Quotes on Liberty and Freedom

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson

“Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”

“The government is the servant, not the master, of the people.”

“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They 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.”

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.”

“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.”

“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Benjamin Franklin

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

James MadisonJames Madison

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”

“The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”

John AdamsJohn Adams

“A constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Ron Paul

“You have to remember, rights don’t come in groups we shouldn’t have ‘gay rights’; rights come as individuals, and we wouldn’t have this major debate going on. It would be behavior that would count, not what person belongs to what group.”

“Rights mean you have a right to your life. You have a right to your liberty, and you should have a right to keep the fruits of your labor….I, in a way, don’t like to use those terms: gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights, religious rights. There’s only one type of right. It’s the right to your liberty.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”

Albert Einstein

“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”

Woodrow Wilson

“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it.”

Henry David Thoreau

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.”

George Washington

“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

George MasonGeorge Mason

“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”

“I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers”

Patrick HenryPatrick Henry

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”

Samuel Adams

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

Noah Webster

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”

John F. Kennedy

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

Henry St. George Tucker

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. 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 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.”

Charlton HestonCharlton Heston

“Political correctness is tyranny with manners.”

Adolf HitlerAdolf Hitler

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

Unknown Author

“Tyranny anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere.”