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Southern New Mexico Militia

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Quotes of the Founding Fathers
on being armed


"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 to Peter Carr, 1785.


"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


"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 people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them."
-Zachariah Johnson Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."


"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"


"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 ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
-George Washington First President of the United States


"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world 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 the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."

-Thomas Paine


"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-Richard Henry Lee American Statesman, 1788


"The great object is that every man be armed." and "Everyone who is able may have a gun."
-Patrick Henry American Patriot


"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 American Patriot


"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
-Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States


"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; "
-Thomas Jefferson letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824.


"The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers at 184-8

The Founding Fathers on Maintaining Freedom


"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
-Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States


"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
-Noah Webster American Lexicographer


"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
-Edmund Burke British Statesman, 1784


"What country can preserve its 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


"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Ben Franklin American Statesman


"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined".
-Patrick Henry, Virginia's U.S. Constitution ratification convention.


"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from his government"
- Thomas Paine




The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
-Albert Einstein




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