Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
-- Thomas Jefferson
"We had the detestable prohibitory liquor law to enforce, an insult to free people. Our powers under it were so great, in fact, so outrageous, that no self-respecting member of the corps, unless directly ordered, cared to exert them to the full extent. We were expected, on the slightest grounds of suspicion, to enter any habitation without a warrant, at any hour of the day or night, and search for intoxicants; no privacy need be respected. Yet owing to the pressure of a lot of fanatics who neither knew nor cared to understand the situation, parliament would not repeal the law...."
-- COLONEL SAM STEELE OF THE ROYAL NORTH WEST MOUNTED POLICE
-- from "Forty Years in Canada:
Reminiscences of the Great North-West"
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
-- Sam Adams
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
-- John Stuart Mill, writing on the U.S. Civil War in 1862
At Thermopylae in ancient Greece, upon being told by his enemies, "We do not want your lives, we only want your arms", Spartan King Leonidas said two bold words: "Molon Labe" (Come and get them).