Second Amendment Quotes: Pro-Gun Quotes on Individual Freedom and the Right to Bear Arms

 

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”
– Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

“The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed.”
– Jeffrey R. Snyder, “A Nation of Cowards”

“A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject.”
– Rep. Allen West (R-FL)

“Arms are the only true badge of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave.”
– Andrew Fletcher

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves… and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
– Richard Henry Lee

“Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don’t have a gun, freedom of speech has no power.”
– Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese journalist

“Man has to wring Liberty not only from tyrants, but also from his fellow men who are not only unwilling to fight for it, but to let anyone else fight for it.”
– Paul I. Wellman, The Iron Mistress

“A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.”
– Frederick Douglass, famed civil rights leader in 1867, in response to post-Civil War segregation laws

“Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers This political judgement, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self preservation a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God and Nature.”
– John Locke

“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.”
– St. George Tucker

“No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved in its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defence of the state. . . . Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.”
– An unknown “M.T. Cicero”, in a letter to the State Gazette of South Carolina, 1788

“You know why there’s a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.”
– Rush Limbaugh

“Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right.”
– U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, U.S. v. Emerson (1999)

“In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the “collective” right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of “the people” to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.”
– Stephen P. Halbrook, “That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right”

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.”
– Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

“If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of criminal acts reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying — that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 — establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime.”
– Senator Orrin Hatch

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
– Joseph Story, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice

“The Second Amendment wasn’t written so you can go hunting, it was to create a force to balance a tyrannical force here.”
– Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, 2013

“Let us hope our weapons are never needed – but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government – and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.”
– Edward Abbey

“Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to ‘the people’ refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention ‘the people,’ the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset…The Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms…The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.’”
– Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

“Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to ‘the people’ refer to anything other than an individual right.”
– Justice Antonin Scalia, District of Columbia v. Heller

“[T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”
– Justice Antonin Scalia, District of Columbia v. Heller

“By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fear of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the 2nd amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationship, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the 2nd Amendment will always be important.”
– John F. Kennedy

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There are 17 comments.

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Great post, as usual!

    • #1
  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Section 27 of Article 1 of the Oregon Constitution says, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”

    This should be very clear but there are advocacy groups in Oregon that continue to try and circumvent Section 27 of Article 1.

    No one’s life, liberty, or property is safe when the legislature is in session.

    • #2
  3. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Interesting to see the quotes from Humphrey et al, back when there wasn’t this huge a difference between (R) and (D) other than taxes. On my local NextDoor.com the other day was a firey debate about Uvalde, with the usual contingent of liberals calling for gun control. And just as Dershowitz said, there was the usual (purposeful) misinterpretation about militias.

     

     

    • #3
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Section 27 of Article 1 of the Oregon Constitution says, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”

    This should be very clear but there are advocacy groups in Oregon that continue to try and circumvent Section 27 of Article 1.

    No one’s life, liberty, or property is safe when the legislature is in session.

    I suppose the trick is that the Oregon (where I used to live, up until 30 years ago) doesn’t say that it shall not be infringed.  So the “advocacy groups” can say that the people have the right to “bear arms,” but they have to be kept locked in a safe etc etc etc.

    • #4
  5. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Not just the Second Amendment in restraint of the federal government, but many states also have constitutional protections for the right to bear arms. For example, here is Article I, Section 24 of the Washington state Constitution, emphasis added:

    “SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.” But of course WA Gov. Dimslee has pounced on the atrocity in Uvalde as another opportunity to maumau for gun control.

    “We must strengthen laws around gun violence to save lives. The public and our children are paying the price of the gun lobby’s cynical interests. ENOUGH.”

    So if you support the Second Amendment, it’s not because you believe self-defense is every citizen’s individual God-given right, it’s because the gun lobby has bamboozled you. What a maroon.

    • #5
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic.  Oh wait . . .

    • #6
  7. Ammo.com Member
    Ammo.com
    @ammodotcom

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    • #7
  8. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven.  The poor guy could not catch a break.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven. The poor guy could not catch a break.

    I dunno, it might be just as well that we never had a president named “Hubert.”

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven. The poor guy could not catch a break.

    I dunno, it might be just as well that we never had a president named “Hubert.”

    Or Horatio.

    OTOH, we had Milhous . . .

    • #10
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stad (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven. The poor guy could not catch a break.

    I dunno, it might be just as well that we never had a president named “Hubert.”

    Or Horatio.

    OTOH, we had Milhous . . .

    That was a middle name.  And in that category, I’d rate Hussein much worse.

    • #11
  12. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Stad (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven. The poor guy could not catch a break.

    I dunno, it might be just as well that we never had a president named “Hubert.”

    Or Horatio.

    OTOH, we had Milhous . . .

    I went to college [during the Watergate crisis] with Nixon’s niece.  Miss Milhous was an excellent young woman.  

    • #12
  13. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Interesting to see the quotes from Humphrey et al, back when there wasn’t this huge a difference between (R) and (D) other than taxes. On my local NextDoor.com the other day was a firey debate about Uvalde, with the usual contingent of liberals calling for gun control. And just as Dershowitz said, there was the usual (purposeful) misinterpretation about militias.

     

     

    Yesterday’s Democrats were Democrats. Today’s are Marxists.

    • #13
  14. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Section 27 of Article 1 of the Oregon Constitution says, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”

    This should be very clear but there are advocacy groups in Oregon that continue to try and circumvent Section 27 of Article 1.

    No one’s life, liberty, or property is safe when the legislature is in session.

    I suppose the trick is that the Oregon (where I used to live, up until 30 years ago) doesn’t say that it shall not be infringed. So the “advocacy groups” can say that the people have the right to “bear arms,” but they have to be kept locked in a safe etc etc etc.

    If that’s a popular argument, it should be simple to point out that the bearing of a thing means more than the mere ownership or physical possession.  Less than brandish, but more than keep in a box.

    • #14
  15. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Ammo.com (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ammo.com:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    – Rep. Hubert H. Humphrey

    Just another right-wing lunatic. Oh wait . . .

    Today’s farthest-right politicans are nowhere near as extreme as Democrats were only a few decades ago.

    Poor Hubert Horatio Humphrey — a lifelong traditional liberal, nominated for president (after LBJ declined to run for re-election amidst the anti-Vietnam war protests) at the chaotic Dem convention in Chicago in 1968, following on the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, and the year of the New Left’s organized disruptions and street fighting, which in turn led Mayor Daley to unleash the Chicago cops on the protesters (later adjudged a “police riot”) and sometimes bash a delegate or two. All of which led to the election of Richard Nixon, the bete noire of the left since early in his Red-hunting career, not to overlook the travesty of a trial of the Chicago Seven. The poor guy could not catch a break.

    Even his Metrodome was unlucky . . .

    • #15
  16. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Interesting to see the quotes from Humphrey et al, back when there wasn’t this huge a difference between (R) and (D) other than taxes. On my local NextDoor.com the other day was a firey debate about Uvalde, with the usual contingent of liberals calling for gun control. And just as Dershowitz said, there was the usual (purposeful) misinterpretation about militias.

     

     

    Yesterday’s Democrats were Democrats. Today’s are Marxists.

    “If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago, and a racist today.” 

    —Thomas Sowell

     

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

     

     

     

     

    • #17
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