“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”
Noah Webster, “An Examination into the leading Principles of the
Federal Constitution.” in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the
Constitution of the United States , at 56 (New York, 1888).