"Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns."
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)
"The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty."
"The cost of liberty is less than the cost of repression."
"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it."
"They keep civilizing freedom until no man is free."
From the movie Paint Your Wagon
"Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward."
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting,
Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)
"There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither."
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
Tacitus (55-130 A.D. ?)
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Lord Acton (1834-1902)
"A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water."
Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military."
William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author.
"The War Universe," taped conversation
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, 1759
"An election is a bet on the future, not a popularity test of the past."
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
Edmund Burke 1784
"The Legislative and Executive branches may sometimes err, but elections and dependence will bring them to rights."
Thomas Jefferson, 1821
"[It is] by their votes the people exercise their sovereignty."
"We, I hope, shall adhere to our republican government and keep it to its original principles by narrowly watching it."
Thomas Jefferson, 1793
"The unquestionable republicanism of the American mind will break through the mist under which it has been clouded, and will oblige its agents to reform the principles and practices of their administration."
Thomas Jefferson, 1799
"Every law is an infraction of liberty."
"The science of the politician consists in fixing the true point of happiness and freedom. Those men would deserve the gratitude of ages, who should discover a mode of government that contained the greatest sum of individual happiness, with the least national expense."
"O! ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been haunted round the globe."
"When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don't deal drugs. When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I'm innocent. When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don't own a gun. Now they've come for the first amendment, and I can't say anything at all."