In a well-governed state, there are few punishments, not because there are many pardons, but because criminals are rare; it is when a state is in decay that the multitudes of crimes is a guarantee of impunity.
Tag Archives: tyranny
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.
Till the mischief be grown general, and the ill designs of the rulers become visible, or their attempts sensible to the greater part, the people, who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir.
The examples of particular injustice, or oppression of here and there an unfortunate man, moves them not. But if they universally have a persuation, grounded upon manifest evidence,that designs are carrying on against their liberties, and the general course and tendency of things cannot but give them strong suspicions of the evil intention of their governors, who is to be blamed for it?