Saturday, April 29, 2006

The possession of arms....

"The possession of arms is the distinction between a free man and a slave: he who has nothing, and belongs to another, must be defended by him and needs no arms; but he who thinks he is his own master, and has anything he may call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses or else he lives precariously and at discretion. And though for a while, those who have the sword in their power [the government] abstain from doing him injury; yet, by degrees, he will be awed into submission to every arbitrary command. Our ancestors [the Caledonians and Picts], by being always armed and frequently in action, defended themselves against the Romans, Danes and English and maintained their liberty against encroachments of their own princes."
***
- Andrew Fletcher, (1653 - 1716),
'A Discourse of Government with Relation to Militias in Political Works', 1698, p.47.

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