Via comment by Phil Katz on "Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right."
"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."
Co-author of the Second Amendment
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson
Third President of the United States.
"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, occurrence's 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."
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."
"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."
"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
Third President of the United States
The Law on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
“The Militia Act of 1792 would require that all able-bodied white males enroll in the militia and provide their own arms. Both the power of the states to maintain militias and the right of individuals to have arms for self-defense were considered basic.”
-Halbrook, Stephen P. (2008-06-25). The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms (pp. 4-5). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.