"The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress.
|Tench Coxe, delegate to|
the Continental Congress
"The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or [federal] constitution hath given away that important right .... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
~ Tench Coxe, writing To the People of the United States, in the Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788.
Tench Coxe and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 1787-1823
William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal