There are many pro-gun quotes from the Founding Fathers and many other influential people from American history. One of my favorites is from Benjamin Franklin, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The sentiment from this quote, and countless quotes from other Founding Fathers is quite simple, the people cannot protect their rights with words and good wishes alone. Evil exists in this world, and governments slowly become corrupt, infringing on the rights of the people.
This sentiment can be clearly illustrated by looking at influential people from tyrannical governments. An armed population cannot easily fall victim to tyranny, so tyrannical governments must disarm the population.
Here are three clear cut gun control quotes from famous dictators throughout history, illustrating the importance of gun control to tyrannical governments.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjugated races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjugated races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.” -Adolf Hitler
This is actually an anti-gun quote that make a pro-gun argument. Hitler was very much against “subjugated races” from bearing arms. In order for the 3rd Reich to maintain control over the people they deem to be lesser people, those people needed to be disarmed and barred from bearing arms. An armed population is critical to preventing people like Hitler from rising to power. The 1st Amendment is the first line of defense against tyrants, and the 2nd Amendment is the last line of defense against tyrants.
“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
I don’t know if you could put the concept of bearing arms more simply or straight to the point. If someone is armed, words won’t do anything to stop someone who is armed. Think about that ratio of armed to unarmed – a very small number of armed people can control a lot of unarmed people. This is why dictators enact gun control to disarm a population. It is easy to control and oppress defenseless people.
“All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” – Mao Tze Tung
Notice how he says free speech isn’t where political power comes from. The only way free speech works is if people agree to sort things out with words. If one person decides they don’t want to talk things over and secure power through force, words won’t stop the person, or group of people, wanting to secure power through force.
All of this goes to show why an armed population is critical to securing freedom. The smallest minority is an individual. An unarmed individual can be easily oppressed. But an armed individual can join together with other armed individuals and oppose tyranny.
Political process comes first
All this being said doesn’t mean we should grab a gun any time there’s a disagreement. Quite the opposite actually. There’s a reason why free speech is the 1st Amendment and the right to bear arms is the 2nd Amendment. We want to resolve differences through words when possible. The best way to prevent a tyrannical government by using the political process. But when push comes to shove, it is the 2nd Amendment that protects the 1st Amendment.
Using force before words is what tyrannical governments do. It’s why dictators use gun control to disarm the people before oppressing the people.
“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.” – Thomas Jefferson