Tag: United States Supreme Court

SCOTUS: ObamaCare Decision is Not a Victory for Obama!

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...
Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reaction to this decision is amazing.  It has really stirred up the American people and that may be a really good thing!

Progressive-liberals are cheering this “landmark” affirmation of their health care reform. Pelosi even threw a party!  This strikes me as really funny because, neither she (by her own words), nor Obama (by his own words), knew what was in this bill before it was passed (and … probably still don’t).  Obama (if we can believe it) didn’t even know it was actually a tax.  Remember when Obama told us that if we “thought it was a tax … then obviously we didn’t know the law”.  So … how did all this confusion (or lying) come about?  Could it simply be because they actually did not write this law and they have never actually read it?  Does anyone know who wrote this bill?  I don’t know who wrote this bill and I actually even tried to find out.

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), lead sponsor and supposed author of the Senate bill, admitted recently that he never even actually read it (never mind wrote it).  There are stories about Robert Creamer (husband of far leftist Congress woman Jan Schakowsk) writing it while serving time in jail for 16 counts of bank fraud; and there are stories about it passing through the hands of Andy Stern, the infamous corrupt union boss of SEI. No wonder Pelosi snuck it through Congress … she really did have to pass it to find out what was in it!

One wonders why, if it is such a “great” bill, it does not apply to members of Congress? Or … why 729 companies representing 2.1 million employees, the AARP (who fought so hard to get it passed), and labor unions (hmmm … isn’t the SEIU a labor union) are requesting and  receiving exemptions from ObamaCare?  Maybe this helps explain Obama’s $1, 000,000,000 political war chest.

But, anyway back to my thoughts:

Many conservatives have been trashing Justice Roberts for his role in this decision.  I am a conservative and I think they are wrong in doing that.  And, actually, I think progressive-liberals are celebrating a bit too soon.  All this trashing and celebration occurred as “knee-jerk” reaction before anyone had actually read and understood the Court’s decision.  Let’s look at what  has actually done.

Conservatives are pro-constitutionally based government … so lets look at the constitutional aspects of this decision:

If we consider the ideas of “checks and balances” and “co-equal branches of government,” we have to ask … do we really want the Supreme Court signing or vetoing our laws?  435 members of the House, 100 Members of the Senate, and the President passed this law.  It is not the Supreme Court’s job to veto laws that Americans decide they do not like!  It is the Court’s job to decide the constitutionality of a law … which they did.  And,  if the “penalty” for not purchasing healthcare is a tax used to help pay the massive debt this bill will incur, then it is constitutional … because Congress has the power to tax.

The solution to this problem is that we, as Americans, have to be careful who we choose to represent us.  It seems we all love to hate Congress …. but we love our own individual Congressman or Congresswoman.  After all. we keep re-electing them!  I still remember the Congressional Bank Rubber Check Scandal!  The names of members of Congress who were writing massive bad checks on the Bank of Congress were even published in newspapers.  Guess what?  In the next election about 95% of them got re-elected.  I was appalled!  So, people, we reap what we sow.  You want better laws?  Elect better representatives!  Elect statesman … not greedy, corrupt politicians concerned with a political career, transforming the country, and/or “getting theirs!”  Don’t expect the Supreme Court to do the job you won’t do because you are too lazy!

Either Obama did lie … or he is not as smart as people think.  Either he denied it was a tax because he did not read the bill and did not know it was a tax, … or he knew it was a tax … but also knew Pelosi’s Senate needed to sneak it through  Congress behind closed doors using sneaky “rules of reconciliation.”  And, he did not want Americans to think he was raising taxes right after his campaign pledge not to.

So exactly what did Justice Robert’s do?

This case held a real danger for the Supreme Court from its beginning.  This danger was the likelihood that the SCOTUS would be drawn into a serious  confrontation over “policy” with the executive branch in the middle of an election year; and … “policy” does not (and should not) fall under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. The Justice Robert’s opinion can be seen as maneuver to avoid just such a pitched battle, while simultaneously blocking  the Obama Administration’s  attempted power grab.

It is important to remember that Roberts sided with the conservative members of the Supreme Court on most aspects of this decision.  Pointing to the Commerce Clause … Obama’s administration,  argued that Congress can regulate any behavior (or even non-behavior) that has even a minor effect on commerce.  Justice Roberts rejects that contention  lock, stock and barrel.  In fact, this is the first time in the Supreme Court’s modern history, that the Court made a clear and decisive decision that actually limits what the federal government may do with its commerce authority!  This Supreme Court decision means that Congress may regulate only real economic activity, and may do so only if the activity has a substantial effect  on interstate commerce.  Congress may not regulate a person’s choice to not enter into that stream of commerce.  If progressive-liberals actually understood this … they would be screaming rape at very this moment!!

By setting the Commerce Clause aspect of this decision as he does, and by stating unequivocally that the individual mandate cannot survive on commerce grounds,  Justice Roberts makes the Commerce Clause holding necessary to the decisions’ s final  judgment (which, by the way, Obama and his cronies see as a victory).  However, in reality this means that future commerce-clause-based Congressional actions will be controlled and limited by this decision (on which Justice Roberts and the four dissenting justices agree).

Another key part of Justice Roberts’ opinion is his conclusion that the individual mandate is actually a tax and not a penalty.  While this decision does then make the mandate constitutional (because of Congress’s accepted power to tax) and allows the mandate to stand,  it also effectively makes the mandate an isolated decision based on already accepted congressional power, and denies the Obama administration a new source of regulatory power.

By declaring the mandate a tax rather than a penalty, this decision has another effect.  It makes repealing ObamaCare a bit easier.  Now that the mandate has been revealed as the  taxation it really is, it can be repealed through the use of the very same “reconciliation process” Pelosi, Reid, and company used to sneak it through in the first place.  This means that a new, more conservative Senate would need only a bare majority vote  for its repeal, and not 60 votes.  Add to this the fact that,  we know (because they have told so us repeatedly) that many members of  Congress would never have voted for ObamaCare if they had known it was a tax.  Now we can hold their collective feet to the fire in a “repeal” vote!

I think it is important to point out that at the beginning of his opinion, the Justice Roberts clearly states that the Court does not render an opinion as to whether ObamaCare contains sound policies.  He re-visits this very same thought at the end of the opinion, stating that the Court does is not expressing an opinion on “the wisdom of the Affordable Care  Act,” adding that, under the U.S. Constitution, that final judgment is actually reserved for “the people.”  It sounds to me like Justice Roberts is asking the “people” to render a verdict on the inept leaders who wrote this horrible law in the first place!  I strongly believe We the People should do exactly as he suggests.

As a nation, we absolutely cannot afford this unaffordable Affordable Care Act!  Our government is broke!  I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, Democrat, or Republican! We have $16 Trillion in debt and a $1.6 Trillion deficit.  Who is going to pay for it?  Obama, we have just found out, has passed the largest tax increase on the middle class in the history of modern man disguised as a health care reform bill.  The taxes and cost hidden in the bill are only now coming to light.

This bill is not about health care …  it is about socialists seizing power!  If it was written by Robert Creamer and the SEIU, this would make perfect sense.  The poor are already dependent on liberal entitlement programs … so they have no choice but to tote the socialist party line.  If the middle class can be forced into dependency on the government for their healthcare (by say … single payer system), then progressive, liberals, socialists (or whatever you want to call them) gain power and control over a huge block of Americans and will effective control their votes.  It would be hard for these middle class Americans to “bite the hand that now feeds them.”

This next election is so important.  It is time for conservatives, Republicans, and real Americans to come together!  Romney was not my first choice but he is who we have.  While not perfect  … he is so much better than Obama there is no comparison.  If we can elect him and at the same time gain a few more conservative seats in the House and Senate, we can restore common sense to our government and turn this ship around before it is too late and we are forced into another American Revolution by an out-of-touch, socialist regime lead by Emperor Obama.

One last note.

I recently signed up for a Twitter account.  After the SCOTUS decision, Sarah Palin commented via a Tweet on the lies we all know Obama has told to get ObamaCare and his socialist agenda passed.  We all know the lies … they are there and plentiful, …  lies like: I will reduce debt by half, I will run a transparent administration, didn’t know Jermiah Wright was a radical, any health care deal will be seen on C-Span, I will not raise taxes,  no earmarks in stimulus package, Obamacare will pay for itself, my father fought in World War II, I will lead in a bi-partisan manner, No boots on the ground in Libya, ObamaCare will not raise the deficit, I had an uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz, ObamaCare fee is not a tax, etc.  It has gotten so bad even many honest liberals are commentating it.

Sarah Palin simply stated what we all know (but some won’t admit), and she did it without a single foul word  The liberal responses I saw on Twitter to Palin’s Tweet would shame the most foul-mouthed, coarsest-speaking scumbag the world has ever known.  They attacked her, her daughter, and her special needs son in ways that should not, and in a more civil time …  in the America I love, would not have been expressed.  If these “liberal” expressions of free speech reflect the kind of world they want to create, and the path these people have in mind for America … I reject it totally.  I would fight another revolution to keep my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren from having to live in a society such as that!

Supreme Court Justices’s Seem To Be On The Right Track

The United States Supreme Court, the highest c...
The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing audio clips from the case before the Supreme Court arguments on Obamacare has been encouraging.  Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Kennedy have asked key questions of Solicitor General Donald Verilli, who has had an extremely tough time making valid arguments. Part of the confusion arises because of the Obama administration’s argument that the power to enforce the individual mandate is rooted in Congress’ taxing power — but that the mechanism itself is designed to be a penalty, not a revenue-generating policy.

Even U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, seemed confused; using the phrase “tax penalty” multiple times to describe the individual mandate’s backstop. He portrayed the fee as a penalty by design, but one that functions as a tax because it’s collected through the tax code. This prompted Justice Samuel Alito to comment, “General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax,” causing a few moments of laughter during the 90 minutes of argument Monday.

The comment by Justice Scalia underlines the song and dance routine that the Obama White House is playing in its argument; and just how badly written the Obamacare legislation actually is.  On one hand, Obama’s administrations claims the backstop is not a tax, because that could subject it to the Anti-Injunction Act; while on the other, they claim that the power to impose a penalty derives from Congress’ broad taxing power. That’s in part because calling it a tax makes defending the individual mandate a bit easier because Congress’ power to levy taxes is less in question than its power to force people to do things.

Even Obama appointed  Justice Elena Kagan (who should have recused herself due to her advisory role to the Obama administration in formulating the Obamacare legislation) asked whether refusing to buy insurance would constitute breaking the law.  Verrilli responded by saying he would argue that if people “pay the tax, then they are in compliance with the law.”  This comment caught the attention of Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Why do you keep saying tax?” Breyer asked, causing a few more laughs.

The justices, particularly the four Democratic-appointees, and Justice Antonin Scalia, appear very skeptical that this “fine” constitutes a “tax,” which would then make it a penalty imposed for not complying with the law.  This would make the Individual Mandate an unconsitutional abuse of congressional power. By forcing individuals into financial contracts for services they do not want to purchase or face a government imposed penalty, the Obama administration is violating several Constitutional rights.  You would think liberals, ever so willing and ready to defend a woman’s right to choose … would also be lined up to defend a citizen’s right to choose and working to defeat Obamacare.  Ah well … just more of that selective “moral outrage!”

Anyway, it is too early to say, but this does not bode well for Obamacare.

 

The True Source Of the Second Amendment

 

Second Amendment

It amazes me just how many Americans do not understand the concept of Second Amendment Rights and where  this American right originates.  Even American’s who support the Second Amendment, own firearms, join the NRA, and exercise their rights under the Second Amendment daily often misunderstand its origins.  

What is scary to me, however, is that the left-wing liberals certainly seem to, at least on one level, understand the reason that the Founding Fathers  wrote Second Amendment and included it in the Bill of Rights.  That is why they are so intent on eliminating the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.

Of  course, you have to understand that most liberals in this country are not liberals at all … at least not in the true sense of the liberal ideology.  True liberals, as a general rule, would not support gun control because it is a violation of a personal freedom ….  and all liberals certainly claim to strongly support individual freedom.  This is the root of their support for the gay movement, women’s rights to murder 1.37 million American babies each year, legalizing drugs, PETA, terrorist’s rights, and the drive-by media’s right to commit libel and slander against conservatives with impunity while openly supporting their chosen liberal politicians during elections.  

In this country, the term liberal is most often used to hide the true identity of anti-American movements.  The ACLU, for example, originated as a communist organization dedicated to bringing about a peaceful transition  to a communist American state.  When the ACLU’s founding members discovered that the term communist was working against them because of the stigma attached to it, they simply changed their name.  

Many other “liberals” in this country are simply socialists; but because this term also still has a stigma attached to it, they choose to hide behind the term “liberal.”  

Then we also have the liberal “fascists”  … like Barack Obama quickly seems to be turning out to be.  What kind of government allows private ownership of business, but tells you how to run them …..   look it up!

So, what does this have to do with gun control.  Despite the fact that many cool-aid drinking liberal followers live in a dream world where we all sit around the global campfire singing Kumbaya,  their leaders (the movers and shakers of the liberal elitist movement) are actually very intelligent.  They understand that, with the exception of California and the New England states, the backbone of real America is still made up of bitter common folk who cling to their Bibles and their Guns;  and … that these bitter (or shall we say Freedom Loving Rugged Individualists) simply do not want to live in a socialist (or a fascist) nanny state.  Their solution, then, is to lie, cheat, misinterpret, play on fears, elect any and all rabid anti Second Amendment politicians (or  judges) they can find, use their control of the mass media, and otherwise work to dissolve our Second Amendment rights.

 

America's 1st Freedom

 

Because of this on-going assault on the Second Amendment, we often hear some really odd soundbites such as

its people like you who will hand the White House over to some COMMI DEMOCRAT, who will elect some liberal Supreme Court Justices … and they will destroy the Second Amendment  

or even such nonsense as …  

the jack-booted feds will roll you up like an old carpet.  If you think you can resist them then you will join the ranks of the Branch Davidians and the martyrs of Ruby Ridge.  All the good sheeple will fall in line … or die.  

Rhetoric such as this is silly and misses the point entirely.

Implicit in comments such as these is the idea that our rights, including those validated under the Second Amendment, are somehow granted to us by the 9 old men and women on the Supreme Court; or from our legislature; or from our president.  Implicit in these comments is the idea that the right to Keep And Bear Arms actually comes from the Second Amendment itself.  This is a fallacy.  The Second Amendment, the Supreme Court, the legislature, and the presidency are all thing created by men, and thus, they can be taken away by other men.

 

Liberty

 

The truth is that the Second Amendment (and the other rights listed in the bill of Rights) simply acknowledges and allows us to protect our Inalienable Rights to “Life, Liberty, and  the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Depending on your personal belief system, these rights would be granted to us as either Natural Rights based on our condition of being Human Beings …. or as Divine Rights granted to us by God.  

Such rights are yours from the moment of your birth and cannot be taken away by other men … unless you allow that to happen.

Of course we can write our congressmen, join the NRA or the GOA, write letters to the editor, argue cases in court, and work hard to elect pro-gun legislators … and we should certainly be doing all these things.  However, our Second Amendment rights are not based on the outcome of these mechanisms.  Those “liberals” currently in power like Nancy Pelosi, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Emanuel Rahm, Harry Reid, Janet Napolitano, Sarah Bradey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and soon to be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor among others, would certainly want to have you believe that it does; and will certainly work to convince you that it does … but, in truth …. it does not.

Our Right To Bear Arms rests entirely upon our willingness to stop, by whatever means necessary, anyone who attempts to confiscate them. What these other mechanisms do is simply postpone any coming day of reckoning … which is certainly worth doing as long as it is feasibly possible.  

However, any political or governmental entity acting to confiscate or deny an honest, law-abiding American citizen the right to keep and bear arms is acting in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution and is, therefore, no longer a legitimate government agency.

 

God given. Not negotiable.

 

And for those of you who will certainly, without thinking or doing any research, chime in and exclaim … “but that’s not what the Second Amendment means” …  “its about militias, not individuals” … ” it is outdated because it was written 200 years ago” …  you should remember that your precious Freedom of Speech was acknowledged and guaranteed at precisely the same time

… and take the time to look at and actually read some of the historical quotes listed below.  You might gain some “intelligence.”

“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 invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322) 

“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.” (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 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” – (Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.) 

“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950]) 

“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]) 

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169) 

“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, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}]) 

“…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380) 

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244) 

“the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.) 

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of 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 bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution’, 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888)) 

“…if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?” (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888)) 

“…but 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 use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.) 

“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.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.) 

“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 in `Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym `A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1) 

“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” (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788) 

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829) 

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426) 

“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, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87) 

“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.” (Richard Henry Lee, 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)..) 

“The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” (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 people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” (Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646) 

“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, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836) 

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8) 

“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…” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)) 

“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 in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939) 

“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” (Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836) 

“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson) 

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good” (George Washington) 

“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. (Thomas Jefferson, Encyclopedia of T. Jefferson, 318 [Foley, Ed., reissued 1967]) 

“The supposed quietude of a good mans 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 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…” (Thomas Paine, I Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 [1894]) 

“…the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms” (from article in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette June 18, 1789 at 2, col.2,) 

“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.” (Aristotle, as quoted by John Trenchard and Water 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]) 

“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.” (James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses [London, 1774-1775]) 

“Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame.” (John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects [London, 1755]) 

“The difficulty here has been to persuade the citizens to keep arms, not to prevent them from being employed for violent purposes.” (Dwight, Travels in New-England) 

“What country can preserve it’s 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 to James Madison, Dec. 20, 1787, in Papers of Jefferson, ed. Boyd et al.) 

(The American Colonies were) “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.” [George Mason, “Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company” in The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792, ed Robert A. Rutland (Chapel Hill, 1970)] 

“To trust arms in the hands of the people at large has, in Europe, been believed…to be an experiment fraught only with danger. Here by a long trial it has been proved to be perfectly harmless…If the government be equitable; if it be reasonable in its exactions; if proper attention be paid to the education of children in knowledge and religion, few men will be disposed to use arms, unless for their amusement, and for the defence of themselves and their country.” (Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and NewYork [London 1823] 

“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.” (James Madison, “Federalist No. 46”) 

“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 burthens, 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.” (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 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.” (Edward Abbey, “The Right to Arms,” Abbey’s Road [New York, 1979]) 

“You are bound to meet misfortune if you are unarmed because, among other reasons, people despise you….There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed. In the latter case, there will be suspicion on the one hand and contempt on the other, making cooperation impossible.” (Niccolo Machiavelli in “The Prince”) 

“You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting: by law or by force. The first way is natural to men, and the second to beasts. But as the first way often proves inadequate one must needs have recourse to the second.” (Niccolo Machiavelli in “The Prince”) 

“As much as I oppose the average person’s having a gun, I recognize that some people have a legitimate need to own one. A wealthy corporate executive who fears his family might get kidnapped is one such person. A Hollywood celebrity who has to protect himself from kooks is another. If Sharon Tate had had access to a gun during the Manson killings, some innocent lives might have been saved.” [Joseph D. McNamara (San Jose, CA Police Chief), in his book, Safe and Sane, (c) 1984, p. 71-72.] 

“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.” [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)] 

For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing of concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former be unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise. But it should not be forgotten, that it is not only a part of the right that is secured by the constitution; it is the right entire and complete, as it existed at the adoption of the constitution; and if any portion of that right be impaired, immaterial how small the part may be, and immaterial the order of time at which it be done, it is equally forbidden by the constitution.” [Bliss vs. Commonwealth, 12 Ky. (2 Litt.) 90, at 92, and 93, 13 Am. Dec. 251 (1822)] 

” `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 milita, 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.” [Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)] 

“The provision 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. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff.” [People vs. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927, at 928 (1922)] 

“The maintenance of the right to bear arms is a most essential one to every free people and should not be whittled down by technical constructions.” [State vs. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222, at 224 (1921)] 

“The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]