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Old 01 March 2013, 05:11 AM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
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Default Thomas Jefferson on Peace

(I thought I remembered seeing a thread somewhere recently on a supposed quote from Jefferson about gun control, but I can't seem to find it now.)

Sorry if this one has been covered before. I came across it on an email sig earlier tonight -- not from someone I know personally, but from the content of the email, someone who does listen to right-wing talk radio regularly. Attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."

I was dubious immediately, not just because of the sentiment, but the phrasing. "Everybody stands around reloading" just didn't seem like something Jefferson would say. agrees:

This quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. The language is somewhat uncharacteristic of Jefferson's style. "Stand around" in the sense used here is not an expression that can be found in Jefferson's letters. He almost always wrote "every body" instead of "everybody." And there are no instances of the word "reload" (or variations thereof) referring to firearms in Jefferson's writings.
A quick googling shows that it is out there on a lot of websites, though, a lot of which are devoted to quotations.

It reminded me a lot of something in Jerry Pournelle's "Mercenary" books. The central character, John Christian Falkenberg, said more than once, "Peace is the ideal we deduce from the fact that there have been interludes between wars." I believe Pournelle has used it in his nonfiction writing as well, but I can't say for certain.
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Old 01 March 2013, 05:32 AM
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I've seen that quote many times, but this is the first I've seen it attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Sounds more like something George S. Patton would say.
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Old 01 March 2013, 01:38 PM
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Kind of reminds me of the saying that diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie." while you look for a big stick.
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Old 01 March 2013, 03:10 PM
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That was Will Rogers.
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