A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives
boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no
character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
--- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.
--- Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that
all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing
their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they
may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;
---Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45, Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.