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This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty… The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

St. George Tucker (1752-1827), in Blackstone’s Commentaries (1803).

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