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

Waffler, Smith

If guns are for these two purposes then what is the nonsense so often espoused that they are conversely to defend oneself from or against the state. If one is somehow at odds with the state personally he still comes under this phiosophical dictum to defend the state from himself.

jim k, austin

Tell that to the gun grabbers in Washington such as the Brady Bunch,who want to disarm the citizens. When guns are confiscated ,read Australia, crime always goes up. Waffler , what on earth does the gibberish you wrote mean? It's incomprehensable.

J Carlton, Calgary

Guns are the only means available to people to defend life, liberty and property. Any person or body politic that infringes on any of these rights is criminal in nature and may be repelled with force. It's the American way and its the foundation of any free nation.

Waffler, Smith

The quote says gus are for defending yourself and defending the state. Some guys think guns are attacking the state or at least for attacking the Feds. This quote leaves the self in the strange position of defending himself from the state and of attacking the state at the same time. The only obvious solution is that we are not to defend self from or against state but to submit. In words even Jim K can understand don't point your gun at cops.

E Archer, NYC

The court is absolutely right and Waffler is absolutely wrong -- unless you are a fascist. We must 'submit' to the state?! What a coward and a traitor to your country. The state is subservient to the rights of the people. And the right to bear arms does not come from the state -- it is inherent. Without a right to defend ourselves from rogue state officials is servitude to the state. Waffler has a slave mentality -- mostly because he was kept in the house and didn't have to toil in the fields. Shame, shame, shame, Waffler. Slaves may not defend themselves against their masters -- they must submit.

J Carlton, Calgary

Too bad some Germans didn't point their guns at the state back in 38...Oh yeah! that's right, the state had already taken their guns. The state gets only the respect that its actions merit.

Mike, Norwalk

How Waffleresque to make a schizophrenic conclusion of a very simple, straight forward statement. For Waffler: All states are not equal. In a representative republic where the state defines a body that represents each individual unitedly, the individual by defending himself defends the state. In a state that is a statist theocracy, a democracy, a socialist collective, or any entity that declares to have inherent right aloof of 'We The People's' individual (evidenced by a claimed right to create compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, funny money, or rights), "the right of a citizen to bear arms, is a lawful defense from or against such State. Real simple, real straight forward, real simple to understand for the non slave at heart and mind, and not schizophrenic.

cal, lewisville, tx

If I were a burglar I would choose the home to rob which I knew had no guns.

zeitgeist, la crescenta, ca

Five stars for the quote. Well, Waffler finally said what he really feels in a few easily understood words ... :"The only obvious solution is that we are not to defend self from or against state but to submit." ... I'll now understand all he says from this point forward by remembering this one quote of his. Poor, poor misguided soul. I doubt you comprehend the ramifications of your beliefs.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Archer, I would disagree with you on one point. Waffler doesn't have the mentality of a slave. He has the mentality of the slave owner.

E Archer, NYC

Wow, Ken, you are right!! That puts his rhetoric into a whole new perspective -- and it fits!

Waffler, Smith

Archer I was only saying what the quote says. It says guns are for the lawful defense of self or the state. Get a life my friend or take some reading lessons. You to Ken. If guns are for both of those purposes then what does the self do when it feels attacked by the state fire upon self or fire upon state. Further when other selves like you Archer and Ken are attacking the state am I compelled by this quote to shoot at you since the quote says that I am to defend the state and you are in rebellion against it. Go read you guys go read.

E Archer, NYC

Read, Waffler? ;-) No, Waffler, it does not say 'guns are for the lawful defense of self or the state' -- 'guns' are not the subject of the sentence, "The right of a citizen to bear arms" is. "It' in the quote above refers to "the right" not 'guns.' Perhaps if YOU learned to read instead of trying to twist words to suit your assault on the "rights" of the People, you wouldn't be such an ignoramous. Ken, is right -- and I am sure you do not see it, but all of your comments are in defense of the subservience of the citizen, that he has no rights other than to vote, and if he doesn't like it, then wait until the next election. In Waffler's world, any and all taxes may be laid upon anybody -- and in varying degrees, based solely upon the arbitrary will of government bureacrats. Yes, you have a slave owner mentality because you defend the masters over and over again while telling the slaves to submit -- or even stretching your right as slave owner to shoot those that say they have the right to defend themselves against the state. You, are therefore with the state, making you both slave and slave master -- just like old Rome. Gee, how enlightened you are...

Waffler, Smith

Arms are for the defense of the State and thus they are kept in the State Armory. The people hire officers, and police to defend them internally and soldiers to defend themselves externally. Those who take it upon themselves for whatever reason to fire upon the police or their own soldiers are committing murder! The idea that the framers told the people to fire upon them or the political office holders under The Constitution anytime in which they disagreed with them rather than using the political processes, checks and balances, contained within the document is preposterous. If we can settle everything with guns them we do not need The Constitution. In effect the purpose of The Constituion is to negate the use of guns and force, To promote the use of guns against The Constitution is Treason.

Deb, San Antonio

My gr-grandfather Cockrum received a life sentence. The appeal from which this quote is derived caused his sentence to be reduced to 15 years, but alas, he died in prison within 6 months.

anonymous, anonymous

But Mr Waffler, when the state turns against it's people like Hitler what do you purpose then


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