As I write this post today, Tuesday, September 17, I am reminded that 226 years ago some of the greatest Americans of all signed the Constitution of the United States of America. I thought it might be fun to skip the guns this week and take a little trip through some quotes of those people alive at the beginnings of our republic. I hope you enjoy them and like me find inspiration from the genius of the American mind.
“Mr. Madison has introduced his long expected amendments. They are the fruit of much labor and research. He has hunted up all the grievances and complaints of newspapers, all the articles of convention, and the small talk of their debates. It contains a bill of rights, the right of enjoying property, of changing the government at pleasure, freedom of the press, of conscience, of juries, exemption from general warrants… Oh! I had forgot, the right of the people to bear arms….” Rep Fisher Ames, June 11, 1789.
“The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind”- New Hampshire Constitution of 1784.
“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.
“The whole history of mankind proves that so far from parting with the powers actually delegated to it, government is constantly encroaching on the small pittance of rights reserved by the people to themselves and gradually wresting them out of their hands until it either terminates in their slavery or forces them to arms, and brings about a revolution.” Luther Martin, convention delegate, March 28, 1788.
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms…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.” Cesare Beccaria, father of modern criminology.
“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 which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson, 1823.
Be safe and good shooting.