“I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people … To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
— George Mason
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every Kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed.”
— Noah Webster, in An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution #43 (1787).