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questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but
bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." -
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and
government to gain ground. --Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
About too much power in government:
"Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread." - Thomas Jefferson
And the innefficiency of government:.
"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." -Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, and President of the United States
"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 to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may
be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Thomas
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate."
--Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:209, Papers 1:134
"Man [is] a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an
innate sense of
--Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823. ME 15:441