Some famous quotations that are related to self-defense.
Thomas Jefferson, Batture Case, 1812
"By nature's law, every man has a right to seize and retake by force his own property taken from him by another, by force of fraud. Nor is this natural right among the first which is taken into the hands of regular government after it is instituted. It was long retained by our ancestors. It was a part of their common law, laid down in their books, recognized by all the authorities, and regulated as to circumstances of practice."
"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."
Sir George Tucker, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court, 1803
"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments, it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits…and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
Mahatma Gandhi, My Autobiography
"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
"The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion."
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
"Thus, the peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self-defense. The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world, as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves."
"No greater wrong can ever be done than to put a good man at the mercy of a bad while telling him not to defend himself or his fellows; in no way can the success of evil be made surer or quicker."
Sir William Blackstone, 1765
"Self-defense is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society."
Marcus Tullius Cicero, 44 BCE
"There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading . . . a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right."
"What these twisted souls hate is the notion that individual American victims of crime or oppression should retain any power to defend themselves, rather than mewling piteously into the telephone and then patiently waiting for our government masters to dispense aid at their leisure."
Susan B. Anthony, 1871
"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."
"When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side."
Larry Craig, Senator (R-Idaho), 2000
"The first right of every human being is the right of self-defense. Without that right, all other rights are meaningless. The right of self-defense is not something the government bestows upon its citizens. It is an inalienable right, older than the Constitution itself. It existed prior to government and prior to the social contract of our Constitution."
"The law could not restore life to my dead carcass."