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Quotes - Thomas Jefferson



"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 prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764. That was 230 years ago. -Thomas Jefferson


"The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press." Thomas Jefferson 


"I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive." -Thomas Jefferson


"...power is not alluring to pure minds." Thomas Jefferson


"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" Thomas Jefferson


Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.-Thomas Jefferson


"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." Thomas Jefferson


Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.-Thomas Jefferson


Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. Thomas Jefferson


I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. Thomas Jefferson


"...that these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty, with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people claiming their rights, as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." Thomas Jefferson


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


Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now."



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