The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.
Elbridge Gerry, Constitutional Convention, Monday, May 31, 1787
Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
— Tench Coxe, “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution,” under the pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.