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By Dr. Larry Trick

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

“The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, 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. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.”
– Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War” in Pennsylvania Magazine, July 1775

“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…. 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.”
– Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

“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 ruined . . . The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

“I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence . . . I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
– William Pitt (the Younger), speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, 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 your constant companion of your walks.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country 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 superior to any band of regular troops.”
– Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

“For it is a truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.”
– Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25, December 21, 1787

“[I]f 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. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
– Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, January 10, 1788

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
– Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, January 9–February 5, 1788

“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-defense 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 those of 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 No. 28, January 10, 1788

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, 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, especially when young, how to use them.”
– Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

“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.”
– James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

“[T]he ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone . . .”
– James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

“I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”
– George Mason, address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788

“To disarm the people . . . [i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

“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.”
– James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 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.”
– Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress 750, August 17, 1789

“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people 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.”
– Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…”
– George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. 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 limits possible. 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.”
– St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803

“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823

“The Constitution 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.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
– Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833


Lorence (Larry) Trick, MD is a retired orthopedic surgeon, and an avid upland bird hunter and clays shooter.  

This post was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission.

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    • “If only modern day politicians understood what our Founding Fathers understood.”

      They understand just fine, hence the full-court press to change the language to meet their despotic needs…

      • Amen. There is a breed of man that derives pleasure from subjugating his fellow man. We have a right and duty to protect all men from the tyranic actions of those who seek to enslave us to any degree.

      • Roger, Roger.

        Don’t like the definition? Change the dictionary! That’s been the playbook for ages.

    • I commiserate with you, Tim, but I’m reminded that politicians are elected from their constituency, and generally reflect their community. Take a look at AOC, or Tlaib, or Omar, or…

      What we need are fewer politicians and more statesmen. What’s the difference? A politician serves his own interests first, with no thought to the Constitution. A statesman serves his community’s interests first, with his feet grounded in the Constitution.

      • “What we need are fewer politicians and more statesmen.”

        +100. Unfortunately, elections, particularly with the current media, tend to select for electability and nothing else.

      • An unequivocally apropos assessment, and precisely why I will only cast a vote for a statesman- never for a “lesser of evil” politician.

      • I don’t think most people really believe the same things as the leftists they place in positions of power. The longer I observe, the more convinced I am that many if not most of the leftists in positions of power don’t really understand what they serve.

        • “Pray tell then why exactly do they keep electing them?”

          Indoctrination, guilt, rage, acceptance. The majority of the country, including democrats, aren’t for the extreme policies being pushed. There have been recent polls that confirm this. Some of the older democrats aren’t even aware of the extremism that exists on the Left these days.

  1. It’s not that they don’t understand, they absolutely do, that’s why they strive so hard to disarm the law abiding, only then will their power be absolute.

  2. It doesn’t mean what the Marxist Left would like it to mean,as their plan can not come to fruition as long as there is a armed citizenry in this nation.
    As the founders intended the 2 nd. means any and all forms of gun control are un Constitutional.

  3. It is my right to be armed. It is my duty to be armed. It is my responsibility, my solemn duty, to protect my family, my home, my country.
    — Baldwin, 29 June 2020

    • Those who eschew arms benefit most from the neighbor that does not. For the idle ruffian knoweth not which is sharp of tooth, and thus leaves both in peace. But if both are disarmed, he takes his choice, his safety all but certain.

  4. It has been determined that these were substandard men, and therefore, everything they said can be ignored. The statue toppling that’s all the the rage, isn’t really about the confederates, it’s about the founding of this country. The superwoke would like a complete reset. They’ll do it right this time.

    • A perfect example of how they will do it this time is the CHAZ/CHOP,with dead bodies piling up soon the Marxist’s in the CHAZ/Chop will have enough for a dandy winnie roast.

      That’s how they will do it right.

  5. Straight white men? Ignore.
    I live my life on the wisdom of omnisexual transgendered Cambodians. So far so good.

  6. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst 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 Americans.-Tench Coxe

    Suck on that CO Supreme court, your decision was wrong and violates everything that the founders stood for regarding keeping and bearing arms.

  7. The Authority behind the Constitution and Bill of Rights is dependent on the willingness of the Citizenry to Preserve, Protect and Defend it. Mere words Hold No Iron against those who work to twist them to suit their Ideology. There words were not meant to give those who Govern the power to bend them to their will. They were handed down on the Blood of Patriots to set limits on those who would Rule. We were given a Republic…If We can keep it. Unless We the People apply the Authority. That is Our Right and Duty. I fear that all will be lost. Much sooner than any imagine. Let Courage be your Standard and Keep Your Powder Dry.

  8. Seems pretty clear and simple to me. “The People Must Be Armed”, to defend the country, to defend themselves, to defend the local governments, to offset the Military and to keep the Politicians in check.

  9. “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.” Karl Marx

    • Why exactly did the Communists take all the arms away after they were in power? Oh yeah, it was to murder millions of people.

      • Hey now true socialism has never been tried it will work with the Democrats, they promise.

        • Might have worked, in an ideal world. One where humans weren’t subject to the common fallacies of humans. Of course, in an ideal world, you’d have no need for artificial constructs such as…

        • Its not an ideal world in which it would work, but a horrible world. This idea that Marxism is an ideal, even if impractical, is what keeps it alive. People will usually support that which they believe is moral, even if it won’t work.
          The morality of Marxism is not ideal, it is disgusting if you think about it. That each serves each other leaves people in a game where you have to lose to win. That need determines distribution leaves people in a vicious race towards being worse off than the next.
          No, Marxism wouldn’t work in an ideal world either, only a complete fantasy world that would end up destroying itself as it always does.

  10. Soooo…. before the bad men wrote the Constitution there was a King, shall we have another? There was Slavery, shall we have that once again? There was no right of speech against those in charge, there was debtors prisons, your family paid for the crimes of your father….. Sounds like wonderful times.

    Or do they want Stalin-esque games. Kill a few millions, starve them and turn some into cannibals, disappear those who you no longer need around. Purges happen. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot. Anyone deemed a threat.

    These morons on the left which includes the media think they will be the “ins” somehow in charge, at the top. They will be so much fodder for the strong man that takes control. They will soon outlive their usefulness.

    The one important thing they seem to keep forgetting. In all of human history, a revolution today would be against 120 million gun owners with more than 500 million guns. All the others up to this moment was armed in charge against mostly unarmed populations.

    The Sheep are well armed today. Most of the wolf wannabes have pointy sticks and mean words. Call me a Nazi, ohhh hurt my feelings? Nah. The facists are calling others by that name.

    • Right you are. We don’t have to. But that would take a will to resist. So far we are bending lower and lower, slowly choking on the shit we take, with only some grumble and toothless, but expensive attempts to defend our rights at courts.

      When the words cited above were written, it was understood that we, the people have right to own and carry arms, which the government must not touch. Full stop.

      Now, only nice and flawless people can own only some arms. Not too big, not too short, not shooting too fast or too penetrating projectiles. To get one, we have to ask nicely the same government, which was expressly forbidden to infringe on our rights to be armed, prove that we have been good boys all our lives and pay for the privilege.

      We take shit by a shovelfull.

  11. Remember the lawyer couple who stood outside their home armed?

    We have an update :

    “Cops Side With Armed St. Louis Homeowners, Investigate Protesters For ‘Assault By Intimidation'”

    “Update (2020ET): While reactions to the gun-toting lawyers are sharply divided by political leanings, St. Louis police are investigating the incident as a case of trespassing and fourth-degree assault by intimidation against the couples.”

  12. I would leave out the first Benjamin Franklin quote. It’s always bandied about with complete lack of context. Franklin was talking about the right of the Pennsylvania assembly to levy taxes, and the ‘temporary security’ was quite literally a proposed lump sum to pay for temporary frontier security.

  13. In a sense it is all quite simple. The Founders were concerned with comprehending, and creating a nation that respected the Natural Rights of Man, along with the necessary obligations of existing within a civilized society. It was very obvious to them that many facets of this had been worked out already in various nations, governments, civilizations both ancient and current. Along with the necessities many failings had also been recognized and were understood.

    Thus the need to say adios to King George.

    To the point tho, self defense and community defense are natural rights. We are all born with this right. Right along with the freedom to think and express ourselves and pursue our own happiness and all that.

    You cannot defend you life or the lives of others without the tools equal or superior to those of anyone who would interfere with your right to life and liberty. So, if the state of the art of tyrants and evil men is the sword or the club, you have every right to the sword and the club. As that technology advanced, your natural right tracks with the technology of the time.

    Today that technology is firearms. I suspect that in a century it will still be firearms. Perhaps in some distant future it will be Star Trek Phasers or Star Wars Blasters. But until that remarkable leap in science, engineering and technology, all we got is what we got.

    And what we got is an equal and natural right to the means of defending ourselves and our communities.

    A somewhat infringed upon equal and natural right …


  14. Sadly,,,,the Second Amendment means whatever our Government says it means. Try carrying in a “May-Issue” State, shortening your Rifle barrel to 15 inches, attaching a sound suppressing device on that barrel, or in my State acquiring one of the many banned rifle platforms,,, without special permission from the State. All these quotes from the Founding Fathers will simply be interpreted (by the powers-that-be) as quaint musings of a former time.

  15. Let me preface this by stating I don’t care a bit about bump stocks, and never have, except in the oblique where “Shall not be infringed” is concerned. And the Taking Clause, to be sure. Those make me bristle. The example within the PoTG community; how many times have you seen supposedly solid 2A supporters deriding those complaining, rightfully so I might add, about another couple of infringements AIO?

    This is exactly how we have ended up where we are in relation to the second being a second class right. No one needs a bump stock. No one needs a machine gun. No one needs a short barreled rifle/shotgun. No one needs HE. No one needs an AR to hunt deer. No one needs a gun, cops will protect you…

    Sometimes, this community is it’s own worst enemy, subject to corrosion from inside the rank & file. Here, let me disarm most of those b.s. statements.

    – I need HE to expediently remove that massive tree stump. Cut a road in that mountain, and a vast amount of other reasons.

    – I need a short barrel for defense of my domicile in CQ because a long barrels makes rapid maneuver nearly impossible indoors without an open concept floor plan, and is quite cumbersome in my convoluted hallway. That’s a safety concern, when moments count, and all that rot.

    – I need a suppressor indoors, because I also need to keep my hearing from degrading over the years, and deafening everyone, even temporarily, in the room is not conducive to good ear health. Though I really don’t care if the assailant’s hearing is damaged.

    – I need an MG, preferably mounted & belt fed, because situations like rioting & looting in St. Louis, Seattle, et cetera have clearly shown a need to defend from the masses intent on physically harming me & mine. MG, substitute M134 at will in your head. Also makes a good case for HE, btw.

    – I need, well, something better than a 5.56 or .223 AR for taking deer. Those calibers tread a little to close to the inhumane line to me, for critters of that mass range.

    – I need AT & SAM capabilities, because my local government has shown a propensity for totalitarian behavior, and they have more than a few MRAP’s & other military hardware lying around to assault us with.

    – I need to not be unnecessarily burdened by frivolous, capricious, and arbitrary “law”, especially when the supreme law of the land say’s specifically “Shall not”. That include free choice of lubricants, whatever type of trigger I may, or may not desire, or whatever accessory I may want. And ofc, whether I decide to intentionally derp and put a bump stock on a weapon I was capable of bump firing w/o an assisting device since I was 12 yrs. old.

    I need not tear down the myth of LEO protections here. Quite sure those reading this are at least somewhat familiar with USSC’s rulings on “protect & serve”. If not, the last few years (& weeks) to the younger set, should’ve been quite the jarring eye opener.

    Damn, I wrote a book. And I am not even the slightest bit sorry I did.

  16. Quotes are completely unnecessary to defend 2A, its intent is unambiguous provided you use contemporary rules of grammar to parse it. Rule #15 from Noah Webster’s 1790 Rudiments of English Grammar (which still is often referenced in legal filings and Amicus Briefs) refers to a phrase such as 2A’s preamble (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,…) as an ablative absolute clause or nominative absolute clause. Such a construction is grammatically independent of the rest of the sentence and does not CAN NOT alter or control the the meaning of the operative phrase (“…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”)

    Justice Scalia even touched on this in writing for the majority in the Heller decision, referring to the preamble as a “prefatory clause” and adding, “… a prefatory clause does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause….” I just checked and found that that most salient of bits has been removed from the Heller decision’s Wikipedia page.

    If you want a more comprehensive and scholarly treatise,, I suggest the Amicus Brief submitted by Dr. Nelson Lund, Ph.D., J.D., on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and in support of Heller.

    • I sort of burned out my brain for the moment Sam, feeling sleepy. Elaborate a little more, if you please?

      • Never mind, I got you. No, indeed it is not. Simply, I am using their language manipulations against them. Twisting their own in a Möbius strip fashion, as they do against us.

  17. “sort of burned out my brain for the moment Sam, feeling sleepy. Elaborate a little more, if you please?”

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary….”

    “Necessary” derives from “need”. In order to secure a free State, the people need a militia (“we the people”). The need of a militia necessitates the need for arms in the hands of the militia (“we the people”).

    When I hear/read “no one needs a gun”, I immediately think, “Ah, but the Second Amendment clearly proclaims otherwise.” Thus, to the current conversation, “we the people” need firearms in order to effectuate the militia that is necessary.

    • Ah, I misconstrued entirely, my fault. Yes, we very much see eye to eye. With that, I am going to retire for a bit, 02:16 was a bit early to awaken after a zero hundred bed time. Not the young man I once was.

  18. The simple 1st grade language is Crystal Clear! To say otherwise is communist lies!

    Its time to enforce it….as the Founders & Private Citizens as well as Militia had Ships & Cannons the modern equivalent of Nukes, A-10’s, Aircraft Carriers fully loaded to thwart any invasions! So many people & countries hate the Freedom we have & want to destroy it…

  19. Our Politicians think, do and say as elected officials, The people have let them believe that they officiate over us, WE do not hold these elected officials to the fire and remind them that they are ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE. Until WE hold them accountable WE get what WE deserve !

  20. We don’t hold elected officials accountable because they give us stuff, as the founders feared. Once the people figured out they could award themselves great largess through elections, stuff, not principle, not justice, not honor became the reward for the vote. Until we can hold ourselves accountable, we have no case against those we elect.

  21. The people who adamantly, fervently support autoritarian/totalitarian ideals always believe they will be among the elite who will beneit at the expense of others.

    Then comes the knock on the door at midnite.

    I, on the other hand, only wish to live long enough to have a big belly laugh when comes the knock.

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