Edward Abbey: "The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an 'equalizer.' Egalite implies liberte. And always will. 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." in Abbey's Road, p.39 (Plume, 1979)
Susan B. Anthony: "I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." Speech in San Franscisco, July 1871
Aristotle: Tyranny derives from the oligarchy's "mistrust of the people; hence they deprive them of arms, ill-treat the lower class, and keep them from residing in the capital. These are common to oligarchy and tyranny." Politics (J. Sinclair translation, pg. 218, 1962)
Aristotle: "It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion." Politics (J. Sinclair translation, pg. 226, 1962)
Charles A. Beard: "You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go around repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." The Blue Press, June, 1994
Jean Bodin: "For we may not think ever to keep that people in subjection which hath always lived in liberty, if they be not disarmed." Six Books of a Commonweale, 1606 AD (R. Knolles translation, pg. 615, 1606)
Ben Bradlee: "I'm no longer interested in news. I'm interested in causes. We don't print the truth. We don't pretend to print the truth. It's up to the public to decide what's true." Former editor of the Washington Post, Symposium by Smithsonian Institute [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 18, 1993]
William Burroughs: "After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military." William Burroughs , U.S. author. "The War Universe," taped conversation (published in Grand Street, no. 37; repr. in Painting and Guns, 1992, in a slightly different form).
Charles Caleb Colton: "No man is wise enough, nor good enough to be trusted with unlimited power." (English author and clergyman; born 1780; died 1832)
James Daos: "Confirming suspicions that New York City's gun-buying program would do little to disarm criminals, police statistics released yesterday showed that the month-old program was most successful in collecting weapons from the city's lowest crime areas." Reporter for The New York Times, April 18, 1992
Benjamin Disraeli: "When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken."
Clint Eastwood: "There are two kinds of people in this world. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig." from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", Copyright 1966
Albert Einstein: "The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered by considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."
Andrew Fletcher, Scottish Whig: "The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He who has nothing, and belongs to another, must be defended by him, and needs no arms: but he who thinks he is his own master, and has anything he may call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses, or else he lives precariously and at discretion. And though for a while those who have the sword in their power abstain from doing him injury; yet, by degrees, he will be awed into submission to every arbitrary command. Our ancestors, by being always armed, and frequently in action, defended themselves against the Romans, Danes and English; and maintained their liberty against encroachments of their own princes." `A Discourse of Government with Relation to Militias' in Political Works 6, 1749 AD (London, 1798, pg. 221)
Hermann Funke: "In dictatorships one has to howl with the wolves, but in democracy one has to bleat with the sheep." [Guns & Ammo, Dec. 1992, pg. 109]
Robert A. Heinlein: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." in `Beyond This Horizon', Astounding Science Fiction April-May 1942
Thomas Hobbes: "By all means we can, to defend ourselves." Leviathon, 1651 AD (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1973, pg. 67)
Thomas Hobbes: "A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them, that assault him by force, to take away his life...." Leviathon, 1651 AD (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1973, pg. 68)
Thomas Hobbes: "For the right men have by Nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no Covenant be relinquished." Leviathon, 1651 AD (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1973, pg. 116)
Roy Innis: "To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you're putting a money test on getting a gun. It's racism in its worst form." National Chairman of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), The Washington Post, September 5, 1988
Roy Innis: "It is a perversion of logic for the liberal black leaders to oppose gun rights. They are hypocrites. They have guns, but they want to deny guns to ordinary, decent citizens. Those guys are savaging the Bill of Rights." National Chairman of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), American Rifleman, December 1992, pg. 27
Roy Innis: "Gun prohibitionists are aiding and abetting criminals. Of the thousands of gun laws in this country, none really targets the criminal. In fact, criminals are some of the strongest gun-prohibitionists in this country." National Chairman of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), American Rifleman, December 1992, pg. 27
Rush Limbaugh: "You know why there's a second amendment? In case the government doesn't obey the first one." Rush Limbaugh Radio Show, August 17, 1993
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of inprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." Letter from Birmingham Jail, in Why We Can't Wait, 1963
Michael Kinsley: "In our system, basic sovereignty is supposed to reside in the separate states. The federal government has only specifically delegated powers." Time Magazine, January 16, 1995
Charles Krauthammer: "Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed by sister democracies such as Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic - purely symbolic - move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation." Columnist, `Disarm The Citizenry', The Washington Post, April 5, 1996, page A19
C. S. Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences." [American Rifleman, December 1991, pg. 14]
G. Gordon Liddy: "The more fundamental the truth, the more politically incorrect is the expression thereof." [Guns & Ammo, Dec. 1992, pg. 109]
Niccolo Machiavelli: "Some princes, so as to hold securely the state, have disarmed their subjects.... But when you disarm them, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. And because the government cannot remain unarmed, it follows that the government turns to hired police. Therefore a wise prince has always distributed arms to the general population." The Prince, Chapter XX, 1514 AD (L. Ricci translation, pg. 105, 1952)
Niccolo Machiavelli: "The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms... there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow." The Prince, Chapter XII, 1514 AD (L. Ricci translation, pg. 72, 1952)
Niccolo Machiavelli: "Among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible...[It] is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe among armed servants." The Prince, Chapter XIV, 1514 AD (L. Ricci translation, pg. 81, 1952)
Niccolo Machiavelli: "For Augustus, and after him Tiberious, more interested in establishing and increasing their own power than in promoting the public good, began to disarm the Roman people (in order to make them more passive under their tyranny) and to keep the same armies continually on foot within the confines of the Empire." The Art of War, 1521 AD (E. Farneworth translation, pg. 20, 1965)
Niccolo Machiavelli: "Rome remained free for four hundred years and Sparta eight hundred, although their citizens were armed all that time; but many other states that have been disarmed have lost their liberties in less than forty years." The Art of War, 1521 AD (E. Farneworth translation, pg. 30, 1965)
Malcolm X: "The Constitution of the United States of America clearly affirms the right of every American citizen to bear arms. And as Americans, we will not give up a single right guarenteed under the Constitution. The history of unpunished violence against our people clearly indicates that we must be prepared to defend ourselves or we will continue to be a defenseless people at the mercy of a ruthless and violent racist mob." in Malcolm X at 337, J. Clarke ed. (New York, N.Y., 1969)
Charles de Secondat Montesquieu: "Useless laws weaken the necessary laws." De L'Esprit des Lois, 1748
Pastor Martin Niemoeller: "Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist. Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat. Als sie die Gewerkschaftler holten, habe ich nicht protestiert; ich war ja kein Gewerkschaftler. Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte."
"When the Nazis came to get the Communists, I was silent; I was not a Communist. When they came to lock up the Social Democrats, I was silent; I was not a Social Democrat. When they came to get the Trade Unionists, I did not protest; I was not a Trade Unionist. When they came to get me, there was not anyone left, to protest." From the Kirchenverwaltung der Evangelischen Kirche in Hessen and Darmstadt
Ted Nugent: "Only a coward supports gun control. You know how to stop carjacking? Shoot the carjacker. If someone is going to kill me for my Buick, I'm gonna shoot until I'm out of ammo - and then I'll call 911." People Magazine quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 5, 1994
Plato: "Do you mean that the despot will dare to lay hands on this father of his and beat him if he resists?
Yes, when once he has disarmed him." Republic, (E. Cornford translation, 1945, pg. 295)
Ayn Rand: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power 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 for men to live without breaking laws." in Atlas Shrugged (1957)
Roy Rogers: "They'll have to shoot me first to take my gun." 1982, in Cowboy Wisdom, by Terry Hall (Warner Books, 1995)
Carl T. Rowan, Jr: "Let... others call me a hypocrite because I fired a gun in a moment of personal peril. I shall still be for strict gun control. But as long as authorities leave this society awash in drugs and guns, I will protect my family." Conservative Digest, August, 1988
Carl T. Rowan, Jr: Calling for tougher penalties on criminals and relaxing D.C.'s "failed gun possession laws" so citizens can again "keep a firearm in their homes for sport or self-defense." The Washington Post, 1989
Mike Royko: "It pains me to say this, but the NRA seems to be right: The cities and states that have the toughest gun laws have the most murder and mayhem." Washington Times, September 13, 1993
Mike Royko: "If every woman in every big, high-crime community in America had a gun in her purse or strapped to her thigh, we would have a safer, more courteous society:" Washington Times, June 8, 1996
Black Panther Barry Seale: "The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self-defense." in the pamphlet "Seize the Time" at 68 (1970)
Joseph Sobran: "The Gun-control bill now before Congress - the so-called `Brady Bill' - would take a giant step toward deterring handgun crimes by law-abiding criminals. Its defect is that it would do little about the somewhat more pressing problem of criminals who aren't law-abiding." Arizona Republic, April 19, 1991
Algernon Sydney: "Swords were given to men [by God] that none might be Slaves, but as such know not how to use them." Discourses Concerning Government 270,1698
Henry David Thoreau: "I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - 'That government is best which governs not at all.'"
Mark Twain: "It is a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom; It is another sight to fight for another man's." [American Rifleman, March 1993, pg. 22]
Daniel Webster: "God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." Speech, June 3, 1834. Vol. iv. p. 47
Ron Whitaker: "Anybody, anybody who knows anything at all about guns, knows the Sporter (AR-15) isn't an M-16 ... We have put blocks in the Sporter's lower receiver so that it cannot be made into a fully automatic gun. We've tried to do it on our own machines, and it can't be done. Period. We've not only blocked the installation of the old `auto-sear,' but metal must be added, which is a much more delicate operation. If you try to do it, you're going to crack the receiver. We have the greatest faith in our engineering ability to keep the gun from becoming a fully automatic rifle." President of Colt Manufacturing Co., Interview in Shooting Times, February, 1994, pg. 92