Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blast(s) from the past....

"No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved in its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defence of the state. . . . Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."

- "MT. Cicero", Sept. 8, 1788, State Gazette of South Carolina (Charleston).

"In countries under arbitrary government, the people oppressed and dispirited neither possess arms nor know how to use them. Tyrants never feel secure until they have disarmed the people. They can rely upon nothing but standing armies of mercenary troops for the support of their power. But the people of this country have arms in their hands; they are not destitute of military knowledge; every citizen is required by law to be a soldier; we are marshaled into companies, regiments, and brigades for the defence of our country. This is a circumstance which increases the power and consequence of the people; and enables them to defend their rights and privileges against every invader."

- "the Republican", Jan. 7, 1788, Connecticut Courant (Hartford Newspaper).

"There are other things so clearly out of the power of Congress, that the bare recital of them is sufficient. I mean "rights of conscience, or religious liberty ― the rights of bearing arms for defence, or for killing gamethe liberty of fowling, hunting and fishing."

- Winchester Gazette (VIRGINIA), Feb. 22, 1788.

"Every free man has a right to the use of the press, so he has to the use of his arms. [B]ut if he commits [libel], he abuses his privilege, as unquestionably as if he were to plunge his sword into the bosom of a fellow citizen."

- "Philodemos", Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia), March 8, 1788.

"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of a noble spirit, the most corrupt congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."

- Reverend Nicholas Collin, (using the pseudonym "Foreign Spectator"), Nov. 7, 1788, Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia).

"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 that military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States.... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America."

- Gazette of the United States (New York), Oct. 14, 1789. (Excerpted from a letter dated Sept. 12, 1789 from Fayetteville, North Carolina).

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