Tennessee Supreme Court Quote

“This declaration ... gives to every man the right to arm himself in any manner he may choose, however unusual or dangerous the weapons he may employ, and thus armed, to appear wherever he may think proper, without molestation or hindrance, and that any law regulating his social conduct, by restraining the use of any weapon or regulating the manner in which it shall be carried, is beyond the legislative competency to enact, and is void.”

~ Tennessee Supreme Court

Aymette v. State, 21 TENN. 152, 153, 2 HUM. 154, 156 (1840).

Ratings and Comments

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

How you guys...
How do we handle the argument that you have to draw the line somewhere. Are nuclear weapons OK to own? How about a 50 caliber machine gun mounted on a pick up? If those are not, what mechanism is used to determine what is legal to own? Who determines what weapons we can carry? Who determines who should not be allowed to carry a gun?

Mike, Norwalk

Walter, you ask a lot of "who" questions. AND, that is a great place to start. In a representative republic, yours and mine servant can only draw a line that you or I can draw. There is no lawful nexus that would allow me to restrict you (thus, Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn could not be more accurate). If everyone had a 50 caliber machine gun mounted on their pick-up (was trained at natural law, freedom, liberty, justice and how best to use the weapon) the terrorists in police uniforms would not be near the threat and scourge on society that they are. As to weapons of mass-destruction, I have not heard a good argument for or against couched in a lawful setting (emotions and what ifs keep getting in the way).

John, Newcastle, Wa.

Just a thought. How about any standard issue weapon of the military, local or State police can be had by any American. Normal restrictions apply. Any Non standard weapon such as heavy machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, H-bombs, etc should/would be kept as part of the State Militias. State Militias being what the Founders expected them to be. Not as a part of a standing army, but as a force to protect the States from foreign encroachment, and encroachment by an overbearing federal government that might use a standing army against the States or the People.

jim k, austin tx

Mike and John covered it pretty well.

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

There is no hope for your nation. If that kind of monsterous error was made in 1840, then the possibillity of becoming a peaceful and sane nation of law-abiding citizens was dashed in your ancient history. What a sad and pathetic legacy you will leave.

Mike, Norwalk

L Hanson, you are only partially correct. With renderings such as this in 1840, it showed that liberty was still in the heart(s) and minds of some of the people, endearing the possibility of becoming even a greater, more peaceful, and a sane nation at law. Pathetic became the legacy when your comrade patrons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land replaced abiding natural law, freedom, liberty, inalienable rights, charity, prosperity and nobility of the individual sovereign with a malignant religion of tenants, forced canons and violence contrary to all that I have mentioned and worse.

John, Newcastle, Wa.

Well said, Mike.
Unlike the man I quote below, I didn't get a tank. But the government did give me a .45 Colt 1911 and a full auto capable M-14 while I was in Nam. They told me it was to save the world from tyranny. It only took me about two weeks to figure out that that was a lie. Now it wants EVERY American to be defenseless against tyranny.

"It is both illogical and inconsistent for a government to say people have a right to life and a right to self-defense but no right to own the tools necessary to defend their lives. It is illogical for a government that says its police have no obligation to provide individual protection to deny people the means to protect themselves. It is immoral for a government that repeatedly releases predators to prey on people to tell those victims they cannot have a weapon for self-defense. Its stupid for a government that cant control criminals, drugs or illegal immigrants to claim it can take guns away from criminals only if honest folks will give up theirs. Gun-control proposals are also an insult. Gun control by definition affects only honest people. When a politician tells you he wants to forbid you from owning a firearm or force you to get a license, he is telling you he doesnt trust you. Thats an insult. The government trusted me with a M-48 tank and assorted small arms when it claimed to have need of my services. It trusts common Americans with all kinds of arms when it wants them to go kill foreigners somewhereusually for the financial benefit of some corporations. But when the men and women take off their uniforms and return to their homes and assume responsibility for their own and their families safety, suddenly the politicians dont trust them to own a gun. This is pure elitism. ... Gun control is not about guns or crime. It is about an elite that fears and despises the common people."
Charley Reese

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

I really appreciate your comments here John of Newcastle. Thanks for the Charley Reese aphorism and good point about defining illegal weapons around what the military issues. What about this thought though. What if the weapons citizens were allowed to own are only anti-government weapons like tank busters? But that all small arms (which could be used by a criminal) would constantly be removed from society by the government? The idea here would be the spirit of the 2nd Amendment. That the citizens should never be denied the right of revolution. Even if it is unclear if the "people" could prevail over the US Army, still just the possibility of such a confrontation will keep the government constantly in their place as servant and not master.

Ron w13, Or

Like Johnny Cash said, You can burn your American flag if you want, when you come to burn mine, I have the right to shoot you.


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