There’s a lot of great pro-gun quotes out there, but my favorite hails all the way from 1764.
Yep, that’s right, 1764. It’s from Cesare Beccaria, an Italian criminologist and one of the leading thinkers of the Enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders were admirers of Beccaria, which is why Jefferson is often wrongly cited as the source of this quote.
What’s amazing about Beccaria’s words is how well they apply to the current argument we’re having about guns today. See what you think:
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from man because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedies for evil except destruction.
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty—so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator—and subject innocent people to all the vexations that the quality alone ought to suffer?
Such things make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for the unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
In this quote are many of the strongest pro-gun arguments we make to this day:
Beccaria disputes the notion that guns are so dangerous we’re not smart or responsible enough to possess them, a canard the anti-gun libs never seem to get tired of.
He explains that criminals don’t follow the law anyway, so gun control doesn’t work on them. How many times have you used that argument in a social media fight?
He explains that anyone contemplating murder isn’t going to be stopped if he has to break the law to obtain a weapon. Well, duh. Looked up the crime stats for Chicago recently?
He notes that civilian disarmament is an open invitation to tyranny, something the left is finally getting now that (in their mind) “literally Hitler” Trump is in office.
And finally, the common sense adage that is the basis for the entire CCW movement and is supported by reams of data: that the unarmed person is easier to attack than the armed person. Not that we need reams of data to understand that, pretty much common sense.
Which Beccaria had loads of. 250 years ago.
Some things never change.