"The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power."
— [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]
"To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege."
— [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)]
"No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words "no" and "not" employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights." — Edmund A. Opitz
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury." — Alexander Tyler (in his 1770 book, Cycle of Democracy)
"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials....fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."
— Justice Jackson, United States Supreme Court in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)
"The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, and I know I'm not going to make very many friends saying this, but it's about our right, all of our right to be able to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there."
— Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, appearing before Representative Charles Schumer's committee hearings on the assault weapons ban.
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." — Thomas Jefferson
"The provision in the Constitution . . . the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the power of the Legislature to enact any law to the contrary. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff." [People vs. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927, at 928 (1922)]
"Tyranny is always better organized than freedom." —Thomas Paine
"If you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law." — Winston Churchill
"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors. From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price. — From President Reagan's Inaugural Address, January 20th, 1981
"When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny." — Thomas Jefferson
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." – Plato
Pericles said, "Just because you don't take an interest in Politics doesn't mean Politics won't take an interest in you."
And finally, "Nothing puts the dignity in personal dignity like the self in self-rule." — John Longenecker
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