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John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

ATTRIBUTION: John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), British philosopher, economist. “The Contest in America,” Dissertations and Discussions (1859).

Written to oppose England’s siding with the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

William Wallace
William Wallace
(c.1270 – 23 August 1305)

"Lower your flags, and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape and murder. Do it not, and every one of you will die today."
~ William Wallace, Braveheart: Legacy of a People, by Richard Grenier, Reader's Digest, March 1996.

Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning."
~ Frederick Douglass
(14 February 1818 – 20 February 1895)

John Muir
John Muir
"Timberline Traveler"

"It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!"

~ John Muir (1838 – 1914) farmer, inventor, sheepherder, naturalist, explorer, writer, and conservationist – born in Dunbar, Scotland.

Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston

(born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1924 – April 5, 2008)

"from my cold, dead hands"

A supporter of civil rights before it was fashionable, Mr. Heston came to realise that armed self defence was the foundation upon which all the other human rights are built.

"The reason for this fact is simple: Firearms reduce the power differential between the weak and the strong, making it harder for the strong to prey upon the weak. Being strong doesn't help much when you're dead or wetting your pants in fear because your potential victim shoved a barrel muzzle under your nose.

The old saying goes that God made men, but Sam Colt made them equal. Col. Samuel Colt's revolver continues to serve as an equalizer. Being bigger, tougher and meaner than the next guy may not mean jack spit if the next guy carries a .357 in his waistband." ~ Joel Miller

Criminologist Gary Kleck agrees ..., noting that firearms benefit women because "guns are the weapon type whose effectiveness is least dependent on the physical strength of its user."

[By criminalising the carrying of arms, albeit in the name of safety, the hoplophobes insure the continued intimidation of the weak, elderly and even most ordinary citizens by bullies, criminals and despots. The distrust of our fellow human being promulgated by those who favour citizen disarmament may be as corrosive to modern society as the criminal behaviour (burglary and assault), that research shows, disarmament encourages. The blaming of an object for the behaviour of so called rational beings will lead our civilisation down the road to ruin. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)]

Ron Middleton
(No known relation.)

One of 1,353 individual recipients of the Victoria Cross since it was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. The VC is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and civilians under military command, and is presented to the recipient by the British monarch during an investiture held at Buckingham Palace.

Read the list of Victoria Cross recipients by name and be humbled by the accomplishments of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Remember this list when cowardly politicians propose to protect us or our children from ourselves by passing proscriptive legislation.

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