... AT THE TIME THE ISSUE WAS BEING DECIDED:
"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, Co-author of the Second Amendment, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
-- Zachariah Johnson, Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 ("The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.")
"The people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms"
-- Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2,
Article on the Bill of Rights
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
-- Samuel Adams, Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"
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