Myron Calhoun's Collection of Liberty & Freedom Quotations

If you find this site interesting and/or useful, please let me know!  Unless I hear from you, adding new quotations is lots of work with no reward, and I'm thinking about shucking the whole thing!

However, even if I do stop adding to it, I will still accept suggestions for corrections and will appreciate being told about duplicate quotes I can remove!
When I was a child, I spake as a child. But as I grew up, I learned that some people could say some things much better than I could, so I began collecting their quotations. I am a libertarian (small "l") and believe strongly in minimal government, individual freedom, property rights, respect for others, free trade, etc., so I've mostly collected quotations about such things. Because the "founding fathers" of the United States of America seemed to think much as I do (or is it the other way around?-), I have a LOT of their quotations! I hope you find the following interesting/useful/informative/....

Do be aware that, while SOME of these quotations have been verified by me or by someone whom I have trust, they have NOT ALL been verified. Since many of the quotes came from the Internet, and since information on the Internet can be UNreliable, some quotes may be spurious! If you have evidence that a quote is false, please let me know.
The first quotation is from Charles A. Beard, an American historian:
"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 second quotation is MINE!

Webpages which feature quotations about freedom and liberty often include
one of the following and almost always attribute it to "Anonymous": but, for the last two at least, that "Anonymous" should be "Myron A. Calhoun"!   Learn "the rest of the story" behind what may be my only claim to fame at

(Economics)   (Free Trade/Markets)   (Law)   (Militia)   (Money)   (Politics)   (Property)   (Religion)   (Rights)   (Taxes)   (War)   (Miscellaneous) (Welfare/Social Security)   (Freedom/Liberty)   (Gun Violence)   (Second Amendment)  

Be aware there may be overlap in every category. For example: quotes about "law" can be found in "Law", "Second Amendment", "Rights", "Politics", etc.; quotes about Article II of the Bill of Rights can be found in "Second Amendment", "Gun Violence", "Law", "Militia", "Rights", ...; quotes about "money" can be found in "Money", "Politics", "Property", "Taxes", ...; quotes from any particular document may be found in many catagories; and so on. But here it is! Use your favorite word-processor or editor ("vim" is my favorite) to search for whatever name(s) and/or subject(s) interest you.

Remember, this is (usually) an EVER-GROWING collection; tomorrow's version will probably be bigger than today's!
Summarizing "What's Market Value" from Edith Lank's 2Jan2011 HOUSE CALLS column in The Manhattan (KS) Mercury newspaper:

"Market value" includes "equally-motivated buyer and seller", "the highest price a reasonable buyer will pay", "the lowest price a reasonable seller will take", "both buyer and seller are fully informed about the uses to which the property can be put", "neither party is under duress", "must be an arm's-length transaction" ("a transaction between relative strangers, each trying to do the best for himself or herself"), etc.   Lank's short form:   "what someone will pay".
Winston Churchill: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
From "Pensions: A Worldwide, But Avoidable Crisis" (author not shown on the torn-out page I kept), printed in the October, 2003, issue of The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty:

"One of the many achievements of the much-maligned Pinochet regime in Chile was its solution to the country's burgeoning pensions problem. Chile was one of the earliest countries with a PAYG [Pay as you Go] scheme, established in 1924. By the 1970s it was getting extremely costly, but it was calculated that the cost of winding it up, if historic commitments were to be honored, was 3 percent of gross domestic product.

"Nevertheless, a radical reform was successfully introduced [footnote: Eamonn Butler and Madsen Pirie, "The Fortune Account" (London: Adam Smith Institute, 1995), pp. 7-9]. All people entitled to the existing pension could keep it or go private (as 90 percent did). All new workers, however, would have to join one of the new competing private pension funds and save at least 10 percent of their incomes so that eventually the state scheme would wither away. Now almost everyone is convered privately, with the returns from their investments exceeding the state pension by 40-50 percent. No one has been hurt by the changeover, and thanks in part to the privatization of state-owned assets, it was carefully worked out so that it did not lead to a tax rise."
Andrew Zimbalist, as quoted by George C. Leef in his review of "Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports", printed in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":

"The University of North Carolina gives more than $3 million in athletic scholarships yearly to around 700 athletes, but only some $600,000 in academic merit scholarships among the rest of its 15,000 students.

"Clemson University paid young black men from Columbia, South Carolina, to be on campus and pretend to be members of a black fraternity so the university would look more appealing to visiting black athletes.

"The president of the University of Oklahoma said in a speech to the state legislature, 'I hope to build a university of which our football team can be proud.'"
David M. Levy, from "150 Years and Still Dismal!", printed in the March, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"The lack of public prostitution in southern cities -- a fact that had been pointed to as evidence of the moralizing effect of slavery in the debates of the time -- was explained by Martineau's extension of classical population theory. Why would a man rent a woman by the hour when he could buy her and keep the children for resale? Colored children, after all, followed the status of their mother. Slave concubinage replaced public prostitution. After Martineau, everyone knew how to see this. And by seeing this, one knew all there was to know about the benevolence of those with absolute power over the lives and persons of their subjects."
Thomas Jefferson:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."

"I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared ... We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude ... The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the disposition of public money. We are endeavoring to reduce the government to the practice of rigid economy to avoid burdening the people ..."
Quoted from "Say's Law Is Back" by Mark Skousen, as published in the August, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, pp. 54-55:

In researching my forthcoming book, The Story of Modern Economics ... , I came across a remarkable new work by Australian economist Steven Kates, Say's Law and the Keynesian Revolution [Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar, 1998]. According to Kates, John Maynard Keynes created a straw man in order to produce a revolution in economics. The straw man was Jeane-Baptiste Say and his famous law of markets. Steven Kates calls The General Theory "a book-length attempt to refute Say's Law."

But to refute Say's Law, Keynes gravely distorted it. As Kates states, "Keynes was wrong in his interpretation of Say's Law and, more importantly, he was wrong about its economic implications."

"Exactly what is [Jean-Baptiste] Say's Law? Chapter 15 of Say's "A Treatise on Political Economy" [Augustus M. Kelley, 1971 (1832), p. 134] describes his famous law of markets: 'A product is no sooner created, than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value.' When a seller produces and sells a product, the seller instantly becomes a buyer who has spendable income. To buy, one must first sell. In other words, production is the cause of consumption, and increased output leads to higher consumer spending.

In short, Say's Law is this: The supply (sale) of X creates the demand for (purchase of) Y.

Say illustrated his law with the case of a good harvest by a farmer. "The greater the crop, the larger are the purchases of the growers. A bad harvest, on the contrary, hurts the sale of commodities at large."

Say's Law states that recessions are not caused by failure of demand (Keyne's thesis), but by failure in the structure of supply and demand. Recession is precipitated by producers miscalculating what consumers wish to buy, thus causing unsold goods to pile up, production to be cut back, income to fall, and finally consumer spending to drop. As Kates elucidates, "Classical theory explained recessions by showing how errors in production might arise during cyclical upturns which would cause some goods to remain unsold at cost-covering prices." The classical model was a "high-sophisticated theory of recession and unemployment" that with one fell swoop by the illustrious Keynes was "obliterated."

Allan Bloom, in The Closing of the American Mind:
"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside."
Pastor Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Robert A. Heinlein, in the chapter titled "If This Goes On--" in THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW, copyright 1967, page 499:
"I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy ... censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
Congressman Ron Paul, M.D., from a February, 2004, speech delivered at "Evenings at FEE" in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, and reported in the March, 2004, issue of "NOTES from FEE" published by the Foundation for Economic Education:

We know that the idea of perfect socialism is an oxymoron. Pursuing utopia throughout the last century has already caused untold human suffering. That's why the clear goal of a free society must be understood and sought or the vision of the authoritarians will face little resistance and will easily fill the void.

There are precise goals we should work for, even under today's difficult circumstances. We must legalize freedom to the maximum extent possible:

1. Complete police protection is impossible; therefore we must preserve the right to own weapons in self-defense.

2. In order to maintain economic prottection against government debasement of the currency, gold ownership must be preserved -- something taken away from the American people during the Great Depression.

3. Adequate retirement protection by the government is limited, if not ultimately impossible. We must allow every citizen the opportunity to control all his or her retirement funds.

4. Government education has clearly failed. We must guarantee the right of families to homeschool or send their kids to private schools and help them with tax credits.

5. Government snooping must be stopped. We must work to protect all our privacy, especially on the Internet, prevent the National ID Card, and stop the development of all government data banks.

6. Federal police functions are unconstitutional and increasingly abusive. We should disarm all federal bureaucrats and return the police function to local authorities.

7. The army was never meant to be used in local policint activities. We must firmly prohibit our presidents from using the military in local law-enforcement operations, which is now being implemented under the guise of fighting terrorism.

8. Foreign military intervention by our presidents in recent years is a costly failure. Foreign military intervention should not be permitted without explicit congressional approval.

9. Competitions in all elections should be guaranteed, and the monopoly powers gained by the two major parties through unfair signature requirements, high fees, and campaign donation controls should be removed. Competitive parties should be allowed in all government-sponsored debates.

10. We must do whatever is possible to help instill a spiritual love for freedom and recognize that our liberties depend on responsible individuals, not the group or the collective or society as a whole. The individual is the building block of a free and prosperous social order."
A.E. van Vogt, THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER, 1951, ISBN: 0-671-81354-4:
"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free"
Emma Lazarus "THE NEW COLOSSUS" (1883):
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed sunset-gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome, her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities frame.

"'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she,
With silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore;
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'"
Lord Acton:
"Liberty is not the means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end."
Ayn Rand:
"The only power any 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 to live without breaking laws."

In "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand observed:
"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."

Ayn Rand, but unknown source:
"Of all the statist violations of individual rights in a mixed economy, the military draft is the worst. It is an abrogation of rights. It negates man's fundamental right -- the right to life -- and establishes the fundamental principle of statism: that a man's life belongs to the state, and the state may claim it by compelling him to sacrifice it in battle. Once that principle is accepted, the rest is only a matter of time."

"If the state may force a man to risk death or hideous maiming and crippling, in a war declared at the state's discretion, for a cause he may neither approve of nor even understand, if his consent is not required to send him into unspeakable martyrdom -- then, in principle, all rights are negated in that state, and its government is not man's protector any longer. What else is there left to protect?"
From "The True Meaning of Patriotism" by Lawrence W. Reed, in the June, 2003, issue of The Freeman/Ideas On Liberty:
"In 1320, in an effort to explain why they had spent the previous 30 years in bloody battle to expel the invading English, Scottish leaders ended their Declaration of Arbroath with this line: 'It is not for honor or glory or wealth that we fight, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life.'"
President Wm. (Bill) Clinton, August 12, 1993, quoted in a Letter-to-the- Editor" by R.E. Schaller, Boxford, Massachusetts, published in The Washington Times, National Weekly Edition June 5-11, 2000, page 39:
"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
Franklin Roosevelt (quoted by General Richard Myers. Vice Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff, at Kansas State University's 118th Landon Lecture, 27 April, 2000):
"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in "Notes from Underground", from page 49 of Angus E. Crane's article "The Day We Read No More" in the March, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"[M]an may purposely, consciously choose for himself even the harmful and the stupid, even the stupidest thing -- just so that he will have the right to wish the stupidest thing, and not be bound by the duty to have only intelligent wishes. For this most stupid thing, this whim of ours, gentlemen, may really be more advantageous to us than anything on earth, especially in certain cases. In fact, it may be the most advantageous of all advantages even when it brings us obvious harm and contradicts the most sensible conclusions of our reason concerning our advantage. Because, at any rate, it preserves for us the most important and most precious thing -- our personality, our individuality."
Charlie Chaplin, in "The Little Dictator":
"Dictators free themselves by enslaving others. They work not for your benefit, but their own."
Leonard E. Read (1898-1983), Founding President of FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education, said that, in an ideal America, every person should be free:
... to pursue his ambition to the full extent of his abilities, regardless of race or creed or family background.
... to associate with whom he pleases for any reason he pleases, even if someone else thinks it's a stupid reason.
... to worship God in his own way, even if it isn't 'orthodox.'
... to choose his own trade and to apply for any job he wants -- and to quit his job if he doesn't like it or if he gets a better offer.
... to go into business for himself, be his own boss, and set his own hours of work -- even if it's only three hours a week.
... to use his honestly acquired property or savings in his own way -- spend it foolishly, invest it wisely, or even give it away.
... to offer his services or products for sale on his own terms, even if he loses money on the deal.
... to buy or not to buy any service or product offered for sale, even if the refusal displeases the seller.
... to disagree with any other person, even when the majority is on the side of the other person.
... to study and learn whatever strikes his fancy, as long as it seems to him worth the cost and effort of studying and learning it.
... to do as he pleases in general, as long as he doesn't infringe the equal right and opportunity of every other person to do as he pleases.
Lao Tzu in "Tao Te Ching", Chapter 61:
"A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his competitor
as the shadow that he himself casts."
Alexis de Tocqueville, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA:
"It is not that in the United States, as everywhere, there are no rich; indeed I know no other country where love of money has such a grip on men's hearts or where stronger scorn is expressed for the theory of permanent equality of property. But wealth circulates there with incredible rapidity, and experience shows that two successive generations seldom enjoy its favor."

"In America most rich men began by being poor."

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

"To commit violent and unjust acts, it is not enough for a government to have the will or even the power; the habits, ideas and passions of the time must lend themselves to their committal."
Benjamin Franklin, before the Constitutional Convention, (June 2, 1787):
"... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharoah, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ..."

Benjamin Franklin, letter to the French Ministry March 1778:
"Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform."
Butler D. Shaffer, Southwestern School of Law, Los Angeles:
"Let us go back in time to the point at which we began to allow others to operate as authorities over us, and begin to confront the proposition that others have rightful power over our lives, that others have expertise superior to anything we could ever know on our own. Let us respond to such a proposition as any 3-year old would to anything so palpably absurd: "Why?"

When we relearn to ask such questions - and to ask them of anyone who seeks to advance his or her authority over us - we shall have discovered the way to our psychological independence."
Abraham Lincoln:
"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us with a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined with a Bonaparte at their head and disposing of all the treasure of the earth, our own excepted, could not by force make a track on the Blue Ridge or take a drink from the Ohio in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up from amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide."
Abraham Lincoln, 1838:
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861:
"... the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the supreme Court, ... the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

"If I don't have to do it, it only shows that you don't have to either."

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing."

"We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution."
Abraham Lincoln:
"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
Abraham Lincoln, 1858:
"What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not ... the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army ... our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms."

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and industry. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797):
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France":
"Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subject are rebels from principle."

"The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded."

Edmund Burke, 1784:
"The people never give up their liberty but under some delusion."

Edmund Burke:
"Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young people, and I will tell you what the character of the next generation will be."
George Stark, General:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
John Hospers:
"By far the most numerous and most flagrant violations of personal liberty and individual rights are performed by governments ... The major crimes throughout history, the ones executed on the largest scale, have been committed not by individuals or bands of individuals but by governments, as a deliberate policy of those governments -- that is, by the official representatives of governments, acting in their official capacity."
Josiah Quincy (1774):
"Under God we are determined that, wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever, we shall be called upon to make our exit, we will die freemen."
Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States, United States supreme Court, 1928:
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent ... the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."
Justice William O. Douglas:
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
Lysander Spooner (1808-1887):
"That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support."

"... the only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets ...."
Marvin Cooley:
"We must pity the poor wretched, timid soul who is too faint-hearted to resist his oppressors. He sings the song of the dammed: "I can't fight back; I have too much to lose; I own too much property; I have worked too hard to get what I have; They will put me out of business if I resist; I might go to jail; I have my family to think about." Such poor miserable creatures have misplaced values and are hiding their cowardice behind pretended family responsibility - blindly refusing to see that the most glorious legacy that one can bequeath to posterity is liberty; and that the only true security is liberty."
Paul Anderson (?? I think. _Not_ Poul):
"If the price I must pay for my freedom is to acknowledge that the government was granted the power to infringe on them, then I am not free."
Paul Williams, "Das Energi":
"Don't ever think you know what's right for the other person. He might start thinking he knows what's right for you."
Richard E. Byrd, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates (1910):
"A hand from Washington will be stretched out and placed upon every man's business; the eye of the Federal inspector will be in every man's counting house. The law will of necessity have inquisitorial features, it will provide penalties. It will create a complicated machinery. Under it businessmen will be hauled into courts distant from their homes. Heavy fines imposed by distant and unfamiliar tribunals will constantly menace the taxpayer. An army of Federal inspectors, spies and detectives will descend upon the state. They will compel men of business to show their books and disclose the secrets of their affairs. They will dictate forms of bookkeeping. They will require statements and affidavits. On the one hand the inspector can blackmail the taxpayer and on the other, he can profit by selling his secret to his competitor."
Robert H. Jackson (1953):
"There is no such thing as an achieved liberty; like electricity, there can be no substantial storage and it must be generated as it is enjoyed, or the lights go out."
President Ronald W. Reagan:
"If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us is capable of governing someone else?"

"It's time we rebelled."

"When I am President, my number one priority will be to get big government off the back of the American people."

President Reagan's Speech at the 1964 National Convention: A Time for Choosing:
"This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

"Government is not the solution to the problem; government IS the problem!

"We will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm."

"The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."

President Reagan had been in the White House only a little over a year when he spoke to the British Parliament and challenged the long-held belief about the permanence of Communist rule, saying:
"The march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies that stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people."

From in his September 9, 1982 presentation at Kansas State University's Landon-Lecture series:
"This federal government of ours, by trying to do too much, has undercut the ability of individual people, of communities, churches and businesses -- to meet the real needs of society -- as Americans always have met them in the past."

"Our first President, George Washington, father of our country, shaper of the Constitution, and truly a wise man, believed that religion, morality and brotherhood were the essential pillars of society, and he said you could not have morality without the basis of religion. And yet today we are told that to protect the First Amendment we must expel God, the very source of our knowledge, from our children's classrooms.... Was the First Amendment written to protect American people from religion, or was it written to protect religion from government tyranny?"

"Balancing the budget is a little like protecting your virtue: you just have to learn to say 'no'."

"The people have something that is in short supply in government -- common sense. They understand that making this government live within its means will ultimately do more to protect their earnings, bring down interest rates and put our unemployed back to work than anything else we could do."

President Reagan in 1986:
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
Senator William Grayson of Virginia in a letter to Patrick Henry:
"Last Monday a string of amendments were presented to the lower house; these altogether respect personal liberty ...."
Susan B. Anthony, 1871:
"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."
John O'Sullivan, editor of the "United States Magazine and Democratic Review", wrote in 1837 (quoted on page 137 of the March, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
"The best government is that which governs least. ... Government should be confined to the administration of justice, for the protection of the natural equal rights of the citizen, and the preservation of the social order. In all other respects, the voluntary principle, the principle of freedom ... affords the true golden rule."
W. Somerset Maugham:
"If a nation or an individual values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that too."
Winston Churchill:
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Michael Parenti, "Inventing Reality" (1986):
"If Big Brother comes to America, he will not be a fearsome, foreboding figure with a heart-chilling, omnipresent glare as in 1984. He will come with a smile on his face, a quip on his lips, a wave to the crowd, and a press that
(a) dutifully reports the suppressive measures he is taking to save the nation from internal chaos and foreign threat; and
(b) gingerly questions whether he will be able to succeed."
Kee Hinckley:
"I'm not sure which upsets me more: that people are so unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate everyone else's."
John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty", 1859:
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant."
Thomas Jefferson:
"The constitutions 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 and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press."

Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural, 4-Mar-1801:
"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939:
"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms .... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Thomas Jefferson:
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

"Enlighten people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Thomas Jefferson, 1774:
"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson, 318 (Foley, Ed., reissued 1967):
"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 the constant companion of your walk."

Thomas Jefferson, 1816:
"Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe."
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free ... it expects what never was and never will be...."

Thomas Jefferson, in his chapter on religion in his 1781 "Notes on the State of Virginia", as quoted in Barry Loberfeld's "Freedom of Education: A Civil Liberty" printed in the August, 2001, issue of IDEAS ON LIBERTY, pp. 26-32:
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neigbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

Jefferson's "Notes" also offered insights explaining why education, like religion, would come under government control:
"[W]hy subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desireable? No more than of face and stature.... Difference of opinion is advantageous.... The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

Jefferson's "Notes" also described the effect of compulsory education on Johnny, who may indeed hold beliefs contrary to school curricula:
"Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true [idea], by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation.... [T]he Newtonian principle of gravitation is now more firmly established, on the basis of reason, than it would be were the goveernment to step in, and to make it an article of necessary faith. Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."

Another reason Jefferson ("Notes" again) opposed laws denying religious liberty was their cruel punishments, including:
"A father's right to the custody of his own children being founded in law on his right of guardianship, this being taken away, they may of course be severed from him, and put, by the authority of a court, into more orthodox hands."

Jefferson's reason for opposing heresy laws was also his reason for opposing compulsory attendance laws:
"It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father."

President Thomas Jefferson, author of the phrase "Separation of church and state," asked Congress to ratify a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, which they did this day, December 3, 1803. As reported by Bill Federer in his 3 December 2003 "American Minute" <>, it stated:
"And whereas the greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic Church, to which they are much attached, the United States will give annually, for seven years, one hundred dollars toward the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for said tribe the duties of his office, and also to instruct as many of their children as possible, in the rudiments of literature."

The treaty, signed by Jefferson, concluded: "The United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church."

Thomas Jefferson, concerned about the future, wrote (as reported in the March, 2004, "NOTES from FEE", the Foundation for Economic Education):
"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of Freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction."
Dmitri Z. Manuisky, Lenin School of Political Warfare (1931):
"War to the hilt between capitalism and communism is inevitable. Today, of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in 20 or 30 years. In order to win, we shall need the element of surprise. The bourgeoisie will have to be put to sleep, so we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fist."
William F. Buckley:
"Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people's freedom and security."
"Keep Democracy in Perspective", an editorial in THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, some month in 1999.

[At the very bottom of the article there is a footnote-like reference:
1. Thomas Sowell, THE QUEST FOR COSMIC JUSTICE (New York: Free Press, 1999)
but there is NO "1" reference anywhere in the article; it may be that the editorial is by Thomas Sowell. --MAC]

The second lesson of the past 100 years is that democracy alone is insufficient for a society to be truly free and prosperous. Private property rights are far and away the most important bulwark protecting freedom and ensuring prosperity. Democracy, as such, guarantees neither. WHile this lesson is just as true as the one about utopia [last month's editorial? -MAC], it isn't as widely understood. After all, most of us alive in the West have been bombarded with paeans to democracy. Schoolchildren are taught that Western nations are free because they are democratic. Indeed, they are taught that freedom is synonymous with democracy. Voting = freedom = voting.

But voting does not equal freedom. Voting is merely the act of yanking a lever (or slipping paper into a box) every few years to register one among thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of preferences for this or that candidate. The chance that any one vote will affect the output of any election is practically zero. No voter every really chooses his or her representative -- at least not in the way that each of us chooses an occupation, a house, a church, a college major, books to read, or a spouse.

In our everyday, nonpolitical lives -- equipped as we all are with our private property rights -- we routinely make choices that count. If you choose to buy a Ford rather than a Volkswagen, you get a Ford. What you get among the available options does not depend upon how others choose. You get what you want; everyone else gets what he and she wants. Not so in elections. You get only what a majority of the voting group wants. Thus, every time a decision is made collectively rather than individually, no individual is free. Each is a slave to the majority.

De-romantizing democracy is frowned upon today, but I believe that it must be done. Democracy might be the most appropriate means of choosing government officials, but that does not imply that democracy equals freedom. Freedom requires more than the right to vote; it requires that each person be as unrestrained as possible from the arbitrary will of others -- regardless of whether the others are conquering tyrants, hereditary oligarchs, black-robed judges, or a majority of neighbors or countrymen.

Private property is the indispensable protection from the arbitrary will of others, even when this arbitrary will results from a majoritarian election. Private property gives to each of us not only the assurance that others will employ themselves and their resources in ways that create prosperity for all, but also that each of us has a space that others cannot violate.

For evidence that private property rather than democracy is the key to prosperity and freedom, I point to India and Hong Kong. In India the electoral franchise is wide and elections have long been regular, but property rights are weak. For most of the post-World War II era, in contrast, Hong Kong had no democracy, but property rights there have been among the strongest the world has ever seen. Indians are poor and shackled by a massively corrupt state; the people of Hong Kong are wealthy and free.

Private property, not democracy, is the great guarantor of prosperity and liberty. And because it decentralizes power, it safeguards us from madmen with utopian hallucinations.
Samuel Adams, 1771 (quoted by Wayne LaPierre in the October, 2003, issue of AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, p. 12):
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending.... We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood.... It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy ... if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776:
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

Samuel Adams warned future generations (as reported in the March, 2004, "NOTES from FEE", the Foundation for Economic Education):
"Neither the wisest Constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
Major John Pitcairn, Lexington, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775:
"Disperse you Rebels - Damn you, throw down your Arms and disperse."
Albert Einstein:
"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure."

"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
Daniel Webster:
"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows"

"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."
Jeff Cooper; from "Pistols and the Law" in "Cooper on Handguns":
"In all history the only bright rays cutting the gloom of oppression have come from men who would rather get hurt than give in."
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924):
"The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation."
William Lloyd Garrison:
"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but with tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will be certainly be lost."
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."
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
James Madison, 1822:
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

James Madison:
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much ... to forget it."

James Madison, Federalist Papers #51 (1787), quoted in "Government Ethics: If Only Angels Were to Govern!" by Stuart C. Gilman, PHI KAPPA PHI FORUM, Vol. 83, No., 2, p. 29:
"If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal comtrols on Government would be necessary. In framing a Government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the Government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the Government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago":
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand.-- The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!"
John Adams:
"We hold that each man is the best judge of his own interest."

"Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write".
Patrick Henry [3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836]:
"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 inevitably ruined."
Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address (as reported in the February, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
"... a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own persuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."
Thomas Jefferson:
"Above all I hope that the education of the common people will be attended to so they won't forget the basic principles of freedom."
Thomas Paine, in "American Crisis", published by the Philadephia Journal on December 19 and read by George Washington to his soldiers on Christmas Day, 1776:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Thomas Paine:
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
John Quincy Adams, 1821:
"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator of her own."
Frederick Douglass (1857):
"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
From: Tim Grothause
Date: 21 Oct 93 15:24:24 GMT
Newsgroups: info.firearms.politics

I support car ownership although cars can be used to drive drunk.
I support pharmaceutical manufacture although drugs can be abused.
I support swimming pool ownership although kids can drown in them.
I support steak-knife ownership although they can be used in stabbings.
I support free speech although people say things I don't like to hear.
I support freedom of religion although cults do the damnedest things.
I support parenthood although parents can abuse their children.
I support pregnancy although abortion couldn't happen without it.
I support penis ownership although they are used in rapes.
I support gun ownership although guns can be used in crime.
I support open elections although a moron became President.
Thomas Paine:
"... The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance."
Mark Twain:
"In the beginning of a change, The Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
US Justice Dept, (March2000):
Most rape victims are under 21, but 70% of rapists are over 30.

Bill Bradley, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton (March2000):
Women under 21 years old should not be allowed to own guns.
Unknown, but not Philip R. Zimmermann, author of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) because I asked him!:
If my (so called; they aren't defined) assault rifle makes me a criminal,
And my encryption program makes me a terrorist,
Does Dianne Feinstein's vagina make her a prostitute?

Frederic Bastiat, as quoted by Christopher Mayer in "Free Trade and Flexible Markets", published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"Assume, if it amuses you, that foreigners flood our shores with all kinds of useful goods, without asking anything from us; even if our imports are infinite and our exports nothing, I defy you to prove to me that we should be the poorer for it."
Alfred E. Kahn, "Deregulation and Vested Interests: The Case of Airlines", in Roger G. Noll and Bruce M. Owen, eds., The Political Economy of Deregulation , as quoted by Lawrence W. Reed in "Internet Access Should Be Left to the Free Market", printed in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"The essence of the case for competition is the impossibility of predicting most of its consequences. The superiority of the competitive market is the positive stimuli it provides for constantly improving efficiency, innovating, and offering consumers diversity of choice."
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, in "Regulatory Extortion", published in the March, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"In the environmental arena, countless capitalistic bogeymen have been blamed for everything from cancer to the destruction of the planet. This list of phony environmental scares is so long that any rational, thinking person should routinely assume that everything the organized, political environmental organizations say is a lie.

"The federal government has been forcasting an impending energy crisis ever since the dawn of the oil industry -- roughly 1866. In that year the U.S. Revenue Commission warned that the nation may run out of oil at any moment. In 1885 the U.S. Geological Survey forecast no chance of oil's being discovered in California; some ten billion barrels have been pumped from that state since then. By 1914 the U.S. Bureau of Mines was predictiong that only 5.7 billion barrels of oil were left; more than 50 billion barrels have been pumped since then. In 1947 the U.S. Department of State warned that 'sufficient oil cannot be found in the United States'; in 1948 more than 4 billion barrels were found -- the largest discovery in history up to that point and twice the volume of U.S. consumption. In 1951 the U.S. Department of Interior forecast that oil reserves would last only until 1964."
From John Semmens' review of "Alternate Route: Toward Efficient Urban Transportation" by Clifford Winston and Chad Shirley, published in the March, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
".... A model for the privatized transit of the future exists today in the 'Queens Van Plan.' This is a privately operated transit service in New York City that serves mostly low-income neighborhoods. Despite an unsubsidized fare of only $1, the service operates at a profit. The owner would like to expand beyond the borough of Queens, but is presently barred from doing so by the city council. You see, the public transit system needs to hold on to a "captive" transit clientele lest their case for large extractions from taxpayers be undermined."
From an old (date unknown) of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education), recently renamed "Ideas on Liberty":

One day a hairy hunter staggered home to this cave, under the weight of a small venison -- happy to have provided some food for his cave and its inmates, but distraught because, in killing the deer with a well-aimed arrow, he had broken his last flinthead, and must now spend a lot of time and effort to find and fashion another to replace it.

His neighbor, however, had a different kind of problem to worry about. With all the instincts and needs of a good hunter, he was, however, lame from a broken hip and could not go afield to hunt big game. Instead, he had to content himself with wild fruit and with easily-caught small fish for food. This handicap, however, allowed him plenty of time to sit before his cave and chip pieces of rock into flintheads -- an occupation at which he had become rather expert. As his hunter friend drew near, he had several such flints all shaped and ready to become spear or arrow points. But ... he had no food; and he was hungry!

And then suddenly:

The thought elusive that had burned
With smoking smudge, remote and dull,
Within each thick and troubled skull
Burst forth at last in vocal flame.
Each gave a start, and then a shout
Of wonderment; and each held out,
The one his flint, the one his game,
And thus a mighty force was sired.
Man's life would never be the same,
Each gave the thing he least required,
And gained the thing he most desired!

Well ... in some such fashion the principle of trade was discovered, and a first long step was taken toward civilization. For that (or some experience like it) was the beginning of specialization, which was the convenience under which individuals no longer had to supply with their own hands all they needed, but each could specialize in what he did best, easiest, and with most pleasure. This gave to those who wanted it freedom for leisure; and with leisure, even a little of it, came time to wonder, to think, to dream, to question, to doubt, to create -- in short, to begin to be civilized.

That was trade -- exchange; and it is still at the heart of business. It has almost infinite ramifications -- finances, credit, production, distribution, salesmanship, advertising, competition, legal observances and restrictions -- but it comes down finally to an exchange between two people.

The two cave men of my little poetic fable stood face to face. In modern conmmerce the original producer and ultimate consumer almost never see each other. A score, maybe a hundred, intermediaries may stand between them. But the principle and the results are the same.

Namely, Mr. A has produced something far in excess of his need for that particular thing. He receives tokens for the time and skill he has expended in producing the thing. These tokes are called money. Another man, Mr. B, has done the same thing with some other product. On the open market each exchanges his tokens -- his money -- for what he needs of the other's product -- and so do millions of others -- with some grumbling, some cheating, some chiseling going on, no doubt; but with general satisfaction, benefit and convenience to all concerned.

By Dana Berliner, senior attorney, Institute for Justice, Washington, DC

Wendy Moody and Debra Jennings are entrepreneurs and fans of the Renaissance and Medieval eras. They work hard and pay taxes. Most people wouldn't think of them as criminals. But the Kansas Board of Cosmetology isn't "most people."

According to the Board of Cosmetology, braiding hair at the Kansas Renaissance Festival requires a cosmetology license, which, in turn, takes 1500 hours of cosmetology school. Braiding without a license is a misdemeanor and could subject Moody and Jennings to up to 90 days in jail.

These women braid hair, using ribbons and flowers to create Renaissance and Medieval hair styles. They study old books and illustrations for style ideas, as well as creating their own styles. Working for seven weekends at the Renaissance Festival provides them with more than a third of their annual income.

Cosmetology school, which costs several thousand dollars, would teach them hair coloring, permanent waving, cutting, and manicuring. The "Braidin' Maidens" have no interset in providing any of these services. On the other hand, braiding is a minor part of a cosmetology school curriculum, if it is taught at all. And Renaissance styles certainly are not included.

This means that to braid hair lawfully, the maidens must demonstrate proficiency in a wide range of techniques they will never use, and none whatsoever in the services they will offer. Kansas argues this is necessary to protect public health and safety, but the multitude of hair braiding hazards don't spring readily to the imagination.

To give some sense of the gravity of safety risks inherent in braiding, one can become a firefighter in Kansas with about 240 hours of initial training. By statute, Kansas only requires a police officer to have 320 hours of training before joining a force (the police officer will undergo other training, but only 320 hours are mandated by law). An emergency medical technician is required to have 90 hours of training, and a hunting license may be obtained after only a 10- or 12-hour course. Even a full-fledged paramedic, skilled in heart defibrillation and a full panoply of emergency services, needs 1200 hours of class -- less than it takes, apparently, to recognize lice in a child's hair.

It's obvious that the purpose of those 1500 hours can't be safety. And, in fact, the real purpose of the licensing regimen is protecting the cosmetology cartel from competition. For more than 20 years, these women braided without incident, but after a report from a licensed cosmetologist last year, an inspector came to visit. Now Moody and Jennings have been subjected to a "cease and desist order" and threats of criminal prosecution.

This is not just a problem in Kansas. Most states restrict hair styling of any type to licensed cosmetologists, and African hairbraiders (who also braid hair, but use styles best suited for very curly hair) throughout the country have rebelled. Braiders in Washington, DC, New York, Georgia, Ohio, and California have all brought lawsuits.

Several states have changed their laws. New York, Ohio, and Florida have created special limited licenses for braiders. Maryland and Michigan have simply exempted braiders from the cosmetology laws. And only three months ago, JoAnne Cornwell scored a victory in federal court challenging the application of the California law to her "Sisterlocks" hair styling system. The judge held that application of the law to a person who did not use chemicals or perform cosmetology services "did not pass constitutional muster" and violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the Bill of Rights. The impact of that ruling extends beyond African hairstyling and beyond California. Anti-competitive licensing requirements are not unique to the cosmetology industry. More than 500 occupations -- approximately ten percent of all jobs -- require that you have permission from the state, in the form of a license, before you can pursue your chosen profession. Our firm, for example, represents entrepreneurs ranging from casket retailers in Tennessee to commuter van drivers in New York City who are fighting arbitrary licensing laws.

On October 8, [1999,] Judge Eric Rosen of the County Court ruled that the braiders could continue to braid for the last two weekends of the Festival. In doing so, he specifically explained that the Maidens posed no threat to public health or safety. That's good news for now, but the Judge's preliminary ruling doesn't resolve the underlying issue of whether it is constitutional to require these women and other braiders to get cosmetology licenses. A decision on those larger issues is hopefully forthcoming. And after the California ruling, Kansas should think twice about enforcing this unconstitutional and foolish law.

* * * * * * * * * *


Associated Press, printed on page A3 of the Manhattan [KS] Mercury [Newspaper] of 24 February, 2000:

TOPEKA -- The Senate tentatively approved a bill, after brief debate, that takes away the Board of Cosmetology's regulation over hair braiding.

Kept intact and regulated are other forms of hair styling, cutting, and dyeing.

The Senate gave first-round approval to the bill Wednesday on a voice vote.

Sen. Sandy Praeger presented the bill, which came about after two women, known as the Braiden Maidens, were prevented from braiding hair last fall at the Kansas City Renaisance Festival, because they have no cosmetology license.

Some Democrats raised health and safety concerns.
[I include few of my own comments in this collection of quotes, but I'm going to include one here: "Some people don't have their heads screwed on right!" --MAC]

Debra Jennings (one of the "Braidin' Maidens"), in an article in the May, 2000, issue of "The Free State Vision", a publication of the Kansas Public Policy Institute" [I am on KPPI's Research Advisory Council] noted that "Senate Bill 513 was signed by Governor Bill Graves on April 19...." and gave recognition to KPPI's help in getting the Cosmetology-license law changed.
Henry Hazlitt, Economics In One Lesson (book):
"You cannot make a man worth a given amount by making it illegal for anyone to offer him anything less. You merely deprive him of the right to earn the amount that his abilities and situation would permit him to earn, while you deprive the community even of the moderate services that he is capable of rendering. In brief, for a low wage, you substitute unemployment. You do harm all around, with no comparable compensation."
Adam Smith, in "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" (1776; Cannan's ed., Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1976), p. 477:
"Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to society .... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, and in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention."
Henry George, in "Protection or Free Trade" (1886, reprinted edition, New York: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1980), p. 47:
"Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell .... Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their objective is the same -- to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading."

H. L. Mencken
Law and its instrument, government, are necessary to the peace and safety of all of us, but all of us, unless we live the lives of mud turtles, frequently find them arrayed against us. Worse, we are very apt to discover, facing their sudden inhibition of our desires, that their reputed impersonality and impartiality are myths -- that the government whose mandates we almost instinctively evade is not the transcendental and passionless thing it pretends to be, but simply a gang of very ordinary men, and that the judge who orders us to obey them is another of the same kind...

Justice Benjamin Curtis dissenting in Dred Scott, 1857:
And when a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean.

Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895):
"It may not be amiss here, gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule that on questions of fact it is the province of the jury, on questions of law it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed, by the same law which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have, nevertheless, a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy."
James Monroe (1758-1831), 5th U.S. President:
"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms .... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."
Grover Cleveland, from "Transforming the Political Marketplace" by Russell Roberts, published in THE FREEMAN (now called IDEAS ON LIBERTY) of December, 1999, page 54:
"In the discharge of my official duty I shall endeavor to be guided by a just and unstrained construction of the Constitution, a careful observance of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people, and by a cautious appreciation of those functions which by the Constitution and laws have been especially assigned to the executive branch of the Government."
Charles W. Baird, in his review of "The Stakeholder Society" by Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott, published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"... the authors are badly confused about equality. They are hung up on the term 'equality of opportunity.' Jefferson's 'equality' in the Declaration is, of course, what Hayek called isonomia -- equality before the law. Philosopher Robert Nozick called it process equality, which he carefully distinguished from end-state-equality. The authors pursue the latter of those mutually exclusive concepts."
From page 193 of "The World's Best-Loved Poems", compiled by James Gilchrist Lawson and published by Harper & Brothers, Copyright 1927:
On June 15, 1215, King John met the barons near Runnymeade on the Thames, England, and granted them the charter which they laid before him, now famous under the name "Magna Charta."

This charter contains sixty-three articles, some of which were merely temporary; the principles upon which the whole English judicial system is based are these:

"No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or diseised [footnote: dispossessed of land], or outlawed, or banished ... unless by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."

"We will sell to no man, we will not deny to any man, either justice or right."

Among the most important articles were the two which limited the power of the king in matters of taxation:

"No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our kingdom unless by the general council of our kingdom;" and

"For the holding of the general council of the kingdom ... we shall cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and the greater barons of the realm, singly, by our letters. And furthermore, we shall cause to be summoned generally by our sheriffs and bailiffs, all others who hold of us in chief."
Charles Evans Hughes, Justice of the supreme Court (1907):
"... the Constitution is what the judges say it is."
First Chief Justice John Jay [from "Academic Freedom on Religious Campuses" by James R. Otteson, as published in the August, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, pp. 55-53]:
"anything in the Constitution can be made to mean anything."
John Jay, 1st Chief Justice, US supreme Court (Georgia vs. Brailsford, 1794:4):
"The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."

"You [the jurors] have, nevertheless, a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy."
Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Supreme Court Justice, (1796-1804?):
"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, US Supreme Court Justice, Horning vs. District of Columbia, 138 (1920--or 1902?):
"The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact."
Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1941:
"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided."
U.S. vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139 (1972):
"The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its perogative to disregard the instructions of the judge....

"The jury has an unreviewable and unreversible power ... to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge...."
Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, in some advice to jurors to acquit against the judge's instructions:
"... if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong."

"That in criminal cases, the law and fact are always blended, the jury, for reasons of a political and peculiar nature, for the security of life and liberty, is intrusted with the power of deciding both law and fact."
Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176 (1803):
"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void."
Chief Justice John Marshall:
"The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not men."
Chief Justice Marlin T. Phelps, Arizona Supreme Court:
"Nothing was further from the minds of the Framers of the Constitution, than that the supreme Court should ever make the Supreme Law of the Land."
Chief Justice Warren Burger:
"Ours is a sick profession. [A profession marked by] incompetence, lack of training, misconduct, and bad manners. Ineptness, bungling, malpractice, and bad ethics can be observed in court houses all over this country every day."
Daniel Boorstin "The mysterious Science of the Law":
"In the first century of American independence, the [Blackstone] Commentaries were not merely an approach to the study of the law; for most lawyers they constituted all there was of the law."
Donald T. Regan (NOT President Ronald Reagan!):
"We do many things at the federal level that would be considered dishonest and illegal if done in the private sector."
Edward Gibbon, "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire":
"... the discretion of the judge is the first engine of tyranny."
Fred Rodell:
"In tribal times, there were the medicine men. In the Middle Ages, there were the priests. Today there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trade and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of its trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day."

"It is the lawyers who run our civilization for us - our governments, our business, our private lives."
Harold Berman, Harvard law professor:
"[The] whole culture seems to be facing the possibility of a kind of nervous breakdown ... One major symptom of this threatened breakdown is the massive loss in the confidence in law - not only on the part of law-consumers but also on the part of lawmakers and distributors."
Henry Clay:
"The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity -- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity."
James A. Kidney, "U.S. News & World Report":
"Despite growing unease among the public and legal experts, judges ... are reaching into areas once considered the exclusive preserve of legislators, public administrators and the family."
Justice Hugo Black, Columbia University's Charpentier Lectures (1968): >BR>"The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges' views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice. I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation."

Justice Hugo Black:
"... any broad unlimited power to hold laws unconstitutional because they offend what this Court conceives to be the 'conscience of our people' ... was not given by the Framers, but rather has been bestowed on the Court by the Court."
Laurence Tribe, Harvard law professor:
"... the highest mission of the supreme Court, in my view, is not to conserve judicial credibility, but in the Constitution's own phrase, 'to form a more perfect union' between right and rights within that charter's necessarily evolutionary design."
Lord Henry Brougham, "Present State of the Law":
"The whole machinery of the State, all the apparatus of the system, and its varied workings, end in bringing simply twelve good men into the box."
Michael H. Brown, "Brown's Lawsuit Cookbook":
"You've got to know where the machinery is and how it works before you can throw a monkey-wrench into it."
Michael J. Hodge, Asst. Attorney General, State of Michigan:
"... U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, is binding on the states."
Prof. Abram Chayes, Harvard law school:
"[Judicial action in the last two decades] adds up to a radical transformation of the role and function of the judiciary in American life. Its chief function now is as a catalyst of social change with judges acting as planners of large scale."
Prof. Edward S. Corwin:
"[Attorneys have been] prone to identify the judicial version of the Constitution as the authentic Constitution."
Prof. William Forrester, Cornell law school:
"The Court has assumed, gradually, the role of deciding the problems on its own and ...the American people and their selected officials gradually have accepted the Court as the political instrument for lawmaking."
Richard M. Nixon:
"I'm a lawyer, and I can't make head or tail out of the current form."
Samuel Cooke (1770):
"Fidelity to the public requires that the laws be as plain and explicit as possible, that the less knowing may understand, and not be ensnared by them, while the artful evade their force."

"Mysteries of law and government may be made a cloak of unrighteousness."
Schaeffer & Koop, "Whatever happened to the Human Race?":
"[Law] is only what most of the people think at that moment of history, and there is no higher law. It follows, of course, that the law can be changed at any moment to reflect what the majority currently thinks."

"More accurately, the law becomes what a few people in some branch of the government think will promote the present sociological and economic good. In reality the will and moral judgement of the majority are now influenced by or even overruled by the opinions of a small group of men and women. This means that vast changes can be made in the whole concept of what should and what should not be done. Values can be altered overnight and at almost unbelievable speed."
Senator Sam Ervin:
"... judicial verbicide is calculated to convert the Constitution into a worthless scrap of paper and to replace our government of laws with a judicial oligarchy."
Theophilus Parsons, in the Massachusetts Convention on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution [Jonathan Elliot, ed., _The Debates of the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution_, (New York, Burt Franklin: 1888), 2:94:
"But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation."
William H. Seward (1850), in "There is a higher law than the Constitution":

"The Second American Revolution":
"... a 1973 Harris Poll found that only 18 percent of the public had confidence in lawyers, a somewhat lower approval rating than that of garbage collectors."

"In Massachusetts, the Body of Liberties (1641) permitted anyone who could not plead his own cause to retain someone else for assistance "provided he give him noe fee or reward for his paines".

"Law has become utilitarian. It can be what the majority conceives as law, or it can be what an elite says it is. There is no absolute. In the end, it is always what a court or judge says it is."
George Washington:
"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence -- it is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful/terrible [I've seen two versions; --MAC] master."
Thomas Jefferson (from "Guns & Ammo" magazine: February, 2001):
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
Goethe (from "Guns & Ammo" magazine: February, 2001; engraved on a plaque at the Naval War College):
"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action."
David Kopel, from a review of Clay S. Conrad's, JURY NULLIFICATION: THE EVOLUTION OF A DOCTRINE, in the May/June, 1999, edition of "The American Enterprise, A National Magazine of Politics, Business, and Culture", Vol. 10, #3, as reprinted in the Winter/Spring, 1999, issue of "the FIJActivist", page 9:

"According to a poll by the "National Law Journal", 76 percent of Americans believe juries have the right to bring their conscience into the jury room -- and to acquit a defendant who is technically guilty but morally innocent.

"Conrad refutes various criticisms of jury independence. He argues that jurors who vote their conscience are not 'nullifying' the law. Rather, they are exercising their discretion, ruling that it would not be fair to apply a particular law in a particular case. District attorneys constantly exercise similar discretion -- not bringing charges in the first place -- and no one accuses them of 'nullification' or 'anarchy'.
U.S. Supreme Court: Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816):
The Federal Government "can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the constitution, and the powers actually granted must be such as are expressly given, or given by necessary implication."
(See also City of Boerne v. Flores (1997) and United States v. Lopez (1995))
From Printz v. U.S. (95-1478, 1997) as "published" at

"We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the State's officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the State's officers or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case-by-case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.

"The Federal Government may not compel the States to implement, by legislation or executive action, federal regulatory programs. We warned that this Court never has sanctioned explicitly a federal command to the States to promulgate and enforce laws and regulations, 'The Federal Government,' we held, 'may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.'"
Judge Earl Johnson Jr.:
"Poor people have access to the courts in the same sense that the Christians had access to the lions...."
James Madison, Federalist Paper 44:
"The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding." {V}
Thomas Jefferson, 1789:
"The new Constitution has secured these [individual rights] in the Executive and Legislative departments: but not in the Judiciary. It should have established trials by the people themselves, that is to say, by jury."
Thomas Jefferson, 1820:
"You consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal."
Thomas Jefferson, 1821:
"...the Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing it's noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. ... when all government ... in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."
Thomas Jefferson, 1821:
"The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in...the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow,) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States."
Thomas Jefferson:
"...judges should be withdrawn from the bench whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or fortune; but it saves the Republic..."
Thomas Jefferson:
"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
Thomas Jefferson:
"The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, ... would make the judiciary a despotic branch."
"... the Constitution is an intentionally incomplete, often deliberately indeterminate structure for the participatory evolution of political ideals and governmental practices."
Copied from "The Soldiers Training Manual" issued by the War Department, November 30, 1928:

TM2000-25: 118-120 DEMOCRACY: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic- negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

TM 2000-25: 120-121 REPUBLIC: Authority is derived throughout the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass. Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
James Madison, Federalist Paper 62:
"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?" {V}{LAW}
John Adams:
"It would be an absurdity for jurors to be required to accept the judge's view of the law, against their own opinion, judgement, and conscience."
Adolf Hitler, 1936 Decree:
"A decision of the Fuhrer in the express form of a law or decree may not be scrutinized by a judge. In addition, the judge is bound by any other decision of the Fuhrer, provided that they are clearly intended to declare law."

Alexander Hamilton didn't argue that a select militia made a general militia unnecessary, but rather that a general militia was insufficient by itself to adequately protect the nation: (Federalist 28 or 29?)

"But so far from viewing the matter in the same light with those who object to select corps as dangerous, were the Constitution ratified, and were I to deliver my sentiments to a member of the federal legislature from this State on the subject of a militia establishment, I should hold to him, in substance, the following discourse:

"`The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.'"

Alexander Hamilton, collected in Federalist Paper 28, originally in the 10 January, 1788, "Daily Advertiser":
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defence which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 29 (on the organization of the militia):
"Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year." {V}

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 29 (speaking of standing armies):
"... if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens." {V}

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 79 (regarding payment of Judges):
"In the general course of human nature, A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will." {V}

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188:
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

Alexander Hamilton, from "The Federalist Papers" #84:
"I go further and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

The New York Times (quoted in the Manhattan [Kansas] Mercury), PRIOR to the sexual (and other) harrassment scandal in an Iraqian prison:
Most important of all, the treatment of the Guantanamo detainees is not true to America's guiding principles. "The practice of arbitrary imprisonments," Alexander Hamilton observed in Federalist No. 84, has been "in all ages" one of "the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny." Much has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but one thing that has not is this nation's commitments to freedom, and to the rule of law.
Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, 17 August 1789:
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. ... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
You might also be interested to know how U.S. law defines the militia:

These sections are referred to as 10 USC 311.

Section 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are commissioned officers of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are --
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
by Clayton E. Cramer; Wakefield, NH; Hollowbrook Pub. (1992); ISBN: 0-89341-723-8

Who Are The Militia?

For a contemporary definition of militia, we can look to the Virginia constitution ratification convention:

Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, a worthy member has asked who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country, and if we are not protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c., by our representation? I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but they may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government, all ranks of people are subject to militia duty. Under such a full and equal representation as ours, there can be no ignominious punishment inflicted.[14]

Earlier during the Virginia debates, Mason had warned:

An instance within the memory of some of this house will show us how our militia may be destroyed. Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.[15]

Francis Corbin, arguing for the Constitution, held that the concerns about standing armies were overstated:

The honorable gentleman then urges an objection respecting the militia, who, he tells us, will be made the instrument of tyranny to deprive us of our liberty. Your militia, says he, will fight against you. Who are the militia? Are we not militia? Shall we fight ourselves? No, sir; the idea is absurd. We are also terrified by the dread of a standing army. It cannot be denied that we ought to have the means of defence, and be able to repel an attack.[16]

The following exchange at the Virginia ratifying convention demonstrates that "militia" was recognized as constituting the whole people:

Mr. CLAY wished to be informed why the Congress were to have power to provide for calling forth the militia, to put the laws of the Union into execution.

Mr. MADISON supposed the reasons of this power to be so obvious that they would occur to most gentlemen. If resistance should be made to the execution of the laws, he said, it ought to be overcome. This could be done only in two ways -- either by regular forces or by the people. By one or the other it must unquestionably be done. If insurrections should arise, or invasions should take place, the people ought unquestionably to be employed, to suppress and repel them, rather than a standing army. The best way to do these things was to put the militia on a good and sure footing, and enable the government to make use of their services when necessary.

Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, unless there be some restrictions on the power of calling forth the militia, to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions, we may very easily see that it will produce dreadful oppressions. It is extremely unsafe, without some alterations. It would be to use the militia to a very bad purpose, if any disturbance happened in New Hampshire, to call them from Georgia. This would harass the people so much that they would agree to abolish the use of the militia, and establish a standing army.[17]

Gov. Randolph argued before the Virginia ratifying convention:

In order to provide for our defence, and exclude the dangers of a standing army, the general defence is left to those who are the objects of defence. It is left to the militia, who will suffer if they become the instruments of tyranny.[18]

Alexander Contee Hanson, a member of the Maryland State Convention, also discussed the meaning of "militia". In his pamphlet in support of ratification of the Constitution, he argued that the concerns about standing armies were excessive, and that such standing armies were unavoidable. He concludes that the concerns are "a mere pretext for terrifying you", and that:

It may well be material here to remark, that although a well regulated militia has ever been considered as the true defense of a free republic, there are always honest purposes, which are not to be answered by a militia. If they were, the burthen of the militia would be so great, that a free people would, by no means, be willing to sustain it. If indeed it be possible in the nature of things, that congress shall, at any future period, alarm us by an improper augmentation of troops, could we not, in that case, depend on the militia, which is ourselves.[19]

A committee of the Maryland ratifying convention proposed ratification of the Constitution with a list of amendments, one of which is relevant to the Second Amendment.[20] Among these provisions:

13. That the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, invasion, or rebellion.[21]

In explaining why this amendment was considered so important, the official journal of the convention argued:

This provision to restrain the powers of Congress over the militia, although by no means so ample as that provided by Magna Charta, and the other great fundamental and constitutional laws of Great Britain, (it being contrary to Magna Charta to punish a freeman by martial law, in time of peace, and murder to execute him,) yet it may prove an inestimable check; for all other provisions in favor of the rights of men would be vain and nugatory, if the power of subjecting all men, able to bear arms, to martial law at any moment should remain vested in Congress.[22]

The ratifying convention refused the full list of proposed amendments. In response, the committee requested the convention to ratify the Constitution with what it considered the most important three amendments. The committee explained further its concern:

The first of these objections, concerning the militia, they considered as essential; for, to march beyond the limits of a neighboring state the general militia, which consists of so many poor people that can illy be spared from their families and domestic concerns, by power of Congress, (who could know nothing of their circumstances,) without consent of their own legislature or executive, ought to be restrained.[23]

The militia, then, was the same as the adult freemen of Maryland.

Tench Coxe of Pennsylvania was a member of the Annapolis Convention and Continental Congress. His letters were among the first to appear in favor of ratification of the Constitution, and were widely reprinted in newspapers of the day.[24] Coxe admitted:

The apprehensions of the people have been excited, perhaps by persons with good intentions, about the powers of the new government to raise an army.[25]

After stating that the Constitution contained adequate restrictions on the funding and control of standing armies, Coxe argued that:

The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them -- for our detached situation will seldom give occasion to raise an army, though a few scattered companies may often be necessary.[26]

Richard Henry Lee was appointed to the Constitutional Convention, but declined to serve. His pamphlet against ratification of the Constitution were "one of the most popular" of the time.[27] His concerns about standing armies and the national government's authority to regulate state militias provide both insights into the importance of private arms in restraining national power, and the identity of the people as the militia. In discussing the danger that Congress might not represent the interests of the common people in the levying of taxes and raising of standing armies, Lee admits:

It is true, the yeomanry of the country possess the lands, the weight of property, possess arms, and are too strong a body of men to be openly offended -- and, therefore, it is urged, they will take care of themselves, that men who shall govern will not dare pay any disrespect to their opinions.28

But recognizing that slow change is frequently capable of lulling the population to sleep in a way that radical change will not:

It is easily perceived, that if they have their proper negative upon passing laws in congress, or on the passage of laws relative to taxes and armies, they may in twenty or thirty years be by means imperceptible to them, totally deprived of that boasted weight and strength: This may be done in a great measure by congress, if disposed to do it, by modelling the militia. Should one fifth or one eighth part of the men capable of bearing arms, be made a select militia, as has been proposed, and those the young and ardent part of the community, possessed of but little or no property, and all the others put upon a plan that will render them of no importance, the former will answer all the purposes of an army, while the latter will be defenceless.[29]

Further evidence of the identity of the militia as "the people", and not just a small part of the population, can be found in James Madison's Federalist 46. Madison sought to alleviate concerns about Federal power. To that end, he pointed out that:

The only refuge left for those who prophecy the downfall of the State Governments, is the visionary supposition that the Federal Government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition ....[30]

Madison asserts the political unlikeliness of such an event, but:

Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Federal Government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State Governments with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield in the United States an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.[31]

This is a clear statement that the "militia" was not a small professional military, but the entire male population of the country, "with arms in their hands".

There is other contemporaneous evidence that the Founding Fathers considered the militia to be equivalent to, if not, "the people", at least a very large part of the people. The Militia Act of 1792 declared the:

"militia of the United States" to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated to possess a firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment. This statute, incidentally remained in effect into the early years of the present century as a legal requirement of gun ownership for most of the population of the United States.[32]

The same Congress that debated the Bill of Rights, also debated HR-102, the Militia Bill which became, in the Second Congress, the Militia Act of 1792. Its language clearly shows:

That the militia of the United States shall consist of each and every free, able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who are or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is hereinafter excepted) who shall severally and respectively be enrolled by the captain or commanding officer of the company within whose bounds such citizens shall reside .... That every citizen so enrolled and notified shall within _____ month_ thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock of a bore not smaller than seventeen balls to the pound, a sufficient bayonet and belt, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball, two spare flints, and a knapsack, and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service as is herein after directed ....[33] [Look this up in Annals of Congress]

Debate on the Militia Bill, on December 22, 1790, involved discussion of whether the Congress should define what persons would be exempted from militia duty, or the state legislatures should do so. As part of that debate, Rep. Williamson observed:

When we departed from the straight line of duty marked out for us by the first principles of the social compact, we found ourselves involved in difficulty. The burden of the militia duty lies equally upon all persons; and when we contemplate a departure from this principle, by making exemptions, it involves us in our present embarrassment.[34] [emphasis added]

Rep. Randolph, in arguing for a reduction of the standing army on January 5, 1800, emphasized that standing armies were not only "useless and enormous expense", but contrary to the spirit of the Constitution:

A people who mean to continue free must be prepared to meet danger in person, not to rely upon the fallacious protection of mercenary armies.[35]

Current U.S. law still recognizes this organic relationship between the people and the militia:

311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intent to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are commissioned officers of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are --

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.[36]

Indeed, the current National Guard was organized under Congress' power to "raise and support armies", and not under the "organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia" provision, since the militia "can be called forth only 'to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.'"[37]

More recently, the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990) explicitly recognized that "the people" referred to in the Second Amendment has the same meaning as it does in the rest of the Bill of Rights:

Contrary to the suggestion of amici curiae that the Framers used this phrase "simply to avoid [an] awkward rhetorical redundancy," ... "the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution. The Preamble declares that the Constitution is ordained and established by "the People of the United States." The Second Amendment protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to "the people." See also U.S. Const., Amdt. 1, ("Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble"); Art. I, - 2, cl. 1 ("The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States") (emphasis added). While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that "the people" protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.[38]

Federalists and Antifederalists debating the Constitution in state ratifying conventions, the Militia Act of 1792, current federal and state laws, all agree that the militia was not a standing army, not a "select militia" like the National Guard, but the adult free male citizens of the country.

14 Jonathan Elliot, The Debates of the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, (New York, Burt Franklin: 1888), 3:425-426.
15 Elliot, 3:380.
16 Elliot, 3:112-113.
17 Elliot, 3:378.
18 Elliot, 3:401.
19 Alexander Contee Hanson, Remarks on the Proposed Plan of a Federal Government, 21, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets On The Constitution of the United States, (Brooklyn, NY: 1888), 234-235.
20 Elliot, 2:549.
21 Elliot, 2:552.
22 Elliot, 2:552.
23 Elliot, 2:554.
24 Paul Ford, 133.
25 Tench Coxe, An Examination of the Constitution for the United States of America, 20-21, in Paul Ford, 150-151.
26 Ibid., 21.
27 Paul Ford, 277.
28 Richard Henry Lee, Letters of a Federal Farmer, 25, in Paul Ford, 305.
29 Ibid.
30 Jacob E. Cooke, ed., The Federalist, (Middletown, CT, Wesleyan University Press: 1961), 320.
31 Ibid., 321.
32 Senate Subcommittee on The Constitution Staff, "History: Second Amendment Right To 'Keep and Bear Arms'", 7.
33 Bickford & Veit, 5:1460-1462. Attempts to find the original Militia Act of 1792 as passed by Congress, were fruitless. [I've since found it -- this is old text.]
34 Elliot, 4:423.
35 Elliot, 4:411-412.
36 10 USC -311. Similar provisions exist in many state codes -- see California Military & Veterans Code, sec. 120-123.
37 Senate Subcommittee on The Constitution Staff, "History: Second Amendment Right To 'Keep and Bear Arms'", 11.
38 110 U.S. 1060-1061.
George Mason, Article 13 of The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776:
"That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies in time of peace should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
George Mason, Framer of the Declaration of Rights, Virginia, 1776, which became the basis for the U.S. Bill of Rights, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426:
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them..." (Also see "Debates" at 380.)

Hungarian Traditional:
May you live a thousand years, and I, a thousand less one day; that I might never know the world without you.
C. A. R. Hoare, noted computer scientist:
"I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."
Robert Anson Heinlein, noted author (especially science fiction):
"A generation which ignores history has no past - and no future."
Dave James
"Although I can accept talking scarecrows, lions, and great wizards of emerald cities, I find it hard to believe there is no paperwork involved when your house lands on a witch."
Joseph Sobran, one-time Editor of the National Review (1995):
"If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal.
 If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative.
 If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate.
 If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist."
Voltaire (1764):
"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party [part?] of the citizens to give to the other."
Pericles (430 B.C.):
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you."
"Talk is cheap -- except when Congress does it."
Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903):
"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995):
"What this country needs are more unemployed politicians."
Thomas Jefferson:
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep, voting on what to eat for dinner; Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote."
James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994):
"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
From an eulogy for Joseph P. Overton, as quoted in Lawrence W. Reed's article "Joseph P. Overton: Character for a Free Society" published in the October, 2003, issue of The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty:
"The world needs more men who do not have a price at which they can be bought; who do not borrow from integrity to pay for expediency; who have their priorities straight and in proper order; whose handshake is an ironclad contract; who are not afraid of taking risks to advance what is right; and who are honest in small matters as they are in large ones.

"The world needs more men whose ambitions are big enough to include others; who know how to win with grace and lose with dignity; who do not believe that shrewdness and cunning and ruthlessness are the three keys to success; who still have friends they made twenty years ago; who put principle and consistency above politics or personal advancement; and who are not afraid to go against the grain of popular opinion.

"The world needs more men who do not forsake what is right just to get consensus because it makes them look good; who know how important it is to lead by example, not by barking orders; who would not have you do something they would not do themselves; who work to turn even the most adverse circumstances into opportunities to learn and improve; and who love even those who have done some injustice or unfairness to them. The world, in other words, needs more true leaders. More to the point, the world needs more Joe Overtons."
Take this quiz mentally:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor & actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz; see how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.


The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who cared.
Walter E. Williams, in "Who May Harm Whom"?, published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
".... First, we should acknowledge that we live in a world of harms. The second-hand smoke from my cigarette might harm you. However, your preventing my smoking harms me, since I will have less enjoyment. ....

".... Suppose a beautiful lady is pursued by Jim and Bob. If Jim wins her hand, Bob is harmed, and if Bob wins her hand, Jim is harmed. ...."

[Question by MAC: "Do YOU, the reader of these quotes, think Williams is treating different KINDS of "harm" as being identically "harmful"?"]
Cathy Young, as quoted in Ellen Frankel Paul's review of "Ceasefire! Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality", published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"... men are condemned as a sex with little regard for their individual differences or for the impediments that they suffer as men. Men die on average seven years earlier than women, have no choice about engaging in a lifetime of work to support their families, commit suicide four times as often, suffer ten times as many work-related fatalities, receive much harsher prison sentences for identical crimes, and are the only group in society that it is permissible to caricature."
Benjamin Franklin, as quoted in Paul A. Cleveland's "Economic Illiteracy", published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"Experience keeps a dear school, but the fool will learn in no other."
H. L. Mencken's definition of Puritanism, from Michael Koller's letter-to-the-editor on page 55 of the March, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy."

H. L. Mencken's dictum
"All persons who devote themselves to forcing virtue on their fellow men deserve nothing better than kicks in the pants."
Arthur C. Clarke, 1963:
"It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them."
Sir Martin Rees (astronomer), quoted in "The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence; Listening for Life in the Cosmos" by Thomas R. McDonough and published by Wiley, 1987:
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
Thomas Jefferson, as quoted in the March, 2000, issue of Guns & Ammo, p. 47:
"Falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions"
Robert Heinlein:
TANSTAAFL: "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!"
Isaac Asimov:
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' ('I found it!') but rather 'hmm....that's funny...'"
G. K. Chesterton:
"'My country right or wrong' is like saying, 'My mother drunk or sober.'"
The Talmud, Tractate Berachos; The Soncino Edition, London 1990, p. 62b:
"If one comes to kill you, rise and kill him first."
Boyd Crabtree:
"We are ignorant of what we ignore."
George Bancroft (1845):
"... the Union, which was constituted by consent, must be preserved by love."
George Bernard Shaw:
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

"Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy."

"If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion."
Henry Ford:
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it."
Henry Kissinger:
"It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true."
Henry Spencer:
"Life is so much more meaningful if you take the time to hunt down and strangle twits who post blather to inappropriate newsgroups."
Mason City Globe-Gazette:
"An unbiased person is someone who has the same bias as we have."
Mike Black, General Manager, WEOS(FM) on FCC content restrictions:
"... [W]e are an NPR station but feature modern music, including rap, metal, and alternative rock. We play the balancing act or try to between legal and creative programming."
"Governments make of philosophy a means of serving their state interests, and scholars make a trade of it."
Senator Bill Bradley:
"People are fed up."
Sir Edward Coke, First Institute:
"Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason."

Sir Edward Coke, Reports:
"They [corporations] cannot commit treason ... for they have no souls."
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
T.S. Eliot:
"Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important."
Aristotle, more than 2000 years ago:
"what is common to many is taken least care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than for what they possess in common with others."
Trevor Marshall, "Byte" (May 1988):
"It's not ... how you play the game, but how you design the playing field."
William Jennings Bryan:
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for; but rather something to be achieved."
I have two versions of the following quote; does anyone know which, if either, is correct?

William Pitt, The Younger (1759-1806), British statesman, in a speech to the House of Commons on the India Bill on Nov. 18, 1783. A month later, aged 24, he was appointed prime minister, a position he retained until his resignation 17 years later:
"'Necessity' is the excuse for every infringement of freedom.
It is the argument of the tyrant, and the creed of the slave."

Sentry: "Halt, who goes there?"
Voice : "An American."
Sentry: "Advance and recite the second verse of the Star Spangled Banner."
Voice : "I don't know it."
Sentry: "Proceed, American."
George Carlin:
"I worry about my judgment when anything I believe in or do regularly begins to be accepted by the American public."
From "William H. Hutt: A Centenary Appreciation" by Richard M. Ebeling, as published in the August, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education:

"I would ask him to deliver one or two guest lectures in some of my classes [at the University of Dallas in the mid-1980's], and he almost always graciously consented. In one class I recall Hutt's starting his remarks, in a slightly stammering voice, 'Most economists have their works forgotten after they're dead. I've the unique distinction in having had all my works forgotten while I'm still alive.'"

When Professor Hutt passed away on June 19, 1988, at the age of 88 he left behind a legacy of a dozen books and more than 50 articles. During an academic writing career that began in 1926 he had been a courageous voice for free-market economics at a time when Keynesian economics and interventionist policies dominated both the economics profession and the arena of public policy.
From "The Central Fallacy of Public Schooling", by Daniel Hager, on page 20 of the September, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education:

"When World War II ended, Congress authorized a tax cut to take effect January 1, 1946. YOUNG AMERICA, a publication distributed through public schools, ran an article in its December 13, 1945, issue discussing the measure and presenting a brief history of American taxation. The article concluded with a section titled 'Then & Now: Taxes Serve Us.'

"'One hundred years ago,' the writer stated, 'our government helped the citizens by maintaining order. It did little else. Its expenses were low, and so taxes were low.' He then quoted Benjamin Franklin's observation in POOR RICHARD'S ALMANACK in 1758: 'It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.' The YOUNG AMERICA writer continued, 'In 1940, our Federal, State and local governments taxes us one-fifth of our incomes. But Franklin could not have guessed the tremendous growth of this country.' [Emphasis in original}

"The writer then offered justification for such high taxes: 'As students, our young citizens are given school buildings. Our government does hundreds of things for us in our everyday life.' He finished with a quotation from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holms, Jr.: 'I like to pay taxes. It is purchasing civilization.'

The article vividly illustrates the overriding intent of public schooling, which has always been indoctrination of the young."
Booker T. Washington, from UP FROM SLAVERY: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, published by Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1946, pp. 280 ff.:

"... the truth which I am constantly trying to impress upon our students at Tuskegee -- and on our people through the country, as far as I can reach them with my voice -- that any man, regardless of colour, will be recognized and rewarded just in proportion as he learns to do something well -- learns to do it better than some one else -- however humble the thing may be. As I have said, I believe that my race will succeed in proportion as it learns to do a common thing in an uncommon manner; learns to do a thing so thoroughly that no one can improve upon what it has done; learns to make its services of indispensable value .... When a Negro girl learns to cook, to wash dishes, to sew, to write a book, or a Negro boy learns to groom horses, or to grow sweet potatoes, or to produce butter, or to build a house, or to be able to practice medicine, as well or better than some one else, they will be rewarded regardless of race or colour. In the long run, the world is going to have the best, and any difference in race, religion, or previous history will not long keep the world from what it wants.

"I think that the whole future of my race hinges on the question as to whether or not it can make itself of such indispensable value that the people in the town and the state where we reside will feel that our presence is necessary to the happiness and well-being of the community. No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward. This is a great human law which cannot be permanently nullified."
Mark Twain"
"We, free citizens of the Great Republic, feel an honest pride in her greatness, her strength, her just and gentle government, her wide liberties, her honored name, her stainless history, her unbesmirched flag, her hands clean from oppression of the weak and from malicious conquest, her hospitable door that stands open to the hunted and the persecuted of all nations; we are proud of the judicious respect in which she is held by monarchies which hem her in on every side, and proudest of all of that loft patriotism which we inherited from our fathers, which we have kept pure, and which won our liberties in the beginning and has preserved them unto this day. While patriotism endures the Republic is safe, her greatness is secure, and against them the powers of the earth can not prevail."

"Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have him around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
Jean Rostand"
"Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone and you are a God."
From page 321 of "Cryptoanalysis for Microcomputers" by Caxton C. Foster (University of Massachusetts), Hayden Book Co. Inc., 1982:
"A camel is a horse designed by a committee and an elephant is a mouse built to military specifications."
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
William Shenstone:
"The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one."
Townsend Whelen:
"No man is competent unless he can stalk alone and armed in the wilderness."
M.T. Wyllyamz; 1992; published by Price, Stern, Sloan, Los Angeles:
"LOCK, STOCK, AND BARREL - This phrase, denoting the whole thing, the entirety of it all, is an old expression, used as early as the American Revolutionary War. It comes from the three principle parts of a [muzzle loading] firearm: the barrel, 'the pipe down which the bullets are fired,' the lock, 'the firing mechanism,' and the stock, 'the wooden handle to which the other parts are attached.' Together, lock, stock and barrel referred to the entire gun and the phrase are now used to suggest the whole of anything."
H.L. Mencken in his autobiographical "Newspaper Days":
"I always marveled at how a woman who had never handled a gun could shoot an errant husband straight through the heart on her first try, with one shot. And a trained policeman, trying to shoot an armed bank robber, only ends up hitting a elderly woman waiting for a bus two blocks away."
"There are only three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder 'what happened?'."

"Ships are very safe when in port. Unfortunately a ship's mission has nothing to do with staying in port!"

Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface.

"God may have made men and women, but
Colt made them equal.
Blaise Pascal, 1670:
"It is force, not opinion, that queens its way over the world, but it is opinion that looses the force."
George Washington, Farewell Address:
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
H.L. Mencken:
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
H.L. Mencken:
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
H.L. Mencken:
"The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful."
Henry David Thoreau:
"I have lived some thirty years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors."
Henry David Thoreau:
"In times when the government imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also the prison."
James Madison, 1788:
"As the courts are generally the last in making the decision [on laws], it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character. This makes the Judiciary dept paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper."
James Madison, Federalist Paper 10:
"Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." {V}
Mark Twain:
"A newspaper is not just for reporting the news, it's to get people mad enough to do something about it."
Mark Twain:
"If you can't stand solitude, perhaps others find you boring as well."
Thomas Jefferson:
"We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
"When all else fails, read the instructions."

From "If Alan Greenspan Lived in Huntsville, Alabama!" by Ted Roberts, in the August, 2002, issue of The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty [I've not left anything out; all elipses were in the original article; --MAC]:
"And why is it that every grammar-school student of economics who can make change properly understands the futility of central planning, but nobody trembles when we manipulate the price of money itself -- the very oxygen of the economy. If Karl Marx rose from his underworld grave all drippy with slime like some swamp monster ... if he lurched into the Fed's meeting and seated himself next to Alan Greenspan ... if he held up his hand like a polite parliamentarian ... and upon recognition suggested the Fed set the price of pickles, they would laugh him out of the room. But with money, it's okay?"
Samuel Insull:
"If two men had walked down Fifth Avenue a year ago -- that would have been March 1933 -- and one of them had a pint of whiskey in his pocket and the other had a hundred dollars in gold coin, the one with the whiskey would have been called a criminal and the one with the gold an honest citizen. If these two men, like Rip Van Winkle, slept for a year and again walked down Fifth Avenue, the man with the whiskey would be called an honest citizen and the one with the gold coin a criminal."
Unknown cowboy:
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket.
Andrew Jackson, 8th Annual Message to Congress (Dec 5, 1836):
"It is apparent from the whole context of the Constitution as well as the history of the times which gave birth to it, that it was the purpose of the Convention to establish a currency consisting of the precious metals. These were adopted by a permanent rule excluding the use of a perishable medium of exchange, such as certain agricultural commodities recognized by the statutes of some States as tender for debts, or the still more pernicious expedient of paper currency."
"Money being naturally barren, to make it breed money is preposterous, and a perversion from the end of its institution, which was only to serve the purpose of exchange and not of increase.... Usury is most reasonably detested as the increase arises from the money itself, and not by employing it to the purpose for which it was intended."
Bruce A. Budlong, Dept. of the Treasury (1977):
"The same monetary system that was established on April 2, 1792, is in effect today."
Calvin Coolidge:
"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody."
Congressman Jerry Voorhis:
"The banks -- commercial banks and the Federal Reserve -- create all the money of this nation and its people pay interest on every dollar of that newly created money. Which means that private banks exercise unconstitutionally, immorally, and ridiculously the power to tax the people. For every newly created dollar dilutes to some extent the value of every other dollar already in circulation."
Grover Cleveland:
"At times like the present, when the evils of unsound finance threaten us, the speculator may anticipate a harvest gathered from the misfortune of others, the capitalist may protect himself by hoarding or may even find profit from the fluctuations of values, but the wage earner - the first to be injured by a depreciated currency - is practically defenseless."
Hon. Larry Moritz, Municipal Judge, Spearville Kansas (1981):
"If Congress won't keep its part of the Constitutional bargain and coin money of gold and silver like Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 commands, there's no way my court can require anyone to pay fines. I'm not here to protect certain people's investments, I'm here to carry out the mandate of the U.S. and the Kansas Constitutions."
Horace Greeley:
"While boasting of our noble deeds, we are careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which, though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery."

Horace Greely:
"The way to resume [specie payments] is to resume."
John Maynard Keynes, "The Economic Consequences of The Peace":
"By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

"Economic privation proceeds by easy stages, and so long as men suffer it patiently the outside world cares little. Physical efficiency and resistance to disease slowly diminish, but life proceeds somehow, until the limit of human endurance is reached at last and counsels of despair and madness stir the sufferers from the lethargy which precedes the crisis. Then man shakes himself and the bonds of custom are loosed. The power of ideas is sovereign, and he listens to whatever instruction of hope, illusion, or revenge is carried to him on the air."

It is historically true that no order of society ever perishes save by its own hand."

"If governments should refrain from regulation ... the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer."
President Garfield:
"Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all commerce and industry."
Rt. Hon. Reginald McKenna, Secretary of the Exchequer, Midland Bank of England (1920):
"Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people."
Salmon P. Chase (1862):
"My agency in promoting the passage of the National Bank Act was the greatest financial mistake of my life. It has built up a monopoly which affects every interest in the country. It should be repealed, but before that can be accomplished, the people will be arrayed on one side and the banks on the other, in a contest such as we have never before seen in this country."
Senator Carter Glass (1983):
"I never thought the Federal Reserve System would prove such a failure. The country is in a state of irretrievable bankruptcy."
Series 1928 Federal Reserve Note:
"Redeemable in gold on demand at the United Stares Treasury or in gold or lawful money at any Federal Reserve Bank."

Series 1934 Federal Reserve Note:
"This note is legal tender for all debts public and private and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury or at any Federal Reserve Bank."

Series 1963 Federal Reserve Note:
"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."
Thomas A. Edison:
"People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project (muscle Shoals Dam) nor contribute a pound of material, will collect more money from the United States than will the People who supply all the material and do all the work. This is the terrible thing about interest ... But here is the point: If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution, pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People. If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value of gold. Interest is the invention of Satan."
"Miracle on Main Street":
"Who could have foreseen that between 1923 and 1929, the Federal Reserve would print up a 62 per cent inflation and then suddenly stop, whiplashing the country into the crash of '29, followed by a numbing depression that lasted more than a decade?"
"The Pennsylvania Gazette" (Dec. 16, 1789):
"Since the federal constitution has removed all danger of our having a paper tender, our trade is advanced fifty percent. Our monied people can trust their cash abroad, and have brought their coin into circulation."
"The Wall Street Journal", (24 Sep 1971):
"A pro-International Monetary Fund Seminar of eminent economists couldn't agree on what 'money' is or how banks create it."
Robert H. Hemphill, Credit manager of Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta, Georgia:
"This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon."
President John Adams:
"All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise, not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."
Benjamin Disraeli:
"The world is governed by far different personages than what is imagined by those not behind the scenes."
Congressman Jerry Voorhis:
"The banks -- commercial banks and the Federal Reserve -- create all the money of this nation and its people pay interest on every dollar of that newly created money. Which means that private banks exercise unconstitutionally, immorally, and ridiculously the power to tax the people. For every newly created dollar dilutes to some extent the value of every other dollar already in circulation."
Abraham Lincoln, in a letter written to William Elkin less than five months before he was assassinated:
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."
Horace Greeley - (1811-1872) founder of the New York Tribune:
"We have stricken the (slave) shackles from four million human beings and brought all laborers to a common level not so much by the elevation of former slaves as by practically reducing the whole working population, white and black, to a condition of serfdom. While boasting of our noble deeds, we are careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which, though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery."
Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850):
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
Thomas Jefferson:
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks], will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

"The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction .... I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity ... is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
Woodrow Wilson:
"A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world; no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men."

Woodrow Wilson - In his book entitled The New Freedom (1913):
"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."
William McAdoo, President Wilson's national campaign vice-chairman, wrote in "Crowded Years" (1974):
"The fact is that there is a serious danger of this country becoming a Pluto-democracy; that is, a sham republic with the real government in the hands of a small clique of enormously wealthy men, who speak through their money, and whose influence, even today, radiates to every corner of the United States."
President Rutherford B. Hayes:
"This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations."
Richard Barnet and John Cavanagh, "Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order", reviewed by R.C. Longworth - Chicago Tribune senior writer (March 27, 1994):

"Global production is not beginning to employ the growing number of people who want jobs. Even those with jobs find that the pressures of globalization are pushing wages down .... This flow (of money), coupled with the ease with which companies move jobs around the globe, has shattered the ability of national governments to control their own economies .... The trends can only accelerate ... (resulting in) even moral outrage ... where traditional ways of life are under assault by international forces. This understandable reaction, by people who have lost control of their lives to vast impersonal forces, is not more than a futile gesture in a world where no country can afford the luxury of dropping out."

"The balance of power has shifted in recent years from territorially bound governments to companies that can roam the world."
Prof. Carroll Quigley, in his book Tragedy and Hope:
"The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank ... sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."
Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, August 5, 1995:
"In a small Swiss city sits an international organization so obscure and secretive .... Control of the institution, the Bank for International Settlements, lies with some of the world's most powerful and least visible men: the heads of 32 central banks, officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen."
Sir Josiah Stamp - President of the Bank of England in the 1920's, and the second richest man in Britain:
"Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits."
Rep. Louis McFadden - (Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency) quoted in the New York Times (June 1930):
"The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is eager to enter into close relationship with the Bank for International Settlements .... The conclusion is impossible to escape that the State and Treasury Departments are willing to pool the banking system of Europe and America, setting up a world financial power independent of and above the Government of the United States .... The United States under present conditions will be transformed from the most active of manufacturing nations into a consuming and importing nation with a balance of trade against it."

Rep. McFadden testified in Congress (1933). There were at least two attempts on his life by gunfire. He died of suspected poisoning after attending a banquet:
"[The Great Depression resulting from the Stock Market crash] was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence .... The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of us all."

"The Federal Reserve [Banks] are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this Nation is run by the International Bankers."
President James A. Madison:
"History shows that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible to maintain control over governments by controlling the money and the issuance of it."
Money baron Bernard Baruch in Baruch: The Public Years (1960):
"Nothing did more to spur the boom in stocks than the decision made by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, in the spring of 1927, to cut the rediscount rate. Benjamin Strong, Governor of the bank, was chief advocate of this unwise measure, which was taken largely at the behest of Montagu Norman of the Bank of England .... At the time of the Banks action I warned of its consequences ... I felt that sooner or later the market had to break."
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812):
"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes the laws ...."
Benjamine A. Rooge:
"Give me control over a man's economic actions, and hence over his means of survival, and except for a few occasional heroes, I'll promise to deliver to you men who think and write and behave as I want them to."
Rothschild Brothers of London:
"The few who can understand the system (Federal Reserve) will be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class; while on the other hand, the great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."
H.L. Birum, Sr., in the "American Mercury", August 1957, p. 43:
"The Federal Reserve Bank is nothing but a banking fraud and an unlawful crime against civilization. Why? Because they "create" the money made out of nothing, and our Uncle Sap government issues their "Federal Reserve Notes" and stamps our government approval with NO obligation whatever from these Federal Reserve Banks, Individual Banks or National Banks, etc."
Alan Greenspan [now Fed Chairman] wrote in 1966:
"[The] abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit .... In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holdings illegal, as was done in the case of gold .... The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves .... [This] is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the 'hidden' confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights."
President Thomas Jefferson:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."

Thomas Jefferson, in opposition to the chartering of the first Bank of the United States (1791):
"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that "all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are preserved to the states or to the people.

" ... To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill (chartering the first Bank of the United States), have not been delegated to the United States by the Constitution."
Abraham Lincoln:
"The money power preys on the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes."
President James A. Garfield:
"Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce."
The following statements were made during hearings of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, September 30, 1941. Members of the Federal Reserve Board call themselves "Governors". Governor Eccles was Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board at the time of these hearings:

Congressman Patman: "How did you get the money to buy those two billion dollars worth of Government securities in 1933?"

Eccles: "We created it."

Congressman Patman: "Out of what?"

Governor Eccles: "Out of the right to issue credit money."

Patman: "And there is nothing behind it, is there, except our Government's credit?"

Eccles: "That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money."

Congressman Fletcher: "Chairman Eccles, when do you think there is a possibility of returning to a free and open market, instead of this pegged and artificially controlled financial market we now have?"

Governor Eccles: "Never, not in your lifetime or mine."
Congressman Wright Patman, Chairman, House Banking Committee:
"In the United States today we have in effect two governments .... We have the duly constituted Government .... Then we have an independent, uncontrolled and uncoordinated government of the Federal Reserve System, operating the money powers which are reserved to Congress by the Constitution."
Woodrow Wilson:
"A great industrial Nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world -- no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men."
Daniel Webster, Speech on Hamilton:
"He smote the rock of the national resources and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprang upon its feet."
George Washington:
"If ever again our nation stumbles upon unfunded paper, it shall surely be like death to our body politic. This country will crash."
Merrill Jenkins, Inventor (1958), died in 1979:
"God forbid, if anyone were to come out with a copper slug with a para-magnetic surface, it would look like silver to my [vending] machine."
Source unknown:
"Those unaware are unaware of being unaware." Source unknown:
"We have world government now! Our monetary system would not work if all of the world's bankers were not in collusion."
Thomas Jefferson:
"I deny the power of the general government to making paper money, or anything else a legal tender."

"If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied."

Ayn Rand, quoted in "No one's property will be safe if homeowners lose" by Larry Salzman and Alex Epstein, Providence Journal, and printed in The Manhattan [Kansas] Mercury on 24 February, 2005, page A7:
"there is no such entity as 'the public,' since the public is merely a number of individuals ... The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others."
Douglas Casey, Classmate of W.J. Clinton at Georgetown University (1992):
"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries."
G. Gordon Liddy:
"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.

SOCIALIST You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.

You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

You have two cows.
The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

You have two cows.
The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.

You have two cows.
You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have down-sized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent-quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes however many cows you really have.

You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.

You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.

You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one.
Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best-looking cow.

You have a cow and a bull.
The bull is depressed.
It has spent its life living a lie.
It goes away for two weeks.
It comes back after a taxpayer-paid sex-change operation.
You now have two cows.
One makes milk; the other doesn't.
You try to sell the transgender cow.
Its lawyer sues you for discrimination.
You lose in court.
You sell the milk-generating cow to pay the damages.
You now have one rich, transgender, non-milk-producing cow.
You change your business to beef. PETA pickets your farm.
Jesse Jackson makes a speech in your driveway.
Cruz Bustamante calls for higher farm taxes to help "working cows".
Hillary Clinton calls for the nationalization of 1/7 of your farm "for the children".
Gray Davis signs a law giving your farm to Mexico.
The L.A. Times quotes five anonymous cows claiming you groped their teats.
You declare bankruptcy and shut down all operations.
The cow starves to death.
The L.A. Times' analysis shows your business failure is Bush's fault.
History is replete with examples where a single vote or a small percentage of votes spelled the difference between victory and defeat in an election or on piece of legislation. Consider the following:
* In 1778, one vote gave America the English language instead of German
* In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union
* In 1878, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the United States
* In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked
* In 1994, a race for the U.S. House was originally decided by four votes
* In 1998, a U.S. Senate race was decided by 400 votes out of 400,000 cast
* In 2002, an anti-gun candidate in a state primary race in Arizona won by five votes
* In February 2004, Wisconsin Governor Doyle`s (D) veto of Right-to-Carry was sustained by only one vote
* In the 2000 presidential election, 537 votes in Florida ensured the election of George W. Bush over Al Gore.
From "Government Ethics: If Only Angels Were to Govern!" by Stuart C. Gilman, PHI KAPPA PHI FORUM, Vol. 83, No., 2, p. 33: More thanb a thousand years ago, a great Chinese sage is credited with the following aphorism:
Tzu Kung asked for a definition of good government.
The Master replied: "It consists in providing enough food to eat, in keeping enough soldiers to guard the State, and in winning the confidence of the people."
TK: "And if one of these three things had to be sacrificed, which should go first?"
The Master replied: "Sacrifice the soldiers."
TK: "And if of the two remaining things one had to be sacrificed, which should it be?"
The Master replied: "let it be the food. From the beginning men have always had to die. But without the confidence of the people no government can stand at all."
Richard Nixon, in his second Inaugural Address (1973):
"The time has passed when America will make every other nation's conflict our own, or make every other nation's future our responsibility, or presume to tell the people of other nations how to manage their own affairs."
From: "Kevin Baker" <>
"If PRO is the opposite of CON, then the opposite of PROGRESS is...?"
Jonathan Rauch, in "Bush And Gore: Perfect Winners of a Perfect Race. Almost", from the National Journal, March 18, 2000:

Remember the four basic rules of presidential politics:
Be honest.
Be smart.
Don't be too smart.
Don't be too honest.

Why do liberals trust the bad guys to be good
and expect the law-abiding to be bad?
Martin Luther King, Jr., as quoted in the Summer/Fall, 1998, issue of "the FIJActivist", the Newsletter of the Fully Informed Jury Association:
"Cowardice asks the question 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question 'Is it politic?'
Vanity asks the question 'Is it popular?'
But conscience asks the question 'Is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular - but one must take it because it is right.

"One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws - and unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."
Dr. Tibor R. Machan, professor of philosophy at Auburn University, in "The Welfare State and the News, as reported in the December, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
Except for the editors of the few papers and magazines that champion liberty, none of those in charge will encourage truly critical scrutiny of mainstream political affairs. None will raise such questions as "Why should government deprive the successful of the fruits of their success, or even the fortunate of their good fortune, just because others do not enjoy the same?"

Or who among those who feed off the welfare state so successfully would ever raise the question: "Mr. President, if we spend borrowed money our children will have to be taxed to repay, does this not violate the principle 'No taxation without representation'?"

Would any such journalist raise the question to some politician or bureaucrat: "If in the criminal law it is wrong to punish people unless they have been proven guitly of a crime, why is it right that government regulations may impose enormous economic burdens on people who have done nothing wrong? Isn't this a kind of prior restraint that has no place in a free society?"

What about the question: "If the 14th Amendment prohibits the unequal application of the law, why are producers prohibited from discriminating, while consumers can do so with total impunity? And why can government regulate every profession but the press, arts, and clergy -- is this not a built-in inequality, a state-sponsored discrimination?"
Ira Cushing:
"By the way, have you heard the argument against term limits:
'We already have term limits; they're called elections'?

A good reply is that the purpose of term limits is not to fire your own congressman; it's to fire everybody else's congressman. If the prevailing rules amount to a spoils system, our own best interest is served by retaining as much influence as possible in dividing up the spoils. Our even greater interest is served by not having a spoils system at all."
Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the U.S.A.", 1921:
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered 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."

"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"
Algernon Sidney (1672):
"The only ends for which governments are constituted, and obedience rendered to them, are the obtaining of justice and protection; and they who cannot provide for both give the people a right of taking such ways as best please themselves, in order to their own safety."
Benjamin Disraeli:
"The world is governed by far different personages than what is imagined by those not behind the scenes."
Bob Emmers, "Orange County Register":
"The task of government in this enlightened time does not extend to actually dealing with problems. Solving problems might put bureaucrats out of work. No, the task of government is to make it look as though problems have been solved, while continuing to keep the maximum number of consultants and bureaucrats employed dealing with them."
David Veal (Usenet):
"For every action there is an equal, and opposite, government program"
Douglas MacArthur, General, 1957:
"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency .... Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real."
Frank Herbert:
"Governments do not know what they cannot do until after they cease to be governments. Each government carries the seeds of its own destruction."

"Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit. This is the fine point on which all the legal professions of history have based their job security."

"Prisons are needed only to provide the illusion that courts and police are effective. They're a kind of job insurance."
"You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act."
Hermann Goering, 1936:
"Naturally the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along .... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Justice Thurgood Marshall, US supreme Court:
"The most efficient form of government is a dictatorship."
Leo Masters:
"I do not feel, based on my studies, that the government has written any mysterious statutes to intentionally fraud or extort anything from the citizens. I do feel that it is a classic case of adopting customs during a period when a lot of legislation was taking place changing the course of life in the United States. The combination of illiteracy between government and citizens just followed these customs. We have transpired into 50 years of chaos and confusion which is only going to get straightened out through a series of effective and well set cases in the courts."
"The deterioration of a government begins almost always by a decay of its principles."
Tacitus, 56-120 A.D.:
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
OR [I've seen it both ways; --MAC]
"[The] more corrupt the government, the greater the number of laws."
Woodrow Wilson:
"A great industrial Nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world -- no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a government of conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men."
Orange County Register:
"Californians seem to understand that government's major function is to entertain. No matter who is elected, the politicos end up swindling us, wasting our tax money on pork-barrel projects. The only way to reclaim at least some of that lost money is to elect politicians who put on a good show."
Quoted from "An Open Letter to the California Legislature" by Charles W. Baird, as published in the August, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, pp. 63-64:

As a student of public choice theory, I understand why you support SB 1241, a mandatory agency-shop bill for California State University faculty. After all, in the words of Ambrose Bierce,
"politics is
a strife of interests
masquerading as
a contest of principles."
The California Faculty Association supports you in the political marketplace, so it is quite natural for you to give them the power to extract more dues money from faculty. If they have more dues money, they can give more to you. I imagine from your perspective this is a virtuous circle.
From the Pottawatomie County Republican Committee's "Statement of Values" distributed at the Pottawatomie County (Kansas) Fair in August, 1999:

An unchecked bureaucracy expands uncontrollably, resulting in unnecessary regulation, higher spending, and ever-increasing tax burdon on the private sector.

Elected officials who become entrenched in the system tend to place re-election and self-enrichment before the best interests of their constituents. The best means of preventing and eliminating "careerists" are term limits (either self-imposed or mandated constitutionally) and leveling the re-election playing field.

Large, centralized government is the primary destructive force of our Democracy. Increasing federal dictates to the states and state dictates to the counties and municipalities are leading the county down the Socialistic Path.
H. L. Mencken, Newspaper Columnist, "In Defense of Women" (1920), quoted in the August, 1999, Reader's Digest article "What's Wrong With Global Warming?" by Dennis T. Avery:
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), as quoted by Sheldon Richman in a review of the book "The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken" by Terry Teachout in the June, 2003, issue of The Freeman/Ideas on Liberty:
"We suffer most when the White House bursts with ideas."
Edmund Burke:
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."

By one vote:

1649: Charles I of England was beheaded by vote of the Tribunal.

1778: The Continental Congress defeated a bill making German the official language of the United States of America.

1800: Thomas Jefferson was elected by the House of Representatives after a tie with Aaron Burr in the Electoral College.

1824: John Quincy Adams became President over Andrew Jackson.

1845: Texas became a state.

1850: California became the 31st state.

1859: Oregon became the 33rd state.

1868: President Andrew Johnson was acquitted at his impeachment trial.

1876: Rutherford B. Hayes was elected by the House of Representatives after a tie in the Electoral College; the Indiana congressman who put Hayes over the top had also won his own seat by one vote!

1889: Washington became the 42nd state.

1890: Idaho became the 43rd state.

1940: The World War II draft was passed just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor was bombed.

1948: Truman carried Ohio and California by an average of one vote/precinct.

1980: Ronald Reagan won ten states with margins of less than twenty thousand votes in each. If he had lost those states, he still would have won. However, if that kind of switch had occurred in previous elections, here is what would have happened: 1960: Nixon would have beaten Kennedy. 1976: Ford would have beaten Carter. Two elections (Truman-Dewey and Nixon-Humphrey in 1968) would have been thrown into the House of Representatives.

1993: Clinton's tax increase passed.
Samuel Adams, Founding Father & American Patriot:
"... it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds ...."
Lawrence W. Reed, in "Where Are the Omelets", published on pages 17-18 of the October, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education:

"Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly 'reforming' their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they're always busy 'reforming' is an implicit admisison that they didn't get it right the first 50 times."
Patrick Henry at the Virginia Convention, 1788, as quoted by Thomas M. Moneure, Jr., in "Virginia's Great Dissenters", printed in the March, 1999, issue of American Guardian, pp 38-40:
"You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government."
After Senator Bob Smith tried to filibuster the anti-gun crime bill in 1999 -- and lost -- he responded to Senators this way (all quotations are from the Congressional Record of July 28, 1999):

On Missing The Real Problem In Society:
"What happened at Littleton was a terrible tragedy. People used this on the Senate floor and mounted an unprecedented assault on the second amendment rights of law-abiding American gun owners. Not one law-abiding American citizen had anything to do with Columbine, not one .... They cast the blame, though, on the law-abiding gun owner .... The problem is guns, they said, not the culture. It is interesting that we take prayer and values out of the schools. What comes in? Violence, drugs, condoms. Hello, America, wake up."

On Trampling The Constitution:
"[The Second Amendment] is pretty clear: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.' Tell me where there is anything in that amendment that allows us to do this under the Constitution of the United States of America? I stood right there where the pages are sitting and took the oath twice when I came to the Senate to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that is what I am doing now, and that is what I will continue to do.

"There is nothing in those words about background checks. There is nothing in there about the people having a right to keep and bear certain kinds of arms. There is nothing in there that says handguns can be kept or not kept where shotguns can. Nothing. I sure do not see anything in there that gives Congress any leeway whatsoever to infringe second amendment rights whenever some group of anti-gun zealots think what they like to call the 'public interest' requires it. The public interest is to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. That is what the public interest is and nothing else. You trample on the Constitution; you trample on the public interest."

On His Intent To Continue Filibustering The Anti-gun Crime Bill:
"I am proud to stand up for the second amendment in the Chamber of the Senate, and I will stand up here again and again, year after year, month after month, whatever it takes to make this case because I know I am right, and I am going to continue to do it. When this bill [S. 254] comes out of conference, I am going to filibuster it again for as long as I can. I am going to do everything I can to kill it, whatever I can do. I am only one person."
Can you imagine working at the following Company? It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics:

29 have been accused of spousal abuse 7 have been arrested for fraud 19 have been accused of writing bad checks 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses 3 have been arrested for assult 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges 8 have been arrested for shoplifting 21 are current defendants in law suits 84 were stopped for drunk driving in 1998 alone.

Can you guess which organization this is? Give up?

It's the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line.
John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon "Cato's Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects" [London, 1755]:
"Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame."
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister:
"...the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious."

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
Oliver Cromwell in dissolving Parliament, 1653:
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"
Colin Greenwood:
"A cardinal rule of bureaucracy is that it is better to extend an error than to admit a mistake."
Lyndon Baines Johnson, former Senator and President:
"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered."
R. Buckminster Fuller:
"The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun."
President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972):
"If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military."
William Shakespeare; Henry VI, Act IV, Scene II, spoken by Dick the Butcher:
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
Justice Robert H. Jackson:
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
"It is often easier to apologize for your actions than to ask permission to do those actions."
Arthur Hays Sulzberger, 1891-1968, American newspaper publisher:
"Obviously, a man's judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it. Give him the truth and he may still go wrong when he has the chance to be right, but give him no news or present him only with distorted and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning process, and make him something less than a man."
William H. Peterson, from February, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
"Nothing succeeds like a failed government program."
Daniel Webster:
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
George Washington, Farewell Address:
"Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."
George Washington, in his Farewell Address (17 September, 1796; from Commager's "Documents of American History", p. 174; cited in the February, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
"The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. ... It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it."
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens):
"Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress.
But I repeat myself."

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 1866:
"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."

"There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress."
Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address (as reported in the February, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education), exhorted us to pursue what he termed an essential principle of our government:
"... peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
Thomas Paine, in Common Sense:
"Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness."
56 L.Ed. 2d. 895 -- Def. of "person": "Statutes employing the word "person" are ordinarily construed to exclude the sovereign."
Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kamph":
"If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, then you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things."

John Locke, 1632-1704; Second (?) Treatise Concerning Civil Government:
"... every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. .... The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property."

Government "can never have a Power to take to themselves the whole or any part of the Subjects Property, without their own consent. For this would be in effect to leave them no Property at all." .... Rulers "must not raise Taxes on the Property of the People, without the Consent of the People, given by themselves, or their Deputies."

"'Tis a Mistake to think this Fault [tyranny] is proper only to Monarchies; other Forms of Government are liable to it, as well as that. For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impovrish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many."

"The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves."

"... whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society, and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty."

John Locke, "True end of government", late 1600's; chapter 28 "Of Tyranny", p. 202:
"Wherever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another's harm; an whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate, and acting without authority may be opposed, as any other man who by force invades the right of another. This is acknowledged in subordinate magistrates. He that hath authority to seize my person in the street may be opposed as a thief and a robber if he endeavours to break into my house to execute a writ, notwithstanding that I know he has such a warrant and such a legal authority as will empower him to arrest me abroad. An why this should not hold in the highest, as well as in the most inferior magistrate, I would galdly be informed ...."
Justice Miller, US supreme Court, Loan Association vs. Topeka, 20 Wall (87 US) 664 (1874):
"To lay with one hand the power of government on the property of a citizen, and with the other to bestow it on favored individuals ... is none the less robbery because it was done under the forms of law and is called taxation."
Quoted from the article "In the Absence of Private Property Rights" by Dwight R. Lee, Ramsey Professor of Economics in the Terry Business School at the University of Georgia, as published in THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, in July, 1999, pp.46-47:

".... In the United States alone, approximately 25 million chickens are killed and eaten every day. It has been said that the difference between chicken hawks and people is that when chicken hawks eat more chickens, there are fewer chickens, but when people eat more chickens there are more chickens. The more fundamental difference is that people extablish private property rights and, as a result, take the future into consideration; chicken hawks don't."
From the Pottawatomie County Republican Committee's "Statement of Values" distributed at the Pottawatomie County (Kansas) Fair in August, 1999:

Ownership of property is a basic right of all Americans and that right should not be diminished by excessive taxation, regulation, or condemnation without adequate compensation.
Abstracted from an editorial by Vin Suprynowicz (, assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, perhaps written for the November, 1999, thanksgiving:

.... this is the day we echo the thanks of the Pilgrims, who gathered in the autumn of 1621 to celebrate the first bountiful harvest in a land of plenty.

That first winter in the New World had been a harsh one, of course. Half the colonists had died. But the survivors were hard-working and tenacious, and - with the aid of a little agricultural expertise graciously on loan from the Wampanoag, the Narragansett, and the Mohegan - were able to thank the Creator for an abundant harvest, that second autumn in a new land.

The only problem with the tale, unfortunately, is that it's not true.

Oh, the part about the Indians graciously showing the new settlers how to raise beans and corn is right enough. But in a November, 1985 article in "The Free Market," monthly publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, author and historian Richard J. Marbury pointed out: "This official story is ... a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving's real meaning."

The problem with the official story, Mr. Marbury points out, is that "The harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves."

In his "History of Plymouth Plantation," the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the fields, preferring instead to steal. Bradford recalled for posterity that the colony was riddled with "corruption and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

Although in the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622 "all had their hungry bellies filled," that relief was short-lived, and deaths from illness due to malnutrition continued.

Then, Mr. Marbury points out, "something changed." By harvest time, 1623, Gov. Bradford was reporting that "Instead of famine now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, the first governor wrote, "Any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." Why, by 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists actually began EXPORTING corn.

What on earth had happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." And what solution was decided upon? It turned out to be simple enough. In 1623 Gov. Bradford simply "gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit."

What? Wasn't that the American way from the start?

Not at all. The Mayflower Compact had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock."

A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed - a concept so attractive on its surface that it would be adopted as the equally disastrous ruling philosophy for all of Eastern Europe, some 300 years later.

"This 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving," Marbury explains.

Gov. Bradford writes that during those terrible first three years "Young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Since "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak," the strong men simply refused to work, and the amount of food produced was never adequate.

In historian Marbury's words, Gov. Bradford "abolished socialism" in the colony, "replacing it with a free market, and that was the end of famines."

In fact, this lesson had to be learned over and over again in early America. "Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results," Marbury notes. "At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first 12 months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called 'The Starving Time,' the population fell from 500 to 60.

"Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was 'plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.' He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, 'we reaped not so much corn from the labors of 30 men as three men have done for themselves now.' "

They say those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Sadly this was a lesson the people of Russia had to learn all over again - at the pain of equally devastating starvation and penury - in our own century. By the 1980s, when the discredited and bloodstained rulers of Russia finally threw up their hands and allowed farmers to raise private crops and sell them for profit on a mere 10 percent of their lands, once again more crops were produced on that 10 percent of the land than on the 90 percent devoted to "collective agriculture," the system under which - as the bitter Russian joke would have it - "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us."

Yes, America is a bounteous land. But the source of that bounty - and the good fortune for which we annually gather to give thanks - lies not merely in the fertility of the soil or the frequency of the rains - for there is hardly a more fertile breadbasket on the face of the earth than the Soviet Ukraine.

No, the source of our bounty was the discovery made by the Pilgrims in 1623, that when men are allowed to hold their own land as private property, to eat what they raise and keep the profits from any surplus they sell, the entire community becomes one of prosperity and plenty. Whereas, an economic system which grants the lazy and the shiftless some "right" to prosper off the looted fruits of another man's labor, under the guise of enforced "compassion," will inevitably descend into envy, theft, squalor, and starvation.

Though many would still incrementally impose on us some new variant of the "noble socialist experiment," this is still at heart a free country with a bedrock respect for the sanctity of private property - and a land bounteous precisely because it's free. It's for that we give thanks - the corn and beans and turkey serving as mere symbols of that true and underlying blessing - on the fourth Thursday of each November.

God bless America - land of the free.

George Bush, to Robert Sherman of American Atheist Press at the Chicago airport, August 27 1988. The exchange appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera on Monday February 27, 1989. It can also be found in "Free Enquiry" magazine, Fall 1988 issue, Volume 8, Number 4, page 16:
"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
Mohandas Gandhi:
"Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good."
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to his newphew Peter Carr (Aug. 10, 1787):
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear .... Do not be frightened from this inquiry from any fear of its consequences. If it ends in the belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise ...."

On a church marquee near Milton, FL, in Feb, 2000:
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

In a letter to Thomas Law (June 13, 1814):
"If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist?

"It is idle to say, as some do, that no such being [i.e., an "atheist'] exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonsings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D'Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation that the love of God."
[The rest of this letter is also interesting because Jefferson goes on to review the various non-religious sources of morality that philosophers have suggested in the past.]
In the arguments over the validity of the Theory of Quantum Mechanics, Dr. Albert Einstein uttered his now oft-quoted line, "God does not play dice with the Universe", but rarely quoted is Dr. Neils Bohr's response, "Albert, stop telling God what to do."
George Washington and John Adams, Diplomatic message to Malta:
"The United States is in no way founded upon the Christian religion."
James Madison, in his 1785 "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments", written in response to a proposed bill ("Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion") for a tax to fund Christian denominations in Virginia, as quoted in Barry Loberfeld's "Freedom of Education: A Civil Liberty" printed in the August, 2001, issue of IDEAS ON LIBERTY, pp. 26-32:
"The Bill violates that equality which ought to be the basis of every law ... by subjecting some to peculiar burdens ... [and] granting to others peculiar exemptions."

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people."

"Resistance to tyranny is service to God."

James Madison in a March 19, 1823, letter to Edward Everett, as quoted in Barry Loberfeld's "Freedom of Education: A Civil Liberty" printed in the August, 2001, issue of IDEAS ON LIBERTY, pp. 26-32:
"[T]here are causes in the human breast, which ensure the perpetuity of religion without the aid of the law."
John Adams, letter to Jefferson:
"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
John Adams, letter to John Taylor:
"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning... And since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collusion with dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."
Thomas Jefferson, 1814:
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own"
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Adams, 11 Apr 1823:
"The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
Thomas Jefferson, letter to W. Short, 1820:
"[Of Jesus] Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the the most lovely benevolence, and others, again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the dross; restore to him the former and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus."
Thomas Jefferson:
"As for the right to suicide..if this is a "Christian Nation", then only God theoretically has the right to take a life. It's a touchy issue. I personally believe you have every right to suicide, but only if you succeed. Failures should be punished. Now, is it a Christian nation? I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason":
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."

From the 108th Congress (1st Session) House Resolution 648 ("The Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2003"), Section 2. FINDINGS, paragraph (1)(A):
"The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: '[C]courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.'"

The following is taken verbatim [except for stuff enclosed in square braces] from Joyce Lee Malcolm's book "To Keep and Bear Arms, The Origins of an Anglo-American Right", published by Harvard University Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England), 1994:

[p. 129:] "As the [eighteenth] century progressed the general right of Protestants to have weapons became increasingly explicit, and the Whig [those who had been most outspoken against standing armies and for the exclusion of James II from the throne] view that armed citizens were a necessary check on tyranny became orthodox opinion. It was William Blackstone in his classic work "Commentaries on the Laws of England" [4 vols., 1st ed. repr. (Chicago, 1979)] who set the stamp of approval upon the need for citizens to be armed to guarantee freedom. After listing the rights of Englishmen in his first chapter, Blackstone wrote:

'But in vain would these rights be declared, ascertained, and protected by the dead letter of the laws, if the constitution had provided no other method to secure their actual enjoyment. It has therefore established certain other auxiliary rights of the subject, which serve principally as outworks or barriers, to protect and maintain inviolate the three great and primary rights, of personal security, personal liberty, and private property.' [I:136]

"He identified five 'auxiliary' rights, the last being the right of the people to have arms.

'The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law ... and is, indeed, a publick allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.' [I:138]

[p.133:] "In the immediate wake of the Gordon riots, in which the London Military Foot Association had played a prominent role, concern arose about whether armed groups, as well as armed individuals, were protected by the law. The recorder of London, the city's legal advisor, was called upon to give his opinion of the legitimacy of these organizations and did so in July 1780. His elaborate response provides perhaps the clearest summation of the right of Englishmen to have arms at the time of the American Revolution and after the Gordon riots:

'The right of his majesty's Protestant subjects, to have arms for their own defence, and to use them for lawful purposes, is most clear and undeniable. It seems, indeed, to be considered, by the ancient laws of this kingdom, not only as a RIGHT [italicized in the book], but as a DUTY; for all the subjects of the realm, who are able to bear arms, are bound to be ready, at all times, to assist the sheriff, and other civil magistrates, in the execution of the laws and the preservation of the public peace. And that right, which every Protestant most unquestionably possesses, INDIVIDUALLY, may, and in many cases MUST, be exercised collectively, is likewise a point which I conceive to be most clearly established by the authority of judicial decisions and ancient acts of parliament, as well as by reason and common sense.' [From William Blizard's "Desultory Reflection on Police; With an Essay on the Means of Preventing Crimes and Amending Criminals" (London, 1785), pp. 59-60]
John Locke, in his 1689 "Two Treatises of Government":
"Must men alone be debarred the common privilege of opposing force with force, which nature allows so freely to all other creatures for their preservation from injury? I answer: self defense is a part of the law of nature, nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself...."
Francois Quesnay, French physician and economist:
"Every man has a natural right to the free exercise of his faculties provided he does not employ them to the injury of himself or others."
Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, 7 October 1789:
"The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals .... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of."
Harlon Carter:
"Those who will not fight for their rights deserve to lose them."

"`Compromise' is the art of giving your opponent that which he is not powerful enough to take."
John W. Whitehead, "The Second American Revolution":
"In recent years we have witnessed numerous marches on Washington in which one group or another has demanded new "rights." Frequently, such rights have not meant freedom from state control, but rather entitlement to state action, protection, or subsidy. In the process of yielding to the "will of the people" and creating new rights, the state invariably enlarges itself and its bureaucracy. Each new right seems to demand a new agency to guarantee it, administer it, or deliver it."
State vs. Sutton, 63 Minn. 147, 65 NW 262, 30 L.R.A. 630 Am. St. 459:
"When any court violates the clean and unambiguous language of the Constitution, a fraud is perpetrated and no one is bound to obey it."
(Also see 16 Ma. Jur. 2d 177, 178)
James Russell Lowell:
"They have rights who dare maintain them."
James Madison, Federalist Paper 46:
"The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; ... These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other." {V}
James Madison, Federalist Paper 62:
"To trace the mischievous effects of a mutable government would fill a volume. I will hint a few only, each of which will be perceived to be a source of innumerable others." {V}
John Adams, America's second president, 1771:
"It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty ... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement, and conscience, even though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
Thomas Paine; Rights of Man, Part II:
Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished.
President Clinton (USA TODAY, 11 March 1993, page 2A):
"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..."
Alexander Hamilton:
"...for it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion."
Winston Spencer Churchill Address at Harrow School, October 29, 1941:
"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."

"In war you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times."

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."

"Never turn your back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!"
Sir William Blackstone, in his authoritative 1765 "Commentaries on the Laws of England":
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolate. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture."

"Self defense is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society."

To know what our founding fathers really intended, one must read more than just the Second Amendment. The following quotes should be interesting and educational:
U.S. Department of Justice's 24 August 2004 legal opinion on the 2nd Amendment:
"For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and to bear arms."

Or you can read the Supreme Court's 26 June 2008 District of Columbia vs. Heller decision right from its own website.
Condoleezza Rice, pianist, scholar, and Secretary of State, as reported by Dale McFeatters, Scripps Howard, and published in the Manhattan (KS) Mercury of 16 May, 2005, page A6:
"Interviewed on 'Larry King Live', the secretary of state said that the Second Amendment, 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms,' was the equal of the First, the freedom of speech, religion and assembly.

"She grew up in the segregated South and said her minister-father and his friends armed themselves to protect the black community against night-riding members of the Klan.

"Rice said the framers of the Constitution understood that 'there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you.' She might have added that not only didn't the police protect them, but they attacked them with clubs, dogs and fire hoses.

"And she is against gun registration for a compelling reason. If the local authorities -- segregationist public-safety directory Bull Connor and Klan-allied police -- had known which blacks had weapons, they might have confiscated them. She has a point. As President Bush's former adviser on the matter, she knows a thing or two about security."
Margaret Thatcher, in a 1998 speech to the National Institute for Public Policy in Washington, DC:
"It is a fact, too -- although a curious one -- that the sale of small arms to gun enthusiasts or sportsmen produces a greater sense of moral outrage in Western society, than is produced by the sale to psychotic despots of weaponry capable of killing thousands.
Courts have consistently ruled that the police do NOT have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated:
   "[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a
    municipality or other governmental entity undertakes
    to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to
    the public at large and not to individual members of
    the community."

The Supreme Court's 1968 Haynes Decision found that forcing criminals, drug users, mental incompetents, and other prohibited classes to register their guns violates their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
From: (Robert D. Houk)
Subject: The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the USA

Finding myself in the general neighborhood of Our Great Nation's Murder Capital, with a few spare hours on my hand, I decided to risk life and limb by braving the Throbbing Hoards (of Tourists) and check out just what the Bill of Rights actually does say.

I went to the United State National Archives building and did myself in person personnally look at and peruse the Bill of Rights. The real Bill of Rights. The 200-year-old "paper", signed by John Adams and Frederick Muhlenberg. The document from which were ratified the first ten amendments to the United State Constitution, and in particular, the second amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

I have reproduced below various text bodies leading up to the second amendment, all taken from facsimiles of documents leading up to the Bill of Rights. Text within bracket ("[]") characters is mine, identifying the following verbatim text; text within double brackets ("[[]]") is explanatory comment.

Obviously, I cannot produce a facsimile of the original documents here, the best I can do is to provide an ASCII representation of the body of text. I have preserved the actual grammar, spelling, punctuation, and line breaks as nearly as possible within the constraints of 80-column ASCII terminals.

I have tried very hard to not make any transcription error, proofing the copy several times on different days. But ....

[James Madison's proposal; June 8, 1789]

The right of the people to keep and
bear arms fhall not be infringed; a
well armed, and well regulated mili-
tia being the beft fecurity of a free
country: but no perfon religioufly
fcrupulous of bearing arms, fhall be
compelled to render military fervice
in perfon.

[Amendments passed by the House of Representatives; August 24, 1789]


A well regulated militia, compofed of the body of the People,
being the beft fecurity of a free State, the right of the People to keep
and bear arms, fhall not be infringed, but no one religioufly fcru-
pulous of bearing arms, fhall be compelled to render military fervice
in perfon.

[Recall that, long ago, the letter "s" was often written to look like an "f".

[Amendments passed by the Senate; September 9, 1789]


A well regulated militia, being neceffary to the fecurity of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms, fhall not be infringed.


The joint resolution of Congress proposing 12 articles as amend-
ments to the Constitution was enrolled on parchment by William
Lambert, a clerk of the House, and is the federal government's
official copy. It was signed by Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg,
Speaker of the House, on September 28, 1789, and by John Adams,
President of the Senate, shortly therafter. The Bill of Rights,
as this parchment copy is now known, is on permanent display in
the Rotunda of the National Archives Building.

[[Note: I did in fact personally examine THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT, known officially as "The Bill of Rights", and the text is EXACTLY as set down below, except for the constraints of an 80-character ASCII terminal as follows:

In the original document, the entire text, including the "Article the Fourth....." text, fits on *ONE* line. I have tried to indicate that detail via the "\~~ " construct: the "\" in conjunction with the end-of-line and following "~~ " do *NOT* appear in the original text.]]

Article the fourth.....A well regulated Militia, being necefsary to the \
~~ security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear \
~~ Arms, shall not be infringed.

Eleven states made up the Union when Congress proposed 12 articles to amend the Constitution on September 25, 1789. With the admission of North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont during the ratification period, 11 states had to ratify the articles in order to achieve the three-fourths majority required by the Constitution.

In the ensuing two and one-half years, the first article proposed by Congress was approved by only 10 states, the second by only 6. Articles 3 through 12 received the approval of the necessary 11th state when Virginia ratified them on December 15, 1791. Accordingly, articles 3 through 12 became the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. [[List of states and dates of ratification omitted]]

Three states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia -- did not ratify the first 10 amendments until the celebration of the Sesquicentennial of the Constitution in 1939.

[Amendment II] [[Twenglish spelling]]

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
And that's the way it is.

Available from the National Archives and Records Service, revised 1980, "The Bill of Rights", ISBN 0-911333-42-8 ($2.50), includes facsimiles of the original documents as above, plus a few other related documents. The notes on ratification and on the Bill of Rights came from this document.

Also available (I bought mine at the National Archives bookstore) is the "Foundations of the Republic", select important United States historical documents, including Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence (facsimile), the Constitution (facsimile), Bill of Rights (facsimile), and a few other random documents, no ISBN number, but from Frey Enterprises, 2120 Crestmoor Road -- No. 125, Nashville, Tennessee 37215 ($3.95 at the National Archives bookstore, for the "Bicentennial Edition", a largish form page size (10" x 14") on parchmentish paper - you can actually decipher the facimile documents without a needing a magnifying glass!)
Dave Feustel (, Fort Wayne, IN (219) 483-1857:
"An educated Electorate, being necessary to the well-being of a free State, the right of the people to speak and peacefully assemble, shall not be infringed." (Toby Bradshaw); Department of Biochemistry and College of Forest Resources; University of Washington, Seattle; 21 Sep 92

"A well-educated electorate being necessary to the
prosperity of a free state, the right of the people
to keep and read books, shall not be infringed."

Do you conclude from this that only voters may own books?

Do you believe that all "inflammatory" books should be stored in libraries, since no honest person needs such a book at home where a child might read it?

Does this statement make you want to register books, or ban some of them, or prevent them from being read in public?

Should there be a waiting period for the purchase of "dangerous" books, magazines, and newspapers?

Should speed reading courses be restricted to police and military to prevent "assault reading" by citizens?

Do you think that banning legal possession of easily-concealed novels will stop criminals from reading?

Should we stop teaching children to read, since what they might read could be harmful to them?
When women are disarmed, a rapist will never hear "Stop or I'll shoot!"
Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca "the younger", ca. 4 BC - 65 AD:
"Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."
("A sword is never a killer, it's a tool in the killer's hands.")
The following commentary by nationally syndicated radio host Alan Keyes was distributed by World Net Daily on August 14, 1998. Keyes has been active in politics as a candidate, first for the U.S. Senate and later as a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 1996:

"The Second Amendment was not put into the Constitution by the Founders merely to allow us to intimidate burglars, or hunt rabbits to our hearts' content. This is not to say that hunting game for the family dinner, or defending against personal dangers, were not anticipated uses for firearms, particularly on the frontier. But these things are not the real purpose ofthe Amendment. "The Founders added the Second Amendment so that when, after a long train of abuses, a government evinces a methodical design upon our natural rights, we will have the means to protect and recover our rights. That is why the right to keep and bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights:' Keyes wrote. "In fact, if we make the judgment that our rights are being systematically violated, we have not merely the right, but the duty, to resist and overthrow the power responsible. That duty requires that we always maintain the material capacity to resist tyranny, if necessary, something that it is very hard to do if the government has all the weapons. A strong case can be made. therefore, that it is a fundamental drrty of the free citizen to keep and bear arms. "in our time there have been many folks who don't. like to be reminded of all this. And they try, in their painful way, to pretend that the word 'people' in the Second Amendment means something there that it doesn't mean in any one of the other nine amendments in the Bill of Rights. They say that, for some odd reason, the Founders had a lapse, and instead of putting in 'states' they put in 'people.' And so it refers to a right inherent in the state government.

"This position is incoherent, and has been disproved by every piece of legitimate historical evidence. At one point in Jefferson's letters, for example, he is talking about the militia, and he writes, 'militia - every able-bodied man in the state....' The militia was every able-bodied man in the state. It had nothing to do with the state government. The words 'well-regulated' had to do with organizing that militia and drilling it in the style of the 19th century, but 'militia' itself referred to the able-bodied citizens ofthe state or commonwealth -- not to the state government. "it would make no sense whatsoever to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to state governments, since the principle on which our polity is based, as stated in the Declaration, recognizes that any government, at any level, can become oppressive of our rights. And we must be prepared to defend ourselves against its abuses. "But the movement against Second Amendment rights is not just a threat to our capacity to defend ourselves physically against tyranny. It is also part of the much more general assault on the very notion that human beings are capable of moral responsibility. This is a second and deeper reason that the defense of the Second Amendment is essential to the defense of liberty.
Andrew Ford (UseNet):
"The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: The person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person's liberty! Are you free?"

"Without either the first or second amendment, we would have no liberty; the first allows us to find out what's happening, the second allows us to do something about it! The second will be taken away first, followed by the first and then the rest of our freedoms."
Murdock v.Pennsylvania, 319 US 105:
"No State shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and charge a fee therefor."
Bill McIntire, Spokesman for the National Rifle Association, on Norfolk, Va. council's vote to cancel four gun shows, 1992:
"Banning gun shows to reduce violent crime will work about as well as banning auto shows to reduce drunken driving."
Author unknown:
"Guns cause crime, like flies cause garbage."
California citizen attempting to purchase a firearm for self-defense during rioting in Los Angeles, week of 30 April 1992:
"What do you mean 'wait fifteen days'? This is America!"
Chief Justice Joseph Story, U.S. supreme Court ("Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States", pp 746-747 (1833)):
"The right of the citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the Republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and the arbitrary powers of rulers, and will generally -- even if these are successful -- enable the people to resist and triumph over them." {V}
Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, printed in "Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (Johnathan Elliot, ed., 2d ed., 1888):
"if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?"
Gazette of the United States, 14 October 1789:
"The right of the people to keep and 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."
James Earl Jones:
"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
Joel Barlow:
"It is because the people are civilized, that they are with safety armed."
John Trenchard (1640-1695; an English politician) and Walter Moyle (1672-1721; an English politician, political writer, and advocate of classical republicanism):
"It's the misfortune of all Countries, that they sometimes lie under a unhappy necessity to defend themselves by Arms against the ambition of their Governors, and to fight for what's their own. If those in government are heedless of reason, the people must patiently submit to Bondage, or stand upon their own Defence; which if they are enabled to do, they shall never be put upon it, but their Swords may grow rusty in their hands; for that Nation is surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it."
Ken Konecki on Usenet, on 27 Jul 1992:
"The 2nd amendment was never intended to allow private citizens to 'keep and bear arms'. If it had, there would have been wording such as 'the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'"
Leroy Pyle on Assault Rifles:
"You didn't hear Elliot Ness whining about Al Capone's machine gun."
Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984), Protestant pastor, on the failure of Germans to speak up against the Nazis, when asked by a student, "How could it happen?"
"In Germany they came first ... for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
[I've seen several slightly-different versions of the above and would appreciate it if someone could give me a citeable version to quote. --MAC]
Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, Second Session (February 1982):
"The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."
Robert Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning "Red Planet":
"...I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals...I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.

"Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such [gun] laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist."

Robert Heinlein, "Beyond this Horizon", (c)1942 paperback from Signet page 147:
"An armed man need not fight."

"Well, in the first place, an armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. For me, politeness is a *sine qua non* of civilization ...."
SA Oberfuhrer of Bad Tolz, March, 1933:
"All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately ... The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon ... must be regarded as an enemy of the national government."
Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D Maine) [from a speech to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) on Friday afternoon Jan 22, on CSPAN:
Dem Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (sponsor) during the floor debate of the Brady Bill, 1993:
"I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns."

"No, we're not looking at how to control criminals ... we're talking about banning the AK-47 and semi-automatic guns."

"I'm not interested in getting a bill that deals with airport security ... all I want to do is get at plastic guns."
Senator Hubert Humphrey (who defined liberal Democratic politics in the mid-1960's):
"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. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." [I've seen two similar versions of this quote and would appreciate learning the actual wording. -MAC]
Tench Coxe in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution.", under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789, (ten days after the introduction of the Bill of Rights) at 2 col. 1:
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their powers to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

[Contrast the above with U.S. Representative Charles Schumer's statement:
"We're here to tell the NRA [National Rifle Association] their nightmare is True.... We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We're going to beat guns into submission!", as reported on 30 November and 8 December, 1993, by NBC.]

and to an unknown person who said:
"Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who don't."

Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 Febraury 1788:
"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American .... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria's "On Crimes and Punishment (1764): [Normally only a small part of the following is quoted, but I think the whole thing is worth reading; --MAC]
"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 to 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 preventative 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."

[Contrast the above with U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum's statement in the 1993 Senate Hearings:
"Until we can ban all of them, then we might as well ban none."]
Thomas Pownall:
"Let therefore every man, that, appealing to his own heart, feels the least spark of virtue or freedom there, think that it is an honor which he owes himself, and a duty which he owes his country, to bear arms."
Tom Anderson:
"I wonder why some of the so-called guardians of freedom are so anxious to register guns and so reluctant to register Communists."
Washington Post 1/7/92:
"Justice Department studies show that armed citizens are much less likely to suffer losses or personal injury from thieves"
A.E. Van Vogt, author ("The Weapon Shops if Isher", 1951):
"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free."
James Burgh (1714-1775; British Whig politician):
"A gun in the hands of a free man frightens and angers the autocrat, not because he fears the power of the gun, but, rather, the spirit of the man who holds it."
Someone please give me a citation for the following quotation:

"Don't think of it as `gun control', think of it as `victim disarmament'. If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals."
Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune:
"Strict gun laws are about as effective as strict drug laws .... 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."
G. Kleck, "Policy Lessons from Recent Gun Control Research" printed in "Law and Contemporary Problems" 49 (No. 1, 1986):

"In 1966, 3,000 civilian women received defensive handgun training from Orlando, Florida police. In 1967, rape dropped 88.2% and aggravated assault and burglary 25%. While rape gradually increased again after the year-long program ended, five years later the rate was still 13% below the pre-program level; during that same period rape had increased 64% nationally, 96.1% in Florida and over 300% in the immediate area around Orlando."
Gary Kleck, Florida State University, in "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force", printed in "Social Problems" (the journal's name), Volume 35, No 1, February, 1988:
OR [someone please verify which one; --MAC]
Don B. Kates in "Defensive Gun Ownership as a Response to Crime", printed in "Guns, Murders, and the Constitution: A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control". 1990: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, pp. 17-36:

"According to the National Crime Survey administered by the Bureau of the Census and the National Institute of Justice, it was found that only 12 percent of those who use a gun to resist assault are injured, as are 17 percent of those who use a gun to resist robbery. These percentages are 27 and 25 percent, respectively, if they passively comply with the felon's demands. Three times as many were injured if they used other means of resistance."

Also see Cook, "The Relationship between Victim Resistance and Injury in Noncommercial Robbery", printed in the "Journal of Legal Studies" 15(1986): 405-6. (about gratuitous executions of unarmed, non-resisting victims.)
B. Bruce-Briggs, in "The Great American Gun War", printed in "The Public Interest" 45 (Fall 1976):37-62:

"In 1976, there were approximately 140 million guns of all types in private hands. Between 1968 and 1976, 40 million new guns were made and sold."
James D. Wright, in "Second Thoughts about Gun Control", printed in "The Public Interest", 91 (Spring 1988): 23-39:

"About 250 million guns were made and sold in the U.S. in this century. At least 150 million remain in working order in private hands. Around 50% of households own at least one gun; the average number owned is three."
Kates, "Gun Accidents", printed in "Guns, Murders, and the Coinstitution", 1990: Pacific Research Institute, pp. 50-52:

"HCI claims one child per day killed by handgun accidents; the figure from the National Safety Council is an average of 256 per year for ALL ages, 10-15/year for kids under age 5, and 50-55 per year for kids under age 15. For comparison, 381 kids under five drowned in pools in 1980, while 13 were killed by handgun accidents. 432 were killed by fires caused by adults falling asleep while smoking. Car accidents take 190 times as many lives as handgun accidents."

"HCI cooks the books by picking a particularly violent year and taking anyone under 25 to be a "child", thus approaching 365 per year. It still falls short, though."
Article II of the Bill of Rights (second amendment of the U.S. Constitution) states:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
James Madison, I Annuals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789):
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person." - [This was Madison's original proposal for the "Second Amendment". I've seen several just-slightly-different versions and would appreciate someone actually looking it up and reporting back to me; --MAC]

James Madison "Federalist No. 46":
"It is not certain that with this aid alone [possession of arms], they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to posses the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force; and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it."

"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace." --
George Mason:
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment:
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
George Mason:
"... to disarm the people -- that was the best and most effective way to enslave them."
Alexander Hamilton, speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29:
"... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formitable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ...."

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46 at 243-244 (this quotation is garbled; can anyone correct it for me):
"Americans have the right "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation .... Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
Richard Henry Lee, 1788, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, printed in "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican", at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press, 1975, Walter Bennett, ed.):
(I've also seen this quote attributed to Richard Henry Lee in "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic", 1787-1788):
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them."
Patrick Henry:
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
Patrick Henry (J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836):
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
Samuel Adams, printed in "Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts", at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850):
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ...."
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from "Jefferson, On Democracy" 20, S. Padover ed., 1939:
"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms .... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants"
Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 (ten days after the introduction of the Bill of Rights) at 2, col.2:
"... the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms"
Patrick Henry, arguing against ratification of the Constitution (from J. Elliot's, "Debates in the Several State Conventions", 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836), admonished Virginians to:
"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 inevitably ruined"
"Guns, Murders, and the Constitution -- A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control", by Don B. Kates, Jr. (available at $5.00/copy, from (415) 989-0833, fax (415) 989-2411, or write to 177 Post Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA, 94108):

In this study, Don B. Kates, attorney and criminologist, points out fallacies behind current gun control proposals; critiques academic research on gun use, murder, and violence (research upon which most of the anti-gun lobby mistakenly relies); and reveals aspects of the issue that have not received full attention from either opponents or proponents of gun control, including the overlooked implications of gun control on the issue of women and self-defense.

* Kates cites a survey by the National Institute of Justice that shows, "most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police." While handguns are used in vast numbers of crimes annually, they are used more often by good citizens to repel crime (approximately 581,000 crimes vs. about 645,000 defense uses annually). This finding is even more startling because Kates relied on an exhaustive review of anti-gun sponsored studies to compile the gun use figures.

* Kates also examines national studies, many of them again sponsored by the anti-gun lobby, to test the claim that most murders are "acquaintance murders," committed by normally law abiding citizens who murder because of the accessibility of a gun in a moment of anger. He finds instead that murderers are highly disturbed "aberrant individuals, characterized by felony records, alcohol and/or drug dependence, and life histories of irrational violence against people around them." These studies reveal that 74.4 percent of arrested murderers nationally had prior arrests for violent felony or burglary and, on average an adult record of a six year criminal career with four major felony arrests.

* The study has important implications for those concerned with issue of women and self-defense, women and rape, and the "battered-wife" syndrome. It is not uncommon in most academic research on gun use by women, in cases of attack and rape, to find the totally insupportable view that "women would invariably be too suprised by violent attack to use a handgun in self-defense." Kates points out, on the contrary, that in most instances, the man who beats or murders a woman (often even the rapist) is an acquaintance who has previously assaulted her on one or more occasions. She is, therefore, prepared and uniquely qualified to anticipate a violent attack based on her own experience of previous confrontations.

In cases of criminal violence between spouses, 91 percent of the victims were women. Kates cites studies affirming that in the overwhelming majority of cases where wife kills husband, she is defending herself or the children. In Detroit, for instance, husbands are killed by wives more often than vice versa, yet men are far more often convicted for killing a spouse -- because three-quarters of wives who killed were not even charged, prosecutors having found their acts lawful and necessary to preserve their lives or their children's. Eliminating handguns, says Kates, would almost guarantee that the sex of the victims of inter-spousal homicide would be female.

Other major findings of Kates' study include:

* Differentials in international crime rates are a function of socio-cultural and economic factors, not the percentage of gun ownership. In fact, there is an _inverse_ correlation between violence rates and the percentage of gun ownership in many foreign countries, the most noteworthy being Switzerland and Israel.

* A handgun ban is not realistically enforceable. Confiscating guns would require house-to-house searches and alienate the very individuals whose compliance is essential to the success of any regulation. If gun ownership were prohibited, organized crime would step in to provide the firearms that will continue to be procured with criminal intent.

* With respect to police protection as an alternative for gun ownership, "the police do _not_ exist to protect the individual citizen. Rather their function is _to deter crime in general_ by patrol activities and by apprehension after the crime has occurred." Response to crisis calls in many urban police departments is slow due to staff limitations and sheer volume of emergency demands. Given that the individual, and not the police, must be responsible for the individual's safety, "the issue is whether those individuals should be free to choose gun ownership as a means of protecting themselves, their homes, and their families."

* Controls over handguns but not _rifles and shotguns_ may result in the "counterproductive" substitution of these weapons in accident and assault situations where long weapons are far more problematic. The fact is, says Kates, "for a host of technical reasons, long guns are both far more susceptible to accidental discharge than handguns and are far more deadly when so discharged -- particularly for small children."
Who is responsible for your safety?

Many people feel that the purpose of the police is to protect them. This is true, however the police forces of this country are unable to protect you directly, and are not responsible for doing so, in any event.

The purpose of the police force is to provide indirect deterrence to crime, through patrolling the streets, and by apprehending the criminal after the criminal act has occurred.

It would be impossible for the police to protect you, the individual, at all times. There are approximately 550,000 peace officers in this country. They work three shifts a day, so their number must be divided by three in order to determine how many are available to patrol the streets. This number must be halved again to account for the percentage of the force dedicated to support roles (paperwork, booking, lab work, training, etc.) This leaves less than 100,000 officers to patrol the streets at any given time. These officers are facing ~10,000,000 criminals, that is to say, they are outnumbered 100 to 1 ... [figures from Prof. John Bowman, U. of Illinois]

Recognizing the logistical impossibility of providing around-the-clock, full coverage, our legal system has consistently held that the police have no legal duty to you, the individual.

In California, the California Government Code (sections 821,845,846) reads: "A public employee is not liable for an injury caused by his ... failure to enforce any enactment [law]. ... Neither a public entity not a public employee is liable for failure to ... provide police protection ... or to provide sufficient police protection ... [or] for injury caused by the failure to make an arrest or the failure to attain an arrested person in custody."

In Illinois, the Illinois Rev. Statutes (4-102) state the matter more clearly: "Neither a public entity or a public employee [may be sued] for failure to provide adequate police protection or service, failure to prevent the commission of crimes, and failure to apprehend criminals."

In the case of "Riss vs. City of New York (1961)", the Supreme Court held that even though Ms Riss had asked the police for help six times previously, warning them of threats made against her by a rejected suitor, the police could not be held liable for their failure to prevent him from throwing acid in her face, disfiguring her for life.

In the case of "Warren vs. District of Columbia (1981)", two women were upstairs in their house, and heard their other roommate being attacked downstairs by rapists. They called the police, and, when 1/2 hour later the noise downstairs had stopped for some time (because their roommate had been beaten into unconsciousness), went downstairs to meet the police.

In the words of the Court, "for the next fourteen hours, the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon one another, and made to submit to the sexual demands" of their attackers. Their calls were mishandled by the dispatcher. The police never came to their aid ....

The Court held that the "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen" absolved the police and the city government from any liability in the case.

So think about this, as you are debating whether people should be able to keep weapons for self-defense or not - if you truly believe the police will protect you when you need it, you are potentially fatally mistaken.

In the final analysis, you MUST be responsible for the safety of your family and yourself - no one else is.
More statistics (from A.M. Gottlieb's "Gun Rights Fact Book", p.59,60,61):

... According to the "Statistical Abstract of the United States", 1987 edition, there were only 1,695 firearms accidents that led to deaths in 1983 .... Over 99.9% of all households with a handgun did not experience a fatal firearms accident ... during 1983, ... there were also over 44,000 deaths caused by car accidents; over 12,000 deaths caused by accidental falls; over 5,000 deaths caused by fires; ... over 4,500 deaths due to accidental poisonings ... 5,254 deaths from drowning ... The rate of accidental gun deaths has also been decreasing. In 1970, it was 1.2 per 100,000; in 1983, it was 0.7 per 100,000 ... remember that about 40% of firearms accidents are hunting accidents. This means that the already-low accidental gun death rate is reduced even further when one considers just gun accidents in the home.

In 1985, the accidental gun death rate in the house was only .3 per 100,000 people -- meaning that there was a total of 800 fatalities ....

From NRA publication IL3N1064 "The Case Against Waiting Periods":

In much of the propaganda in support of a national "waiting period," it is alleged that, if such a waiting period/background check been in place, "John Hinckley would have been caught", because "he lied on a federal form" when he purchased the revolver used in his attack on President Reagan.

It is further claimed that Hinckley "would have been in jail, instead of on his way to Washington, D.C." had such a background check been conducted.

These allegations are irrefutably false.

John Hinckley purchased a total of eight firearms -- two .38 cal. and four .22 cal. revolvers, as well as two rifles -- from August 1979 to January 1981. The .22 cal. revolver used in his assault on President Reagan was one of the two he purchased in October 1980, more than six months before he left for Washington, D.C. Federal law was diligently complied with by the firearms dealer who filed multiple purchase forms with the regional office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) after the purchase.

That purchase, and all previous purchases, were legal. And they would have been legal under any "waiting period" scheme ever devised.

At the time of his purchase, and all previous purchases, up until his attack on the President, John Hinckley had no felony record, he had no recorded history of mental illness or commitment (no check involves police inspection of private conversations with a psychiatrist), and he was using a valid Texas driver's license issued May 23, 1979, to make his firearms purchases.

The contention that a background check would have "uncovered" the fact that he did not physically reside at the address listed on his drives license is a willful distortion of the criminal record check made by local police. To the contrary, had a check been run and all criminal records been thorough and completely available, they would have confirmed that he was not a prohibited person and that his last known address was Lubbock, Texas, and he was listed in the telephone directory.

Simply put, no detection system ever proposed or ever devised has mindreading capabilities. Advocates of the background check do a gross disservice to the nation by distorting the truth. No regulatory "gun control" scheme would have prevented Hinckley in his determination to carry out the tragic assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The Hinckley situation turns out to be typical in publicized shootings. Laurie Dann, who shot several school children in Illinois, despite an extensive record of psychiatric problems and police investigations, had never been committed to an institution nor prosecuted for a felony. Her handgun purchases had been approved following an Illinois background check for a permit to own and a waiting period before each handgun acquisition. And Patrick Purdy, the mass murderer in the Stockton schoolyard, had been able to purchase handguns lawfully in California despite a 15-day day waiting period and background check because his numerous felony arrests had all been reduced to misdemeanor plea-barginings. The leniency of the criminal justice system allowed him to be on the streets following a 45 jail sentence for misusing a gun and resisting arrest, despite a probation report noting that he posed a danger to himself and others.

Waiting periods fail to reduce crime; yet that failure is used as an excuse to impose more restrictive laws. For example, beginning with two days in 1940, moving to three days in 1958, and to five days in 1965, California's waiting period was raised to 15 days in 1976, a longer minimum time than any other state. But this gradual increase in the waiting period has not reduced crime. Between 1965 and 1987, the rate of violent crime per 100,000 ersons rose 235%.

Yet the failure of the current law was used in 1982 as an argument for passage of the ill-conceived and ill-fated Proposition 15 -- the handgun "freeze" and registration initiative. California voters saw through this deception and soundly defeated this Proposition by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

Similarly, and ironically, while anti-gunners nationally were citing Maryland's waiting period as being effective in preventing numerous sales (the vast majority of appeals of denials were granted, indicating that the system was considerably more effective at disarming the law-abiding than at disarming criminals), Maryland "gun control" advocates insisted that the waiting period wasn't keeping criminals from getting handguns and that a ban on the manufacture and sale of "certain handguns" was needed.

While insulting good and honest citizens, the waiting period scheme will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, nor will it prevent "crimes of passion". Indeed, according to prominent anti-gun scholars, Philip J. Cook and James Blose of Duke University, "ineligible people are less likely to submit to this screening process than are eligible people ... because these people find ways of circumventing the system entirely ..." (The Annals, May 1981)

That criminals do not obtain their firearms through retail channels was also confirmed by a survey of felons conducted by Profs. James Wright and Peter Rossi of the University of Massachusetts, who concluded that retail sales play a minor and unimportant role as direct sources of criminals handguns.

Inaccurate and out-of-date records make citizens more apt than criminals to be denied permits. A recent study by the Office of Technology Assessment, an arm of Congress, found that almost half of a sample of criminal history records that the FBI sent to the police, state agencies, banks and other such institutions throughout the United States, were incomplete or inaccurate. Such inaccuracies could well lead to the denial of licenses to thousands of reputable citizens under a federal registration and licensing system.

Ironically, a Chicago newspaper in 1983 submitted six Illinois licensing applications forms to the state in the names of such characters as bank robber John Dillenger and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Although Illinois has computerized registers which are checked in the course of handgun licensing investigations, all the applications were approved except for Vito "the Godfather" Corleone whose bogus form included a photograph of actor Marlon Brando in his film role.

A waiting period scheme redirects police from crime fighting to the unrewarding task of snooping into the private lives of law-abiding citizens buying guns through licensed firearms dealers. Such "crime control" schemes merely make our streets -- and homes -- safer for criminals plying their nefarious trades. A November, 1982 "U.S. News & World Report" cover story on crime included an article on the police, subtitled: "It's no wonder the forces in blue don't catch more crooks. Their budgets continue to get tighter and society keeps giving them extra chores." The article went on to note that only 45 officers are actually on patrol in the streets out of every 100 on duty at a given time. And the article pointed out that other studies have shown that police spend only about 15% of their time dealing with violent crime. A waiting period/background check is a perfect example of such diversion of police activity.

Yet, waiting periods have been soft-peddled as fair and reasonable, preventive, moderate and acceptable to sportsmen. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a proposal to be taken seriously. What do these words actually mean?

Purely and simply, waiting periods begin the step by step process where the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms becomes a privilege. [Granted the wealthy and influential.]

Under the waiting period licensing procedures, prospective gun owners are presumed to be guilty of crime until a police check into their background proves their innocence. Such a presumption is repellent to Anglo-American jurisprudence.

Background checks invite serious violations of the right to privacy. Indeed, since most persons who seek psychiatric assistance are not legally institutionalized, a thorough background check would require the opening of hitherto private medical records to the police. And the leading proponents would even extend curbs to those with records of arrest followed by acquittal, for minor traffic violations, or even using a gun in self-defense.

Ironically, at the same time when there is already uncertainty about the propriety of the FBI keeping computerized records in the National Crime Information Center on anyone who might possibly be a criminal, the waiting period would set into motion a system of records on law-abiding citizens who comply with the waiting period law. Such record keeping amounts to "de facto" registration, awaiting only a central computer processing capability for complete gun registration. In Virginia cities, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, authorities are using waiting periods to establish such a system.

Waiting period schemes impose additional undue burdens on the law-abiding citizen: they force the applicant to take time off from his job, make repeated trips to a licensed firearms dealer to legally purchase a firearm, and to pay for the inconvenience since the additional paper work costs to the dealers are passed along to the consumer.

And a waiting period/background check costs the citizens of the state tremendous amounts of money for useless bureaucratic paper work and investigation. A study by Cook and Blose (The Annuls, May 1981) found that the FBI's regulations require any background investigation request be accompanied by a set of finger prints and that the state criminal records bureau conduct a check prior to the ID Divisions search. And the current turnaround time for FBI searches is 22 working days. Based on these features, they determined that a FBI check is to costly and time consuming.

In addition, waiting periods encourage obstruction by the issuing authority. In jurisdictions with waiting periods on the books, there are countless cases of "lost" applications, petty harassments requiring repeated trips to different offices for completion of paperwork, fingerprinting and bureaucratic red tape designed to discourage gun ownership.

In New Jersey, a frequently cited state by anti-gunners, for one year police refused to issue any permits because the FBI was refusing to do fingerprint checks on civil matters. Authorities there regularly take 90 days -- and occasionally much longer -- to process an application, even though the statute requires it be done within 30 days. Moreover, thousands of applications have been rejected simply because the police didn't want a citizen to have a handgun, even though there was no criminal or mental record to justify rejection under the law. This is similar to Broward County, Florida, where a large percentage of rejected applications were based on traffic citations rather than valid bases for denials.

Such discretionary power by police is opposed by the American people because it is abhorrent in a society built on freedom. In a nationwide survey by Decision Making Information, Inc., in 1978 the question was asked: "Would you favor or oppose a law giving the police the power to decide who may own a firearm?" By a margin of more than 2-1 the public was found to be against the power police inevitably acquire through waiting period/licensing legislation. The U.S. Senate reflected the will of the people in 1985, rejecting a waiting period by a 3-1 margin.

Almost half the states -- including 64 percent of the population -- require background checks/waiting periods on all handgun transfers. But, according to Cook and Blose, "there has been no convincing empirical demonstration that a police check on handgun buyers reduces violent crime rates." (The Annuals, May, 1981) Indeed, a comparison of states with added or extended waiting periods from 1965 to 1987 reveals the ineffectiveness of such "crime control" experiments.

Based on the 1987 FBI Uniform Crime Reports, there would appear to be an inverse relationship between gun availability and violent crime. Data from the state with the greatest number of local jurisdictions with waiting periods and/or licensing requirements -- Virginia -- make clear waiting periods and/or licensing have no impact, even allowing for the urban nature of most regulatory jurisdictions.

The 1987 violent crime rate per 100,000 persons for Virginia, the state's Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA), and Virginia cities with local waiting periods and/or police permits, illustrates the higher rates in the latter. (Sources : FBI Uniform Crime Reports 1987; BATF State Laws and Published Ordinances, 1986-1987).
Willis Booth, a former chief with 40 years of law enforcement experience and a lobbyist for the Florida Police Chiefs Association, succinctly expressed Florida law enforcement's assessment of waiting periods and background checks: "I think any working policeman will tell you that the crooks already have guns. If a criminal fills out an application ... he's the biggest, dumbest, crook I've ever seen." In 1987, the Florida State Legislature subsequently repealed all background check ordinances in the state.

Indeed, a study of waiting periods by professors Joseph P. Magaddino and Marshall H. Medoff of California State University at Long Beach found them to be totally useless in curbing crime.

Their finding reconfirmed the results of multiple regression analyses by Matthew DeZee of Florida State University, who favors restrictive gun laws, and by Douglas Murray of the University of Wisconsin. They found that waiting periods, either alone or in combination with other gun laws, were not effective in reducing violent crime or gun related criminal violence.

Even anti-gunners generally fail to claim "crime control" effects for waiting periods, instead citing statistics on the number of lawful handgun transfers denied by state authorities. They fail to cite drops in crime, or to pretend those denied lawful access to handguns do not acquire handguns by other means, or use other weapons to commit crimes. And, despite allegations that those denied are criminals "caught" by a background check, only a fraction of a percent of the time are such denials accompanied by so much as a recommendation for prosecution. By claiming that denials show that the law is working, the other side would, logically, think a denial of 100% of applications was 100% "effective" -- but not at stopping crime.

Proponents contend "waiting periods" will sharply reduce the number of handgun murders committed annually. This information is based on misconstrued and outdated FBI data showing 70 percent of all murders involve people who know each other -- relatives, friends, acquaintances, or neighbors.

These FBI categories are misleading: Acquaintances can be, as Harvard Professor Mark Moore has said, "old but familiar enemies," "neighbors" is defined on the basis of where people live, not whether the are friends, enemies or strangers; and predatory felonies are often committed in criminals' neighborhood. The area is familiar; escape is easy; the criminal doesn't stand out as he might in a socially or racially different environment; and he can count on fear of retaliation to limit cooperation of victims or witnesses with the police. It was noted, for example, that 80% of Washington D.C.'s murders involved acquaintances -- _and_ the crimes _all_ involved drug trafficking.

It must be emphasized that murder, including "domestic" and "acquaintance" murder, is for the most part not committed by decent, law-abiding citizens catalyzed into "murders" by the presence of firearms.

Indeed, FBI Uniform Crime Reports detailing the characteristics of murders (until 1975), studies by the Chicago police, the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, and the annual Homicide Analysis by the New York City Police, show that 70 - 80 percent of suspected murders have criminal careers of long standing. There have been an average of six arrests per suspect, half of them for violent crimes. Victims have similar records about 50 percent of the time.

Waiting periods are further based on the false assumption that newly purchased firearms are used in murders and other violent crimes. Yet the Police Foundation's "Firearm Abuse" (1977) found that only 2.1 percent of handguns traced to all crime were less than a month old. And a month is twice as long as any state's waiting period.

In fact, an analysis by James D. Wright of the University of Massachusetts -More- suggests that 70 to 80 percent of gun purchasers already own firearms. In the unlikely event that these individuals would chose to commit a violent crime, a "waiting period" would be irrelevant.

In addition, the most frequent time for argument-precipitated murders is during the time from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. time frame, when gun shops are closed. And studies by the FBI and New York City Police Department (NYPD) indicate that about 50 percent of murderers are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the murder -- conditions under which the sale of firearms is already prohibited by law.

Waiting periods assume that violent people, deprived of ready access to a handgun will not kill. Yet Dr. Marvin Wolfgang, the noted criminologist who studied homicide in Philadelphia and published "Patterns in Criminal Homicide", found that the nature of homicide had little to do with the presence or absence of firearms. He noted: "It is the contention of this observer that few homicides due to shootings would be avoided merely if a firearm were not immediately present, and that the offender would select some other weapon the achieve the same destructive goal. Probably only in those cases where a felon kills a police officer, or vise versa, would homicide be avoided in the absence of a firearm."

Crimes of "passion" bring into play the plethora of curious objects used to commit murder, from brooms to ceramic lamps, and especially knives, according to a list of murder weapons used in San Francisco and New York between 1973 and 1983.

The waiting period supposes that the crime of passion is some sudden impulse which will pass. But a Nation Institute of Justice (NIJ) study reveals that the victims of family violence often suffer repeated problems from the same person for months or even years, and if not successfully resolved, such incidents can eventually result in serious injury or death. Indeed, a study conducted in Kansas City indicates that in 90 percent of spouse slaying, there had been at least one prior police call regarding wife beating and in 50 percent of such murders police had been called at least 5 times. Of course, part of the problem is that arrests are seldom made on such calls, although recent research shows that arrests, coupled with support for the victim, may reduce repeated beatings.

The tragic murder of John Lennon, and the assassination attempt on President Reagan renewed the cry for stricter "waiting periods". Ironically, Lennon's murder purchased his gun in Hawaii, a state requiring permits to purchase, registration and banning the so-called "Saturday Night Special," almost six weeks before committing the crime. And President Reagan's's assailant John Hinckley could have legally purchased firearms under a "waiting period scheme."

Already, strict gun laws are placed on the nation's 60 million law-obedient firearms owners under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA '68), which requires licensing of manufactures, importers, and dealers; prohibits almost all interstate transfers of handguns and requires interstate transfers of rifles and shotguns to be through licensed dealers and in compliance with the laws of the states where the dealers operates and where the buyer resides, and even prohibits relatives from giving firearms to family members living in different states; prohibits the sale of arms or ammunition by a dealer or anyone else to, or the acquisition or transportation by, felons, persons under felony indictment, fugitives, drug addicts, mental incompetents, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged veterans, those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship, and employees of all such persons; requires licensees to keep records available for BATF inspection; prohibits receipt or possession of guns by convicts, dishonorably discharged veterans, illegal aliens, the insane, persons who have renounced their citizenship; and prohibits the importation of many firearms and parts from abroad.

Yet, these laws have failed to reduce crime, which is much higher than when the GCA '68 took effect. The solution, according to gun control fanatics, is to impose even more restrictive laws on the law-abiding.

A current proposal would have the federal government ask local authorities to run background checks in seven days with all the costs to be borne by local departments with the added risk of federal prosecution if the local police retained the application in their files, and with no standards for approval or denial, and no provision for appeal.

In addition, Handgun Control Inc., has promised to sue any municipality if police fail to prevent a transfer because they did not conduct a through enough background investigation and the handgun was then used in a crime. Handgun Control Inc., has claimed to have won at least one such case in the Philadelphia area, where there is a waiting period and police conduct background checks.

Clearly, restrictive gun laws only penalize the nation's law-abiding firearms owners for the violent acts committed by a small number of criminals who commit a disproportionately large number of crimes. And, regrettably, "gun control" in any form diverts and wastes scarce resources which could instead be used to support genuine crime control measures.

The only effect of a waiting period is to deny someone the ability to defend himself or herself. In San Leandro, California, a female single parent was forced to endure 15 days of terror at the hands of a maniacal neighbor while she awaited the completion of the background check. The day after she was allowed to pick up her handgun, she killed her attacker with it.

Statistically, a waiting period would seem more likely to interfere with the estimated 650,000 citizens who use handguns for protection each year than the roughly 100,000 criminals who repeatedly misuse handguns -- generally acquired by theft or from fences, drug dealers, and the black market.

Yet the Wright-Rossi study found that three quarters of the convicted felons were able to get their most recent handgun within a day -- despite long criminal records.

As the Wall Street Journal noted shortly after the Lennon murder: "... the sudden hue and cry for more gun control at such times is a kind of cop-out, the sort of cop-out that is part of the [crime] problem in America.

"The country knows there is something wrong. Too many are turning to crimes of violence. The notion that this can be changed by controlling guns, we worry, may be an excuse for avoiding the hard work of making our decrepit criminal justice system start to function, and the even harder work of buttressing what used to be called the nations moral fiber."

It is clear that the way to curb violent crime is to punish the criminal. Studies suggest that 75 - 85 percent of urban violence is perpetrated by career criminals, and 30 - 35 percent of robbery and murder is committed by persons on some form of conditional release, -- bail, probation, suspended sentence. To combat crime America must address this problem of recidivism and the "revolving door" system of justice.

Over a ten year period after the 1975 adoption of a mandatory penalty for using a firearm to commit a violent crime, Virginia's homicide rate fell 35.6 percent and robbery declined 23.6 percent. A 1974 Arizona law saw homicide fall 21.8 percent and robbery 32.2 percent. While the West South Central region of the United States saw robbery rise 32.2 percent, respectively, a 1975 Arkansas mandatory penalty statute viewed a 24.7 percent decrease in homicide and a 9.7 -More- percent decrease in robbery. South Carolina recorded an astounding 36.7 percent decrease in homicide and 8.8 percent decrease in robbery after adopting a mandatory penalty.

Clearly, instead of imposing further penalties -- in the form of "waiting periods" and additional assaults on the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners and gun purchasers, the proper approach is to implement mandatory punishment for the criminal abuser of firearms.

The violent crime rate has decreased in part since 1980, because the number of persons in American prisons has increased from 315,000 in 1980 to 514,133 in 1986.

The remedy, or any appropriate penalty, must be after the commission of an offense if the presumption of innocence is to be preserved, indeed, if democracy itself is to survive.
Re: Supreme Court interpretations of the Second Amendment.

The Court most recently mentioned the Second Amendment in dicta in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 110 S. Ct. 1839 (1990). Verdugo-Urquidez was a citizen and resident of Mexico, and a drug dealer. The Mexican police arrested him in Mexico, and brought him to the U.S., where the U.S. cops arrested him. With the permission of the Mexican police, the U.S. narcs searched his residence (in Mexico), and found documentary evidence detailing drug shipments to the U.S. Verdugo-Urquidez moved for suppression of that evidence as a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The question for the court: Does the Fourth Amendment apply to non-resident non-citizens outside the U.S.? The answer: no.

The court's reasoning: The Fourth Amendment protects the right of "the people" to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. Who are "the people"? According to Chief Justice Rehnquist, the phrase "the people" was a term of art used by the Framers. Rehnquist wrote:

     The Second Amendment protects "the right of the people
     to keep and bear Arms," and the Ninth and Tenth
     Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are
     retained by and reserved to "the people."  See also
     U.S. Const., Amdt. 1, ("Congress shall make no law ...
     abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to
     assemble"); Art. I, s 2, cl. 1 ("The House of
     Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen
     every second Year by the People of the several States")
     (emphasis added).  While this textual exegesis is by no
     means conclusive, it suggests that "the people"
     protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and
     Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are
     reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a
     class of persons who are part of a national community
     or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection
     with this country to be considered part of that
     community.  110 S. Ct. at 1061.

Since Verdugo-Urquidez is not part of "the people," he is not protected by the Fourth Amendments (nor, apparently, by the First, Second, Ninth, or Tenth).

The Supreme Court therefore views the words "the people" in the Second Amendment to have the same meaning as in the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. If "the people" really meant the right of states to maintain a militia (as suggested by J. Sultan), then we would be left with the absurd notion that only the states have the right to peaceably assemble, only the states have the right to be secure in their persons and property, etc. The Supreme Court's position is indisputable: the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. Also instructive is the Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, Second Session (February 1982):

"The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."

This hardly supports J. Sultan's premise that an individual right is "universally unaccepted."

Anti-gunners frequently use the "big lie" technique referred to by D. Malbuff, to the effect that "the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the Second Amendment does not apply to individual citizens; it only protects the right of the National Guard to go duck hunting." Here is a nutshell history of Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment:

United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) was the first case in which the Supreme Court addressed a federal firearms statue which was being challenged on Second Amendment grounds. The defendants, who had been charged with interstate transportation of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, challenged the constitutionality of the federal government's National Firearms Act of 1934. The NFA, a tax statute, did not ban any firearms, but required the registration of, and imposed a $200 transfer tax upon, fully-automatic firearms and short-barreled rifles and shotguns. The federal trial court held that the NFA violated the defendants' Second Amendment rights. After their victory in the trial court, defendant Miller was murdered and defendant Layton disappeared. Thus, when the U.S. government appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, no written or oral argument on behalf of the defendants was presented to the Supreme Court.

If the Second Amendment only protected the state militia, the case would have been easy. All the court would have had to do was say that Miller could not own a gun because he was not a member of the militia, end of discussion. But they didn't say that. Why not? In effect, they conceded that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, but still said that it was constitutional for the government to prohibit sawed-off shotguns. Their reasoning?

"Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense."

There are three interesting things about the court's statement. First, of course it was not in their notice; no defendants were present to bring it to their notice! Second, had a knowledgeable advocate been present, he would have brought to the court's notice that short-barrelled shotguns have long been used as ordinary military equipment, from Revolutionary War blunderbusses to luparas in the Spanish-American War to trench-cleaners in The War To End All Wars. Subsequently, U.S. troops used sawed-off shotguns in World War II, and "tunnel rats" used them in Vietnam.

Third, and most important, is that the court seems to be saying that the Second Amendment only protects the right of individual citizens to have "ordinary military equipment." Very interesting. What are semi-automatic "assault rifles" if not ordinary military equipment? When California's assault rifle ban reaches the Supreme Court, Miller will present a real problem for the anti-gunners.

There are no other Supreme Court cases in the 20th Century, but there are dozens of state cases that support the individual right to bear weapons (not "sporting goods"). See, for example, State v. Swanton, 129 Ariz. 131 (Ct. App. 1981) ("[T]he term 'arms' as used means such arms as are recognized in civilized warfare....")

State v. Kessler, 289 Or. 359 (1980) ("[T]he terms 'arms' most likely would include only the modern day equivalents of the weapons used by colonial militiamen.")

In Moore v. City of East Cleveland, a Fourteenth Amendment due-process case. the Supreme Court put the right to keep and bear arms in company with other individual rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights: "the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures...."

See also:
State ex rel. City of Princeton v. Buckner, 377 S.E. 2d 139 (W.Va. 1988)
Barnett v. State, 72 Or. App. 585 (1985)
State v. Delgado, 298 Or. 395 (1984)
City of Lakewood v. Pillow, 180 Colo. 20 (1972)
City of Las Vegas v. Moberg, 82 N.M. 626 (Ct. App. 1971)
and dozens more.

There were few, if any, gun control laws on the books until after the Civil War. Then, suddenly, every Southern state had a law prohibiting newly-freed slaves from owning guns. (Guess why? It was getting damned dangerous for the Klansmen to lynch blacks.) The Fourteenth Amendment rendered those "Black Codes" unconstitutional, so the Southerners figured out some backdoor methods. One was banning cheap guns (the term Saturday Night Special has its origin in the racial slur "Niggertown Saturday Night," which was similar to "Father's Day in Harlem" or "Chinese Fire Drill.") Another was a permit system/waiting period/background check, requiring approval of the sheriff, who usually just happened to be a Klansman.

United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876). In Louisiana, a hundred or so good old boys got word that there were some "uppity niggers" having an organizational meeting, to try to protect themselves against constant attacks by white gangs. The good old boys got together and crashed the party, took away the Negroes' guns, and then proceeded to murder them. They were charged with conspiring to deprive their victims of their constitutional rights to assemble, and to bear arms.

The court ruled that (1) the First and Second Amendments did not apply to the states, (2) the Fourteenth Amendment only prohibited the State from depriving the people of their rights, and the good old boys were not agents of the State, and (3) the controlling Enforcement Acts protected only those rights "granted by the Constitution." The court said that the rights to assemble and to bear arms were fundamental rights. They were not "granted" by the Constitution, but were inalienable; they were rights with which the victims were "endowed by their Creator." Therefore, the rights were not protected by the Enforcement Acts, and the KKK boys literally got away with murder! (This is a case proudly cited by people who call themselves "liberals"!)

Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886). Presser had organized a society of German immigrants (Lehr und Wehr Verein) who believed that regular military drill was an important part of good citizenship. Four hundred of them paraded through downtown Chicago, carrying rifles. Presser was charged with parading without a license and organizing and maintaining a private army. He claimed that the Illinois statutes violated his rights under the First Amendment (freedom of assembly) and the Second Amendment (right to bear arms). The court concluded that the Illinois statute did not infringe the Second Amendment since the statue did not prohibit the keeping and bearing of arms but rather prohibited the forming of private military organizations and the performance of military exercises in town by groups of armed men without a license to do so. The court found that such prohibitions simply "do not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms."

Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535 (1894). Texas had a law forbidding the carrying of weapons and authorizing arrest without warrant for any violation. Miller claimed this violated the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment. The Court again ruled that "the restrictions of this amendments operate only upon the Federal power." But they admitted that it was possible that the Fourteenth Amendment might cause the Bill of Rights to apply to the States as well. However, Miller did not raise his objection early enough. "If the Fourteenth Amendment limited the power of the States as to such rights ... we think it was fatal to this claim that it was not set up in the trial court." Id. at 538.

Subsequent to Cruikshank, Presser, and Miller v. Texas, the Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment does in fact cause the Bill of Rights to apply to the States. In effect, those three cases have been invalidated. To believe otherwise is to believe that the States can restrict religion, speech, and assembly, to execute unreasonable searches and seizures, to deny jury trials, or to infringe the right to bear arms.

An important note: the Court never doubted for an instant that the right to bear arms was not an individual right which the Federal government could not infringe. These cases never talked about the Second Amendment being a right of States to organize militias. It has always been assumed that the right to bear arms is a right of individual citizens to bear arms.

The case of Robertson v. Baldwin did not involve a Second Amendment claim, but in discussing the 13th Amendment, the Court again recognized the 2nd Amendment as a "fundamental" individual right of citizens; which, like to other fundamental rights, is not absolute.
    "The law is perfectly well settled that the first
     10 amendments to the Constitution, commonly known
     as the 'Bill of Rights', were not intended to lay
     down any novel principles of government, but simply
     to embody certain guaranties and immunities which
     we had inherited from our English ancestor, and
     which had, from time immemorial, been subject to
     certain well-recognized exceptions, arising from
     the necessities of the case...."

Perhaps the Supreme Court's most infamous decision was Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857). The issue before theis pre-Civil War and pre-emancipation court was whether blacks were "citizens." Chief Justice Taney said that if Negroes were "citizens," they would have the same constitutional protections afforded to white citizens, which included the right to keep and bear arms:
    "It would give to persons of the negro race ... the right
     to enter every other State whenever they pleased, ... and
     it would give them the full liberty of speech ...; to hold
     public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and
     carry arms wherever they went."  Id. at 417.
It is noteworthy that the Supreme Court considered the right to carry guns wherever they go an individual right of every citizen, along with voting, speaking, assembling. "Nor can Congress deny the people the right to keep and bear arms, nor the right to trial by jury, nor compel anyone to be a witness against himself...." Id. at 450. Obviously, "the people" refers to all citizens, not the states or militia, or the rest of the sentence becomes meaningless. See Verdugo-Urquidez, supra.

What the Second Amendment protects is an individual right to bear military weapons, not for hunting, not for target shooting, not for repelling foreign invaders, but for the purpose of preventing oppression of the people by their own government. The historical, textual, structural, doctrinal, prudential, judicial, and legislative evidence is devastating. Sultan's claim that this is "universally unaccepted" is as ludicrous as Saddam Hussein's claim of victory over the Great Satan.

Any intelligent person who wishes to study the matter seriously should begin with S. Levinson, The Embarrassing Second Amendment, 99 Yale L.J. 637. Professor Levinson (University of Texas) is a devout liberal (as am I) who set out to prove once and for all that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right (etc. ad nauseam, per Sultan). To his great embarrassment (hence the title), he found overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He had the academic integrity to admit it, for which he deserves great admiration. He does not like gun ownership, any more than some people like flag-burning or organized religion, but he recognizes that the individual right exists, whether one likes it or not.
Gun Week reports in its August 31, 1990, issue that homicides in Portland Oregon have fallen as concealed carry permits increased rapidly:

"In the first seven months of 1990, 2,200 permits to carry a concealed weapon have been issued. Only 17 such permits were issued in [all of] 1989. Homicide has fallen 33% in the first six months of 1990 in Portland, measured against the same period last year."

In the same article, Allan Gottlieb notes that homicides increased 9 percent over the same period in Baltimore MD, which has a ban on "Saturday Night Specials." He also notices that homicides have increased 45 percent this year in New York City. There you are three times more likely to be murdered than die in an automobile accident. New York has a virtual ban on handgun possession by law-abiding citizens.

The decrease in homicides in Portland is the second largest in the country. The article does not tell the first largest decrease or the source of the source of the homicide numbers.

Oregon recently "liberalized" its CCW system to remove arbitrary police discretion in the issuance of permits. Typically the difference in wording is "shall" versus "may" be issued a permit. I believe they got this in exchange for a waiting period on handgun purchases.
by Noah Webster, (Philadelphia 1787), pages 41 to 43:

But what is tyranny? Or how can a free people be deprived of their liberties? Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power superior to any other power in the state. This position leads me directly to enquire, in what consists the power of a nation or of an order of men?

In some nations, legislators have derived much of their power from the influence of religion, or from the implicit belief which an ignorant an superstitious people entertain of the gods, and their interposition in every transaction of life. The Roman Senate sometimes availed themselves of this engine to carry their decrees and maintain their authority. This was particularly the case, under the aristocracy which succeeded the abolition of the monarchy. The augurs and priests were taken wholly from pa trician families (*). They constituted a distinct order of men -- had power to negative any law of the people, by declaring that it was passed during the taking of the auspices.(^) This influence derived from the authority of opinion, was less perceptible, but as tyrannical as a military force. The same influence constitutes, as this day, a princical support of several governments on the eastern continent, and perhaps in the South America. But in North America, by a singular concurrence of circumstances, the possibility of establishing this influence, as a pillar of government, is totally precluded.

Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. 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 superiour to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. In spite of all the nominal powers, vested in Congress by the Constitution, were the system once adopted in its fulest latitude, still the actually exercise of them would be frequently interrupted by popular jealousy. I am bold to say, that ten just and constitutuional measures would be resisted, where one unjust or oppressive law would be enforced. The powers vested in Congress are little more than nominal; nay real power cannot be vested in them, nor in any body, but the people. The source of power is in the people of this country, and cannot for ages, and probably never will, be removed.

In what does real power consist? The answer is short and plain -- in property. Could ... (he then continues on a discussion of the power of the government, and that is basically the power of controlling property)
A Summary of studies on gun use and gun control.

* A study by the Center for Disease Control conducted in April 1985 showed that "waiting periods have no effect on suicides."

* A study reported in the Annals of the American Academy of Political Science in May 1981 found that "most felons and other ineligibles who obtain guns do so not because the state's screening system fails to discern their criminal record, but rather because these people find ways of circumventing the screening system entirely."

* A 1985 Justice Department study showed that the primary means of gun acquisition by felons is theft.

* A University of Massachusetts study found that most criminals get their guns from other criminals.

* States with waiting periods do not have lower crime rates. No waiting period has ever been shown to have any effect on crime whatsoever.

* Since banning handguns in 1976, the homicide rate in the District of Columbia has risen 168% to 71.9 -- possibly the highest rate ever for a large American city. The gun-related homicide rate for the district has risen over 250%, while falling nationally and regionally.

* Since the Canadian firearms control act was brought in in 1978, the number of assaults with firearms in Toronto has quadrupled.

* Only 180 homicides in Canada involve firearms, and about 160 of those involved illegal firearms.

* In 1976 40% (6 million Canadians) of Canadian households contained a firearm. Approximately 190,000 firearms are imported into Canada in each year. In July 1989 3% of Canadians owned a handgun. In November 1990 the rate was 6%.

* FBI reports show that 85% of all firearms used in crimes are obtained illegally.

* In the USA, the number of children under 12 killed as a result of firearm accidents in the home is approximately 280 per year. In comparison, over 5,000 children drown every year in back yard swimming pools.

* Record-breaking murder rates in Washington D.C, New York City, and Detroit are often given as examples of the need for "handgun control," when in fact handguns are so already strictly regulated in these cities as to be practically banned. In New York, for example, you must obtain a permit from the Police Department before you can take your handgun out of your home, and even then you may do so only twice in one year, even if just for target practice at a shooting range. New York City enacted strict firearms ownership regulations in 1968, but has seen a 126% increase in the homicide rate and an increase of 250% in the gun-related crime rate.

* There is no evidence whatsoever showing that restriction of handgun ownership is related in any way to violent crime rates. In the U.S., in fact, there appears to be an direct relationship between strictness of gun laws and the rate of violent crime. In some communities where extremely permissive gun laws grant "permits to carry" practically for the asking, violent crime rates have plummeted drastically.

* In Portland Oregon in 1989 17 CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon) permits were issued, in 1990 2500 CCW permits were issued, in 1990 the murder rate in Portland DROPPED by 33%.

* In Orlando, Florida, in 1966 a series of brutal rapes swept the community. Citizens reacted to the tripling in the rate of rape over the previous year by buying handguns for self-defense; 200-300 firearms were being purchased each week from dealers, and an unknown number more from private parties. The newspaper there, the _Orlando Sentinel Star_, had an anti-gun editorial stance and tried to pressure the local police chief and city government to stop the flow of arms.

When that tactic failed, the paper decided that in the interest of public safety, they would sponsor a gun-training seminar in conjunction with the local police. Plans were made for a one-day training course at a local city park.

Plans were made for an expected 400-500 women. However, more than 2500 women arrived, and brought with them every conceivable kind of firearm. They had to park many blocks away, and the weapons were carried in in purses, paper bags, boxes, briefcases, holsters, and womens' hands. One police officer present said he'd never been so scared in his life.

Swamped, the organizers hastily dismissed the women with promises for a more thorough course with scheduled appointments. The course offered was for three classes/week, and within 6 months, the Orlando police had trained more than 6000 women in basic pistol marksmanship and the law of self-defense.

The results?

In 1966 there were 36 rapes in Orlando, triple the 1965 rate. In 1967, there were 4. Before the training, rape rates had been increasing in Orlando as nationwide. Five years after the training, rape was still below pre-training levels in Orlando, but up 308% in the surrounding areas, 96% for Florida overall, and 64% nationally.

Also in 1967, violent assault and burglary decreased by 25% in Orlando, in addition to the rape reductions.

In 1967, NOT A SINGLE WOMAN HAD TURNED HER GUN ON HER HUSBAND OR BOYFRIEND. [No data were available for later years at the time the above was written; --MAC]

The reason the program worked so spectacularly well is that it was widely known that Orlando women had the means and training to defend themselves from attackers. Rapists, being (somewhat) human, they are learning engines; they took their business elsewhere -- to the detriment of the defenseless in those other locations

* In Florida since the gun laws have been modified to allow women who qualify to carry a gun concealed, the reported rape rate has DROPPED by 90%.

* Switzerland is a country with an assault weapon and ammunition in almost every home, yet there is very little crime.

* Japan has a total ban on civilian firearm ownership, yet in Sept-Oct 1990 in Okinawa prefecture, there were 28 shootings, resulting in the deaths of several police officers as reported in November 1990, Japan Today, CBC Newsworld.

* A recent study in the U.S. found that an individual was much more likely to be a victim of violent crime in an area with strict gun control laws, than in an area with lax gun laws.

* Last year, about 25,000 murders were committed in the United States. About 9,000 of these were committed with handguns. This is in a country with 250,000,000 people, including 65,000,000 gun owners. Assuming that each of the 9,000 was committed by a different person, they represent approximately 1/7,000th of the gun owners in that country.

* U.S. law enforcement statistics show that firearms were used by private citizens in self-defence (to deter, prevent or stop a crime) approximately 1,000,000 times in 1989. This resulted in 1500 to 2800 justifiable killings (0.15% to 0.28%) and 8700 to 16600 non-fatal legally permissible woundings (0.87 % to 1.66%). The remaining 98% involved neither killings nor woundings but rather warning shots fired or guns pointed or referred to. "Crime Control through the Private Use of Armed Force" Professor Gary Kleck, Feb 88, Social Problems.

* U.S. Department of Justice victim studies show that overall, when rape is attempted, the completion rate is 36%. But when a woman defends herself with a gun, the completion rate drops to 3%. Overall victimization studies show that for all violent crimes, including assault, rape, and robbery, the safest course for the victim is to resist with a firearm. The second safest course is passive compliance with the attacker, but this tactic approximately doubles the probability of death or injury for the victim. All other tactics (mace, whistles, hand-to-hand combat, screams, and so forth) have even worse outcomes.

* A Florida State University study indicates that law-abiding citizens use handguns approximately 645,000 times a year in self-protection, with an additional 350,000 self-defense uses of rifles and shotguns. For thousands, the possession and use of a firearm is the difference between being the victim of a violent crime and successfully thwarting a criminal attack.

* The concept of a "cooling off" period has no basis in fact. A Kansas City study showed that in 90% of domestic violence cases, police had been called to the scene several times before. A Police Foundation study showed that only 2% of all handguns traced to crimes were less than a month old.

* Marc Lapine was seen at the Montreal university several months before his murderous rampage, which suggests he planned his attack months in advance.

* John Hinckley,who shot former U.S. President Reagan and James Brady, bought his firearm legally from a Texas gun store 5 months beforehand, and also possessed several other more powerful firearms. He had been arrested several days earlier for attempting to smuggle a firearm aboard an airplane. At that time a background check was performed and as he had no criminal record, he was able to plead guilty, pay a $62.50 fine, and was released.

* The "teflon-coated armour-piercing bullet" does not exist. A company called KTW developed a teflon-tipped bullet for penetrating car doors, but when fired into standard Kevlar body armour, it was even less effective than ordinary bullets, contrary to the claims of fanatical anti-gun lobbyists who trumpeted that this "new bullet rendered cops helpless, even with body armour." No police officer in the USA has been ever shot with armour piercing handgun ammunition.

KTW was setup in the early 1980's by police Sergeant Don Ward, police Lieutenant Turcus, and scientist Dr. Paul Kopsch. They sold their KTW round to the military and a handful of police departments and have never sold it to the public.

The NRA helped draft the final legislation which was adopted, which banned the sale of the KTW ("armor-piercing") bullet to anyone but police and military organizations. The ORIGINAL legislation, which the NRA opposed, would have banned any ammunition which could pierce a ballistic vest. That includes the smallest caliber (.22), which can slip between the fibers of the kevlar vest. It also includes most rifle ammunition, but very little handgun ammunition.

In short, the legislation as proposed would have banned most calibers, including ones like .270 Winchester and .30-30, which have been used since the turn of the century for hunting.

* "Plastic guns that are invisible to airport X-ray machines" do not exist. The only pistol on the market today with any plastic parts is the Glock, and it is approximately 70% metal (83% by weight) and the high strength polymer frame contains barium. A similar pistol is made by Ramline, but only in .22 calibre.

The NRA helped draft a bill which bans guns which can pass airport security. Mind you, no such guns exist; the gun which caused all the controversy, the Glock, contains a large amount of metal, and there is a metal polymer in the plastic portions which shows up on an X-ray machine.

The Glock is very reliable, and has become the standard sidearm for a large number of law enforcement agencies across the country, including, if memory serves, Washington D.C. and parts of New York.

One of the main proponents of the original legislation, Senator Metzenbaum, revealed his true opinion. When pressed, he exclaimed: "I don't care about airport security! I want to get the guns!"

* After lobbying by hysterical anti-gunners, U.S. government legislation has been passed banning possession of "teflon-coated armour-piercing bullets" and "plastic guns invisible to airport X-ray machines," even though neither of these has ever existed.

* There are approximately 247,000 legally owned fully automatic weapons (Assault rifles, machine guns, sub machine guns) in the USA, according to the BATF, in the years since 1934, NONE of these weapons has been used by their legal owner in a criminal offence.

* There are approximately 5,000 legally owned fully automatic weapons (Assault rifles, machine guns, submachine guns) in Canada, yet since 1934 NONE of these weapons has been used by their legal owner in a criminal offence.

* In a paper presented to the Royal Society in 1663, Palmer described the theory of operation used by modern machine guns, both recoil and gas-operated. In 1718, Puckle was granted a patent on an automatic weapon. Multiple-barrel weapons, which Palmer's and Puckle's weren't, were developed centuries earlier. Some of these earlier guns also used a rather clever way of getting multiple shots from the same barrel without reloading. Revolvers had also been invented by the 1770s and the Brits actually used semi-autos against the colonials.

* Bolt action and lever action rifles are convertible to be fully automatic weapons. At the turn of the century John Browning's first machine gun was converted from a lever action rifle. During World War One, the factory in Canada converted the Ross bolt action rifle into the Huot machine gun. During World War Two in New Zealand, 2000 Lee Enfield bolt action rifles were converted into the Charlton light machine gun.

* In 1990 the state of Florida, faced with increasing pressure to condemn "assault weapons," assembled a commission to study the evidence and then issue a report to the governor and legislature.

The panel, comprised of lawmakers, citizens, representatives from both pro- and anti-gun groups and law enforcement officials, spent several months examining data supplied by both state and federal law enforcement agencies. The group also heard testimony from Florida police officers who work within some of the region's worst criminal battle zones.

Early this spring the commission announced the results of their labors, with the findings mirroring similar studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). In summary, the commission concluded that based on police reports, actual testimony and statistics provided by federal agencies, the use of "assault weapons" by criminals constituted only a fraction of a percent of types of firearms employed in felonious activity.

The commission discovered that media hype and anti-gun advertising had created a sinister ambience around these firearms without actually clarifying what the guns were. The term "assault weapon" is generally defined as a military weapon capable of both semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. Written testimony supplied to the commission indicated that fully automatic firearms were rarely if ever used by criminals. In fact, there was no evidence that a licensed fully automatic firearm has ever been instrumental in a reported crime.

The panel found that the term "assault weapon" as portrayed by the media referred to semiautomatics in general, especially guns resembling military-style combat firearms. The resulting confusion made reporting by police officials difficult at best, the commission determined. As a result, they called for a clarified reporting system that would indicate the type, make, caliber and action of any firearm used in a crime.

Even with the confusion, actual data available still indicated that use of semi-autos by criminals was negligible. This supported BATF findings nationwide that semiautomatic firearms were not "20 times more likely to be used in a crime" and were not the "weapon of choice" of drug dealers. These assumptions have been advanced by anti-gun organizations, have formed the basis of a discriminatory newspaper study, and have often been echoed by media commentators.

* The Florida report, in concert with federal studies, also found that stolen guns rather than over-the-counter purchases were most often employed by criminals. Some anti-gun groups insist that Florida gun shops are doing a brisk trade supplying "assault weapons" to drug gangs. The commission found no evidence to support this accusation.

In conclusion, the commission could not uncover any reason to place restrictions upon the sale of semiautomatic firearms and determined that these guns posed no particular menace to law enforcement. Instead they called for harsh mandatory sentences for the criminal misuse of firearms, an end to plea-bargaining in firearms-related crimes, better reporting procedures in naming firearms used in crimes, and an improved database to prohibit point-of-purchase sales and the issue of carry permits to individuals with a history of mental incompetency.

* New Jersey just enacted the most harsh "assault weapon" ban in the country. Owning a BB gun is now felony possession of an assault weapon. According to the bill, a BB gun is capable of causing injury and often holds more than 15 pellets. None of the weapons banned had been used in a criminal offence in New Jersey in the previous 5 years.

But contrary to what the media reported, the police didn't want the favor. The law enforcement community generally thought that Gov. James J. Florio went off the deep end by making the assault weapon ban his top priority.

The New Jersey Chiefs of Police voted against the bill 197-1. The Fraternal Order of Police testified against the bill the state Legislature. The Police Benevolent Association was persuaded to abstain on the issue, after Florio threatened to rescind a police benefits package that had recently been agreed to.

* In Washington, D.C., there are a number of police lobbies that do support "assault weapon" bans (though narrower than the New Jersey one). Yet it's not clear that the lobbyists have the working police solidly behind them.

* Last year the National Association of Chiefs of Police conducted a poll of command-rank officers: 69 percent thought law-abiding citizens ought to have the right to purchase any type of firearms; 62 percent opposed a federally-mandated waiting period.

A similar study of officers on the street found that about 88% opposed gun bans and supported public ownership of firearms.

Yet Handgun Control's claim to have the active support of "every major police organization" for its gun prohibitions and waiting periods is dishonest. The National Sheriffs Association, the American Federation of Police and the National Association of Chiefs of Police have refused to board the Handgun Control train.

There is one group of police that generally does back more gun control -- big-city police chiefs and the organizations they run. Their voice certainly deserves to be heard, but too often the voices of other officers are silenced. For example, San Jose, Calif., Police Chief Joseph McNamara raises funds for Handgun Control on official city stationary and claims to represent the views of "every law enforcement officer." But when rank-and-file San Jose officer Leroy Pile spoke out against gun control on his own time, the chief had him suspended and tried to fire him.

* In Maryland, during the 1988 election, pro-gun police officers were forbidden to speak out against a gun control proposal that was on the ballot. Maryland gun control proponents, including Gov. William Donald Schaefer, then claimed to be fighting for the law enforcement community. * Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates has denounced "semi-autos," in which he asserted that their massive use by criminals, their excessive power, their use in drive-by shootings, and their easy convertibility to "full auto." Chief Gates is now facing calls for his resignation as a result of the video-taped beating of a black man by several white officers.

* At the same time, the LAPD ballistics expert produced evidence that such firearms accounted for about 3 percent of crime guns, were difficult if not impossible in most cases to convert and were almost never converted, and that drive-by shootings rarely involved more than three to five rounds.

* California recently passed an "assault weapon ban". The firearms banned included several non-existent firearms, as well as a single shot shotgun. Most of the firearms banned were not capable of full-auto fire, and thus were not assault weapons. Approximately 300,000 of these firearms are in legal hands in California. The state then required all current owners of these weapons to register them by Dec 31, 1990, but only printed a fraction of the registration forms required and so most gun owners were not able get the required forms. As a result, only 30,000 firearms were registered on time and another 20,000 or so late in registration. These late registrations were then turned over to state Justice Department for legal action against those people who tried to obey the law.

* Leading studies from the U.S. Justice Department indicate that criminals fear meeting an armed victim more than they fear running from the police. In fact, more than a third of the felons surveyed admitted to having been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim." Morever, almost 40% of the felons surveyed admitted there was at least one time when they decided not to commit a crime for fear that the victim was armed.
Headline: Police Officials Say Citizens Should Take Up Arms
From the Reuters News Service May 1, 1991

U.S. Police chiefs see the breakdown of the justice system as the main cause of crime and believe citizens should learn how to handle a weapon, according to a survey released Wednesday.

A poll taken for the National Association of Chiefs of Police surveyed heads of more than 15,400 U.S. law enforcement agencies and found that 87 percent think citizens "should take training in self-defense with firearms to protect their homes and property".

The poll showed that 83.6 percent believe the criminal justice system has broken down to the point that it's inability to prosecute and imprison criminals is the major cause of crime, and 95.1 percent said that courts are "too soft on criminals in general".

Nearly 90 percent believed their own departments are understaffed and three out of four said that they cannot provide the same level of service as a decade ago, the survey said.

The association is a non-profit organization that operates the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Miami.
Positive Externalities of Gun Ownership
by John Kell

Mr. Kell is a botanist studying for his Ph.D. in biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.

While a friend and I were talking about gun control, he remarked that it didn't matter to him if restrictions were placed on gun ownership because he didn't own a gun. What he failed to realize was the he benefits from civilian gun ownership whether he owns guns or not. He benefits because the ownership of guns by civilians has positive externalities.

Externatilities are unpaid-for effects that accrue to third parties from the use of property by its owners. The effect may be beneficial or harmful to the third parties. If beneficial, the effects are known as "positive externalities"; if harmful, they are called "negative externalities." For example, someone who walks down a residential street full of well-landscaped yards might emjoy the sight and smell of flowers in bloom. Though the individual homeowners paid for and cared for their particular yards, the walker also benefits. The pleasure the walker receives is a positive externality of the homeowners' yard care.

Advocates of gun control are quick to point out that innocent third parties are sometimes injured or killed by accidental discharge or criminal misuse of firearms. Indeed, these are negative externalities of guns in civilian hands. What advocates of gun control rarely acknowlege, or even understand, are the positive externalities of civilian gun ownership. Positive externalities may be less newsworthy, but they are just as real and far outweigh the negative externalities of the right to bear arms.

While accidents and criminal use of guns are reported as news, making the negative externalities of gun ownership readily apparent, the millions of peaceful interactions among people that occur each day are not reported. These peaceful events are taken for granted, and little thought is given as to what conditions brought them about in the first place. Millions awake each morning and find that their homes haven't been burglarized. The vast majority of stores pass through day and night without being robbed. Many women walk alone or live alone without being accosted or raped. These peaceful happenings are due to many factors, such as burglar alarms, door locks, and police patrols, but many are due, in part, to civilian gun ownership.

One million times each year homeowners and storekeepers protect their property and lives using firearms; often this occurs without a shot being fired.[1] The mere sight of a gun often is enough to send a robber running. Impressive as this number is, it doesn't show the full extent to which the crime rate is lowered due to privately owned guns. In those cases where a gun owner thwarts a lawbreaker, it is obvious that having a gun benefited its owner. But those cases benefit non-owners as well. If the lawbreaker is killed, he will commit no crimes. If the lawbreaker is wounded, captured, or even escapes, his inclination to commit a similar crime in the future is probably lessened. The peace that arises from the disinclination or inability to commit another crime is a positive externality of gun ownership.

It cannot be known how many times each day potential burglars think, "I'm not going to break into that house; I might get shot." Even though it is difficult to evaluate how much crime is kept in check by civilian gun ownership, there is evidence that suggests its damping effect is substantial. In Orlando in 1966-67, the numbers of burglaries and rapes fell substantially after 2,500 women went through a well-publicized training program on the use of handguns.[2] In a survey taken of felons, 43 percent stated that the fact that a victim might be armed had caused themn to avoid particular homes or people.[3] There probably is no way to determine how many law-abiding citizens might turn to crime if it were a less dangerous occupation.

A friend of mine, a gentle and honest man, once confided in me that he had stolen a car when he was a teenager. He and three friends had been walking down the street in the small town where he lived, noticed a car with keys in the ignition, hopped in and drove away. Their joyride ended when they were pulled over by the local constable. My friend said his act of thievery hurt his mother more than anything else he ever did, and he regretted it often. He was guilty of theft and knew it, but he said he wished that the car's owner hadn't left the keys. Even though a well-equipped criminal can break into a locked car in less than a minute, leaving cars unlocked with keys in the ignition greatly increases the number of thefts.

The lesson here is that if it is very convenient to commit a crime, more people will commit it. This is not to say that everyone is dishonest; it's just a basic law of human nature that people will choose the easy way over the hard way when confronted with a task. In the task of living, it is easier to take than to make. As Frederic Bastiat said, "... the very nature of man ... impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain."[4] Copyright laws are violated daily by otherwise honest people with access to photocopiers and tape recorders. The crime is so convenient and the victim is so distant, most people who commit copyright violations probably wouldn't consider themselves criminals.

Bastiat said, "When, then, does the plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor."[5] Gun ownership by civilians makes burglary and robbery very dangerous and often very painful. About one-half of all homes in the United States contain firearms.[6] Someone considering carrying out a burglary has no way of determining if the house he plans to enter has guns in it, so he avoids all occupied houses, benefiting those who don't own guns as well. People who don't own guns know implicitly that they benefit from private gun ownership. How many of them would put a sign in their yard that says: "The owners of this house will not defend it with armed force."

Jails are full of repeat offenders. That is evidence that punishment is not a strong enough deterrent for some people. The punishment served up by the criminal justice system usually occurs long after the crime, further attenuating any deterrence value it may have. But negative reinforcement, the condition provided by an armed homeowner at the time of an attempted crime, is an effective deterrent. Such immediate and life-threatening action makes crime a hazardous occupation, and if crime is made a dangerous way of life, the number of criminals will decline and society will be a safer place for all.

Another positive externality, even less apparent, is the restraint that has been put on government action because of civilian gun ownership. What policies might have been put in place by federal, state, and local governments had civilian gun ownership been heavily restricted? In the many years since the founding of our nation, what rules might bureaucrats have written if they hadn't needed to worry about an armed revolt of the masses? What invasive policies might they have come up with to make enforcement of their laws easier?

There are thousands of laws in the United States that restrict gun ownership in one way or another. Restrictions include waiting periods, bans on concealed weapons, and bans on owning particular kinds of weapons such as handguns or military-style semi-automatics. Gun control advocates support these laws because they hope to eradicate negative externalities, but reducing gun ownership eliminates positive externalities as well. In fact, gun control laws probably cancel more positive than negative externalities, because law-abiding citizens are much more likely to obey the rules than are criminals.

The negative externalities of guns need to be decreased, but the best way to minimize them is to deal with them directly. Accidents can be reduced by educating owners about proper care and handling of firearms. Such training is being provided by nonprofit groups including the National Rifle Association, and at for-profit shooting ranges.

Criminal misuse of firearms can best be decreased by cutting the overall crime rate. Methods of reducing crime have been discussed by other authors, and include drug legalization, eliminating barriers to entry in the work force, and increasing educational opportunities.

Since we don't pay for positive externalities, we seldom think of their value. Indeed it would be a formidable task to measure the total value of the positive externalities of guns in private hands. However, even without that measurement, the knowledge of the existence of positive externalities should help us to understand why so many people consider the right to own firearms to be a priceless freedom.

1. Gary Kleck, "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force, " _Social Problems_, February 1988, p. 4.
2. Ibid., p. 13. Rapes had decreased by 89 percent one year after the program. Burglaries dropped "substantially" as well.
3. Ibid., p. 12
4. Frederic Bastiat, _The Law_ (Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1950), p. 10.
5. Ibid., p. 10
6. Kleck, p. 1
From THE FREEMAN, October 1991 (Vol. 41, No. 10), pages 374-376, by David Chesler. [THE FREEMAN, now called IDEAS ON LIBERTY, is the monthly publication of The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., Irvington-on-Hudson, NY 10533; All typos are mine; --MAC]

There is a photo on the last page showing an older man apparently instructing or coaching a younger man in the use of what appears to be a target pistol, at what appears to be a camp or outdoor range. Both are wearing ear protectors and glasses. The caption reads "Nonprofit groups such as the National Rifle Association provide training in the handling of firearms." The acknowledgement is "Courtesy of the National Rifle Association."

Copyright (c) 1991 by The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. Printed in the U.S.A. Permission is granted to reprint any article in this issue except [two which are not the one above] provided appropriate credit is given and two copies of the reprinted materials are sent to The Foundation.

Here are a few things we all know about handguns: they are useless for self-defense; their owners are more likely to kill relatives than assailants; they tempt the law-abiding to violence. False, false, and false.


ADVOCATES of gun control generally represent the debate as one between cool, rational defenders of civil order and ignorant rednecks inspired by half-acknowledged prejudices. In fact social-science research is increasingly on the side of the "rednecks." And the arguments for banning guns are mostly myths.*

Myth #1: Most murderers are ordinary, law-abiding citizens, who kill a relative or acquaintance in a moment of anger only because a gun is available. In fact, every study of homicide shows the overwhelming majority of murderers are career criminals, people with lifelong histories of violence, sometimes irrational, sometimes acquisitive. The typical murderer has a prior criminal history averaging at least six years, with four major felony arrests. He also is likely to be a substance abuser with a record of traffic and/or gun accidents. Indeed, even people who accidentally kill with guns tend to have similar felony records and histories of substance abuse and auto accidents. In short, these are aberrant people characterized by a consistent indifference to human life (including their own).

Our present laws acknowledge this by banning gun ownership by ex-felons, juveniles, and the mentally impaired. These restrictions fail not because they are too narrow, but because they are inadequately enforced.

Myth #2: The public supports "gun control." Fifty per cent of American householders have guns, and 78 per cent of all Americans say in national surveys that they would use a gun for self-defense. Americans do support prudent controls on access to guns (e.g., by ex-felons), but groups advocating "gun control" want much broader prohibitions. For example, Handgun Control Inc. (HCI), which claims to support only moderate controls, considers moderate the gun-control laws in Washington, D.C. That city has effectively outlawed self-defense with guns. It prohibits handgun sales, and allows hunters to have rifles and shotguns only if kept unloaded and disassembled.

While Americans support gun registration in opinion polls, abstract endorsement becomes fanatical opposition when HCI and even more extreme supporters of registration avow (or are forced to admit) that it is only a first step toward their goal of confiscation. HCI-backed proposals to ban handgun sales and confiscate all handguns were rejected even in two of the most liberal states, California in 1982 and Massachusetts in 1976.

Myth #3: Gun owners are ignorant rednecks given to senseless violence. Studies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners. To judge by their applications for permits to carry guns at all times, the following are (or were) gun owners: Eleanor Roosevelt, Joan Rivers, Dianne Feinstein, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Sid Caesar, John Lindsay, Robert Goulet, Leland DuPont, Arthur Godfrey, Michael Korda, Henry Cabot Lodge, Sammy Davis Jr., Lyman Bloomingdale, Donald Trump, John Foster Dulles, and John, Laurance, David, Winthrop, and Nelson Rockefeller.

An early academic analysis (still relied upon by gun-control advocates) that labeled gun owners "Violence prone" turns out to have been based on survey questions that addressed only willingness to come to the aid of crime victims. In other words, the analyst confused good citizenship with violence. Later surveys show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc.

Myth #4: Protection against crime is the job of the police. Slogans like "To protect and serve" contribute to the false impression that the main function of the police is to protect individuals. But the U.S. has only five hundred thousand police officers; dividing that number by three shifts per day, and adjusting for vacation leave, desk duty, etc., leaves only about 75,000 police on patrol at any one time to protect 250 million Americans. Their numbers are wholly inadequate to provide individual protection to everyone.

Myth #5: The Second Amendment protects only the states' right to arm a militia. This interpretation appeared only in the twentieth century. Significantly, the two earliest commentaries on the Second Amendment, which were before Congress when it passed the Bill of Rights, described it as guaranteeing to the people "their right to keep and bear their private arms" (Tench Coxe) and "their own arms" (Sam Adams) (emphasis added).

The Founders were well aware of Aristotle's dictum that free governments rest on free men armed, while basic to tyranny is "mistrust of the people; hence they deprive them of arms." To James Madison, author of the Second Amendment, "The advantage that the Americans have over every other nation is that they are armed."

The Founders put today's NRA mossbacks to shame. "One loves to possess arms," Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Washington on June 19, 1796. On another occasion, Jefferson wrote his 15-year-old nephew: "Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. [But the gun] gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Let your gun therefore be the companion of your walks."

Myth #6: Guns are not useful for self-defense. Advocates of gun control have been so certain of this that they have paid for several national surveys to prove it. Awkwardly, every study has shown the opposite: handguns are used more often in repelling crimes than in committing them. While handguns are used in about 581,000 crimes yearly, they are used to repel about 645,000 crimes.

A related argument is that handguns kill six (or even 42) times as many household members as burglars. This comparison is deceptive on several grounds. First, about half of shootings by one spouse or the other are defensive-killings of homicidal husbands by victimized wives. So it misleadingly characterizes many cases in which guns save innocent lives as gun murders.

Also, by focusing on homes the statistic excludes the numerous instances in which shopkeepers kill robbers. When the number of shopkeepers and abused wives who shoot criminals is counted, the figure for defensive killings increases by about 1,000 per cent.

HCI harps on fatal accidents and murders in the home without mentioning that the former are generally perpetrated by irresponsible aberrants and the latter overwhelmingly so. Disarming the more than 98 per cent of gun owners who are law-abiding and responsible will not disarm the 2 per cent of aberrants. Even if it did, lack of handguns would not prevent the killing of wives and children with other weapons (like the knife or the far deadlier shotgun).

Perhaps the most disingenuous ploy is to downplay suicides, which constitute the majority of household handgun deaths in the comparison. Even if we agree that stopping suicide is a legitimate use of state power, it is silly to argue that banning a single method would have a significant effect. The most obvious alternative, the long gun, is used in roughly 50 per cent of current gun suicides.

Myth #7: Resistance with a gun will get you injured or killed. According to gun-controllers, armed women frequently have their guns taken away and used against them. And so HCI advises submission: "The best way to keep you alive [is to] put up no defense-give them what they want or run." National victim data suggest otherwise. While victims resisting with knives, clubs, or bare hands are about twice as likely to be injured as those who submit (though far less likely to be raped or robbed), victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who take HCI's advice. (We emphasize that a gun does not make resistance safe regardless of circumstances. Perhaps a person with the foresight to own a gun is more likely to have pondered in advance the question of when and how to resist.)

Myth #8: Other countries have reduced violence by banning guns. This claim cannot be true, since low European violence long preceded gun restriction.

Restrictive gun laws were largely pioneered, not in Europe, but in various high-violence American states, beginning in the late 1800s. The measures failed -- violence rates continued to rise -- and they were largely repealed after World War 1. European gun bans began at about the same time ours were being repealed. Moreover, they were a response not to ordinary crime (which was low), but to the political crime and unrest of the era. Even as gun control failed to curb ordinary violence in this country, so the European countries that banned guns in response to political crime have nevertheless suffered far more such crime than has America. Ironically, the only "gun control" in place when English crime fell from its appalling late-eighteenth-century high to its idyllic early-twentieth century low was that the police could not carry guns. The inevitable conclusion is that the determinants of violence are socioeconomic and cultural factors rather than the availability of any particular deadly instrument.

Moreover, the emphasis on changing gun laws is fundamentally diversionary. With prosecutors, judges, and prisons swamped by murderers, rapists, robbers, etc., the violence-prone know they risk very little real penalty for illegal possession of a gun. In the premier criminological study of gun-control enforcement, Bendis and Balkin conclude: "It is very possible that if gun laws do potentially reduce gun-related crime, the present laws are all that is needed if they are enforced. What good would stronger laws do when the courts have demonstrated that they will not enforce them?".

* Those interested in further exploring these issues should refer to the just-published definitive work, "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" (1991) by Gary Kleck. See also, Kates, "The Value of Civilian Arms Possession as a Deterrent to Crime or Defense against Crime," in American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 18, #3 (1991).

Mr. Kates, a criminologist and constitutional lawyer, is the editor of Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy and author of "Guns, Murders, and the Constitution," both available from the Pacific Research Institute. Miss Harris, a medical editor living in northern New Jersey, is a past contributor to Handgun Control Inc.
NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 21, 1991, Pages 30 to 32


Florida's first right to keep and bear arms case appears to be .i.Carlton v. State (1912). The principal crime involved was first degree murder of a peace officer in St. Johns County, by three brothers named Carlton. [90 Carlton v. State, 63 Fla. 1, 58 So. 486 (1912)] Relative to the murder conviction the three brothers were appealing, the weapons violations would seem like a small matter, and perhaps for this reason, the Florida Supreme Court put relatively little effort into the discussion of this issue. The statute in question, General Statutes section 3262, originally adopted in 1901 and revised in 1906, appears to have been a general prohibition on carry of handguns, with exceptions for peace officers. [Carlton v. State, 63 Fla. 1, 58 So. 486, 488 (1912)]

What prompted this statute? We have the good fortune to have a completely honest statement of its original purpose, which was at considerable variance from the text itself. The Florida Supreme Court in 1941 refused to find that a pistol in an automobile glove compartment was "carrying" within the meaning of the statute. A concurring opinion by Justice Buford asserted:

"I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in the turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied." [Watson v. Stone, 4 So.2d 700, 703 (Fla. 1941), quoted in Cottrol and Diamond, 355.]

No more damning statement can be imagined as to the purpose of the Florida law. It also fits well with our hypothesis about the nominally color-blind laws of the .i.Reconstruction; period. ____________________
New York Times, "Chop! Kick! Police Seek Martial Art as Defense", March 6, 1992, p. A14.

"... a huge proportion of law enforcement personnel who are injured with firearms are shot with their own weapons -- 22 out of 43, or more than 50 percent, last year in New York City, according to police records."
How common is firearms ownership? (From 'Guns in America: Who Owns Them' from a New York Time / CBS NEWS Poll, run as a sidebar to 'The Gun Culture ...' New York Times, March 9, 1992. "Do you or any other member of your household own a handgun, rifle, shotgun or any other kind of firearm?" Based on a survey of 1281 adults nationwide conducted by telephone Jan. 22-25):

Large cities:                 31%
Rural areas and small towns:  72%

What are their robbery and murder rates? (1990 annual rates per 100,000 population, as listed in the FBI UCR):

Population group        Robbery   Murder
Cities,  over  250,000   850.2     25.6
Cities,  10,000-24,999    86.3      4.1
Cities,  under  10,000    49.4      3.7
Rural counties            15.8      5.7

It would help the gun-control movement considerably if Cook's observed association between gun ownership rates and gun crime rates extended to overall violent crime rates. But it doesn't.
These are the various requests for a Bill of Rights made by the state conventions responsible for ratifying the U.S. Constitution:

Amendments proposed by the New Hampshire Convention, June 21, 1788:


"Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion."

[_Documentary_History_of_the_First_Federal_Congress_1789- 1791_, Vol. IV, (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore: 1986), p. 15]

Amendments proposed by the Virginia Convention, June 27, 1788:

"Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power." (ibid, p. 17)

Amendments proposed by the New York Convention, July 26, 1788:

"That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People CAPABLE OF BEARING ARMS [emphasized in the original], is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State" (ibid, p. 20)

Erik Larson's even-handed article on Paxton Quigley ("Armed Force," 2/4/93, WSJ) cites the world's most notorious 'statistic' regarding guns in the home: "A pioneering study of residential gunshot deaths in King County, Washington, found that a gun in the home was 43 times more likely to be used to kill its owner, spouse, a friend or child than to kill an intruder." The "43 times" stat is everywhere these days; it has grown in media lore like the proverbial urban myth: it was inflated by one pugilistic talk-show pundit to "93." Given the shock value of the finding, the conclusion of the 1986 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study is remarkably understated: "The advisability of keeping firearms in the home for protection must be questioned."

Responsible people should indeed question the risks and benefits of bringing a firearm into their home. But what we need to know is this: What exactly are the risks and benefits? The NEJM testimony is neither the whole truth about the benefits nor nothing but the truth about the risks. Further, as with motor vehicles, we want to know: What control do we have over the risks and benefits? And, as with the risks of cancer or heart disease or auto accidents: How can we minimize the risks? Like raw highway death tolls, the NEJM stat is not very helpful here.

The NEJM finding purports to inform us, but it is framed to warn us off. It is widely promulgated in the media as a 'scare stat,' a misleading half-truth whose very formulation is calculated to prejudice and terrify. The frightful statistic screams for itself: The risks far outweigh the benefits, yes? What fool would run these risks? If your car were 43 times more likely to kill you, a loved one, a dear friend or an innocent child than to get you to your destination, should you not take the bus?

Uncritical citation puts the good name of statistics in the bad company of lies and damned lies. Surely, we can do better where lives are at stake. Let's take a closer look at this risky business:

The "43 times" stat of the NEJM study is the product of dividing the number of home intruders/aggressors justifiably killed in self-defense (the divisor) into the number of family members or acquaintances killed by a gun in the home (the dividend). The divisor of this risk equation is 9: in the study's five-year sample there were 2 intruders and 7 other cases of self-defense. The dividend is 387: in the study there were 12 accidental deaths, 42 criminal homicides, and 333 suicides. 387 divided by 9 yields 43. There were a total of 743 gun-related deaths in King County between 1978 and 1983, so the study leaves 347 deaths outside of homes unaccounted.

The NEJM's notorious "43 times" statistic is seriously misleading on six counts:

1. The dividend is misleadingly characterized in the media: the "or acquaintances" of the study (who include your friendly drug dealers and neighborhood gang members) is equated to "friends." The implication is that the offending guns target and kill only beloved family members, dear friends, and innocent children. Deaths may all be equally tragic, but the character and circumstance of both victims and killers are relevant to the risk. These crucial risk factors are masked by the calculated impression that the death toll is generated by witless Waltons shooting dear friends and friendly neighbors. This is criminological hogwash.

2. The study itself does not distinguish households or environs populated by people with violent, criminal, or substance-abuse histories -- where the risk of death is very high -- versus households inhabited by more civil folk (for example, people who avoid high-risk activities like drug dealing, gang banging and wife beating) -- where the risk is very low indeed. In actuality, negligent adults allow fatal but avoidable accidents; and homicides are perpetrated mostly by people with histories of violence or abuse, people who are identifiably and certifiably at 'high risk' for misadventure. To ignore these obvious risk factors in firearm accidents and homicides is as misleading as ignoring the role of alcohol in vehicular deaths: by tautology, neither gun deaths nor vehicular deaths would occur without firearms or vehicles; but the person and circumstance of the gun owner or driver crucially affect the risk.

3. One misleading implication of the way the NEJM stat is framed is that the mere presence of a gun in the home is much more likely to kill than to protect, and this obscures -- indeed, disregards -- the role of personal responsibility. The typical quotation of this study (unlike Larson's) attributes fatal agency to the gun: "A gun in the home is 43 times as likely to kill...." (The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, a major promulgator of the NEJM statistic, uses this particular formulation.) We can dispense with the silly debate about whether it's people or guns that accomplish the killing: again, by tautology, gun deaths would not occur without the guns. The question begged is how many deaths would occur anyway, without the guns. In any case, people are the death-dealing agents, the guns are their lethal instruments. The moral core of the personal risk factors in gun deaths are personal responsibility and choice. Due care and responsibility obviate gun accidents; human choice mediates homicide and suicide (by gun or otherwise). The choice to own a gun need not condemn a person to NEJM's high-risk pool. The gun does not create this risk by itself. People have a lot to say about what risk they run with guns in their homes. For example, graduates of Paxton Quigley's personal protection course do not run the touted "43 times" risk any more than skilled and sober drivers run the same risks of causing or suffering vehicular death as do reckless or drunk drivers. Undiscriminating actuarials disregard and obscure the role of personal responsibility and choice, just as they disregard and obscure the role of socio-economic, criminological and other risk-relevant factors in firearm-related death. This is why we resent insurance premiums and actuarial consigment to risk pools whose norms disregard our individualities. Fortunately, nothing can consign us to the NEJM risk pool but our own lack of choice or responsibility in the matter.

4. Suicide accounts for 84% of the deaths by gun in the home in the NEJM study. As against the total deaths by gun in King County, including those outside the home, in-house suicides are 44% of the total death toll, which is closer to the roughly 50% proportion found by other studies. Suicide is a social problem of a very different order from homicide or accidents. The implication of the NEJM study is that these suicides might not occur without readily available guns. It is true that attempted suicide by gun is likely to succeed. It is not obviously true that the absence of a gun would prevent any or all of these suicides. This is widely assumed or alleged, but the preponderance of research on guns and suicide actually shows otherwise, that this is wishful thinking in all but a few truly impulsive cases. (See: Bruce L. Danto et al., The Human Side of Homicide, Columbia University Press, 1982; Charles Rich et al., "Guns and Suicide," American Journal of Psychiatry, March 1990.) If suicides were removed from the dividend of the NEJM study's risk equation, the "43 times" stat would deflate to "six." The inclusion of suicides in the NEJM risk equation -- like the causes, durability, or interdiction of suicidal intent itself -- is a profoundly debatable matter. Quotations of the NEJM study totally disregard this issue.

5. Citations of the NEJM study also mislead regarding the estimable rate of justifiable and excusable homicide. Most measures, like the NEJM homicide rate, are based on the immediate disposition of cases. But many homicides initially ruled criminal are appealed and later ruled self-defense. In the literature on battered women, immediate case dispositions are notorious for under-representing the rate of justifiable or excusable homicide. Time's January 18, 1993, cover story on women "Fighting Back" reported one study's finding that 40% of women who appeal have their murder convictions thrown out. Time's July 17, 1989, cover story on a week of gun deaths reported 51% of the domestic cases as shootings by abuse victims; but only 3% of the homicides were reported as self-defense. In a May 14, 1990, update, Time reported that 12% of the homicides had eventually been ruled self-defense. In Time's sample, the originally reported rate of self-defense was in error by a factor of four. The possibility of such error is not acknowledged by promulgators of the NEJM statistic.

6. While both the dividend and the product of the NEJM risk equation are arguably inflated, the divisor is unconscionably misleading. The divisor of this equation counts only aggressors who are killed, not aggressors who are successfully thwarted without being killed or even shot at. The utility of armed self-defense is the other side of the coin from the harms done with guns in homes. What kind of moral idiocy is it to measure this utility only in terms of killings? Do we measure the utility of our police solely in terms of felons killed -- as opposed to the many many more who are otherwise foiled, apprehended, or deterred? Should we not celebrate (let alone count ) those cases where no human life is lost as successful armed defenses? The question posed to media that cite the NEJM scare stat is this: Why neglect the compendious research on successful armed defense, notably by criminologist Gary Kleck (Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, Aldine de Gruyter, 1992)?

Kleck's estimations of the rate and risk of defensive firearm use are based on victimization surveys as well as other studies: the rate is high (about one million a year) and the risk is good (gun defenders fare better than anyone, either those who resort to other forms of resistance or those who do not resist). Dividing one million gun defenses a year by 30,000 annual gun deaths (from self-defense, homicides, suicides, and accidents) yields 33. Thus, we can construct a much more favorable statistic than the NEJM scare stat:

A gun is 33 times more likely to be used to defend against assault or other crime than to kill anybody.

Of course, Kleck's critics belittle the dividend of this calculation; what is good news for gun defenders is bad news for gun control. We should indeed question the basis and method of Kleck's high estimation of defensive firearm use, as I have questioned the NEJM statistic. Clearly, the issue of how to manage mortal risks is not settled by uncritical citation of statistics. One thing troubles me still: we can hardly escape the unquestioned NEJM scare stat in our media, but we hardly ever find Kleck's good work mentioned, even critically.

A good introduction to background on gun control (why it doesn't work, numbers, etc.) is David B. Kopel's "Hold Your Fire" in the Winter 1993 issue of "Policy Review" magazine (your campus library should have it). More complete information is in Gary Kleck's 1991 book _Point Blank_.

Kleck, a lifelong liberal Democrat and former supporter of waiting periods, gives a thorough statistical analysis. He became well known in right to keep and bear arms circles for his study "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force," published in the socialogical journal _Social Problems_, volume 35 (1988), pp. 1-21. Kleck used data from various surveys and from official Department of Justice statistics to estimate the frequency with which crime is stopped by armed citizens. The most comprehensive survey he looked at was conducted by Democratic polling firm Peter Hart and Assoc. on behalf of the pro-gun control National Association Against Violence.

Kleck used the data from (among other places) the Hart poll to estimate that hand guns are used to stop a crime an average of 645,000 times per year. Moreover, all guns (hand guns, rifles, shotguns combined) are used to stop roughly 1 million crimes per year. (I'd use the 645,000 number, though: most control efforts are directed toward hand guns, and people make idle claims like "concealable weapons are only useful for committing crimes.)

Initially, one might compare this with the frequence of violent crime in which a gun was used. From the U. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Survey (1987), you will find that there were a total of 541,271 violent crimes committed with a hand gun in 1985, and 657,119 violent crimes committed with any gun during 1985. Thus, either way, we see more civilian defenses with hand guns and guns in general than crimes committed with a hand gun or with any gun.

This comparison, of course, has its limits. For one thing, we don't know how gun control would affect the frequency of defenses and crimes. For some insight, consider the 1986 National Institute of Justice study by James Wright and Peter Rossi. Before doing this and a related NIJ study, sociologist Wright was on record as favoring stricter controls; Rossi's credentials are certainly legitimate: he has served as president of the American Sociological Association. Wright and Rossi interviewed convicted felons in 10 state correctional systems in 1981, and found that the presence and scope of gun control laws had no effect on criminals' ability to obtain firearms. (Of course, convicted felons cannot, after release, legally obtain a gun; they lose this right, along with the right to vote and various others, and can only have these restored if they sue and a judge finds in their favor. So, stricter controls could not be placed on convicts, seeing as they're not allowed to possess a firearm anyway.) Wright and Rossi found that criminals convicted of a gun-related crime did not expect to have any difficulty obtaining a firearm the day after release from prison. Moreover, 83% of convicted gun predators said that, if they somehow could be stopped from stealing a gun, buying through a legal surrogate, getting one on the black market, borrowing a gun, etc., they would switch to long guns or sawed-off long guns. As these are more lethal than hand guns, long guns being used in more crimes would likely increase the rates of fatalities.

Kleck's 1991 book (cited above) does a probit regression analysis (i.e., a regression where what the researcher wants to predict is the probability an event occurs) to estimate the likelihood an attack takes place during a crime, that an injury occurs given an attack, and that death results given injury, in order to judge whether the offender's possessing a firearm makes victim death more likely. He found that, overall, the lack of available hand guns would drop deaths by 1.4%; however, this (he points out) ignores that the unavailability of firearms would reduce the number of crimes foiled by armed citizens. Moreover, if the handguns were replaced by long guns, Kleck's estimates imply that the number of deaths due to violent crime would increase by 18.1%.

What affect would the gun control have on crimes foiled by armed citizens? An experiment was tried in Orlando, Florida, from Oct 1966 to Mar 1967, in which the Orlando Police Department trained over 2500 women to use hand guns. Details of the study are in Alan Krug, "The relationship between firearms ownership and crime rates," _Congressional Record_ (1968), pp. H570-2. A follow-up study was published by Kleck and Bourda (1983), in _Law and Politics Quarterly_, vol. 5, pp. 271-98. The highlights: an uninterrupted time series of Orlando crime trends shows that the rape rate dropped 88% in 1967 from the 1966 level, a far greater decrease than for any previous year. The rape rate was constant in the rest of Florida and in the U. S. The only other crime to drop substantially was burglary. Thus, the targeted crime and the one most likely to occur where victims have access to guns dropped.

Pro gun control forces frequently cite one of several New England Journal of Medicine studies, claiming that the chances of being killed with a firearm are anywhere from 5 to 43 times higher than those of killing a burglar (among gun owners). The 43 number includes gun suicides; no reputable study has shown that decreasing gun availability has any affect on the suicide rate. (It does affect the gun suicide rate, but other suicide rates increase.) Moreover, in below 1/2% of all civilian defenses is the offender actually killed; hence, even if the 1/43 number were the accurate ratio, it would have to be multiplied by roughly 200 to compensate for the fact that it only considers burglars killed, not crimes stopped. This alone would suggest that owning a firearm is quite useful for personal defense, but there's more. None of the New England Journal of Medicine studies restricted attention to injuries due to one's own firearm. Thus, if criminals are harder to disarm than the law abiding (a reasonable assumption if one believes that criminals don't obey laws), it is incorrect to compare my rate of killing a burglar with my firearm with my rate of being killed by a burglar with his: the point of the studies was to assess whether a gun is useful for home defense, so it should compare the likelihood of my being injured with my firearm versus that of my stopping an injury to me using my firearm. Also, the New England Jornal of Medicine studies did not include any firearm defenses against any crime other than robbery; by contrast, they all counted against firearms any homicides committed in any setting.

Oh, yes. One more thing. FBI data suggest that the ratio of self-defense homicides to criminal homicides in Detroit and Dade (Miami, Fl) conties is roughly .14. If one takes this to be a national average (on an argument that the cities are geographically distinct but had similar numbers), one gets an estimate of roughly 2800 civilian legal defensive homicides per year with a gun, and 300 with some other weapon (based on 1980 U.S. National Crime and Health Statistics), versus 368 reported police legal-intervention gun homicides and 14 police legal-intervention nongun homicides. By the way, one of the New England Journal of Medicine studies (Kellerman and Reay, 1986) gives a ratio of .22 for Seattle for 1978-83, suggesting an even higher number of criminals killed in self-defense by armed citizens compared with the number killed by police.

What about other crimes? The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Survey for 1979-85 gives the following numbers of completion of robberies when the victim used various methods of self-protection:

Method     % completed   % attacked   % injured
------     -----------   ----------   ---------
gun             30.9        25.2         17.4
knife           35.2        55.6         40.3
other weapon    28.9        41.5         22.0
physical force  50.1        75.6         50.8
called 911      63.9        73.5         48.9
reasoned w/
 offender       53.7        48.1         30.7
evasion         50.8        54.7         34.9
compliance      88.5        41.5         24.7

So, defending oneself against a robber with a gun reduced the chance of injury by 26% over using a nongun weapon other than a knife (the next best option). Compared with compliance, one's chance of avoiding injury by defending with a gun was 42% better. The margin of error for these numbers is extremely low; the case with the fewest realizations was defense with a knife, and even for that, there were 59,813 cases covered. Thus, these numbers are significant with as high a level of confidence as one likes.

The National Crime Survey gives similar numbers for assaults, though those are even more dramatic. One who defended oneself against an assault with a gun had a 23.2% chance of being attacked and a 12.1% chance of being injured. The next best choice for avoiding injury was reasoning with the offendor, which led to a 40.0% chance of attack and a 24.7% chance of injury. Using another weapon (nongun, non-knife) led to a 41.4% attack rate and a 25.1% injury rate. Knives led to a 46.4% attack rate and 29.5% injury rate. Compliance led to a 39.9% attack rate (the lowest except for defense with a gun) and a 27.3% injury rate.

One other topic is likely to come up, and you should be careful in how you reply. Not long ago (within the past 5 years), there was a study (I believe the New England Journal of Medicine or Journal of the American Medical Assoc) which compared the homicide rates in Seattle with those in Vancouver, and claimed that the lower rates in Vancouver were evidence for success of Canadian gun control. Two problems: (1) The study did not adjust for demographics. Seattle has a large, disaffected Hispanic community, whose homicide rate is considerably higher than that for the rest of Seattle. When adjustment is made for this, and for the demographic composition of Vancouver, the homicide rates become very close (I think Seattle's actually becomes lower). This is a point that, though valid, I would hesitate to make, as it would be easy for a critic to misconstrue. That is, while no one would maintain that ethnicity causes homicide, one might argue that ethnic strife is often associated with higher homicide rates. Nevertheless, a dishonest opponent would try to depict one who raised this point as a bigot. Hence, I offer point (2): Canada's homicide rate has increased since its radical gun control law was passed in 1978, and has climbed more rapidly than the U.S. rate. If one compares the ratio of homicides in Vancouver and Seattle prior to 1978, one gets (if memory serves) a much more dramatic disparity than the post-control study that is often cited. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the disparity is due to the Canadian gun control law.

Someone might try to make other international comparisons: Japan and England are favorites of the pro-control forces. The comparisons are worthless. First, you could always counter with information comparisons with Israel and Switzerland (high gun ownership, low crime) or Mexico (low gun ownership, high crime). Second, you might point out that differences in crime rates are attributable to our revolving-door justice. E.g., in London, 20% of reported robberies end in conviction; in New York City, fewer than 5% do. Moreover, England has twice as many firearms homicides annually as it did before it adopted its tough anti-gun laws.

One way to make some corrected comparisons with Japan (adjusting for judicial system, cultural differences, etc.) might be to compare homicide rates among Japanese Americans, who have widespread access to guns because they live here, but maintain much of their Japanese culture. Through 1979, the FBI tracked homicide arrests by race, and included a category for "Japanese." Applying the fraction of Japanese American arrests to the total number of homicides during 1976-78, Kleck (in Point Blank, pp. 189 ff.) estimates a homicide rate for Japanese Americans of 1.04 per 100,000 persons. By contrast, the homicide rate in Japan for the same period was 2.45 per 100,000, or 2.3 times higher.

Some notes about Britain. Though the British have a much lower gun homicide rate than we have, they also have a much lower knife homicide rate and a lower rate of homicide using hands and feet. Are we to infer, then, that the British ahve fewer knives or hands and feet than Americans?

By the way, the leading study of English gun control was done by Colin Greenwood (_Firearms Control: A Study of Armed Crime and Firearms Control in England and Wales_. London: Routledge, 1972.). Greenwood compiled tables on gun crime rates and gun ownership rates in all 47 English police force areas, as of 1969. He found that "the rate of armed crime is in no way connected with the density of firearms in the community. Indeed, if anything, the reverse appears to be true" (p. 219). Kleck analyzes Greenwood's data, and finds that the legal gun owner rate had a correlation of -0.17 with both offenses involving firearms in general and robberies involving firearms. Moreover, the differences cannot be attributed to higher concentration of firearms in rural areas alone.
Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman, Subcommittee on the Constitution - Preface, "The Right To Keep And Bear Arms":
"What the subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear - and long lost - proof that the Second Amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms."

Repub. Sen. Orrin Hatch, 1982 Senate Report:
"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."
William Rawle, 1825; considered academically to be an expert commentator on the Constitution. He was offered the position of the first Attorney General of the United States, by President Washington:
"The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by rule of construction be conceived to give the Congress the power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both."
Patrick Henry, speaking to the Virginia convention for the ratification of the constitution on the necessity of the right to keep and bear arms:
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined."
Patrick Henry (1736-1799) in his famous "The War Inevitable" speech, March, 1775:

"They tell us, Sir, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power."

"Three millions of People, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us." --

"The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!"

"It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Samuel Adams arguing for a Bill of Rights, from the book "Massachusetts," published by Pierce & Hale, Boston, 1850, pg. 86-87:
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent *the people* of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ..."
A Journal of the Times" (1768-1769) colonial Boston newspaper article:
"Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military conservators still multiply upon us, some of which are of such nature, and have been carried to so great lengths, as must serve fully to evince that a late vote of this town, calling upon its inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defence, was a measure as it was legal natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, (the post-Cromwellian English bill of rights) to keep arms for their own defence; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Shogun, August 29, 1558, Japan:
"The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of these elements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues, and tends to permit uprising. Therefore, the heads of provinces, official agents, and deputies are ordered to collect all the weapons mentioned above and turn them over to the government."
Stephen P. Holbrook, "That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right", University of New Mexico Press, 1984, pp. 83-84:
"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 .... The phrase "the people" meant the same thing in the Second Amendment as it did in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments -- that is, each and every free person. A select militia defined as only the privileged class entitled to keep and bear arms was considered an anathema to a free society, in the same way that Americans denounced select spokesmen approved by the government as the only class entitled to the freedom of the press."
Worry about the freedom to own a gun -- even if you don't
By Charley Reese of The Sentinel Staff
Published in The Orlando Sentinel on July 20, 1999.

The most intense effort to infringe on the right of Americans to keep and bear arms is now under way, led mainly by Democrats.

This is a constitutional matter, not a matter of hardware or crime-fighting.

All Americans, including those who don't own guns, should be concerned with guarding a right that has been recognized in America for more than two centuries. Some of us might not choose to exercise a right, such as speech or assembly, but nevertheless we should not want that right taken away.

So it is with the right to keep and bear arms. No one has to exercise that right, but all should rally to its defense. It, more than any other right, signifies that Americans are a free people and that sovereignty rests with the people, not with the government. If you are not a gun owner, then think of the Second Amendment as a symbol of your status as a free person with unalienable rights, which are a gift of God, not of the government.

And right here is a good time to point out that the Constitution does not, I say does not, grant anyone any rights whatsoever. What the Constitution does is simply acknowledge already-existing rights. If you read the first 10 amendments attentively, you can see that the language itself clearly indicates this. Nowhere will you find language such as "the right to ... is granted."

Let's look at the Second Amendment, for example, from a grammatical point of view. The text is as follows:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Notice that it does not state that the right of the states to have militias shall not be infringed. This amendment consists of a nominative absolute and a subject and verb.

The nominative absolute is the phrase "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State." The subject of the sentence is "right." The verb is "shall be infringed" modified by the adverb, "not."

Thus the main sentence states plainly that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. So what's with the nominative absolute? Does it limit the right to keep and bear arms? Not at all. It merely answers the question, why should the right to keep and bear arms not be infringed.

Harper's English Grammar has this to say about nominative absolutes:

"The nominative absolute is, as a rule, the equivalent of an adverbial clause ...." Adverbs, you may recall from high school, modify verbs, other adverbs or adjectives. They do not modify nouns, which in this case is "right."

A modern way of writing might state, "Because a well-trained militia is essential to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The only modifiers of the noun "right" are the phrases "of the people" (note, please, it refers to people, not state, not militia) and "to keep and bear arms," which tells us which right.

At the time these amendments were written and ratified, the militia was the people. And the word "regulate," in 18th-century usage, meant to train or discipline. Today, we generally use the word to mean control.

Some might say the Second Amendment is obsolete. Our own century shows us that it is not. Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot and Mao all saw to it that people were disarmed prior to commencing their reigns of terror and tyranny. God forbid, but Americans, too, could find themselves some day having to choose between submission or resistance to a tyrant.

An unarmed people are never a free people.
Massad Ayoob:
"There is no evidence in the Bible that, when Cain killed Abel with a rock, God even considered banning rocks."
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826):
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

"God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty."
by Stephen P. Halbrook, published by Westport: Praeger, 1998. 201 pp. ISBN 0-275-96331-4:

Reviewed by Daniel Hoffman, Department of Political Science, Johnson C. Smith University in LAW AND POLITICS BOOK REVIEW ISSN 1062-7421 Vol. 9 No. 4 (April 1999) pp. 151-153.

In this brief but well-researched volume, Stephen Halbrook, a practicing attorney with a special interest in Second Amendment jurisprudence, renews his battle for the right to bear arms. Although many people already have strong views on this subject, Halbrook goes well beyond preaching to the choir. His tightly focused argument is novel and powerful enough to impress even a highly skeptical reader, such as the present reviewer. One need not be an originalist to be impressed by Halbrook's treatment of little-known historical materials.

By situating his inquiry in the political thought of the Reconstruction era, Halbrook departs from the common practice of expounding Bill of Rights issues by looking first at the intent of the Founders and then jumping to the rulings of modern Justices. In so doing, he is able to reframe the practical meaning of the right to bear arms, having us place ourselves in the positions of a freedman deprived of his weapons by the Ku Klux Klan, or of the freedman's Radical Republican defenders.

Halbrook makes a persuasive case that the leaders of the Thirty-Ninth Congress regarded bearing arms as a fundamental privilege and immunity of all citizens, essential for defense of all of their other personal rights. Yet the Supreme Court had ruled in BARRON V. BALTIMORE (1831) -- contrary, Halbrook suggests, to the then prevailing understanding -- that the Bill of Rights limited only the federal government's powers and not those of the States. Southern laws either forbade the freed slaves to bear arms, or their nominal right to do so was not enforced. Many freedmen fell victim to increasing Klan activity.

To the Radicals, the plight of freedmen called for new federal legislation and/or constitutional amendments to enable them to protect themselves. The 1866 Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills were viewed by both proponents and opponents as aimed at ensuring, among other things, the right of freedmen to bear arms. The former Bill made this utterly explicit; the latter implied it by reference to "security of person and property." President Johnson vetoed both Bills, but his veto of the second was overridden.

The framing of the Fourteenth Amendment began shortly after these proceedings, and was widely seen as designed to entrench the guarantees of the 1866 Civil Rights Act in the Constitution. Halbrook argues that the Civil Rights Act was aimed, in large part, at circumventing the BARRON doctrine, while the Fourteenth Amendment was meant to override BARRON entirely and make the states directly subject to the entire Bill of Rights. The rights thus incorporated would most certainly include the right to bear arms -- a right frequently referred to in the Amendment debate and also reinscribed in the second Freedmen's Bureau Bill, approved by Congress shortly afterward and enacted over presidential veto.

"The arms ... protected included the latest firearms of all kinds .... The right ... meant the right of an individual to possess arms in the home and elsewhere ... for protection ... against criminals and terrorist groups of all kinds ... [including] lawless law enforcement. Far from being restricted to official militia activity, the right ... could be exercised ... against the state's official militia when it plundered and killed the innocent." (p. 43)

Having brought us this far, Halbrook does not pause to philosophize over the binding force of Framers' intent. Instead, he goes on to relate how, despite these enactments, the freedmen were before long stripped of their arms, and therewith of nearly all their other rights as well. In this context, the Second Amendment is readily grasped as a keystone of the Bill of Rights -- not an anomaly, an embarrassment or a puzzle.

The remainder of Halbrook's study deals with the battles over enforcement of Reconstruction policies and over ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment -- battles in which the Radical program frequently met determined resistance from every conceivable direction. The Radicals, in turn, resorted to measures including criminal legislation (enforcement acts), denial of representation in Congress, attempted presidential impeachment, and creative (to say the least) methods of counting/discounting state acts of ratification or attempted nonratification. While presidential resistance was overcome and ratification secured, by 1875 Reconstruction was effectively over.

Halbrook's focus throughout is on discussions of the right to bear arms, its scope and the location of the power to enforce or regulate it. These occurred in Congress, in state ratifying conventions and eventually, to Halbrook's dismay, in the courts.

The stuggle's intensity makes it unsurprising that the congressional debates contain conflicting viewpoints regarding militia-centered versus individualist readings of the right to bear arms, the precise extent of state powers to regulate that right, and Congress's power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment by punishing private as well as state action. Interpreting the political thrust of various statements calls for careful attention to contextual factors, such as the fact that both black and white militias -- or "militias" -- were active in different locales. Overall, though, Halbrook makes a strong case that individualism was the dominant view of the right to bear arms, that the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to prohibit state infringement of that right, and that Congress understood the Amendment as empowering it to protect fundamental rights against injury by private as well as state misconduct. (Many, indeed, believed Congress had already possessed that power beforehand.)

Halbrook also shows that ratifying conventions in Southern States generally took an expansive and favorable view of the right to bear arms. "Supporters of the Fourteenth Amendment considered the right to keep and bear arms so fundamental that they were ready to abolish the state militias to protect freedmen from deprivation of this right." (115) Opponents had similar views on the meaning and value of the right, which is why they were loath to see it extended to the freedmen.

As the Republican party lost heart for the Reconstruction struggle, enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Acts was largely relinquished to the judiciary, with disastrous results. In UNITED STATES V. CRUIKSHANK (1876), the Supreme Court declared that Congress had no power to prohibit private interference with the bearing of arms; only the states could do so. Amazingly, the briefs filed by the United States had simply failed to address the constitutional issues involved. The Court, for its part, first reiterated that, under BARRON, the Second Amendment did not apply to the states. Then, without directly addressing the incorporation issue, it simply asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment "adds nothing to the rights of one citizen as against another." (175) Thus, contrary to many judges and scholars, CRUIKSHANK did not even address the question whether the Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms against state infringement.

Halbrook's final chapter reviews the eventual triumph of the incorporation doctrine as to nearly all substantive rights -- with the conspicuous, tacit omission of the right to bear arms. In a case he himself argued, the Ninth Circuit has held that binding precedents clearly reject the incorporation of the Second Amendment. That court's reading of the precedents, however, seems less persuasive than Halbrook's.

Overall, Halbrook's critique of the judicial performance is biting and strong. Yet it is important to notice what he does not assert and cannot prove: that the right to bear arms is absolute. The Radical Framers, for example, clearly acknowledged that states could forbid the carrying of concealed weapons, or of weapons that were not ordinary militia equipment.

Thus, the bottom-line proposition that "the right to keep and bear arms should be protected from state infringement by the Fourteenth Amendment" (192) leaves open many difficult questions about the proper application of a balancing test to a specific arms control measure enacted or applied in a specific context. Only one who sees the FBI or ATF as equivalent to the KKK can think himself similarly situated to a freedman in Reconstruction South Carolina, Mississippi or Texas. Others can still argue that bans on assault rifles, for example, are supported by a compelling governmental interest (or whatever other standard is deemed suitable). If so, Halbrook's contributions to history and jurisprudence may be weightier than their likely political impact. That is probably a good thing.

BARRON V. BALTIMORE, 32 U.S. 243 (1831)
Aristotle. Quoted by John Trenchard and Walter Moyle "An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army Is Inconsistent with a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy" [London, 1697]:
"Those, who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people."
John Trenchard & Walter Moyle, "An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army Is Inconsistent With a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy" [London, 1697]
"To avoid domestic tyranny, the people must be armed to stand upon [their] own Defence; which if [they] are enabled to do, [they] shall never be put upon it, but [their] Swords may grow rusty in [their] hands; for that Nation is surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it."
Henry St. George Tucker, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and U.S. District Court of Virginia in, I Blackstone COMMENTARIES St. George Tucker Ed., 1803, pg. 300 (App.):
"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
James Burgh "Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses" [London, 1774-1775]:
"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."
Dwight "Travels in New-England":
"The difficulty here has been to persuade the citizens to keep arms, not to prevent them from being employed for violent purposes."
Joseph Story "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution" [Boston, 1833]:
"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."

"...And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations."

"How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights."
Edward Abbey "The Right to Arms" [New York, 1979]:
"The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. 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."
Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince", Chapter 17:
"An armed republic submits less easily to the rule of one of its citizens than a republic armed by foreign forces. Rome and Sparta were for many centuries well armed and free. The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom. For 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 answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both. ...Men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. The bond of love is one which men, wretched creatures that they are, break when it is to their advantage to do so; but fear is strengthened by a dread of punishment which is always effective."
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham Speech in the House of Lords November 18, 1777:
"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms -- never -- never -- NEVER! You cannot conquer America."
Heinrich Himmler:
"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."
Adolph Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938:
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms, history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own fall"
SA Oberfuhrer of Bad Tolz, March, 1933:
"All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately ... The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon ... must be regarded as an enemy of the national government."
John Smilie:
"Congress may give us a select militia which will, in fact, be a standing army -- or Congress, afraid of a general militia, may say there shall be no militia at all. When a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed."
William Lenoir:
"If the laws of the Union were oppressive, they could not carry them into effect, if the people were possessed of the proper means of defence."
"A Framer" in The Independent Gazetteer, 1791:
"Whenever people...entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens..."
Senator Hubert Humphrey:
"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."
Mahatma Ghandi:
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
PEOPLE v. ZERILLO 219 Mich 635"
"...while the legislature has power in the most comprehensive manner to regulate the carrying and use firearms, that body has no power to constitute it a crime for a person, alien or citizen, to possess a revolver for the legitimate defense of himself and his property. The provisions in the Constitution granting the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the power of the legislature to enact any law to the contrary."
PEOPLE v. BROWN 253 Mich 537:
"...The police power of the State to preserve public safety and peace and to regulate the bearing of arms cannot fairly be restricted to the mere establishment of conditions under which all sorts of weapons may be privately possessed, but it may account of the character and ordinary use of weapons and interdict those whose customary employment by individuals is to violate the law. The power is, of course, subject to the limitation that its exercise be reasonable and it cannot constitutionally result in the prohibition of the possession of those arms which, by the common opinion and usage of law-abiding people, are proper and legitimate to be kept upon private premises for the protection of person and property."
"...The right of the people peacefully to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is and always has been one of the attributes of a free government. It 'derives its source,' to use the language of Chief Justice Marshall, in Gibbons v Ogden, 9 Wheat., 211, 'from those laws whose authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.' It is found wherever civilization exists. It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution... The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependant upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment declares that it shall not infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government..."
ANDREWS v. STATE; 50 Tenn. (3 Heisk) 165,179,8 Am. Rep. 8, 14 (Tennessee Supreme Court, 1871):
"The rifle of all descriptions, the shot gun, the musket and repeater are such arms; and that under the Constitution the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed or forbidden by the legislature."

"...the right to keep arms necessarily involves the right to purchase them, to keep them in a state of efficiency for use, and to purchase and provide ammunition suitable for such arms, and to keep them in repair."
STATE v. REID; 1 Ala. 612, 619, 35 Am. Dec. 47; (1840):
"...we incline to the opinion that the Legislature cannot inhibit the citizen from bearing arms openly, because it authorizes him to bear them for the purposes of defending himself and the State, and it is only when carried openly, that they can be efficiently used for defence."
STATE v. KERNER; 181 NC 574, 107 SE 222, 224-25 (North Carolina Supreme Court, 1921):
"The practical and safe construction is that which must have been in the minds of those who framed our organic law. The intention was to embrace the 'arms,' an acquaintance with whose use was necessary for their protection against the usurpation of illegal power - such as rifles, muskets, shotguns, swords and pistols. These are now but little used in war; still they are such weapons that they or their like can still be considered as 'arms' which the [the people] have aright to bear."
STATE v. KESSLER, 289 Or. 359, 369, 614 p. 2d 94,99 (Oregon Supreme Court, 1980):
"If the text and purpose of the Constitutional guarantee relied exclusively on the preference for a militia 'for defense of the State,' then the terms 'arms' most likely would include only the modern day equivalents of the weapons used by the Colonial Militia Men."
WILSON v. STATE, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878):
"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."
NUNN v. STATE, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846):
"'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right."
STATE v. AMOS, 343 So. 2d 166, 168 (La. 1977):
"[T]he right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the second amendment to the federal constitution is not carried over into the fourteenth amendment so as to be applicable to the states."
Jeff Cooper in Guns & Ammo magazine, August, 1989:
"It appears that the murder rate inside prisons is ten times higher than that outside prisons. It must be due to all those Kalashnikov rifles that are issued to prisoners upon their incarceration."
Samuel Cummings:
"Americans may like guns because they were reminiscent of the smell of outdoors, military heroism, the intensity of the hunt or merely because they are fascinated by the finely machined metal parts. Maybe the origin of a gun speaks of history; maybe the gun makes a man's home seem to him less vulnerable; maybe these feelings are more justified in the country than in the city; but, above all, many of us believe that these feelings are a man's own business and need not be judged by the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Justice."
Gen. James H. Doolittle:
"If a gun bill will pass because of the politics of the situation, you must see to it that its burdens are imposed upon a man because of a criminal background and not because he is an ordinary citizen and perhaps poor."
Bible, Luke 22:36:
"...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Richard Bash - Combat Arms BBS SysOp:
"The anti-gun movement is like a pair of baby's diapers: always on your ass and full of shit."
Theodore Roosevelt (popularized a West African proverb):
"Speak softly and carry a big stick and you'll go far."

President Theodore Roosevelt's last message to Congress:
"The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world... The first step -- in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come -- is to teach men to shoot!"
James Wright (scholarly research who collaborates with Peter Rossi):
"Indeed, I am now of the opinion that a compelling case for "stricter gun control" cannot be made, at least not on empirical grounds. I have nothing but respect for the various pro-gun control advocates with whom I have come in contact over the past years. They are, for the most part, sensitive, humane and intelligent people, and their ultimate aim, to reduce death and violence in our society, is one that every civilized person must share. I have, however, come to be convinced that they are barking up the wrong tree."
In a study by the BATF and Washington DC police called "Operation CUE (Concentrated Urban Enforcement)" the BATF determined that in Washington, DC -- where civilian possession of firearms is for all practical purposes BANNED -- guns used in crimes came from three major sources:
40% stolen from legal owners (presumably outside DC)
40% stolen from the DC police (!!!!)
20% homemade (not a shoddy number)
From "Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice", Second Edition, by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ-105506, March, 1988, whose statistics seem to indicate that there are fewer injuries when a gun is present at a crime scene:


There has been debate of how much (if any!?) crime has been prevented by owning a firearm.

The following figures are based on the BJS National Crime Survey, 1979-85, and are reported as follows. Note that only victims reporting sucessful prevention are reported (i.e., no homicide figures).

The percent figure is the percentage of the victimizations that were PREVENTED. when a weapon was used or brandished:
3% in 1,206,755 rapes -----> 36,202
4% in 8,484,516 robberies -> 339,380
4% in 36,269,845 assaults --> 1,450,793
for a total crimes prevented 1,826,375

What is MOST interesting is that in robbery and assaults, a gun was ACTUALLY fired and hit the victim ONLY 4% of the time in all incidents in 1985! Yet victims were actually stabbed in 10% in the knives incidents. i.e., for robbery and assaults, it will be about even the number of times a gun is used or a knife is used, yet if a knife is used, you will be TWICE as likely to be stabbed as to be shot.


Page 21: "When guns are present victims are less likely to be injured than if the offender is armed with a knife or other weapon because guns are often used to coerce the victim into compliance, according to the NCS".

Page 14: "The percentage of households touched by crime has declined over the past 10 years ... from 32% of households [touched by crime] to 25% of all households ... personal larceny from 16% to 12%, burglary from 8% to 5%."

Page 15: A beautiful picture (of a graph) showing the decline in per capita homcides since 1980.

The phrase originates with John Selde, (1584-1654) in 'Table Talk'

"Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but that because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him."
Subject: Cicero on Self-Defense, written 43 B.C., quoted on page 17 in Stephen P. Halbrook's "That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right", published in 1984 by The University of New Mexico Press and The Independent Institute:

"And indeed, gentlemen, there exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robberies or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right. When weapons reduce them to silence, the laws no longer expect one to await their pronouncments. For people who decide to wait for these will have to wait for justice, too -- and meanwhile they suffer injustice first. Indeed, even the wisdom of the law itself, by a sort of tacit implication, permits self-defense, because it does not actually forbid men to kill; what it does, instead, is to forbid the bearing of a weapon with the intention to kill. When, therefore, an inquiry passes beyond the mere question of the weapon and starts to consider the motive, a man who has used arms in self-defense is not regarded as having carried them with a homicidal aim."
Farmer vs. Higgens (1991 -- 11th Circuit):
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of this case in which the Circuit Court upheld the 1986 Congressional ban on the manufacture of new machine guns.

Griswold vs. Connecticut (1965)

Lewis vs. United States (1980):
The Supreme Court upheld the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibitions against felons owning firearms. The Court used a rational basis test in its decision, as opposed to strict scrutiny. The Court stated, "These legislative restrictions on the use of firearms do not trench upon any constitutionally protected liberties."

Presser vs. Illinois (1886):
The Supreme Court ruled the the 2nd amendment serves only to prevent the federal government from interfering with state militias. States retain the power to regulate firearms.

United States vs. Miller (1939):
The Supreme Court upheld a federal law against shipping sawed-off shotguns across state lines, on the basis that the law did not affect the "preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."

United States vs. Warin (1976 -- 6th Circuit):
The Circuit Court upheld a conviction under a federal law prohibiting possession of unregistered machine guns. The Court held that "every argument made by the defendant...[is] based on the erroneous supposition that the Second Amendment is concerned with the rights of individuals rather than those of the states."

16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177, late 2d, Sec 256 (?):
"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it's enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it."

16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177, late 2d, Sec 256:
"No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it."

Amos vs. Mosley, 74 Fla. 555; 77 So. 619:
"If the legislature clearly misinterprets a constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right."

Bowers vs. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616, at 618 (7th Cir. 1982):
"There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen."

Brandes vs. Mitteriling, 196 P.2d 464, 467, 657 Ariz 349:
"Sovereignty means supremacy in respect of power, domination, or rank; supreme dominion, authority or rule."

Chisholm vs. State of Georgia (US) 2 Dall 419, 454, 1 L Ed 440, 455 @DALL 1793 pp. 471-472:
" the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects ... with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty."

Chisholm vs. State of Georgia, Ga., 2. U.S. (2 Dall.) 419, 471, 1 L. Ed. 440:
"'Sovereignty' is the right to govern. In Europe the sovereignty is generally ascribed to the prince; here it rests with the people. There the sovereign actually administers the government; here, never in a single instance. Our governors are the agents of the people, and at most stand in the same relation to their sovereign in which regents in Europe stand to their sovereign. Their princes have personal powers, dignities, and pre-eminences. Our rulers have none but official, nor do they partake in the sovereignty otherwise, or in any other capacity than as private citizens."

City of Bisbee vs. Cochise County, 78 P.2d 982, 986, 52 Ariz. 1:
"'Government' is not 'sovereignty.' 'Government' is the machinery or expedient for expressing the will of the sovereign power."

Filbin Corporation vs. United States, D.C.S.C., 266 F. 911, 914:
"The 'sovereignty' of the United States consists of the powers existing in the people as a whole and the persons to whom they have delegated it, and not as a separate personal entity, and as such it does not possess the personal privileges of the sovereign of England; and the government, being restrained by a written Constitution, cannot take property without compensation, as can the English government by act of king, lords, and Parliament."

Hale vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 279:
"If, whenever an officer of employee of a corporation were summoned before a grand jury as a witness he could refuse to produce the books and documents of such corporation, upon the ground that they would incriminate the corporation itself, it would result in the failure of a large number of cases where the illegal combination was determinable only upon the examination of such papers. Conceding that the witness was an officer of the corporation under investigation, and that he was entitled to assert the rights of the corporation with respect to the production of its books and papers, we are of the opinion that there is a clear distinction in this particular between an individual and a corporation, and that the latter has no right to refuse to submit its books and papers for an examination at the suit of the state. The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no duty to the state or to his neighbors to divulge his business, or to open his doors to an investigation, so far as it may tend to incriminate him. He owes no such duty to the state, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the state, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public as long as he does not trespass upon their rights." /-P-/ "Upon the other hand, the corporation is a creature of the state. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and find out whether it has exceeded its powers...."

Kingsley vs. Merril, 122 Wis. 185; 99 NW 1044:
"A long and uniform sanction by law revisers and lawmakers, of a legislative assertion and exercise of power, is entitled to a great weight in construing an ambiguous or doubtful provision, but is entitled to no weight if the statute in question is in conflict with the plain meaning of the constitutional provision."

Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803):
"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void."

Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491:
"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."

Norton vs. Shelby County, 118 US 425 p.442:
"An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed."

Riley vs. Carter, 165 Okal. [Okla.??] 262; 25 P. 2d 666; 79 ALR 1018:
"Economic necessity cannot justify a disregard of cardinal constitutional guarantee."

Robin vs. Hardaway, 1 Jefferson 109, (Va., 1772):
"All acts of the legislature apparently contrary to natural rights and justice are, in our law and must be in the nature of things, considered void ... We are in conscience bound to disobey."

Scott vs. Sandford, Mo., 60 US 393, 404, 19 How. 393, 404, 15 L.Ed. 691:
"The words "sovereign people" are those who form the sovereign, and who hold the power and conduct the government through their representatives. Every citizen is one of these people and a constituent member of this sovereignty."

Slote vs. Board of Examiners, 274 N.Y. 367; 9 NE 2d 12; 112 ALR 660:
Disobedience or evasion of a constitutional mandate may not be tolerated, even though such disobedience may, at least temporarily, promote in some respects the best interests of the public."

State vs. Sutton, 63 Minn. 147, 65 NW 262, 30 L.R.A. 630 Am. St. 459:
"When any court violates the clean and unambiguous language of the Constitution, a fraud is perpetrated and no one is bound to obey it." (See 16 Ma. Jur. 2d 177, 178)

US vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139 (1972):
"The pages of history shine on instance of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge ..."

US vs. Miller (supreme Court):
"The signification attributed to the term Militia appear from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators [Justice Story's commentary is cited later]. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.... And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of a kind in common use at the time."

US vs. Moylan, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F.2d at 1006:
"If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence ... and the courts must abide by that decision."

Warren vs. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181):
"... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen..."

Wills vs. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 105 L.Ed. 2nd 45 (1989):
"States and state officials acting officially are held not to be 'persons' subject to liability under 42 USCS section 1983."

Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, Sheriff, 118 U.S. 356:
"Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to the law, for it is the author and source of law, but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts."

"For, the very idea that one man may be compelled to hold his life, or the means of living, or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will of another, seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of slavery itself."
Nobel laureate John Steinbeck:
"We may be thankful that frightened civil authorities ... have not managed to eradicate from the country the tradition of the possession and use of firearms, that profound and almost instinctive tradition of Americans."

"Luckily for us, our tradition of bearing arms has not gone from the country, the tradition is so deep and so dear to us that it is one of the most treasured parts of the Bill of Rights--the right of all Americans to bear arms, with the implication that they will know how to use them."
Harry Browne, 1996 USA presidential candidate, Libertarian Party:
"...The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn't say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a 'compelling interest' in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn't say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn't say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances."
English Bill of Rights, section 7, 1 W&M 2d Sess, c.2,16 Dec. 1689:
"That the subjects which are protestants, may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law."

From: (Howard L. Bloom)
Date: 29 Mar 1994 08:53:55 GMT
Subject: Point..Counterpoint
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, Associated Press 11/18/93:

Sir Edmund Burke, 1784:
"The people never give up their liberty but under some delusion."
Joycelyn Elders, USA Today 11/9/93:

Thomas Jefferson, Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson, 318:
"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.... Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, Associated Press 11/18/93:

Benjamin Franklin, 1759 (Franklin B. Historical Review of Pennsylvania. 1759):
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." {V}
U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Senate Hearings 1993:

Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist 1764:
"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 prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."
U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, NBC 11/30 12/8/93:

Tench Coxe in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution" printed under a pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18,1789:
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
U.S. Representative Major Owens, Congressional Record 11/10/93:

George Washington, speech of January 7, 1790:
"A free people ought ... to be armed ...."
Janet Reno AP, ABC 12/10/93:

John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the USA, 471 (1788):
"Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion ... in private self-defense ...."
U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Washington Post 11/4/93:

George Mason, 3 Elliott, Debates at 425-426:
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
U.S. Representative Mel Reynolds, CNN Crossfire 12/9/93:

Samuel Adams, Debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87:
"The Constitution shall never be prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
Ann Coulter, in "Annie's Got Her Gun" from George Magazine :
"... As Alexander Hamilton observed cheerily in Federalist 29, if the government were to 'form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.'

"But with the Second Amendment, it's all Hustler magazine. No upside, just school shootings and all those apocryphal 'gun accidents.' (In 1945, for every million Americans there were 350,000 firearms and 18 fatal gun accidents. By 1995, there were 850,000 firearms per million, and fatal gun accidents had fallen to six.)

"Thomas Jefferson, for example, copied into his book of favorite quotes an observation by Cesare Beccaria, the founder of the science of criminology: '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.'"

From Chaisson, Brant <>; August 03, 1999
Subject: Rebuttal to CBS anti-gun "news"

Did anyone see the CBS Evening News Monday night, August 2, 1999? After an eloquent defense of the Second Amendment by Charlton Heston, the reporter shouted "TIME OUT!" and proceeded to slant, slam and slander the Second Amendment. Well, here is a rebuttal on a point-by-point basis using their own style:
CBS News:
"Do Americans really have the right to own guns? In fact, the Supreme Court is so convinced that there is no such right, the Court hasn't heard a Second Amendment case since 1939", reports CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg.


In 1939, the case was whether a sawn off shotgun was protected by the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that only military type rifles (assault weapons) or those weapons commonly used for militia purposes were protected by the Second Amendment. The case was US vs. Miller, 1939. Look it up.
CBS News:
Back then, when the Justices looked at the framers' words, it ruled repeatedly that it was militias -- National Guards -- that have a right to arms. Individuals do not.


"Back then" (and apparently today), the militias WERE individuals:

George Mason:
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

James Madison:
"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country ...."

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

How could the founding fathers have been thinking of the "National Guard" when the National Guard wasn't formed until 1902? If you read any of the thoughts of the authors of the Constitution, they specifically were afraid of guns only in the hands of the federal standing army. What do we call the National Guard today? "The Army National Guard".
CBS News:
"The Supreme Court has never outlawed a criminal prosecution or a gun control regulation because of the Second Amendment," said Professor Carl Bogus of the Roger Williams School Of Law.


This is because a criminal prosecution or gun control regulation has never made it to the Supreme Court:until now. Please check on the Texas circuit court of appeals recent ruling that the Second Amendment IS about the personal right to keep and bear arms.
CBS News:
In 1981, a federal appeals court declared flatly that "A possession of handguns by individuals is not part of the right to keep and bear arms." The Supreme Court could have overturned that decision, but it did not.


See "Miller vs. United States, 1939" referenced above. The Supreme Court said that the only weapons specifically protected by the Second Amendment were those commonly used for militia type purposes: assault weapons, or modern military rifles as carried by the common foot soldier of the day.
CBS News:
That does not mean the issue is closed. A debate still simmers among scholars on what the framers intended, and there is always a chance of a future reversal in the courts.

"My view of the Second Amendment is that the framers intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear arms," said historian Robert Cottrol of George Washington University Law School. "Courts can get it wrong. Courts can be hostile to certain rights. Judges are human."

Our view of gun laws is shaped by our view of the gun in early America. We cherish the image of the colonialist with his musket ready to feed and defend his family and fend off tyranny. It is a romantic image that bears little resemblance to historical fact.

A tour of the Smithsonian Institution's arms collection, guided by resident expert Harry Hunter, illustrates the real history. Guns were scarce when the Second Amendment was drafted. They were hand-made and expensive. Hunting was reserved for the rich and for professional hunters.


Does this mean that all of the Revolutionary War soldiers were "rich or professional hunters"?
CBS News:
Records from the time show just how few guns there were. A census by Massachusetts in 1789 found less than six per cent of the people owned a gun. In 1810 the first U.S. census found 4.3 per cent of the public had a firearm.


If this is a rationale for the continuing relevance of the Second Amendment, does it also follow that the per capita existence of printing presses in 1789 should be a guidance to modern conceptions of freedom of the press? If this is the case, then there are too many newspapers in this country, and since the founding fathers could not have envisioned television, radio and the Internet, maybe we should revisit the modern concept of "free speech" and "freedom of the press"?

[After so recently fighting a war against government tyranny, how many people would admit to a government census taker that they owned a firearm? --MAC]
CBS News:
Those guns that did exist were strictly regulated before and after the Second Amendment was passed by all thirteen states.


This certainly runs counter to the founding father's conception of "natural laws" as being those rights coming from God and preceding all laws made by man, but a look at laws and statements both before and after the writing of the Constitution may prove more illuminating:

Connecticut gun code of 1650:
"All persons shall bear arms, and every male person shall have in continual readiness a good muskitt or other gunn, fitt for service."

Article 3 of the West Virginia state constitution:
"A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use."

Virginia Declaration of Rights 13 (June 12, 1776), drafted by George Mason:
"That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."

A proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution, as passed by the Pennsylvania legislature:
"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own states or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals."

From George Washington's address to the second session of the First U.S. Congress [I personally looked this one up myself in our university library; it was thrilling to read such a statement practically in the original! --MAC]:
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty, teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon and citizens' firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that, to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 and 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil influence. They deserve a place of honor with all that's good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour."
CBS News:
Among those barred from owning a gun were slaves, free blacks, property less whites, Catholics and other non Protestants.


The Supreme Court once tolerated slavery, and Adolph Hitler once regarded certain religious groups as needing less civil rights than members of other religions. Does this make their actions correct?
CBS News:
"There wasn't a notion of a right to own guns in the way we think of rights today," Bogus said.


This is a correct statement, since the notion of individual ownership of guns was much more accepted and encouraged than in modern times. And this person's last name is apt description enough of his statements!
CBS News:
History molds today's debates about guns -- a history filtered by as much myth as fact.


CBS News is doing the filtering today replacing fact with myth. Most people call it propaganda.
Reported by Eric Engberg. Copyright 1999, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Shame on you, Eric Engberg, and all at CBS News for promoting such a shameless slam of a precious civil right. Shame on all of you.
George Washington, General, Continental Army (Ret.):
"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people's liberty's teeth."
George Washington, speech of 7 January 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 14 January 1790:
"A free people ought... to be armed..."
George Washington:
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good ..."
James Madison, Federalist Paper 46:
"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." {V}
James Madison, Federalist Paper 46:
"The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed...."
James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, 8 June 1789:
"The right of the people to keep and bear... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..."
Patrick Henry [3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836]:
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
Patrick Henry and George Mason, Elliot, Debates at 185:
"...the people have a right to keep and bear arms."
Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia, [taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 (2d ed. Richmond, 1805). Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386]:
"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."
Samuel Adams [Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (1788?) (Peirce [Pierce??] & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)]:
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..."
Thomas Jefferson, in letter to William Johnson, 12 June, 1823; from "The Complete Jefferson", p.322:
"On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
From the Thomas Jefferson Papers (on microfilm at Stanford):
"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms"

The above was in Jefferson's own hand, was part of a draft of Virginia's Constitution, and was dated June 1776 (perhaps by the collector of the papers). Another version adds "on his own lands and tenements". The word is "freeman" (as in non-slave) and not "free man". (If you can't own guns, you're a slave....... :-(
1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C. J. Boyd, Ed., 1950):
"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:
"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 the constant companion of your walks." {in a letter to a young relative; Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson, 318 (Foley, Ed., reissued 1967)}
Thomas Paine, in Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 (1894), in an article "Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775" published in "The Rifleman:
"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; ... the weak will become the prey to the strong."
Thomas Paine:
"The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. ... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; ... the weak will become a prey to the strong."
"Are gun buy-back programs like offering cut rate prostitutes in the hope of reducing rape?"
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers at 184-8):
"The best that we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the USA, 471 (1788):
"Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense..."
George Mason from "Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company" quoted from The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792 edited by Robert A. Rutland [Chapel Hill, 1970]:
[The American Colonies are] "all democratic governments, where the power is in the hands of the people and where there is not the least difficulty or jealousy about putting arms into the hands of every man in the country. [European countries should not] be ignorant of the strength and the force of such a form of government and how strenuously and almost wonderfully people living under one have sometimes exerted themselves in defence of their rights and liberties and how fatally it has ended with many a man and many a state who have entered into quarrels, wars and contests with them."
Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries 1:139 (1765): "The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute 1 W. & M. st. 2 c. 2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."
The following "guotation" as been ascribed to Adolf Hitler, but, so far, no one has been able to find its origin:

"1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!"
Adolf Hitler, Edict of 18 March 1938 (or 1939?) (UNverified):
"... history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own fall"
Richard Henry Lee (or whoever really wrote the anti-federalist "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican") (1787-1788); Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights. [Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press, 1975)]:
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them ...."

[Contrast the above with U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein's statement, as reported on 18 November, 1993, by the Associated Press:
"Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe"]

Richard Henry Lee, writing in "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic", 1788, page 169:
"The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves.... [T]he Constitution ought to secure a genuine [militia] and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include ... all men capable of bearing arms; .... To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike... how to use them."
Responding to the question "Can anyone come up with a specific quote by some spokesperson of the gun control lobby that admits to the strategy of gradually imposing a lot of "little" restrictions, while pursuing the eventual goal of banning guns outright?", the following quotations were posted to the UseNet:
U.S. Representative Edward Feighan, referring to the Brady Bill (which he introduced) at recent House hearings.

"This is the first step"
Pet Shields, Chairman Emeritus, Handgun Control, Inc., in an interview appearing in The New Yorker, July 26, 1976:

"We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest .... So we'll have to start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States -- is going to take time .... The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal."
U.S. Representative Craig Washington, at the mark-up hearing on the Brady Bill, April 10, 1991:

"This is not all we will have in future Congresses, but this is a crack in the door. There are too many handguns in the hands of citizens. The right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with the Brady Bill."
Elliot Corbett, Secretary, National Council For A Responsible Firearms Policy, in an interview appearing in the Washington Evening Star on September 19, 1969:

"Handguns should be outlawed. Our organization will probably take this stand in time but we are not anxious to rouse the opposition before we get the other legislation passed."
Recruiting flyer currently distributed by The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, formerly called The National Coalition to Ban Handguns:

"It is our aim to ban the manufacture and sale of handguns to private individuals ... the coalition's emphasis is to keep handguns out of private possession -- where they do the most harm."
Pete Shields, Chairman emeritus, Handgun Control, Inc., during a "60 Minutes" interview:

"Yes, I'm for an outright ban (on handguns)."
Patrick V. Murphy, former New York City Police Commissioner, and now a member of Handgun Control's National Committee, during testimony to the National Association of Citizens Crime Commissions:

"We are at the point in time and terror where nothing short of a strong uniform policy of domestic disarmament will alleviate the danger which is crystal clear and perilously present. Let us take the guns away from the people. Exemptions should be limited to the military, the police, and those licensed for good and sufficient reasons. And I would look forward to the day when it would not be necessary for the policeman to carry a sidearm."
Joseph McNamara, HCI spokesman, and former Chief of Police of San Jose, California:

"My experience as a street cop suggests that most merchants should not have guns. But I feel even stronger about the average person having them ... most homeowners ... simply have no need to own guns."
Daryl Gates, Police Chief of Los Angeles, California:

"I don't want to go for confiscation, but that is where we are going."
U.S. Representative Charles Schumer, interviewed on CNN Crossfire:

"There may be other things that will happen later .... It may not be the end ... the bottom line is what we are seeking now is the Brady Bill."
U.S. Representative William Clay, quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on May 6, 1991:

"The Brady Bill is the minimum step Congress should take ... we need much stricter gun control, and eventually should bar the ownership of handguns, except in a few cases."
U.S. Representative Edward Feighan during an interview on ABC News Nightline:

"It's only the first step, it's not going to be enough ... we've got to go beyond that, and I hope we'll do it this session of Congress."
Tench Coxe, in "A Pennsylvanian, To The People of the United States", Philadelphia Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
"The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of america from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or [federal] constitution hath given away that important right.... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the foederal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

Tench Coxe in "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution", Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789:
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, ... the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear arms."
Rep. Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789] 17, 1789:

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."

"This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the maladministration of the Government, if we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the Constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms."
by Dr. Paul Gallant & David B. Kopel

Packing the family in your automobile, to set out across the country for summer vacation? In America, your driver's license issued in one state is valid in all the other 49. But what if a license issued in your home state could only be used there? To travel from Pennsylvania to Florida, you'd need a separate license from each state that you'd pass through. Ridiculous, huh? But that's exactly the problem faced by vacationers and other travelers who want to protect their family. You see, many states refuse to accept the validity of handgun licenses issued by other states.

Thus, the father who wants to protect his vacationing family from two-legged or four-legged predators is caught between a rock and a hard place. In many states, the penalties for even the simple possession of an "unlicensed" handgun - regardless of the fact that it's never been used in the commission of a crime - subject its possessor to prison terms which would make Rip Van Winkle cringe!

While firearm-prohibitionists are always claiming that they want to "treat guns like cars," they don't really mean it. If the anti-gun lobbyists were true to their word, they would encourage every state to recognize every other state's gun licenses--just like states currently treat driver's licenses.

The real point of the "treat guns like cars" line from the gun banners is to promote gun registration; we register cars, so why not register guns? Of course the antis always forget that the only cars which have to be registered on those used on public streets. A car kept only on your own property (such as for driving around your farm) does not need to be registered.

Inexplicably, the anti-gun groups who want to treat cars like guns never criticize the current schizoid treatment of firearm "violators", as compared to our treatment of traffic violators!

Have you heard of an outcry for legislation banning the sale, manufacture, and possession of Jaguars, after some poor unfortunate soul was run down by a drunk driver, seated behind the wheel of one of these killing machines? Or, how about a call to ban Corvettes, after one of them was used by a pair of bank-robbers making good their getaway?

Punishing the offender, instead of banning the objects used to facilitate the crime, is the logical thing to do. We crack down on drunk drivers, not on automobiles.

So, then, why not use the same reasoning when dealing with firearm "violators"? Perhaps it's because what the firearm-prohibitionists really have their sights on isn't reducing criminal or negligent behavior! While Mothers Against Drunk Driving is opposed only to drunk driving, not to all kinds of driving, the anti-gun lobbies not only oppose gun crime, they oppose gun possession by law-abiding people. (Especially if those law-abiding people possess the gun for defense, rather than for sports.)

Thus, the comparison between cars and guns is a phony pretext for more gun controls--even though honestly treating guns like cars would result in removing many irrational gun controls.

Because we don't treat guns like cars, America has a bunch of crazy laws - laws that say the ability to defend oneself from the vicious criminals who prey upon society stops at the state line! While driver license reciprocity is a reality throughout all of the 50 states, honest citizens who choose to obey the law are prevented from exercising the most fundamental of all rights--the right to protect one's family--simply because of a geographical boundary. Yet the right of self-defense may be most urgently needed when a person is in an unfamiliar area, caught very suddenly and very unexpectedly, right smack dab in the middle of one of a vacationland's unfamiliar "hot-spots"!

"Don't leave home without it!" It's not just the catchy ending to a once- familiar credit card commercial. To many honest, responsible Americans, those five little words are the embodiment of a painful moral dilemma.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that the right to interstate travel is one of the rights of American citizenship. Just as Congress in 1964 prevented bigoted state governments from discriminating against interstate travelers because of their race, Congress should now act to prevent discrimination against travelers who exercise their constitutional right to self-defense.

Optometrist Paul Gallant is a Research Associate with the Independence Institute, a free-market think-tank in Golden, Colorado,

Attorney David B. Kopel is the research director of the Independence Institute and award-winning author of several books on firearm issues.
Countries having successful gun-control laws in the 20th Century -- and the results of those laws:

1915-1917 Ottoman Turkey, 1.5 million Armenians murdered
1929-1953 Soviet Union, 20 million people who opposed Stalin murdered
1933-1945 Nazi-occupied Europe, 13 million Jews, Gypsies, and others who opposed Hitler murdered
1948-1952 China, 20 million anti-communists or communist reformers murdered
1960-1981 Guatemala, 100,000 Maya Indians murdered
1971-1979 Uganda, 300,000 Christians and political rivals of Idi Amin murdered
1975-1979 Cambodia, 1 million educated persons murdered

1968-???? United States of America: To be announced later

George Bernard Shaw:
"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
Winston Churchill:
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
Doug Bandow, in "Cut Taxes, Not the Debt", published in the April, 2000, issue of "Ideas on Liberty":
"...The latest analysis of the Tax Foundation shows that the top 5 percent of taxpayers account for over half of income tax revenues, up sharply from a decade ago. The top 1 percent bear one-third of the burden. The top 50 percent pay 96 percent of all income tax revenues."
Franklin Roosevelt, in Pittsburgh, 19 October, 1932:
"Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors. If those taxes are excessive, they are reflected in idle factories, in tax-sold farms, and in hordes of hungry people tramping streets and seeking jobs in vain."
Republican Presidential candidate Robert Dole, from "The Wall Street Journal", 16 December, 1983:
"Taxing is much like plucking a goose. It is the art of getting the greatest number of feathers with the least amount of hissing."
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall [Quoted from "Train Wreck" by Gregory Bresiger, as published in the August, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, pp. 8-11]:
"The power to tax involves the power to destroy."
Congressman Davy Crockett (elected 1827), as quoted in "The Rise of Government and the Decline of Morality" published in the March, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, pg 139:
"We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."

Elaboration by David W. Hall (

A statesman from our commonwealth issued wisdom 170 years ago that would benefit many today. In 1827, at the dawn of American liberalism, Tennessee Representative Davy Crockett had to correct the notion that the government, even if well-intentioned, was in charge of providing charity or general relief for citizens.

A House bill, supported by the passionate rhetoric of several representatives, was proposed to subsidize the widow of a naval veteran (perhaps the equivalent of "the children" today). It was expected to pass until opposed by Crockett who argued that although he personally sympathized with the widow's plight and would privately donate to her cause, Congress had "no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity."

Congressmen, Crockett argued, had full rights as individuals to donate as much subsidy as they wished; but Congress itself had "no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money" for charity.

Crockett argued that the government was not in debt to the soldier who lived long after the war. On the contrary, he said, "We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity.... I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

Earlier, an adversarial constituent taught Congressman Crockett a timeless and invaluable lesson. Several years earlier Crockett had supported a bill to appropriate $20,000 for relief to Georgetown citizens who had suffered a vicious fire. Crockett felt magnanimous until he returned to his native soil to calculate his opposition for the next election. Nothing new under the sun.

While hosting donor coffees, Crockett ambled over to greet a farmer. The farmer seized the moment, vouched that he had voted for Colonel Crockett previously, and said, "You had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again."

Stunned, Crockett inquired, "Why not?" and was told by the farmer that either he did not understand the Constitution, or he was "wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me ... your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine ... the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is."

Crockett, of course, pled innocence, not recollecting any blatant constitutional violation. The farmer then reminded Crockett of his earlier vote to donate to the "general welfare" of the Georgetown fire victims. Crockett, at first, attempted to justify his vote by claiming that the amount was trivial and that the Treasury could afford it.

The farmer, with even more insight, replied: "It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes... while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you have the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion."

Congress, said the farmer, had as much right to give 20 million dollars as 20 thousand dollars. Horatio Bunce said: "If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity.... No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose."

Bunce concluded his tutorial: "The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.... It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people."

Once legislators begin to ignore the objectivity of the constitution, where does their "benevolence" end? Why not give to the "general welfare" of every individual?

Farmer Bunce's answer is that it is a precedent fraught with danger - one that unfortunately has been exemplified in this century.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798 (as quoted on page 48 of the March, 2004, issue of THE FREEMAN, published by the Foundation for Economic Education):
"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." ["Specifically enumerated" refers to the listing of congressional powers found in Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution]
James Madison wrote in a letter to James Robertson (as quoted on page 48 of the March, 2004, issue of THE FREEMAN, published by the Foundation for Economic Education):
"[W]ith respect to the two words 'general welfare', I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
Thomas Pains said (as quoted on page 48 of the March, 2004, issue of THE FREEMAN, published by the Foundation for Economic Education):
"Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute."
Alan Bock, "Orange County Register":
"The median family of four ... paid $4,722 in federal taxes last year. That's enough to pay for a new curtain for the secretary of commerce's office, to bribe a farmer not to plant 38 acres with corn ... seven weeks of salary for a Customs man assigned to save us from the terror of high-quality, low priced foreign TV sets, or the subsidy on 6,000 bushels of wheat to prop up the Soviet regime. Surely civilization would collapse without such essential services."
Byron C. Radaker, Chairman and C.E.O., Congoleum Corp.:
"Our government has found that the most effective way to control a person is not by the the ballot or the bullet, but rather by the 'bucket'. Today, in a country that fought a revolution to rid itself of a repressive government and excessive taxes, government takes 40 percent of everything we earn in the form of taxes."
Congressional Record Vol. 90 Sec. 271 (b)(1) p.2243 (1939):
"Under this bill we are trying our best to eliminate tax returns for some 30,000,000 of our individual taxpayers by allowing them to use the so-called W-2 form, which results in the taxpayer not computing his own tax but having his tax computed by the collector .... This whole thing is for the purpose of removing complications and difficulties that have arisen by reason of the enactment of the so-called pay-as-you-go system."
Congressman George Hansen:
"If a tactic you try irritates the I.R.S. and its agents, you can assume it is legal - remember it for future use."
Frederic Bastiat, "The Law":
"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim -- when he defends himself -- as a criminal."

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone."

"Often the masses are plundered and do not know it."

"When plunder is organized by law ... all the plundered classes try somehow to enter -- by peaceful or revolutionary means -- into the making of laws."

"They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority."

"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."

"See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."
"What, then is law [government]? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense."

"Each of us has a natural right ... to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

"If every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual rights. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups

"Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

"If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

"If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable -- whatever its political form might be.

"Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack ....

"But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right."

Frederic Bastiat, ECONOMIC SOPHISMS, from chapter titled THE PHYSIOLOGY OF PLUNDER:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it".
IRS Strategic Plan, (May 1984):
"A 'decay in the social contract' is detectable; there is a growing feeling, particularly among middle-income taxpayers, that they are not getting back, from society and government, their money's worth for taxes paid. The tendency is for taxpayers to try to take more control of their finances ...."
Irwin Schiff:
"If you want irresponsible politicians to spend less, you must give them less to spend."
Louis Rukeyser, host of Wall Street Week:
"It's anti-American. It's anti-growth. It's anti-success. It's anti-upward mobility. It isn't a tax cut ... it's a scam."
Marshall McLuhan:
"If the temperature in the bathtub is raised only one degree every ten minutes, how does the bather know when to start screaming?"
Minutes of IRS Central Region Bar Association Liaision, Nov 2, 1979:
"Estimates are that over 100 billion dollars from legitimate enterprises and 35 billion dollars from illegal business is not being reported on individual tax returns."
Paul Strassel, Former IRS Headquarters Agent "Wall St. Journal" 1/28/80:
"The real point of audits is to instill fear, not to extract revenue; the IRS aims at winning through intimidation and (thereby) getting maximum voluntary compliance."
R.T. McNamar, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury:
"The federal income tax system is deeply flawed."
Randall Hackley, "The Register":
"At least 9,000 Orange County residents belong to organizations that believe it's unconstitutional to pay income taxes."
Rep. Steven D. Symms, Idaho:
"The income tax is unconstitutional and was not part of the original intent of those who drafted our Constitution or government."
Ron Paul, House of Representatives, Texas:
"Strictly speaking, it probably is not "necessary" for the federal government to tax anyone directly; it could simply print the money it needs. However, that would be too bold a stroke, for it would then be obvious to all what kind of counterfeiting operation the government is running. The present system combining taxation and inflation is akin to watering the milk; too much water and the people catch on."
Senator Edward M. Kennedy:
"The tax system is stacked against the average taxpayer."
Senator Edward V. Long:
"The IRS has become morally corrupted by the enormous power which we in Congress have unwisely entrusted to it. Too often it acts like a Gestapo preying upon defenseless citizens."
Senator Frank Church, Chairman, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, 94th Congress, First Session, Volume 3, Internal Revenue Service (October 2, 1975):
"... If the law does not assure that tax returns files by Americans will not be turned against them, our system of voluntary compliance with the tax laws faces a doubtful future."
Senator Gary Hart:
"Let's do away with income taxes."
Senator Paul Laxault:
"The high-handed bureaucratic excesses of the IRS are a national disgrace ... riding roughshod over the taxpayers and making a joke out of our rule of laws."
Stephen Nestor, IRS:
"They just might find that it's easier to drop out of the system than to fight the excessive fines or get social security numbers for their kids."
T. Coleman Andrews, Commissioner of the IRS:
"Let's get rid of the income tax ... it's legalized confiscation ... too complicated ... destroying the middle class."
"The Register":
"IRS figures indicate that in 1983, 347,000 Californians owed the federal government back taxes totaling $1.2 billion, the highest numbers in the nation."
"The Spotlight":
"According to Roscoe Egger, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, some 35 million Americans have not yet filed their federal income tax returns for 1983. Egger describes citizen response to the current tax scheme as 'the taxpayer's revenge against an unfair system.'"
"Who's Afraid of the I.R.S.?":
"IRS employees are outnumbered by us at a rate of approximately 1,000 to 1"
All of the following is quoted from the article "Tax Cuts Are Unfair? It Just Ain't So!" by David Kelley, Institute for Objectivist Studies, as published in THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, in July, 1999, pp.4-5:

Republicans have been pushing for a 10 percent cut in income-tax rates. This proposal has encountered the usual protests that it would favor the rich. A typical comment appeared in a New York Times op ed, "The Trouble with Tax Cuts" (February 24, 1999) by Frank Levy, an economist at MIT, and Iris J. Lav, deputy director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Levy and Lav argue that "the economy heavily favors the better educated" at the expense of less-educated and semi-skilled workers. "Since good times don't automatically benefit everyone," they claim, "winners need to use some of their extra income to compensate losers." A rate cut of 10 percent, they assert, would "work in the opposite direction: it would increase income inequality." The upper tenth of the income distribution, with earnings above $90,000, would receive 55 percent of the tax cut. The bottom 60 percent would receive only 10 percent. And the 35 million households that pay no income taxes would receive no benefits at all! In their view, it's just not fair.

Or is it? The case that Levy and Lav make against the tax cut is not a matter of economics but of morality, and their standard of justice is warped.

Let's begin with two obvious points. First, a tax cut does not confer a "benefit" on taxpayers, as if the money belonged to the government, which was generously conferring gifts on its citizens. If you follow that conception to its logical conclusion, all income belongs to the state, and any tax rate below 100 percent constitutes a gift. But that conception is wrong. It is the taxpayers who earn the income by producing it; it belongs to them. A portion is taken in taxes, and when government lowers the tax rate it is simply refraining from taking as much as it used to.

The second point is that the wealthy save the most from a lower tax rate because they pay the most in taxes. Levy and Lav conplain that with a 10 percent rate cut, the upper tenth would receive 55 percent of the tax-cut total. But those people are currently paying 62.4 percent of all income taxes. The bottom three-quarters of all earners pay less than a fifth of all income taxes, while the upper tiers pay a vastly disproportionate share. Soof course the wealthy would save the most from a rate cut -- and they should.

The most offensive aspect of Levy and Lav's argument, morally speaking, is the notion that people with lower incomes are "losers" who must be compensated by the "winners." An economy is not a competitive scramble for shares of a fixed pool of wealth, but a process of cooperation in producing wealth on an ever-increasing scale. And those at the bottom benefit the most, not the least. They are able to enjoy a standard of living made possible by those who created the industries they work in and the products they buy. As Ayn Rand observed, there's a pyramid of ability in which benefits flow downward, from the most to the least able. "When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible," the industrialists, financiers, engineers, scientists, and other creators without whom the unskilled worker would not have a job in the first place.

Bill Gate's billions are but a fraction of the value he has showered on the office workers who use his software and earn higher wages because they can produce more efficiently; the home users who can track their finances and surf the Net; the retailers who sell the software or the computers that use it; the programmers whose software runs under Windows; and on and on.

Are the "winners" in economic growth morally obliged to pay compensation to the "losers"? It just ain't so. There are no real losers -- and that's because the "winners" have already spread the prodigious benefits of their productive ability to everyone with whom they trade. Let's cut taxes, and allow everyone to reap more of the benefits of their place in the pyramid of ability.
All of the following is quoted from the article "Clinton versus Cleveland and Coolidge on Taxes", by Lawrence W. Reed, as published in the July, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, in July, 1999, pp.35-26:

In a post-State of the Union speech in Buffalo, New York, on January 20, 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton was asked why Americans shouldn't get a tax cut since the federal budget is in surplus and the share of personal income taken by the federal government is at a post-World War II high. Is this what he said in response?

"When more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government and the expense of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government."

No, unfortunately, Bill Clinton didn't say that -- but how refreshing it would have been if he had! Another Democratic president of long ago, Grover Cleveland (who, ironically, got his start in politics in Buffalo) said it in his second annual message to Congress in December 1886. What Bill Clinton did say was this:

"We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right."

.... Let me use this opportunity to share with readers what America's 30th president thought about taxes and the people who worked hard to pay them.

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves," declared [Calvin] Coolidge in his inaugural address on March 4, 1925. "I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can re-establish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very distinct curtailment of our liberty."

This flinty, frugal New Englander, who grew up respecting the hard-earned property of others, believed that the strength of the American nation was not centered in Washington, D.C. Once, as governer of Massachusetts, he asserted, "In a free republic a great government is the product of a great people. They will look to themselves rather than government for success. The destiny, the greatness of America lies around the hearthstone. .... Look well to the hearthstone; therein all hope for America lies."

Moreover, Coolidge understood that people respond positively to incentives, and negatively to disincentives. He knew that marginal rates of taxation made all the difference in the world in terms of economic behavior. .... Here's what he told an audience on February 12, 1924:

"If we had a tax whereby on the first working day the government took 5 percent of your wages, on the second day 10 percent, on the third day 20 percent, on the fourth day 30 percent, on the fifth day 50 percent, and on the sixth day 60 percent, how many of you would continue to work on the last two days of the week? It is the same with capital. Surplus income will go into tax-exempt securities. It will refuse to take the risk incidental to embarking in business. This will raise the rate which established businesses will have to pay for new capital, and result in a marked increase in the cost of living."

Coolidge told a press conference on October 11, 1927, that he and others "interested in tax reduction ought to be first of all bending their energies to see that no unwise expenditures are authorized by the government, and that every possible effort is put forth to keep our expenditures down, and pay off our debt, so that we can have tax reduction." There was no Coolidge counterpart to Clinton's call for tens of billions of dollars of additional spending in his State of the Union speech last January.

According to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the average family today pays more in taxes than it spends on food, clothing, shelter, and transportation combined. The Census Bureau reports that the average household pays $9,445 in federal income taxes alone -- twice what it paid just 14 years ago in 1985. ....

Where is Calvin Coolidge when we really need him?!
From the Pottawatomie County Republican Committee's "Statement of Values" distributed at the Pottawatomie County (Kansas) Fair in August, 1999:

Historically, tax increases have never reduced the federal deficit, but have only added to the temptation to spend more. The only logical means of reducing the deficit and paying down the debt is an aggressive program of spending reductions.
T.J. Rodgers quoting in REASON:
"We always hire Democratic Congressmen who promise to give us from the government all the things we want. And we always hire Republican Presidents to make sure we don't have to pay for it."
Will Rogers:
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
26 USC 7701 A(1)(14): "The term "taxpayer" means any person subject to any internal revenue tax."
Henry David Thoreau:
"If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would ... [be] the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible."
"External environmental indicators and internal compliance measures reflect a continuing decline in the extent to which taxpayers are willing or able to voluntarily comply with the federal tax laws ..."

William Burroughs, 1992:
"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it."
Steven Milloy, author of the book "Junk Science Judo", notes that "the ranks of firearms owners produce about 1,000 accidental deaths each year" or about 0.0000167 accidental deaths per gun owner.

Doctors, on the other hand, "account for 120,000 accidental patient deaths per year" (a figure often quoted in the Journal of the American Medical Association).

What is the old saying, "Physician, heal thyself"?
"Blaming guns for Columbine is like blaming spoons for Rosie O'Donnell being fat.

John F. Kennedy:
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."
Quoted from his monthly column "Perspective", by Sheldon Richman, Editor of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, in July, 1999, pp.2-3:

The Clinton policy in the Balkans can be critized at many levels .... What's most neglected is the domestic reason for forswearing such foreign adventurism, no matter how heart-wrenching the CNN coverage.

I can do no better than to quote James Madison on this subject.

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; .... [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and ... degeneracy of manners and of morals.... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

Mr. Madison proceeded to describe the bloated executive that war produces. Could he have foreseen the day when a president makes war without a congressional declaration? (These days we have "consultation" or, at best, debate after the president has committed the country to war.

"War," Madison continued, "is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest pasions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."
Sun Tzu:
"All warfare is based on deception. A skilled general must be master of the complementary arts of simulation and dissimulation; while creating shapes to confuse and delude the enemy he conceals his true dispositions and ultimate intent. When capable he feigns incapacity; when near he makes it appear that he is far away; when far away; that he is near. Moving as intangibly as a ghost in the starlight, he is obscure, inaudible. His primary target is the mind of the opposing commander; the victorious situation, a product of his creative imagination. Attacking the mind of the enemy is an indispensable preliminary to battle."
Unknown (but someone thinks General Patton might have said it):
"There are very few problems in the world that can't be cured by the appropriate amount of high explosives."
J.F.C. Fuller:
"Long before the outbreak of the war their brains had become ossified, and even the terrible circumstances of this battle could not penetrate the historic concrete in which they were encased."
"The people are to the guerilla as water is to the fish."
General George S. Patton:
"There is only one tactical principal which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction in the minimum amount of time."

"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."
General (5 star and later U.S. President) Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1943:
"The one weapon every man, soldier, sailor, or airman-should be able to use effectively is the rifle. It is always his weapon of personal safety in an emergency, and for many it is the primary weapon of offence and defense. Expertness in its use cannot be over emphasized."

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
General Douglas MacArthur:
"In war, there is no substitute for victory."
General Omar Bradley:
"In war there is no second prize for the runner-up."
General George Patton:
"Wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
General George Marshall:
The only way to win a war is to prevent it.
MILITARY APHORISMS (source unknown)

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.
No military combat plan survives the first contact with the enemy intact.
If you are short of everything except enemy, then you are in combat.
Incoming fire has the right of way.
If the enemy is in range, so are you.
Friendly fire - isn't.
Things that must be together to work usually are not shipped together.
Anything you do can get you shot - including doing nothing.
Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you can't get out.
Tracers work both ways.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.
From "My Rifle" by Major General W.H. Rupertus, USMC:
"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life."

"My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will..."

"My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know it is only the hits that count. We will hit..."

"My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will..."

"Before God I swear this creed: My rifle and myself are the defenders of our country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but Peace!"
Frederic the Great, in instructions to his Generals:
"A man with his heart in his profession imagines and finds resources where the worthless and lazy despair."
Clausewitz (From the book "On War" by Raymond Aron, Doubleday, New York, 1959):
"All military science becomes a matter of simple prudence, its principle object being to keep an unstable balance from shifting suddenly to our disadvantage and the proto-war from changing into total war."
Reportedly heard in Vietnam:
"No combat-ready squad ever passed inspection.
No inspection-ready squad ever passed combat."
Seen on a poster at a gun show; no author was cited:
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth fighting for is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
George L. Skypeck:
"I was that which others did not want to be. I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do. I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness ... should I fail. I have seen the face of terror, felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love. I have cried, pained, and hoped...but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten. At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was ... a soldier."
Chief Joseph; Wallowa Nez Perc tribe; October 5, 1877; Montana, near the Canadian border:
"Tell General Howard I know my heart. What he told me before, I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all killed. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men [Ollokot; his brother] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. I want time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
(i.e., taking from one to give to another)

I tore the following from some unremembered free-type community paper seen in Pueblo, CO, during the summer of 2003 and copied it without permission.


This is the story of Sue and Sam. It may not be your story -- I certainly hope it isn't -- but it will sound familiar to a great many readers. Almost everyone knows of a couple that is no longer a couple because one spouse betrayed the trust of the other.

Sam is a bit of a wheeler-dealer. He has interests in a multitude of businesses. He seems to be able to keep up with them all. His neighbors resent his expansiveness. They are bothered by his success. "He's a high roller," some say. Others whisper, behind his back, that he borrows too much money from too many lenders. Someday, they say, he'll get into trouble.

Even so, when Sam enters a room, he has everyone's attention. He tends to get his way. Those who are close to him say his heart is in the right place. Those who aren't so close aren't so sure.

Sue is a very different kind of person. She's quiet. She's interested in security. She's cautious. She doesn't talk much. If Sam and Sue visit, you'll know a lot more about Sam at the end of the evening that you will know about Sue.

Nonetheless, Sue is very people-oriented. Unlike Sam, she has devoted her work life to a single business. She provides a service for the elderly and disabled. While her business has grown rapidly, it is still much smaller than the razzle-dazzle collection of businesses that Sam runs.

Sue doesn't like to borrow money. She also doesn't like investing it. She wants her investments to be castle-keep safe. If she could, she would keep her savings in a coffee can, but she knows that doesn't make sense.

So she asks Sam to invest for her. "I don't want to take risks, I don't want to make the top return," she tells him. "I just want the money to be safe. I also want it to be available when I need it."

"I understand," Sam tells her. "So you shouldn't invest it in any of my businesses. This is what we'll do. I'll give you an IOU each time you give me money. I'll pay you interest on each IOU. That way you'll know how much money you have. It will grow every year. You would probably do better investing elsewhere, but you'll know your money is safe with me."

This arrangement works fine for years. Sue gives Sam money. Sam gives Sue an IOU. Then he tells her how much her interest has increased her savings.

Then, as planned, Sue needs to redeem some of the IO's.

"I haven't got the money," Sam confesses. "It's all been used in my businesses. I can't get it out. In fact, I'm having to borrow money -- a lot of money -- just to keep my businesses going."

"Gee, Sam, that isn't the arrangement we made. You said the money would be available when I needed it. Can you borrow some extra money and redeem some of your IOUs? If you don't, I'll be in a real jam," Sue tells Sam.

"I'll try," Sam answers.

For the first time, they visit a lender together. "Are you aware that you are insolvent?" the lender asks.

"Who's insolvent?" Sue says. "I have plenty of money. Sam owes it to me."

"I'm sorry," the lender responds, "but it doesn't work that way. We see you and Sam as a unit. Sam's IOUs may be an asset to you, but they are also a liability of his. From my chair, your asset and his liability cancel each other."

"Can I sell the IOUs to [someone and get back some of my money that way?]" [page is torn for maybe ten words; --MAC]

"To whom? Sam already owes money everywhere. A buyer would pay only pennies on the dollar because he knows he'll have to collect the money from Sam." the lender explains.

"My interest as a lender is how you, as a couple, will pay back the money you want to borrow from me. Your marital arrangements aren't my concern. To me, it looks as though Sue needs money and can't get it from Sam. And Sam needs so much new money he won't be able to pay back what he's already borrowed.

"If we lend Sam any money at all, it will have a lot of strings attached. It's doubtful, for instance, that we would allow him to pay off any of his IOUs to you before he paid off his debt to us," the lender said.

Is this just another over-spending couple?

It is until you start adding lots of zeros to the numbers.

As this is written, Social Security (aka Sue) holds more than a trillion dollars in IOUs from Uncle Sam (aka Sam). Social Security, still trusting Uncle Sam, is currently telling its clients that its IOU collection (the Social Security Trust fund) won't be exhausted until 2042.

The important date, however, isn't 2042. It's sometime between 2013 and 2018. That's when Social Security and Medicare will start to pay out more in benefits than they collect in employment taxes. That's when Sue will go to Sam and ask to redeem some IOUs.

Expect trouble.

Related web site: status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs 2003: <>
President Bill Clinton, in his FY2000 budget (from "Social Security Is in Good Shape?" by Michael D. Tanner, THE FREEMAN, May, 2005, pp. 6-7):
"These Trust Fund balances are available to finance future benefit payments ... but only in a bookkeeping sense .... They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits. Instead, they are claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures. The existence of Trust Fund balances, therefore, does not by itself have any impact on the government's ability to pay benefits."
P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian:
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money -- if a gun is held to his head.
Grover Cleveland, in vetoing a 1887 bill that would have appropriated a mere $10,000 in aid for drought-stricken Texas farmers (from page 145 of the [probably] March, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education:
"... though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people." That veto was one of many - in his first term he refused to sign twice as many bills as did all previous 21 presidents COMBINED!)

Grover Cleveland (perhaps more of the same address?), from "Transforming the Political Marketplace" by Russell Roberts, published in THE FREEMAN (called IDEAS ON LIBERTY at that time) by the Foundation for Economic Education of December, 1999, page 54:
"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individiual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit." He went on to explain to Congress that when the government got into the business of relieving suffering, it discouraged private efforts to fight hardship and hurt our character.
President James Madison, 1794, as quoted on page 138 of the March, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education:
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which grant[s] a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
President Franklin Pierce, as quoted on page 47 of the March, 2004, issue of THE FREEMAN, the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, while vetoing a 1884 bill championed by the renowned nineteenth-century social reformer Dorothea Dix and intended to help the mentally ill:
"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity." To approve such spending, he added, "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
Patrick Detches. Letter to "The Register" (17 April 1984):
"In 1983 $21 billion was spent in agricultural subsidies - almost equal to the net income of all American farmers."
David Friedman, economist and author of HIDDEN ORDER, as quoted on page 2 of the September, 1999, issue of THE FREEMAN (now called IDEAS ON LIBERTY), the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education, on Friedman's Law:
"Government is so incompetent, it can't even give something away. Government may promise to give all students a shot at a top college, but clearly it can't make unqualified students qualified simply by forcing their admission to top schools."
"Too often foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich nation send their money to the rich people of a poor nation."
Thomas Jefferson:
"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."
Thomas Jefferson:
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical."
From Dick Armey's "The Freedom Revolution" (Regnery Publishing, 1995), as reviewed in the February, 1996, issue of THE FREEMAN (the journal of the Foundation for Economic Education):
"The politics of greed always comes wrapped in the language of love."
"When you're weaned from the milk of sacred cows, you're bound to get heartburn."
"If you love peace more than freedom, you lose."
"Social responsibility is a euphemism for personal irresponsibility."
"There is nothing more arrogant than a self-righteous income redistributor."
On U.S. farm policy: "One bad government program creates the need for a worse one."

Dorcas R. Hardy, Commissioner of Social Security:
"There is no law requiring a person to apply for a Social Security number, and there is no section of title 18, United States Code, making it a crime to not have a social security number."
Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"We must not allow this type of insurance to become a dole through the mingling of insurance and relief. It is not charity. It must be financed by contributions not taxes .... Let us keep out every element which is actuarily unsound."

"Governments never do anything by accident; if government does something you can bet it was carefully planned."
The Congressional Record (June 12, 1935):
"We can't ask for support for a [social security] plan not at least as good as any American could buy from a private insurance company."

My personal Social (In)Security (henceforth called SS) history:
I made my first "contribution" (from a summer job) at age 20 (1961) and my last at age 60 (from a part-time school-bus-driving job). If my "contributions" and those of my employers had been invested in a REAL trust fund, and had that money earned a measly 3% real rate of return, my share of the trust fund would have been over $400,000 when I retired. Such a REAL trust fund could have paid me $1,300 per month (which is more than SS paid me in 2003), could give me a 3% cost-of-living increase every year (about what the SS Administration says I'll get), and, if I die at age 85 (about the age my parents and all four grand- parents died), my trust fund would hold over a half-MILLION dollars which I could leave to my children and/or grandchildren (compared to the $255 the SS will leave to my wife -- IF she is still alive when I die). Or, if I were to live until my trust fund was emptied, I'd "have" to die at age 107.

Conclusion: The current Social "Security" system IS a FRAUD and a SCAM and the Federal Government IS a THIEF!
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