Sunday, May 19, 2013

" he thus proposes to trample on one of the plainest provisions of Constitutional Liberty"

"Really, Sir, has it come to this? The rifle has ever been the companion of the pioneer, and, under God, his tutelary protector against the red man and the beast of the forest. Never was this efficient weapon more needed in just self-defence than now in Kansas; and at least one article in our National Constitution must be blotted out before the complete right to it can be in any way impeached. And yet such is the madness of the hour, that, in defiance of the solemn guaranty in the Amendments to the Constitution, that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," the people of Kansas are arraigned for keeping and bearing arms, and the Senator from South Carolina has the face to say openly on this floor that they should be disarmed,--of course that the fanatics of Slavery, his allies and constituents, may meet no impediment. Sir, the Senator is venererable with years; he is reputed also to have worn at home, in the State he represents, judicial honors; and he is placed here at the head of an important Committee occupied particularly with questions of law; but neither his years, nor his position, past or present, can give respectability to the demand he makes, or save him from indignant condemnation, when, to compass the wretched purposes of a wretched cause, he thus proposes to trample on one of the plainest provisions of Constitutional Liberty."

- Senator Charles Sumner, Speech Delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 19-20, 1856. [Life and Public Services of Charles Sumner, By Charles Edwards Lester, Pg. 292] (Charles Sumner, (Jan. 6, 1811 – March 11, 1874), was a firmly Anti-slavery senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer, powerful orator, and one of the most learned statesmen of the era. Specializing in foreign affairs, he worked closely with Abraham Lincoln in order to keep the British and the French from intervening on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Sumnerwas also the powerful chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations).

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