"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing." -- Adolph Hitler, Hitler's Secret Conversations 403 (Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens trans., 1961)
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." -- James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." -- Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
"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]
" ... to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
" ... 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
"The great object is, that every man be armed ... Every one who is able may have a gun." -- Patrick Henry, Elliot, p.3:386