–Norton v. Shelby County, US Supreme Court
Decision 118 US 425, 442 (in 1886)"
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
We may debate how relevant the Second Amendment is in the modern United States, but knowledge of history settles the debate about the Framers’ intentions. For those who deem it superfluous in the modern world, the proper recourse is an Amendment to eliminate it, not a campaign to dilute it. The Constitution was designed to be changeable, but not to be pliable.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought, not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”
“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”