First Principles: An Unarmed Man May Be Attacked With Greater Confidence Than An Armed Man

“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty…and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Cesare Beccaria

Much to do about nothing has been made that Jefferson was quoting another and did not actually say the exact words that Beccaria used. However, as the Monticello Organization has pointed out, Jefferson did paraphrase this quote without changing its meaning to suit his needs. This does not change the substance of the quoted material’s meaning. Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…(Spurious Quotation) | Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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