No, George Washington Doesn't Want You Armed Against the Government: E-Mail Debunking Part II
This little infographic has been making the rounds on Facebook among the more pro-gun people... especially a certain kind of pro-gun people. See, there are hunters, there are people who want to own guns for home protection and there are people who want to own guns simply because they are adults who have the right to and there's no reason they shouldn't -- which is the only reason that makes any real sense.
Then there are people who honestly believe that they need to be armed in case the government comes after them. This standpoint is a little baffling, since in general people who decide to stand up to the government with a firearm usually end up as a stain, but whatever. I believe in the Loch Ness Monster and some people think that's unlikely.
To each his own, but here in the age of the Internet when the entire wealth of human knowledge is available for free at all times, there is simply no excuse for one kind of indulgence. Namely, the misquoting or misattribution of quotes to the dead who can't defend themselves. We can't let people co-opt founding fathers willy and/or nilly, otherwise it grants unlimited license to justify points with falsehood.
First off, here's the quote being used...
Stop twisting his words
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government
Since even Wikiquote lists this under the misattributed section of Washington's quotes there's no excuse. Here's the real quote...
A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end, a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military supplies.
That's from his first annual address to Congress on January 8, 1790. Reading through Washington's speech, it can clearly be seen that when Washington is talking about "a free people," he means the union as a whole should be well-prepared for any threat to the country. He wasn't talking about people being armed and ready to fight their own representatives.