What the founding fathers thought about "gun control"


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Just One Shot
February 20, 2009, 02:40 PM
I found this on another site and thought I'd share.

Benjamin Franklin: Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Nov 11 1755, from the Pennsylvania Assembly's reply to the Governor of Pennsylvania.)

Thomas Jefferson: "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....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. Thomas Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in Chapter 40 of "On Crimes and Punishment", 1764.

Thomas Jefferson: "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, 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 your constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.

Thomas Jefferson: "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

John Adams: "Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense." (A defense of the Constitution of the US)

George Mason: "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them." (3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

Noah Webster: "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe." (1787, Pamphlets on the Constitution of the US)

Noah Webster: "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" (Noah Webster, 1787)

George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed." (Jan 14 1790, Boston Independent Chronicle.)

Thomas Jefferson: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (T. Jefferson papers, 334, C.J. Boyd, Ed. 1950)

James Madison: "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms." (Federalist Paper #46)

William Pitt: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." (Nov. 18, 1783)

Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights: "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."

Patrick Henry: "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."

St. George Tucker: “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty… The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

Thomas Paine: "...arms...discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ...Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them."

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KBintheSLC
February 20, 2009, 03:41 PM
Nice quotes. Its no surprise to us at THR, but it might make a good read for some of the fence sitters out there.

Hardtarget
February 21, 2009, 12:26 AM
I'm glad to see this. Just this week I've been thinking about some of these quotes. I knew they were out there...I just wanted to read them to remind myself of how important they are. I wish I could cram them into the heads of some politicians.

Mark.

Pulse
February 21, 2009, 12:50 AM
Noah Webster: "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" (Noah Webster, 1787)

is that quote fact?
not to discredit those quotes, they are certainly good ones, but there are also many 'fake' quotes out there.

that one struck me as odd, in 1787 there was Civil War in the Netherlands and they where quite successfull until they decided its a good idea to hijack the sister of the Prussian king.. wich let him to invade the entire country.

the Brits where heavyly armed up until the first worldwar, having a Gun was like having a purse, everybody had to have one, also the ladys.
in ~1600 there was even a law that forced every able man to own a weapon, at least a bow, better a crossbow or a Areblaste

the French Revolution started in 1789 and they certainly had plenty of firepower allready.

the Swiss... duh..

the Prussians also where armed, they had to be because the Prussian army could not be everywhere.. and they where not exactly good buddys with the countrys around them.

most european rulers made sure that they stay in power by other means(Carrot and stick), but disarmed we where not.

crazy-mp
February 21, 2009, 01:00 AM
Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe. - Diane Feinstein, US Senator


I shortly will introduce legislation banning the sale, manufacture or possession of handguns (with exceptions for law enforcement and licensed target clubs). . . . It is time to act. We cannot go on like this. Ban them!- John H. Chafee, US Senator


I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns.- Howard Metzenbaum, US Senator

We're here to tell the NRA their nightmare [ban on guns] is true..." - Charles Schumer, US Representative

"Until we can ban all of them [firearms], then we might as well ban none." - Howard Metzenbaum, US Senator

“If it were up to me we'd ban them all [guns]” - Mel Reynolds, US Representative

"With a 10,000% tax we could tax them [guns] out of existence." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, US Senator


What happened to my country? I know most of these are older quotes, but I have been too busy clinging to my guns and religon to find newer ones. Glad to see the people in charge of our country look to our found fathers words for advice.

renegade1alpha
February 21, 2009, 03:10 AM
If the founding fathers of the United States were alive to see what was going on in or government today, I have no doubt that they would immediately erect a gallows on Capital Hill!

WTBguns10kOK
February 21, 2009, 04:34 AM
To be honest, I think we are far too perverted a people now to understand any kind of historical significance. Suzy can't live without texting for a day. Johnnie can't go without playing video games for more than a day. I seriously doubt that people would respect a reincarnated Washington or Lincoln in the flesh. They would be welcomed and then discarded as outdated figureheads; good intentioned souls with outdated ideals. Right there would be the proof of how far we've strayed. I'm afraid the founders included words like revolt, tyrannical and oppressors for a reason. :(

yokel
February 21, 2009, 06:05 AM
To the generation that fought the Revolution and created the modern United States of America, arms were looked upon as nothing less than a birthright and lifeblood.

Being armed meant that one was always ready and willing to fight to the death for the defense of one's Liberty and sovereignty as the prerogative of nations and of independent peoples.

The Second Amendment clearly indicates the Founder's desire to underscore the seriousness of the issue.

It goes without saying that these folks would never have tolerated any diminution in their firepower and their capacity to strike at will.

heron
February 21, 2009, 09:30 AM
I'm going to send this list to that college professor mentioned in the other thread and suggest he include it with his course material (or is that coarse material?) on the second amendment.

Gungnir
February 21, 2009, 11:54 AM
Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe.
- Diane Feinstein, US Senator

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin


I shortly will introduce legislation banning the sale, manufacture or possession of handguns (with exceptions for law enforcement and licensed target clubs). . . . It is time to act. We cannot go on like this. Ban them!
- John H. Chafee, US Senator

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


I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns.
- Howard Metzenbaum, US Senator

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

We're here to tell the NRA their nightmare [ban on guns] is true..."
- Charles Schumer, US Representative
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
- James Madison

"Until we can ban all of them [firearms], then we might as well ban none."
- Howard Metzenbaum, US Senator
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
- George Washington


“If it were up to me we'd ban them all [guns]”
- Mel Reynolds, US Representative
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who comes near that precious jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined.
- Patrick Henry


"With a 10,000% tax we could tax them [guns] out of existence."
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, US Senator

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

- US Declaration of Independence

Kentucky
February 21, 2009, 11:59 AM
Wow, gungnir, that was an EXCELLENT response!

The Founding Fathers were SO articulate and eloquent when they spoke. It warms my heart to hear it. Bravo on the job of responding to the quotes.

kargo27
February 21, 2009, 12:41 PM
I wish I had more interest in history when I was younger. It didn't interest me. Now that I'm 41, I appreciate it more.

It really is amazing how guns and politics go hand-in-hand and have since our nation's inception. The right to bear arms is a serious matter.

Karl

SamTuckerMTNMAN
February 21, 2009, 06:19 PM
I'm going to send this list to that college professor mentioned in the other thread and suggest he include it with his course material (or is that coarse material?) on the second amendment.

Please DO follow up on this Heron.

If not you, someone. This is the crux of the argument. This thread is one of the most important elements in the response to those bastards who rewrite history to fit their agenda. Save it, share it, make videos for youtube about it Print it...

cuervo
February 23, 2009, 04:47 PM
"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" (Noah Webster, 1787)
is that quote fact?

Google Books has a scan of this from Harvard dated 1888.
Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States
http://books.google.com/books?id=OVYSAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA56&dq=The+supreme+power+in+America+cannot+enforce+unjust+laws#PPP9,M1

SrDedosRapidos
February 23, 2009, 04:57 PM
This is a GREAT collection of quotes.

Good timing to, im just getting into 'founding literature'. I picked up the Federalist Papers the other day...

Im not really sure why im wasting time reading it though... i already agree with everything its going to say :D

Stephen A. Camp
February 23, 2009, 05:21 PM
Hello. Excellent thread and excellent post from the OP and the contrast shown by quotes from the trash opposing freedom in crazy-mp's post.

Let's all continue doing our parts and carrying our ends of the load in this never-ending fight. Let's not count on the other guy. Keep contacting elected officials, keep the faith and keep doing all we legally can to stop the so-called "elected officials" who swore to "uphold and defend the Constitution." We can see by their very willing attitudes to gut the Second Amendment that they were and are nothing more liars.

Frankly, I see them as enemies of the Constitution, not defenders...but then their little god says that I'm "bitter" and "clinging to my guns".

Best.

PS: Understand that I am NOT opposed to crazy-mp posting the quotes of the anti's. I AM opposed to the anti's who would disarm the honest American citizen. THEY are the ones I consider trash and not the poster.

Pulse
February 23, 2009, 05:52 PM
Google Books has a scan of this from Harvard dated 1888.
Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States


thanks to clear that up, still strikes me as odd, because as i said, in the war torn europe of the eitheighteenth centauri, weapons in private hands where quite common.

TCB in TN
February 23, 2009, 10:16 PM
Sad fact that so many people try to get to the "framer's intent" on the 2nd Ammendment and then they forget to bother to read their writing on the subject!

JohnL2
February 24, 2009, 12:57 PM
Guys, we don't have an education system based on the "classics" anymore.
I think it is possible to get that kind of education at college if you really put a concerted effort to put together the right classes; but overall, people study "feelings" these days. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
But to me, it is like building a house on a sand dune and not bedrock.

The Fathers thought of a lot of things in axiomatic terms, "We hold these truths to be self evident...".

Gungnir
February 24, 2009, 01:04 PM
Actually interesting point, I'm a Naturalizing (originally from the UK)
most of the civics stuff that I've read and found true to the original COTUS has been published pre-1920. One exception being some of the stuff that Lincoln pulled during the civil war.

From that point on, I find it diverges from the COTUS at an almost exponential rate.

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