Jerry Tsai Steps Down as Editor of “Recoil” Magazine

Just minutes ago, “Recoil” Editor Jerry Tsai announced his resignation. While this doesn’t end the controversy surrounding the magazine’s most recent issue, it is certainly a move towards reconciliation with its readership. They must still find a new Editor as well as writers and work to gain back readers and advertisers alike.

It is with deep sorrow that I announce I am stepping down as editor of Recoil, effective immediately.

It is very difficult for me to walk away from something I helped create, something that I loved doing, and something I firmly believed would appeal to a fresh new generation of gun enthusiasts, but I accept that the comments in my story in the current issue have made my position as editor of Recoil untenable.

With that said, Recoil is bigger than any one person, and if my departure will allow Recoil to continue to grow and engage gun enthusiasts, then stepping down as editor is clearly the right thing for me to do.

I accept I made mistakes, and I apologize unreservedly for calling Recoil’s support for Second Amendment rights into question.

While I understand the passions aroused over this incident, the deeply hurtful words from some of my fellow gun enthusiasts have been painful to endure. I hope now we can all move on.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who have supported me over the past few days. These are the people who know me to be at heart a passionate gun enthusiast whose dream was to make something bold and new in firearms media.

Jerry Tsai


50 Responses to “Jerry Tsai Steps Down as Editor of “Recoil” Magazine”

  1. Good riddance you piece of shit.

  2. We taking bets on how long til they close up shop, as they have ZERO credibility left?

  3. eva05 says:

    4 Americans were killed in killed in Libya yesterday, in what is seemingly more and more likely a premeditated AQ attack. I’m sorry, but the 15 minutes of fame/infamy that Recoil is over. There are far more important things afoot.

  4. Ross says:

    Personally I liked the magazine and hope it survives now that Tsai has moved on.

  5. John says:

    So a guy who is willing to describe himself as a gun guy in a nationally published magazine, who tried to do something new in the industry, is now unemployed. Congratulations. Please clean your torches and pitchforks before you turn them back in.

  6. Rogerrabbit says:

    Get real John. This is the big boy club. He’s the Editor. It’s a job. He should’ve done his job correctly. He didn’t and a melee of crap started because him and his publisher are obviously idiots. He deserves to lose his job. Just because your a gun enthusiast doesn’t mean your a good Editor. in this case that was proven. He can describe himself anyway he wants including a gun guy doesn’t mean crap. Obama describes himself as our President too and that doesn’t mean shit in my book.

    And if you think we’re gonna put our “pitchforks” away, your delusional. Once you stop fighting for what you believe you’ve raised the white flag.
    Now that he’s gone and if they want to save the mag they should put some credible shooters in to write the stories. Keep the pics.

    • Jack says:

      “…fighting for what you believe in…”

      Do a lot of that, do you?

      I mean, you don’t just mouth off on the internet, right? You write elected officials, write to advertisers, you’re (not your, by the way) a member of pro 2A organizations, right? Take every opportunity to educate people about safe and responsible gun ownership?

      Besides tough talking online about the “big boy club” what exactly to you, and all the other people cheering this “victory” do to advance the RKBA?

      Those are fair questions, right?

      • Andrew says:


        Just like last time, you are spot on. I am sincerely disgusted by this whole thing. The guys over at BB&C did a pretty good write up about all this that I think you would like if you haven’t seen it yet.

        • Jack says:

          I hadn’t seen that, thanks for bringing it to my attention. Who would have thought guys that small would be so big on common sense?

          • Rogerrabbit says:

            So let me get this straight you support Tsai keeping his job? Seriously I responded to John’s comment that acted like we were the reason Tsai was no longer employed. It is the big boy club when someone should take responsibility for their actions/words. I could care less if you feel sorry for a grown adult that lost his job on his own accord.

        • SSD says:

          As I said before, based on my discussions with Dave regarding that article, it doesn’t reflect his true feelings. I’m not sure why he said the things he did. Perhaps he didn’t want to upset Tsai, who he knows. But, unless he was lying to me, Dave Reeder is happy with the outcome.

          It’s actually interesting to me because Dave’s article is being used to try and shame those that held Recoil’s feet to the fire. It’s being presented as a moderate position and that my position (and that of many others) is extreme. Written words have power. More so when the written word comes from an authority. Say that authority is SSD, or BBC, or better yet, Recoil magazine. Now imagine that the anti-gun crowd decides to use the words of a firearms authority to support their “moderate” position that people shouldn’t own some guns. That some guns are bad or too dangerous for private ownership. That’s the danger of what Recoil did and it happened because they presented themselves as a firearms authority and we accepted that assertion by purchasing the magazine and making it true. We liked them on Facebook. The problem is that they weren’t an authority on firearms. By their own admission they were just enthusiasts. But, enthusiasts with a voice. Their figurehead in the form of Jerry Tsai lacked experience and eventually it manifested itself. If it hadn’t been this it would have been something else.

          Now, I hope you understand why the ill conceived actions of Recoil are potentially so dangerous and why a stop had to be put to them before any further harm could be done.

          • Jack says:

            @SSD, yeah, I get it. I could write several paragraphs explaining how much I get it, but suffice it to say, I get it.

            This whole episode has been rife with drama and hysterics. Where you and I, and many others, since I’m in the minority here, disagree is how much harm was truly caused by the ignorant comment, and what was the best way for the gun community to address the inadequate apology/explanation.

            The baby went out with the bathwater.

            • SSD says:

              I think that this is exactly how a free market is supposed to act. A company does something and the market corrects itself.

  7. Alex E says:

    It is sad to see someone lose his job, but we are in dificut times when it comes to politics and gun rights. We as the “Gun Enthusiasts” are more than people who shot and like guns. We are patriots, husbands, fathers and people you see everyday. We just enjoy a diffult yet safe hobby involve firearms.

    We are in a middle of a major battle as people see us as the problem when we are the solution. I am a subscriber since the first edition came out. I hope they get their act together, is going to be hard few months before they come back is shape, but let remind Recoil we wish them the best… I hope they learned the lesson.

  8. Strike-Hold says:

    “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity”

    – Winston Churchill.

  9. Jack says:

    I totally understand why people were upset about what Tsai said. I was upset myself.

    He made a very ignorant remark. The gun community took him to task. The apologies/explanations/blame shifting were not up to people’s expectations. Got it.

    Was it unforgivable? Was it a threat to our rights? Was it really worth all of this…drama?

    Not from where I’m standing.

    We could have mentored this guy, and others, and brought him around to the proper mindset. Instead it’s:”Good riddance you piece of shit.”

    Not the gun community’s finest hour, I think. A house divided, and all that.

    • Andrew says:

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    • SSD says:

      How do you make those words go away? Seriously. How do you make them unusable to the anti-gun crowd? A retraction?

      • Jack says:

        I don’t think that the toothpaste can be put back in the tube. Those words aren’t going away,and thanks to the drama that has been generated over this, it’s officially become A Big Deal.

        I also don’t think the anti-gun crowd is hurting for things to use against us.

        Sometimes we are our own worse enemies. A lot of our fellow gun owners are not what I would call ambassadors to safe and responsible gun ownership. Hurting our own cause didn’t start with Tsai.

        There are plenty of things for gun owners to get up in arms about (see what I did there?) that are more serious threats to our rights than this deal.

        • SSD says:

          I am 100% positive the anti-gun folks hunt for things to use against us. They set up foundations to counter the NRA and pay people to do just that, make the anti-gun argument. They are just as committed to their position as we are. If there weren’t people whose whole goal in life was to repeal the Second Amendment, none of this would be a “big deal”.

    • Todd G says:

      Who cares what you think, jack?

  10. Cratekicker says:

    The saddest part is the lack of respect shown on all sides. Regardless of your personal views, the house of firearm ownership is divided and the world has seen it.

    On the topic of bigger picture, is it more important then the events in the last 72 hours?
    An international “pro-firearm” magazine just handed the anti-gun establishment a quote to show that pro-gunners support some sort of limit on personal firearm ownership.
    So weigh it, constitutional issue verses international issue.
    Realistically can we as citizens effect the decisions of the state department in the next 72 hours?

    Throw out what you may, keep in mind not everyone in the citizenry has bullets flying at them, that by no measure reduces the value of their opinion.

    • SSD says:

      This issue has nothing to do with THAT issue and to be quite frank, the average person doesn’t have enough information to make a cogent statement about what the US should or should not do.

      • Cratekicker says:

        Any recommended reading?

        I personally have been following several out of country news agencies, The Powerful Peace Blog, and a few other readings. Can’t stand the talking heads we have here in the states at times.

        You are correct, the two issues had nothing to do with one another and I was wrong to link them..

  11. Mick says:

    Another domestic product dismantled by human error and unforgiving propaganda.

    • Jack says:


      • subchasr says:

        Now that this is all said and done, if the editor is one of the last to proof the articles, then who was looking over his? It seems that this particular incident could have been prevented if someone would have checked it over. Though maybe it would have come out later in another article.

        • SSD says:

          The problem was that the Editor was inexperienced and was editing his own stories.

          • Jack says:

            I thought the problem was that the Editor hated America.

          • SSD says:

            This is mostly llkely the issue. You want to trivialize this. The problem is that Jerry Tsai didn’t really understand the industry he wrote about. When you start to publish you establish yourself as an authority. People listen. When people don’t like what they hear they let you know. Jerry Tsai disestablished himself as authority on guns.

  12. Mandingo says:

    Please! Please! Please! Action Figure Therapy, we need you now more than ever!!

  13. Tomaso says:

    …….I’ll second that.
    Thing is iv thought about getting into firearm production….and honestly I’m in HK’s mind set…the production of firearms isn’t like making bubblegum…theirs a huge responsibility attached to this product, and some take that responsibility more seriously then others. I wouldn’t want every crazy to have the ability to purchase mil spec firearms…but guess what seems too many here do…..and that’s the point, no matter how you slice it…that is the very point this is all about. Sure the anti gun nuts would love to have a more sweeping control and just say ” know one get a gun” but its a insensible to say ” everyone has a right to own firearms”… Because crazys are part of that everyone!
    Unfortunately RECOIL didn’t understand how bloodthirsty the gun community can be…..this was not a win in my eyes…it was like watching a compadre get canabilized by a frenzied crowed right in front of my eyes.and it was ugly.
    And in the wake iv lost a bit of respect all of these blogs …and a new respect for a few stand outs.

    • Jesse says:

      Your mindset, which has nothing to do with HK, is the problem. This is why there is so much vehemence against “gun enthusiasts” making uneducated statements when someone may misunderstand their written word as a representation of the industry at large.

  14. Dave UK says:

    Being foreign, I don’t understand all this **** storm. You are the land of free speech, right? The passage I have states ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Note Arms not Firearms. So this should be a question of where do we / you draw the line – semi-automatic small arms, full auto small arms, heavy calibre sniper rifle, Boffors 20mm cannon, 105mm field gun, 155mm SPG, nuclear capable 155mm SPG, nuclear missiles for same…

    Are you happy for other civvies to have nuke missiles? No? Well then, you need to draw the line somewhere: expect differences of opinion on where, but you don’t have to cost someone their job over it.

    If H&K want to restrict gun sales to their financial detriment that is their business. I don’t see many US gunmakers lobbying the UK government to change our draconian laws and up their sales.

    In the land of the free, why can’t an enthusiast edit a magazine? Freedom is nothing without diversity.

    • SSD says:

      To be honest, we don’t expect you to get it. It’s very difficult for someone not raised in the States to understand how much firearms are tied to our identity as both individuals and as a Nation. Our Constitution was created by men who had faced an oppressive government and the Bill of Rights were added to addressed the very conditions that had led to rebellion in the first place. Notice, our fledgling Government recognized freedom of speech and religion followed immediately by the teeth to ensure their guarantee.

      • Haji says:

        And you’re blending the first and second amendments. The first amendment protects free speech. It doesn’t protect one from the citizens of the nation not agreeing with what was said, taking issue with it and causing change. Just because you’re free to say almost anything in this country doesn’t mean that words don’t still have meanings and consequences.

    • GRIM says:

      Fine, we’ll draw the line at nukes (there already is one BTW). All other manner of awesome explody goodness is fare game, happy?

  15. Mason says:

    I’ve read both the comment and the magazine. The magazine is different from the traditional tactical mags currently on the market. It is informative, opinionated and is written with an element of fun. In reading the comment that has sparked the controversy, I took it as being on accord with the magazine: informative, opinionated and written with an element of fun. Nothing more, nothing less. But what I am most concerned with is the uproar and the readers’ willingness to proclaim that the editor was attempting (by writing an opinion) to take away the rights of US citizens. I would urge you to remember that the 2nd Amend. is part of an entire US Constitution. The 2nd Amend. works a lot better when it is attached to the 1st. So let’s not stomp on someone’s 1st Amend. rights to write an opinion (on a product) while we are trying to protect our 2nd Amend. rights. Jerry, don’t quit.

    • SSD says:

      I am still amazed that people haven’t the slightest understanding of the 1st Amendment. It doesn’t protect people from stupid. When you say something dumb, there are consequences. It’s that simple. Jerry Tsai can have any opinion he wants but when he publishes it, as the Editor of a magazine, he has to be prepared for some people to take issue with his speech. In some cases that can manifest itself as boycotts or letter writing campaigns. In this case, advertisers felt that his speech was bad for their businesses.

  16. Redleg says:

    Good grief, with all of the people we have who are gun owners and are so totally clueless about what the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms means no wonder we have been having our rights infringed upon at such a blistering pace. If gun owners don’t even understand this then how do we expect non-owners to? Listen all of you closet Brady supporters, there are no valid and lawful restrictions upon an individuals right to own firearms…NONE! Despite what some legislators, judges and bureaucrats may say to the contrary take it straight from the horses mouth here:

    The following quotes by the authors of the Second Amendment, their contemporaries, various state and federal courts, and others should be useful in the debate over whether that amendment protects a right of individuals or only the military.

    The Second Amendment states:

    “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    “On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322)

    “The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals…. It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States….Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America” – (Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.)

    “No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950])

    “The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

    “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

    “…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

    “the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster in ‘An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution’, 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

    “…if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?” (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888))

    “…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

    “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people 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 in ‘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 at 2 col. 1)

    “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people” (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

    “The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)

    “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

    “The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87)

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)

    “The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,…taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)

    “The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” (Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646)

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between 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?” (Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836)

    “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)

    “That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850))

    “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms….The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants” (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined” (Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836)

    “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good” – George Washington
    “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. (Thomas Jefferson, Encyclopedia of T. Jefferson, 318 [Foley, Ed., reissued 1967])

    “The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them…” (Thomas Paine, I Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 [1894])

    “…the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms” (from article in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette June 18, 1789 at 2, col.2,)

    “Those, who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.” (Aristotle, as quoted by John Trenchard and Water Moyle, An Argument Shewing, That a Standing Army Is Inconsistent with a Free Government, and Absolutely Destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy [London, 1697])

    “No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.” (James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses [London, 1774-1775])

    “Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame.” (John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects [London, 1755])

    “The difficulty here has been to persuade the citizens to keep arms, not to prevent them from being employed for violent purposes.” (Dwight, Travels in New England)

    “What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” (Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Dec. 20, 1787, in Papers of Jefferson, ed. Boyd et al.)

    (The American Colonies were) “all democratic governments, where the power is in the hands of the people and where there is not the least difficulty or jealousy about putting arms into the hands of every man in the country. (European countries should not) be ignorant of the strength and the force of such a form of government and how strenuously and almost wonderfully people living under one have sometimes exerted themselves in defence of their rights and liberties and how fatally it has ended with many a man and many a state who have entered into quarrels, wars and contests with them.” [George Mason, “Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company” in The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792, ed Robert A. Rutland (Chapel Hill, 1970)]

    “To trust arms in the hands of the people at large has, in Europe, been believed…to be an experiment fraught only with danger. Here by a long trial it has been proved to be perfectly harmless…If the government be equitable; if it be reasonable in its exactions; if proper attention be paid to the education of children in knowledge and religion, few men will be disposed to use arms, unless for their amusement, and for the defence of themselves and their country.” (Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and NewYork [London 1823]

    “It is not certain that with this aid alone [possession of arms], they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to posses the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force; and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it.” (James Madison, “Federalist No. 46”)

    “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.” (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution [Boston, 1833])

    “The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rulers. Only the government – and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.” (Edward Abbey, “The Right to Arms,” Abbey’s Road [New York, 1979])

    “You are bound to meet misfortune if you are unarmed because, among other reasons, people despise you….There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed. In the latter case, there will be suspicion on the one hand and contempt on the other, making cooperation impossible.” (Niccolo Machiavelli in “The Prince”)

    “You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting: by law or by force. The first way is natural to men, and the second to beasts. But as the first way often proves inadequate one must needs have recourse to the second.” (Niccolo Machiavelli in “The Prince”)
    “To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.” [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)]

    For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing of concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former be unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise. But it should not be forgotten, that it is not only a part of the right that is secured by the constitution; it is the right entire and complete, as it existed at the adoption of the constitution; and if any portion of that right be impaired, immaterial how small the part may be, and immaterial the order of time at which it be done, it is equally forbidden by the constitution.” [Bliss vs. Commonwealth, 12 Ky. (2 Litt.) 90, at 92, and 93, 13 Am. Dec. 251 (1822)]

    ” ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.” [Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)]

    “The provision in the Constitution granting the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the power of the Legislature to enact any law to the contrary. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff.” [People vs. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927, at 928 (1922)]

    “The maintenance of the right to bear arms is a most essential one to every free people and should not be whittled down by technical constructions.” [State vs. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222, at 224 (1921)]

    “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and ‘is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]