“By what means did [God] keep the mob from destroying us? It was by means of being well armed with the weapons of death to send them to hell cross lots. Just so you have got to do. As for this people fostering to themselves that the day has come for them to sell their guns and ammunition to their enemies, and sit down to sleep in peace, they will find themselves deceived, and before they know, they will sleep until they are slain… We must be so prepared that they dare not come to us in a hostile manner without being assured they will meet a vigorous resistance, and ten to one they will meet their grave. … Let this people here lie down to sleep, and be entirely off their watch, and the first thing they know, they are in the greatest danger. You must not desert the watch tower, but do as I do—keep some person awake in your house all night long, and be ready, at the least tap of the foot, to offer a stout resistance, if it is required. Be rely at any moment to kill twenty of your enemies at least. Let every house be a fort. … I am my own policeman, and have slept, scores of nights, with my gun and sword by my side, that is, if I slept at all. I am still a policeman. Now is the day to watch. It is as important for me to watch now, as well as pray, as it ever has been since I came into this kingdom. It requires watching, as well as praying men; take turns at it, let some watch while others pray, and then change round, but never let any time pass without a watcher, lest you be overtaken in an hour when you think not; it will come as a thief in the night. Look out for your enemies, for we know not how they will come, and what enemy it will be. Take care of yourselves. … Take care of your grain, and take care of yourselves, that no enemy come to slay you. Be always on hand to meet them with death, and send them to hell, if they come to you. May God bless you all. Amen.”
Brigham Young -JD 1:171-172
“It is also for your salvation to equip yourselves. … Now, I will tell you, I have about a hundred shots on hand all the time,—three or four fifteen-shooters, and. three or four revolvers, right in the room where I sleep; and the Devil does not like to sleep there, for he is afraid they will go off half-cocked. If you will lay a bowie knife or a loaded revolver under your pillow every night, you will not have many unpleasant dreams, nor be troubled with the nightmare; for there is nothing that the Devil is so much afraid of as a weapon of death. … Let us be ready, guns cocked; none of your half-cocked.”
Heber C. Kimball -JD 5:164-165
The ultimate determinant in war is a man on the scene with a gun. This man is the final power in war. He is control, he determines who wins. There are those who would dispute this as an absolute, but it is my belief that while other means may critically influence war today, after whatever devastation and destruction may be inflicted on an enemy, if the strategist is forced to strive for final and ultimate control, he must establish, or must present as an inevitable prospect, a man on the scene with a gun. This is the Soldier.
Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we can not be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference in having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
Peace be still, bury the hatchet and the sword, the sound of war is dreadful in my ear. [But] any man who will not fight for his wife and children is a coward and a bastard.
The 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 their government.
There is one principle which is eternal; it is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of the household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has the right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety.
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