Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. — JOHN ADAMS

The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. – St. George Tucker

Without freedom there will be no firearms among the people; without firearms among the people there will not long be freedom. Certainly there are examples of countries where the people remain relatively free after the people have been disarmed, but there are no examples of a totalitarian state being created or existing where the people have personal arms.
— Neal Knox

If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government that is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — JAMES MADISON

By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the second amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of the country. For that reason I believe the second amendment will always be important.
–JOHN F. KENNEDY

A government that intended to protect the liberty of the people would not disarm them. A government planning the opposite most certainly and logically would disarm them. And so it has been in the twentieth century. Check out the history of Germany, the Soviet Union, Cuba, China and Cambodia.
-Charlie Reese

You may not like guns, and choose not to own one. That is your right. You might not believe in God. That is your choice. However, if someone breaks into your home the first two things you’re going to do are:
1)Call someone with a gun.
2)Pray they get there in time.
–unattributed

“…The right of the people peacefully to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is and always has been one of the attributes of a free government. It `derives its source,’ to use the language of Chief Justice Marshall, in Gibbons v Ogden, 9 Wheat., 211, `from those laws whose authority is acknowledged by civilized man throughout the world.’ It is found wherever civilization exists. It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution… The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of `bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” 
– U.S. v. Cruikshank (1875)

No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words “no” and “not” employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights. — EDMUND A. OPITZ

War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. — John Stuart Mills

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
But it cannot survive treason from within.
An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
A murderer is less to fear.

– (the real) Marcus Tullius Cicero (42BC)