 2003, 06:36 PM
Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny. -- Robert Heinlein

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist. But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason. -- Lord Acton

A policeman's job is only easy in a police state. -- Orson Welles

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. – Robert Heinlein

The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it. – John Hay

The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. -- Albert Camus

The ideal citizen of a tyrannical state is the man or woman who bows in silent obedience in exchange for the status of a well-cared for herd animal. Thinking people become the tyrant's greatest enemies. -- Claire Wolfe

The usual road to slavery is that first they take away your guns, then they take away your property, then last of all they tell you to shut up and say you are enjoying it. -- James A. Donald

The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth. -- William J. Clinton, President, At the University of Connecticut, Oct 15 1995

pax

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first. -- David H. Comins

Calamity Jane
January 1, 2003, 06:45 PM
"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours."

(p. 1069). ~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Sodbuster
January 1, 2003, 11:56 PM
The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth. -- William J. Clinton, President, At the University of Connecticut, Oct 15 1995
"He's a very good liar." -- former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey speaking of Klinton

pax
January 2, 2003, 02:53 AM
If I were in the President's place I would not get a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, "How do I reload this damn thing?" --Congressman Dick Armey

Clinton is all seduction. The presidency is marriage. -- Michael Barone (before the first election and well before any scandals had come out)

He who lives by demogoguery shall die by tabloid poisoning. -- Joe Rogaly

The president has kept all of the promises he intended to keep. -- Clinton Aide George Stephanopolous

Bill Clinton does not have the moral fiber to be a mass murderer. -- Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Henry Kissinger

pax

Nanook
January 2, 2003, 08:33 AM
"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."
Thomas Jefferson

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." Winston Churchill

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

"What luck for rulers, that men do not think."
Adolph Hitler

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

AnklePocket
January 2, 2003, 09:15 AM
http://www.valkyriearms.com/quotes.txt

45King
January 2, 2003, 09:16 AM
No nation can remain free unless its people cherish their freedoms, understand the responsibilities they entail, and nurture the will to preserve them.
John F. Kennedy

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.
Abraham Lincoln

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

All of us who are concerned for peace, reason and justice must be keenly aware how small influence reason and honest goodwill exert upon events in the political field.
Albert Einstein

I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.
Ghandi

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency;, from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again into bondage.
Prof. Alexander Tyler, 200+ years ago while we were still a colony

"jackbooted American fascists"
Rep. John Dingell, D-MI, at the 1980 Congressional hearings on the BATF

"...one of the most Rambo-rogue law enforcement agencies in the United States." Harold Volkmer, D-MO(?) at the same hearings

AmericanFreeBird
January 2, 2003, 09:28 AM
It is not for honor or glory or wealth that we fight, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life.
Declaration of Arbroath, Scottland, 1320ad.

cuchulainn
January 2, 2003, 10:22 AM
I stumbled upon this website the other day. Lots of quotes.

http://www.languageofliberty.com


Here's their "bear arms" page:

http://www.languageofliberty.com/q_rightsofman_to_bear_arms.htm

OF
January 2, 2003, 10:29 AM
Some good ones in this thread - lots I haven't seen before.

Here's a couple favs:

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."
-- The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times)

[the Lama then went on to say how maybe shooting to wound, like in the leg or something, would be acceptable. I figure that's just because he's not a student of tactics. Maybe his SWAT subscription is up?]

"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
-- His Billness, President Bill Clinton 8/12/93.

"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

dev_null
January 2, 2003, 10:52 AM
GRD, do you have a reference for the GW quote?

-0-

Glock_PhD
January 2, 2003, 11:00 AM
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
-Thomas Paine


"Efficiency is intelligent laziness."
-David Dunham
This one is not realy related it has just always been one of my favorite qutes.

"Live free or die."
-New Hampshire State Motto

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Knowledge is power."
-Francis Bacon

Calamity Jane
January 2, 2003, 11:20 AM
Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered. – Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

He is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is neither subject to compulsion nor to hindrance, nor to force; whose movements to action are not impeded, whose desires attain their purpose, and who does not fall into that which he would avoid. – Epictetus (ca 55-135 A.D.), Discourses, ca 100 A.D.

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves. – D. H. Lawrence (1885-1938), 1915

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. – George Orwell

Everyone wants to save the planet but no one wants to help Mom clean the dishes." – P.J. O'Rourke, in All the Trouble in the World

OF
January 2, 2003, 11:48 AM
dev_null: still looking for more specifics, but it appears to be from Washington's address to the second session of the first Congress.

- Gabe

pax
January 2, 2003, 12:29 PM
Re: the Washington quote above. Gun Cite says it is spurious, at http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndbog.html

pax

Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly. -- Simeon Strunsky

dev_null
January 2, 2003, 12:37 PM
I had a feeling, which is why I asked. It just didn't seem to be phrased like the other FF quotes I've run across. Thanks.

-0-

pax
January 2, 2003, 12:49 PM
"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!" -- Andrew Ford

"The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: the person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person's liberty. Are you free?" -- Andrew Ford

The tree of liberty only grows when watered by the blood of tyrants. -- Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac (1755–1841)

Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts. – Ronald Reagan, farewell address, 1/11/89

________________

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman
_____________________

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. – George Eliot

Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery. – Thomas Jefferson

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. – Plato circa 400 B.C.

The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves. – Dresden James

pax

Quoting: the act of repeating erroneously the words of another. -- Ambrose Bierce

Carbon_15
January 2, 2003, 04:20 PM
"A well-crafted pepperoni pizza, being necessary to the preservation of a diverse menu, the right of the people to keep and cook tomatoes, shall not be infringed." I would ask you to try to argue that this statement says that only pepperoni pizzas can keep and cook tomatoes, and only well-crafted ones at that. This is basically what the so-called states rights people argue with respect to the well-regulated militia, vs. the right to keep and bear arms. – Bruce Tiemann

I have a new Fav.
thanks

OF
January 2, 2003, 06:21 PM
No kidding! Nice catch, dev_null.

- Gabe

Seawolf
January 2, 2003, 06:41 PM
Great post. Should be archived somehow.

Drjones
January 3, 2003, 12:38 AM
My two faves:

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.

- Adolph Hitler


"The associations of the national revival, SA, SS, and Stahlhelm, offer every decent citizen the opportunity to join their ranks in the struggle. Anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and nonetheless keeps his weapon without permission, or indeed conceals it, must be regarded as an enemy of the national government, and will be brought to account without compunction and with the utmost severity."

- Nazi Germany, 1934

Drjones
January 3, 2003, 12:39 AM
"Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion." - New Hampshire's request for a Bill of Rights, June 21, 1788


What does this mean? That citizens engaged in rebellion will be disarmed????

Drjones
January 3, 2003, 12:41 AM
"It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual. .... This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture .... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man."

- Adolph Hitler, 1933


Fascist ethics begin ... with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position.

- Mario Palmieri, "The Philosophy of Fascism" 1936

Drjones
January 3, 2003, 12:54 AM
"Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all."

- Nikita Khrushchev , February 25, 1956 20th Congress of the Communist Party

"All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all."

- Vladimir Lenin, as quoted in "Not by Politics Alone.”


Compare those with:


We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society."

- Hillary Clinton, 1993


"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans ..."

- President Bill Clinton, USA Today, March 11, 1993, Page 2A


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."

- Ayn Rand

BigG
January 3, 2003, 08:22 AM
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It is its natural manure. Thomas Jefferson

Nanook
January 3, 2003, 11:25 AM
"A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms." --Aristotle

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarms only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... --Thomas Jefferson

Always Remember:
A firearm is only an instrument. It contains no evil, no conscience, and no ability. It is strictly the intent, competence, and character of its user that decide the outcome of any and all actions taken with it.
(I don't know whom to credit but I like the quote.)

"The unarmed man is not merely defenseless - he is also contemptible."
-Machiavelli

And here's one for those who believe the National Guard, created in 1903, is the militia referred to in the Second Amendment, from 1787:
"The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the Constitutional militia."
-- HR Report No. 141, 73rd congress, 1st Session,
February 5, 1933

sgtredleg
January 3, 2003, 11:31 AM
My favorite; Read below.

pax
January 3, 2003, 01:15 PM
sgtredleg, I'm more fond of what Patrick Henry said just before the famous line:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? -- Patrick Henry.

He answered with a thundering, Forbid it, Almighty God!

*sigh* Most people in America today are answering that same question with, "Well, um, yes."

Thus the Homeland Security nonsense, and cameras all over public places, and national ID cards in the works, and people being held without bail, without trial, and without access to a lawyer, and random searches in various locales...

Apparently, life is so dear and peace so sweet that slavery is no longer evil.

pax

Nanook
January 3, 2003, 01:25 PM
Pax, his entire speech gives me goose bumps, but that ending is killer. I've read that to people who couldn't care less about what we're fighting for and I've watched their eyes tear up. It always has the same effect on me.

Drjones
January 5, 2003, 07:04 AM
Could someone please post the Ben Franklin quote about temporary safety and the like...

Nanook
January 5, 2003, 07:50 AM
Just what the doctor ordered:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
---Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

Butch
January 5, 2003, 10:14 AM
Don't know that this qualifys as a quote but I've never read better.


[back]
"Metal and Wood"
by Dennis Bateman


The following essay was originally published at www.TheFiringLine.com

It is a rare person who does not attach some sort of value or emotion to some physical object or to an event. A home becomes more than a building. A statue of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix, a flag or a song, or even a photograph can stir emotions greater than the value of the material item.

I have a piece of paper showing I served in the military until I was discharged honorably. But, oh, the memories that piece of paper conjures up. The friends, the fun times. The bad times. The times when we were bound closer to strangers than to our own families and, in frightening chaos, our lives hung by a thread.

Many of our friends died far from home. Ask us about the feeling of "American soil" upon returning to the land we loved. Ask those returning soldiers about America.

Remember the old, faintly humorous band of American Legionnaires, wearing out-dated military uniforms straining at the buttons. But, God how proudly they marched. Grinning, waving to friends and families, and always, always "The Flag!" Ask them if the flag is mere cloth, I dare you.

See the elderly lady sitting in a lawn chair watching the fourth of July parade. Three flags carefully folded some forty years ago into triangles now rest in her lap - one for each lost son. Ask her if those flags are mere cloth, I dare you.

Look at the old man quietly crying, leaning against the Iwo Jiima Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. As he turns to you, smiles with some embarrassment, and says in a choked whisper, "I was there." Ask him, "Is it just metal and clay?" Ask him. I dare you.

The Wall. My God, the Wall. See the young man lightly tracing the name of his father there inscribed. Ask him if its just rock. Ask him. I dare you.

My guns? They’re of little real value compared to my family and my home. They are toys, or tools, or both. But what those guns represent to me is greater than all of us, greater than myself, my family, indeed greater than our entire generation. What could be of such value?

The freedom of man to live within civil, self-imposed limitations rather than under restrictions placed upon him by a ruler or a ruling class.

Imagine the daring, the bravery of a few men to declare they intended to create a new country, independent of the burden of their established Rulers!

Those men we call our forefathers were brilliant men. They could have maneuvered themselves into positions of influence within the structure of the times, but they did not. They struggled to free themselves from tyranny. They wrote the Declaration of Independence. And they backed up their words and ideals with metal and wood.

They knew the dangers of such dreams and actions. They knew it was a frightening and dangerous venture into the unknown when they dared reach beyond their grasp for a vision - for an ideal. But they dared to dedicate themselves to achieve Liberty and Freedom for their children, and their children’s children, through the generations.

Imagine the dreams and yearnings of centuries finally being reduced to the written word. The Rights of "We the People!" instead of the "Powers of the Monarchy."

Our forefathers dared to create a new government - a new form of government. And they knew that any organization has, as its first and foremost goal, its continued existence. Second only to that it strives to increase its power. It plots, it devises, it maneuvers to achieve control over its environment - over its subjects.

Our Forefathers decided to make America different from any country, anywhere, at any time in the entire history of the entire world. This country, this new nation of immigrants, would be based upon the concept that people could rule themselves better than any single person or small group of persons could rule them.

Other countries have had outstanding documents with guarantees for its citizens - but the citizens have become enslaved. How, these great men pondered, can we ensure this new government will remain subject to the will of the People?

They wanted limits upon this new government. Therefore, our forefathers wrote limitations into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And one of those Rights was that metal and wood, as the final power of the people, would secure this country for the future generations.

Metal and wood were the means by which we won our freedom.

Metal and wood were the means by which we kept our freedom.

Metal and wood may be the means by which we regain our freedom.

Metal and wood are the final power of the people. Take away the metal and wood and the people become powerless - they can only beg, they supplicate for favors.

We are unique in our ability to rule ourselves but we are letting it slip away. Today we compromise. We try to appease man’s insatiable appetite for power by throwing him bits of our freedoms. But the insatiable appetite for power can not be appeased. The freedoms we feed him only make us weaker and him stronger. We must conquer him and again ensure the "Blessings of Liberty" won for us by our forefathers.

We must be ready to use metal and wood again, for if we are ready, truly ready, we may be able to conquer the monster with words - for in its heart it is a coward. But if we continue to feed the monster our freedoms, we will become too weak to win, to weak even to fight, and we will become a conquered people. We will have sold ourselves and our future generations into servitude.

If words fail us, we will use metal and wood, we will regain what we have lost, we will achieve what we seek, we will guarantee the America of our forefathers for the future generations.

So you see, our guns are more than metal and wood. They are our heritage of freedom. They are the universally understood symbol that the government, no matter how big and strong it may be, answers to us! They are the tools we will use to prevent tyranny in the land of our forefathers and our children. So, ask me what my guns mean to me. Ask my children what our guns mean to them. Ask us. I dare you.

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