Many of you may have read those words before, but have you ever read the greater context of the quote from which they come?
What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
It’s true: free men must ever be ready to take up arms in defense of their liberty — especially against their own government. However, this does not mean we can start the shooting. Our…
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