- Nobody needs high capacity magazines! If there are fewer bullets, fewer people die.
- You don't need an automatic weapon for hunting! Nobody NEEDS an assault weapon.
- The Constitution doesn't cover your machines of death! They're talking about muskets, not AR15 assault weapons!
- Anybody who loves guns must be a gun nut!
- "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)
- "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."(George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788)
- "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 best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)
- "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)
- "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"(Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.)
- "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them." (Zachariah Johnson Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.")
- "… the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms" (Philadelphia Federal Gazette June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2 Article on the Bill of Rights)
- "And that the said Constitution be never 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 quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State")
- "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))
- "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)
- "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)..)
- "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])
- "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)]
- "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)
All of the above quotes are apropos when members of our current government start bandying around phrases like 'gun confiscation' and 'mandatory registration'. And the quote from Larry Coreia about shooting people who try to take them? That's not too inconceivable a concept.
The fact of the matter is that there are a LOT of guns out there. And those guns are owned by millions of americans who sincerely believe that disarmament is tantamount to subjugation. Isoroku Yamomoto, the Admiral of the Japanese Navy during World War II is credited with saying, "You cannot invade the mainland US; there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."; which touches on our conundrum again. If you've got millions of guns already out there, and add to that people willing to use them in defense of their liberty, how do you expect to take them?
A common phrase uttered by the gun community is 'Molon Labe'. It is attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta, at the stand of Thermopylae. He was told to surrender his swords by the invading Persians. His response was the above phrase; which is translated from Greek as a defiant, 'Come take them."
I, for one, will not give my guns up. Take that for what it's worth, but I and many, many, many other sincerely believe that our guns are part of our American birthright.
Which leads us to our last point:
Anybody who loves guns must be a gun nut! Guilty as charged. But being a 'gun nut' doesn't mean I'm a bloodthirsty, out of control weirdo. I am a responsible, safe firearms owner. I collect guns and own them for their utilitarian purposes. I enjoy shooting, and I enjoy hunting. I enjoy plinking and, yes, sometimes, I like to 'light shit up' with a gratuitous mag dump on some poor unsuspecting milk jug or clay pigeon.
But because you are uncomfortable around guns, because you fear them, doesn't give you the right to take them away from me as a response to an isolated case where someone with mental health or self control issues perpetrated a tragedy.
Here's a little truth, I fear guns too. Anybody who shoots them fears them. But it is a healthy fear that drives us towards being safer. I KNOW what my guns can do. I know the power they have, and as such treat them with the respect they deserve. But, a gun is a paperweight absent a finger pulling the trigger, and absent the person holding it. Yes, that is a rephrasing of the much more trite 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people'. But it's true nonetheless, and gun control won't have any affect on evil people. It only punishes those of us (the MILLIONS of American) who are simply exercising a constitutional right.