Cockrum v. State Quote

“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)

Ratings and Comments

Michael, Adrian

Absolutely correct, but nothing more than what the Second Amendment says!

KH, Streetsboro

Every government employee should sign an oath to uphold this statement.

David L Rosenthal

Every government employee takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Every government employee who willingly violates that oath should be severely punished, for treason.

Mike, Norwalk

WOW, a founding Constitutional concept upheld (once upon at time in a land far far away), what a novel concept. By observation, has anyone noticed that the more liberal the populace, the more abundant and restrictive or represive the laws? Like California and New York's gun laws for example.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Laws stating citizens can't own machineguns, silencers, .50 caliber rifles, or carry concealed in city limits (and tens of thousands of other laws) are ALL unconstitutional infringements!

Michael, Houston, TX

Hmmm...what does this tell us boys and girls about the REAL view of our liberal brethren?

Dick, Fort Worth

Where are any quotations on the other side of the argument?

David L. Rosenthal

Dick: The quotations you refer to were mostly spoken by men like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Castro.

Anonymous, Raleigh, NC

This quote deserves ten stars.

Ken, Allyn, WA

A government that derives its power from the governed is subject to the power of the citizenry. The power of the citizenry derives from the threat of force that can be brought to bear against an unjust government. Freedom requires an armed citizenry. It is not only a freedom to be armed, but an obligation and duty to your fellow citizens, your family, and yourself.

W H, Lexington

Thanks, LIBERTY-TREE.CA, for one of your best quotes!!

E Archer, NYC

Our inalienable rights are "above the law and independent of the law-making power." A point that ought to be ingrained from early childhood.

Michael, Houston, TX

Hi Dick... To answer your a free society, THERE ARE NO OTHER SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT....either people have the right to defend themselves because of their inherent worth or they are not.

Johnson, Gainesville, FL

ALL POWERS are delegated directly to the citizens. Those citizens then delegated a few of those rights, carefully limited and enumerated, to the government by means of the constitution. Whenever government exercises any power not thus delegated, or specifically prohibited, by the constitution, they are stealing that power from the people against the people's will.

Don William, Europe

10 stars !!! Sadly enough , over here in Europe there's nothing like the 2nd Amendment , and in most countries all guns must be licensed and registered. So any Hitler can easily take them away from the people. It happened in Britain just 12 years ago under MAJOR and BLAIR ! Beware ! Since, crime rate in Britain is up 100 %.... German chancellor MERKEL , a former commie Stasi spy ( Codename ERIKA ) is planning just that , and socialist leaders promise gun confiscation too if elected !

howard, Harbor City, CA.

The gun grabbers take note.

cal, lewisville, tx

Our right to bear arms insures no dictatorship in this nation!

jim k, austin

In every State where guns are made difficult to obtain, the crime rate goes up. Where guns are easy to get,crime rates go down.Gun grabbers are never able to explain this.

J Carlton, Calgary

10 Stars !!! Dick to answer your question...where are quotations on the other side of the argument...I recommend the 10 planks according to Marx. Something you can relate to?

J Carlton, Calgary

Here in Canada there is a 70% rate of non compliance to the gun registry. And good on them too...

Waffler, Smith

Just don't point them at government or police!

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler, agreed. Up until they start acting like Nazi's that is....

Clyde J., Apache Junction

In the 20th century approximately 56 million people were murdered by their own governments following the imposition of gun control. If its always the left that wants gun control then one can only surmise that the left wishes to murder all conservative’s. By extension, any person that votes for a left politician is voting for the murder of the right.

Deb, San Antonio

As the great-great granddaughter of Cockrum (who died in prison) I only wish he could see this.

John Shuttleworth, New York City

I fail to understand the premise behind this assertion unless it is in relation to a society where there is no common measure of agreement among its members: A "Law" (in the abstract). IF we refer (defer) to the basic Hebraic commandments as a measure of common conduct between members of a society and IF we agree those elements are mutually composed, not imposed, then the requisite of mandatory self protection does not hold. IF, however, we allow the premise those "laws" are in fact abstract (conceptual only) the premise holds.

Mike, Norwalk

John Shuttleworth, a good try at applied collectivist theology. A few oopses though. The premise you do not understand is that liberty and rights only exist as relates to the individual person. Your reference to "Law" demonstrates you do not understand what "the laws of nature and of nature's God" ((Declaration of Independence) / Hebraic natural law as is averse to Greek natural law, common law, or the principle defining laws as are addressed in the Constitution); as differs from, legal positivism; and, as differs from legal realism. Also, Hebraic commandment(s) is/are not a measure of common conduct, they are statements directed at personal action (individually and in concert). I have tried to call John Q. Public / the Common Man / etc. to question him/them in court as to where they got their authority to command or what injuries they have sustained - always to no avail. Sons and daughters of liberty do not / can not agree that your supposed elements are mutually composed or imposed; it then follows your conclusion(s) is/are also incorrect. The natural law of the de jure States united defines that which is (gravity, science, math, fiscal law, life, liberty, rights, etc.). Your reference to abstract law would be a function of legal positivism. By way of example; Keynesian Economics derives from man thinking he is as the gods - having ability to create law, collectivist law. Keynesian Economics always fails when naturally confronted by natural law's fiscal law.

cal, Lewisville, Texas

Dick, Ft. Worth, Hitler and Stalin will eagerly take sides with you against this quote.


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