Crime

An Ideological Test for Gun Ownership

The next logical step in the effort to keep dangerous people from buying firearms

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The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says Sunday's deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, a Milwaukee suburb, shows "our elected officials" need to "do something." Slightly more specifically, the group says we should "Demand Congress Stop Arming Dangerous People."

I did not realize there was a federal program that supplies mass murderers with weapons. Obviously this is a poor use of our tax dollars. Congress should not only eliminate this program; it should prevent dangerous people from buying guns on their own.

But how do we know who is dangerous? The Brady Campaign mentions "convicted felons," "convicted domestic abusers," "terrorists," and "people found to be dangerously mentally ill." It omits a crucial category: people with dangerous ideas.

Wade M. Page, the Army veteran identified as the gunman who was shot to death by police after killing six people and injuring three at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, had documented ties to white supremacist groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks extremists, he was "a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band" called End Apathy.

"The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent," Mark Potok, a senior fellow of the SPLC, told The New York Times. "It talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies."

According to the SITE Monitoring Service, Page was a familiar presence on websites run by Stormfront, Hammerskin Nation, and other white supremacist groups, where he "frequently included white supremacist symbolism" in his posts. In a 2010 interview with End Apathy's record company, Page said he aimed to cure "a sick society" and bemoaned "how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy."

In other words, Page's scary views were well-known long before he bought the 9mm handgun he used in this week's attack. Yet he was still able to pass a federal background check.

Federal law currently bans gun ownership by felons, illegal drug users, people convicted of misdemeanors involving domestic violence, and people "committed to a mental institution" or "adjudicated as a mental defective." Amazingly, there is no ideological test for gun ownership, even though someone like Page, "who fed and was fueled by hate" (as the Times put it), is far more dangerous than the average pot smoker or mental patient.

Private organizations such as the SPLC and government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security already monitor the online activities of violent extremists. How hard would it be to collect that information in a database that could be used to check whether a would-be gun buyer harbors views that make him prone to murder?

Once the database is created, it can be regularly updated with the names of people who express views like Page's—who talk about tyranny, hypocrisy, or a "sick society," for instance, or who quote inflammatory proclamations like this one, frequently seen on the T-shirts and signs of right-wing lunatics: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." I don't mean to imply that violent extremism is limited to the right; when you consider the ideas expressed by Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, it is clear that left-wing critiques of capitalism also lead to murderous violence.

I am not saying people do not have a right to express these alarming views—just that if they do, they should not be surprised if they are turned away when they try to buy a gun. The Brady Campaign correctly says "it is time we acknowledged" that the Second Amendment "guarantees the right to keep and bear arms." But the Supreme Court has said that right is subject to reasonable regulations aimed at protecting public safety. What could be more reasonable than stopping dangerous people from buying dangerous weapons?

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  1. Seems reasonable. Supposedly there are actually some fringe-group people who believe that government should have limits. They are dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed to have weapons either.

    1. There is nothing scarier or more worthy of scorn than those totalitarian, national-socialist libertarians.

      1. You forgot anarchist.

        Anti-government totalitarian, national-socialist anarchist libertarians.

        1. You forgot fascist.

          Anti-government totalitarian, national-socialist anarcho-fascist libertarians.

  2. If we only limit the sale of weapons to people we think are not dangerous, we might miss some actually dangerous people. I mean sure it’s a great idea to stop people like Page from buying weapons, he was obviously dangerous, he had lots of indicators like you said in the article.

    But that wouldn’t stop people like the Aurora shooter from buying weapons. His indicators were more ambiguous, and were covered by doctor patient privilege.

    So really we need to do two things. At the very least, doctor-patient privilege needs to go away. Doctors should be forced to report to authorities when they consider someone dangerous (I don’t mean school authority – it needs to be something legitimate, like the FBI or at the very least, the state police). That should stop a few more of these atrocities from happening.

    But to be very safe, to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, we shouldn’t even try to figure out who is dangerous, we should just stop everyone from buying these dangerous weapons. That’s the only way we’ll be completely 100% eternally safe.

    1. Did you just mix sarcasm with seriousness? That’s a recipe for confusion.

      1. I don’t even know any more, man.

        1. Sometimes the line is so fine you can’t figure out which side you stepped over.

    2. No, the only way to be safe is to take off and nuke from orbit.

      If they are all dead, they cannot buy dangerous weapons.

      Sure some innocents will be killed, but then they will be safe, too.

      Maybe we should play it safe like Zaphod and eliminate the Earth from all alternate realities.

    3. At the very least, doctor-patient privilege needs to go away.

      Sure, why not.

      They’ll all be employees of the feds soon enough and who ever heard of bureaucrat-victim privilege anyway.

    4. At the very least, doctor-patient privilege needs to go away… That should stop a few more of these atrocities from happening.

      Or make them more common because suddenly no one is willing to get help with mental health problems until forced to.

    5. Except that if you removed doctor-patient privilege these people wouldn’t open up to shrinks and you’d be in the dark anyway.

    6. Understand and love the sarcasm, but I want to point out that doctors ARE currently required to report people they consider to be an “imminent harm to self or others” to the police. They are also mandated reporters if they discover a case of “active child abuse.”

      There are so many myths about mental illness and violence. An amazing number of folks think that someone can wander into a psychiatrist’s office, announce that they are on their way to the playground with explosives, and the doctor is powerless to do anything. Really? Does that even sound reasonable?

  3. I think Jacob meant this as a Modest Proposal, but it is too close to what anti-gun people actually believe. Put this up on HuffPo and see how many people agree with it.

    1. He would need to put in a paragraph about how we should use drones to monitor people, since they can gather in places where state-owned monitoring isn’t already in place.

    2. He did. I thought he’d completely lost his mind, then re-read the title.

      That’s a dangerous game you’re playing, Sullum, but shine on, you crazy bastard.

      1. He’s an idiot.

        The world is full of loons but even criminals need protection. Sullum is naive to think “limited” regulations stay limited.

    3. Well, he published it in the Chicago Sun-Times…

      http://www.suntimes.com/news/o…..-ends.html

  4. so if I quote Thomas Jefferson, I should not be able to own a gun? da fuq?

    1. According to Big Sis, that is a sign you are a dangerous individual.

      You do know he was party to the initiation of an armed insurrection over his rightful government.

    2. I feel the same way about Monty Python. Only substitue “breathe air” for “own a gun”.

      1. I command you, as king of HR, to stand aside!

        1. hmm, apparently ampersand is removed from comments.

          1. Welcome back, mate. How was life under that rock for the last two months?

          2. Now we see the lack of ampersands inherent in the system!

        2. Really? Ok.

  5. I know this is a bit tongue in cheek, but I’m skeptical that keeping guns out of the hands of the next Unabomber is going to save a bunch of lives.

    1. Bombs are illegal, so we don’t have to worry about them.

      1. Good thing we outlawed them after Kaczynski.

    2. all you need to know is this:

      “our elected officials” need to “do something.”

      As long as people actually believe that sentiment, the only thing being kept out of anyone’s hands is liberty.

      1. As long as people actually believe that sentiment, the only thing being kept out of anyone’s hands is liberty.

        Seriously, trade-mark that and put it on a t-shirt or something because if you don’t, I will.

      2. Amen, brother.

      3. Agreed completely.

        I think people need to relax, and try to rely on themselves more.

        I believe in peace completely btw, I have never even used a gun before, nor do I plan to.

  6. OK, let me try this again. Couple things: [PASTE]

    1) Holy CRAP, I had to double check to make sure this wasn’t a modest proposal. Well done, and +1 internets to you, Mr. Sullum.

    2) Any person who wants to purchase a gun is clearly dangerous, and, therefore should not be permitted to own a gun. QED. Problem solved.

    I don’t know why everyone’s making this so hard.

    1. Correction:

      2) Any person who wants to purchase a gun is clearly dangerous, and, therefore should be arrested immediately and kept under constant supervision.

      1. I accept your modification, sir, and suggest – upon reflection – that it be modified to “arrested immediately and terminated.”

        Just to bs sure.

        1. I object to the word terminated, surely we can find a nice euphemism? It’s not like potential gun owners are human beings.

          How about arrested immediately and sent to live on a farm where a nice farmer will give them belly scratches. Now, doesn’t that sound better?

          1. 2) Any person who wants to purchase a gun is clearly dangerous, and, therefore should be detained until such time that they can be considered to present no further danger to themselves or society.

            How about that? Then we’re not tied to any particular outcome.

            1. There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

              1. This would be like a reverse Catch-22.

          2. (a)arrested immediately and rendered carbon neutral.

            (b)arrested immediately and brought into thermodynamic equilibrium

            (c)arrested immediately and made metabolically inert

            1. –arrested immediately and be renewed by Carousel.

              1. But what if their hand crystals aren’t flashing red?

            2. arrested immediately and devivified.

        2. “arrested immediately and terminated”

          Doesn’t the last one render the first one pointless? I mean, it’s not like they’re trying to maintain an air of legitimacy.

          On the whole, though, I accept the corrected correction.

    2. A bunch of those racist fuckstain teabaggers have that stupid “cold, dead hands” policy on gun confiscation. And based on the stories at HampersandR we need about 4 cops per civilian shot. Its gonna take a while to find that many mouthbreathers.

    3. 2) Any person who wants to purchase a gun is clearly dangerous, and, therefore should not be permitted to own a gun. QED. Problem solved.

      Yet someone who seeks out a job that involves using a club and a gun without consequence is to be trusted and obeyed without question.

  7. Leftards must be so happy. FINALLY a shooter is a white, racist Tea Party sympathizing guy!

    1. They’d be happier if he’d shot up a Mosque or a gay pride gathering. Instead he shot a bunch of Sikhs, which aren’t on the Official List of Oppressed Classes, so they only care as far they can use this incident to push for MOAR GUN CUNTROLZ.

  8. What could be more reasonable than stopping dangerous people from buying dangerous weapons?

    Oh, I don’t know. The assumption that the power to pass such judgments will be abused?

    That seems pretty reasonable to me.

    In fact, the lesson of history suggests strongly that the abuse of such power is far more likely to be a danger, and a greater danger, to the public then the few people who’ll be prevented from acquiring dangerous weapons.

    1. If we get the right people in charge, such judgments would never be abused.

      Your comments seem a little extreme to me. Honestly I think you’re starting to cross the line and become dangerous!

      GET HIM BOYS!

  9. I did not realize there was a federal program that supplies mass murderers with weapons.

    What do you mean? The feds have been giving military hardware to law enforcement for a while now.

    1. Technically they’re spree killers, not mass murderers.

      1. I dunno. This guy fits the profile of a mass murderer, or serial killer anyway.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..tings.html

        1. Sheesh. I can’t blame the cops for not catching him earlier though. Someone that devious and diabolical could have outwitted the cops forever. Glad they finally caught a lucky break and got him.

          1. Jeez, who does this cop think he is, Charles Askins?

            Representative quote from the departed lawman, when asked how many men he’d killed, Askins replied, “27, not counting Mexicans and Niggers.” Different world back then.

            For sarcasmic’s linked officer, 5 shootings in seven years seems like a hell of a lot to me.

            1. “James Peters, left, of Scottsdale, Arizona, cut down John Loxas, right, with a single rifle shot to the head on Tuesday while he was holding his nine-month old grandchild”

              Lon Horiuchi, apparently.

    2. And Mexican drug dealers.

    3. Don’t forget the free handout of guns to our neighbors to the south of us.

  10. “It talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies.”

    Such talk is perhaps less dangerous than praying that God’s will be done.

  11. Amazingly, there is no ideological test for gun ownership, even though someone like Page, “who fed and was fueled by hate” (as the Times put it), is far more dangerous than the average pot smoker or mental patient.

    Ideological test? So only people who belong to the Party in power may have access to tools of self defense?

    1. So only people who belong to the Party in power may have access to tools of self defense of the state?

      FIFY. Remember, self defense is verbotten. The proper government approved protocol is to call the police while cowering in a corner hoping they get there in time. Better yet, call the police while hiding in your panic room. Also, from now on anyone whose house does not come equipped with a panic room will be subject to a penaltax.

  12. Amazingly, there is no ideological test for gun ownership,

    for suffrage, indeed for *citizenship*.

    1. Not true. There is a pretty long list of ideological no-nos for persons wishing citizenship and not being able to claim it by birthright.

      1. I don’t think I’d looked at that list in detail before. The first one rules out anarchists, before even commies or totalitarians. Huh.

        1. Would not 2(b) rule out either democrats or republicans?

      2. “no person shall hereafter be naturalized as a citizen …”

        Emphasis added.

        1. Hence, “not able to claim it by birthright.” I’m actually not opposed to that. These are voluntary would-be citizens we’re talking about. Make up whatever crazy purity tests you like, and they’re still free to say “No thanks, not for me after all.” And then ideally take their citizenship somewhere more to their liking.

    2. Or a right to a jury trial or the right against self incrimination. If the right to own a gun can be curtailed because of holding the wrong views, why not every other right?

      1. Good idea!

  13. Page said he [wanted] “to figure out what it would take to actually accomplish positive results in society and what is holding us back.”

    With all due respect, that sick bastard sounds like every politician.

    1. What respect is due?

      1. With all due respect, I preface comments with that so no one can perceive me as being dangerous.

      2. ALL of it.

        1. RESPEK MAH AW-THOR-EE-TAY, BITCH.

          STOP RESISTING.

  14. I am not saying people do not have a right to express these alarming views about legalizing drugs, ending the surveillance state, limiting the size of government, or demonize cops and teachers?just that if they do, they should not be surprised if they are turned away when they try to buy a gun.

    Fixed it for you. Please tell me this piece was meant to be ironic because I cannot believe that a “libertarian” magazine would endorse the idea of trusting the government to determine what views are dangerous and what views are not.

    1. You can trust government to determine what views are dangerous… to their power.

    2. Yeah, it would take about thirty seconds for Reason to be denounced as an extremist website.
      Don’t think so? Look at the Tea Party trashing.

    3. see commentary above – it was.

    4. srlsy?

      C’mon, as if quoting SPLC repeatedly isn’t a dead giveaway.

      1. I am nothing if not earnest and easily trolled. The sad fact is that you could post this word for word on HuffPo or Slate and get very little disagreement.

        1. Yeah, that’s why for me its effectiveness as Swiftian satire was limited at best. I’ve heard anti-gun people argue just that, in all earnestness.

          In fact there is an interesting series right now over at the Globe Mail where Canadian expats living in America talk about their impressions of US culture (and no, I am not one of them). Anyways, in one of the pieces, the near-hysterical “typical” Canadian fear and loathing of guns really comes through.

          1. Expats debate: Gun crime in U.S. cities makes me want to move back to Canada

            Well…bye.

          2. Possession and use of a gun, especially a powerful gun with an expanded magazine gives them an illusion of power and success.

            And talk about your fucking projection.

        2. It’s the annual Reason sarc-o-meter calibration test.

    5. It was meant to be ironic. A policy of denying people their gun rights because of their political opinions would be clearly unconstitutional, on First Amendment as well as Second Amendment grounds.

      1. I know Jacob. But our world is getting so ridiculous that you just can’t do satire anymore.

        1. Yeah but he kind of slapped you in the face with the satire from the lead:

          Jacob Sullum Modestly Proposes an Ideological Test for Gun Ownership

      2. I could see something drafted up along these lines that would probably pass SCOTUS muster, so long as it referred to support for insurrection or terrorism or somesuch.

        From there, ’tis but a short step (easily taken via executive fiat or rulemaking) to political opinions more generally.

      3. Thanks for the clarification. In the context of Reason.com it seemed that it was likely to be satire, but it wasn’t sufficently extreme in rhetoric to be obvious.

  15. “our elected officials” need to “do something.”

    ladies and gentlemen of the Reason jury, I submit to you that few statements are more inherently dangerous than this one.

    1. Or inherently stupid.

      1. the two are often intertwined, aren’t they.

  16. I hope to God Sullum’s being facetious, because if he isn’t, my cranium will detonate violently.

    “it should prevent dangerous people from buying guns on their own.”

    By keeping them imprisoned. If someone can’t be trusted with a gun, he can’t be trusted without a custodian.

    1. He has to be trolling.

    2. Jacob Sullum Modestly Proposes an Ideological Test for Gun Ownership

  17. is there some sort of test to see the AM Links?

    1. To begin the test, press F5 firmly and repeatedly, starting at 8:29am EDT and stopping when you see AM Links.

      1. ALT-F4 works better.

        1. Take hammer and smash monitor. AM links should appear immediately.

        2. *And* you don’t have to press them repeatedly, just hold them down.

      2. but my finger gets tired! (That’s what she said)

        1. Use the extra ones the Road Warrior got for you.

    2. Maybe they’re checking the links for dangerous ideas…

  18. Demand Congress Stop Arming Dangerous People

    That makes a terrible acronym. Government United Now For Real Equal Endangerment!

  19. Who whom?

  20. Demand Congress Stop Arming Dangerous People

    How about a law requiring you get, say, three people (five if you or some of them are female) to swear you’re not dangerous?

  21. I propose a government program where guns are sold to dangerous people in order to trace them to crime scenes later. Sure there might be some innocent people killed, but that’s why we have executive priviledge.

  22. I know this is meant to be satire, but I know plenty of progressives who would make these arguments with a straight face. Regulating dangerous ideas? Government database to control access to rights? These are the things that these people dream of.

  23. Please tell me this is satire. What’s truly dangerous is letting bureaucrats decide which free speech is “dangerous” and/or “acceptible”.

  24. God I hope Sullum is just channeling his inner Swift on this one.

  25. Is this some kind of test to see if people here are truely principled? Perhaps it is just an intelligence test..? The closest I can get to agreeing with the author is – If someone clearly said that they wanted to kill innocent people; that person could be presented with the evidence for that at a (public) hearing. There would be due process and the State would have the burden of proof. Their right to bare arms would be the presumption.
    This is the weirdest (most intellectually confused) article I have ever read on this site. I know this is an emotional issue but damn dude – Think.

    1. This article is satire. The author was being sarcastic. Your sarc-o-meter is clearly overdue for re-calibration.

    2. Jacob Sullum Modestly Proposes an Ideological Test for Gun Ownership

  26. YHBT
    YHL
    HAND

  27. Hey, Jacob. Now do one like this on Ron Paul. That could be really fun!

  28. I really do hope the last paragraph was in jest. If not that argument leave all rights open to infringement.

    If people are judged, through due process, to be able to be walking around in society then all rights must be respected and protected.

  29. I apologize for missing the humor of it. In my defense, it was fairly early and I hadn’t had my coffee. Also, I am not familiar with the author’s work and apparently he is very good at satire.

  30. For those non-literary types among us (I am one).

    A Modest Proposal

  31. “Amazingly, there is no ideological test for gun ownership, even though someone like Page, “who fed and was fueled by hate” (as the Times put it), is far more dangerous than the average pot smoker or mental patient.”

    and

    “I am not saying people do not have a right to express these alarming views?just that if they do, they should not be surprised if they are turned away when they try to buy a gun.”

    “Nonplussed” I believe is the right word for how I feel right now.

  32. People have the right to express “alarming views,” but shouldn’t expect to be able to exercise their civil liberties if they do? I find your view quite alarming and much more dangerous than any fool, right or left, with a gun.

    1. It appears a lot of people have not followed the comment thread.

      It’s satire, in the tradition of Swift’s A Modest Proposal.

      1. Add me to the list of the guilty, as I now see that Kaptious Kristen already linked to A Modest Proposal (8.8.12 @ 11:18AM).

        But considering the number of broken satire detectors, it can’t be repeated often enough.

      2. Oops. That’s what I get for reading and commenting too fast. Apologies.

  33. Watch out. The reductio ad absurdum today is tomorrow’s law. Don’t give them any ideas!

  34. I did not realize there was a federal program that supplies mass murderers with weapons.

    It’s called Fast and Furious.

    1. lol

  35. 2) Any person who wants to purchase a gun is clearly dangerous, and, therefore should not be permitted to own a gun. QED. Problem solved.

    No, try modifying Joseph Heller’s phrasing:

    Anyone who wants to own a gun is free to buy and carry one. All they have to do is ask for permission to buy or carry one; and as soon as they do, they have shown they are a threat who might harm others and the request will be denied.

  36. This incident brings federal eyes on the domestic terror which is very serious thing for them.

  37. How long before the government stops letting people buy guns who happen to have a opinion counter to the majority? For instance, you are denied the right to buy a gun because you are a libertarian and the progressives feel you would violently defend your liberty against their big government takeover of your private life.

    1. fyi Rhino. “They” already monitor Libertarian groups for exactly your reasoning. “They” are probably cataloging this sentence as it’s being written. Because we love Liberty, in all it’s glorious “God” given forms, we are counter to their majority, and therefore a potential threat. So, How Long you ask? How ever long the NRA can’t continue to stomp out all the senseless gun grabs.

  38. I can’t believe I’m reading this!!!! Am I on Reason.com or is this Rachel Maddow??????????
    So I can’t talk about Tyranny, Hypocrisy or sickness in society? If I do, you suggest that I should forfeit my rights to the Second Amendment? It’s tyrannical to say that I can’t own a gun because of this. You are crazy Jacob Sullum, unless I read this incorrectly, you are completely unReasonable.

    1. OK so perhaps this was sarcastic. I could use some better indicators next time less my blood pressure skyrocket again…

  39. “I did not realize there was a federal program that supplies mass murderers with weapons.” Didn’t they do just that with Project Gunrunner?

    1. Or was it the Cold War?

  40. Is this article for real? Denying people their right to bear arms because someone else has deemed their ideas to be dangerous? I thought this was a libertarian website. Nothing about this article is libertarian. Maybe I just didn’t realize it was sarcasm.

  41. Is this article serious? Am I missing the sarcasm in some way? Is the author seriously asking for the creation of the Thought Crimes Department?

    What the aiche?

  42. I am OK with this as long as I am the one deciding who is dangerous. If someone else is goung to decide then thanks, but no thanks.

  43. I am honestly amazed that i am reading an article of this nature on Reason.com. With all do respect to Mr. Sullum I completely disagree with the idea of stopping anyone from owning a firearm just because their “Speech” is deemed hostile or inspires/invokes violence. First off, ALL speech is protected under our constitution. Most importantly the speech that may offend or even scare others. Second, The idea that the government should/does keep a database on so called extremists (which that nutbag Page certainly was)is horrifying. Government being able to alter or abolish your natural rights is a door that should never be open. Because once it is, it is almost impossible to close. Maybe if one of the folks worshiping at the temple was armed he could have dropped that lunatic before he did to much damage. It doesn’t matter how many laws or regulations the government makes in the name of keeping the sheep “safe”. criminals and crazy people don’t obey laws! Laws cant stop evil people. But a responsible citizen with a weapon can.

    1. My mistake Mr. Sullum. i hadent realized you were being sarcastic. should have read through the whole comment section before posting.

  44. “One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” ~ Charles A. Beard

  45. Does this mean you wish to keep sales of weapons out of the fingertips of presidents and congressmen/women too?

    Those people are pretty dangerous.

  46. “What could be more reasonable than stopping dangerous people from buying dangerous weapons?”

    You’re kidding, right? And who will make the determination of who is dangerous? Based on what? Your opinion? That of a bureaucrat? How can such patent nonsense come out of the mouth of a Libertarian?

  47. Sullum linked to the page titled John Petrie’s Collection of
    Thomas Jefferson Quotes at http://jpetrie.myweb.uga.edu/TJ.html. The problem is that a few of the quotes are actually bogus. For example, there is not one shred of evidence that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote that “[t]he strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Scholars have poured through the voluminous works of Thomas Jefferson; no one has ever been able to find it. Also no evidence that TJ ever said or wrote that “[t]he beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” He probably would have agreed with both sentiments, which is why the bogus quotes enjoy such strong currency, but he never said it.

    Sadly, many pro-Second Amendment websites continue to propagate bogus gun quotes. See http://saf.org/pub/rkba/genera…..Quotes.htm .

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