6. Concluding Remarks

6.1 Relevant quotations

" In these several articles [England and the Commonwealth's 1689 Bill of Rights] consist the rights, or, as they are frequently termed, the liberties of Englishmen...So long as these remain inviolate, the subject is perfectly free; for every species of compulsive tyranny and oppresssion must act in opposition to one or the other of these rights, having no other object upon which it can possibly be employed...And, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defense."

Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765.

" False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconcenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty - so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator - adn subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventative but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree."

Ceassare Beccaraia, An Essay on Crimes and Punishment, 1764.