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Gadsden
Greetings to all. I would just like to say that I think freedom of speech was recognized first in the Bill of Rights for a reason, and this debate forum is the embodiment of that vision which expects intelligent, reasoned discourse by the citizenry as the utmost requirement for maintaining a truly free society. I am very happy to hereby take a part, however small, in this crucial process.

Of course, that is not to say that this right alone will be enough. The men who founded this nation thought it second only to the right of free speech that every man should be armed, as the ultimate defense against the very government they were creating, should it turn against the people. Thomas Jefferson plainly states, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." I think there are far more good people out there than bad people, and the best way to deter criminals is with the threat of the immediate consequence that use of a firearm entails. In the words of George Washington, "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

I take a strict view of the Constitution, and I think it's largely being ignored by the federal government. I don't think the Constitution is perfect, but it is very good, and it's what we've got. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and much of what the federal government does runs contrary to the powers delegated to it by this document. As such, those acts are quite literally criminal. We should hardly be surprised when people exhibit disregard for the law when the very government doesn't respect it. As Bastiat said, the best way to make the laws respected is to make them respectable, and I hope to help effect that change for the better by discussing with you all here.
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Paladin Elspeth
Welcome to the forum, Gadsden! flowers.gif

Glad to see your strict, pro-Constitution point of view. I would just add the admonition Abigail Adams gave to her husband to "remember the ladies" in the grand plan for our country. Even though he didn't, we did finally get the vote--better late than never! thumbsup.gif

I look forward to reading your posts.
Ted
Welcome to AD Gadsend. We look forward to your posts and point of view.
Gadsden
I have a list of quotes from various important thinkers (mostly Founders) regarding government, and I thought I would go ahead and post some here. I believe these to be accurate; I generally try to verify the quotes from multiple sources on the web, but if anyone finds errors, please bring them to my attention.

QUOTE
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
--Lord Acton

QUOTE
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated 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 sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!
--Samuel Adams

QUOTE
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
--James Madison

QUOTE
Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
--James Madison

QUOTE
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
--Thomas Jefferson

QUOTE
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 inevitably ruined.
--Patrick Henry

QUOTE
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
--Tench Coxe

nebraska29
I still maintain that the Gadsden Purchase is what made this country what it is today. Welcome to the forum! cool.gif
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