For among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on.
The Prince, Chapter XIV, That Which Concerns A Prince On The Subject Of The Art Of War
[The first half that sentence is sometimes attributed to Charlton Heston. It’s possible that Heston borrowed that fragment from Machiavelli or it’s possible that it’s improperly attributed to Heston. I haven’t bothered to track it down but I thought you should know.
It’s also important to point out that we don’t have recognized royalty as rulers in this country. This country was designed with a different model. A model where the ultimate power resides with the people and they grant certain enumerated powers to the government via the various constitutions.
Because of this difference in models between a society which has the ultimate power residing with the royalty and a society where the ultimate power resides with the people the proper analog of Machiavelli’s instruction in our country is that the people should be armed to prevent them from being despised by the government. And so it came to be that we have the Second Amendment to our constitution and similar, if not stronger, provisions in most state constitutions.—Joe]