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That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms;.... 23 New York's request for a Bill of Rights, 1788.

That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms;.... 23 New York's request for a Bill of Rights, 1788.

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..." Vermont Constitutions of 1777 and 1786.

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state...." Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.

"(T)he whole history OT mankind proves that so far from parting with the powers actually delegated to it, government is constantly encroaching on the small pittance of rights reserved by the people to themselves and gradually wresting them out of their hands until it either terminates in their slavery or forces them to arms, and brings about a revolution." Luther Martin, delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, March 28, 1788.

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the 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." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1833.

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor deter-, mined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty-so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator-and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? 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. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree." Cesare Beccaria, father of modern criminology, 1764.

"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 not an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution." Kentucky Supreme Court, 1822, concerning the Kentucky Constitution's right to keep and bear arms.

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).

"Mr. Madison has introduced his long expected amendments. They are the fruit of much labor and research. He has hunted up all the grievances and complaints of newspapers, all the articles of convention, and the small talk of their debates. It contains a bill of rights, the right of enjoying property, of changing the government at pleasure, freedom of the press, of conscience, of juries, exemption from general warrants.... Oh! I had forgot, the right of the people to bear arms...." Rep. Fisher Ames of Massachusetts, June 11, 1789, describing the Bill of Rights.

"The corollary, from the first position, is, that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made tinder some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both...." William Rawle, A View of the Constitution (1829).

"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 of 1784.

"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 not an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution." Kentucky Supreme Court, 1822, concerning the Kentucky Constitution's right to keep and bear arms.

"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 of 1784.

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. 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. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty-so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator-and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? 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. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree." Cesare Beccaria, father of modern criminology, 1764.

"Under these constitutional provisions, the legislature has no power to prohibit a citizen from bearing arms in any portion of the state of Idaho, whether within or without the corporate limits of cities, towns, and villages." Idaho Supreme Court, striking down a ban on open carry, 1902, for violating both the Second Amendment and the Idaho Constitution.

"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 of 1784.

"The right of the people to keep & bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States;.... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America." Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789, 211, col. 2.

"The language of the second amendment is broad enough to embrace both Federal and State governments--nor is there anything in its terms which restricts its meaning ... Is this a right reserved to the States or to themselves? Is it not an unalienable right, which lies at the bottom of every free government?" Georgia Supreme Court, 1846, striking down a ban on sale of small handguns.

"I learn with great concern that (one) portion of our frontier so interesting, so important, and so exposed, should be so entirely unprovided with common Fire-arms. I did not suppose any part of the United States so destitute of what is considered as among the first necessaries of a farm-house." Thomas Jefferson to Jacob J. Brown, 1808, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Lipscomb and Bergh, ed., 1903-04), 11:432.

"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 of 1784.

"The 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." Cesare Beccaria, father of modern criminology, 1764.

"(T)o 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.
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Publication:Firearms News
Date:Jul 1, 2017
Words:1711
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