Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. … Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that’s good. When firearms go, all goes; we need them every hour.
— George Washington
This quote is believed to be authentic, and comes from a site called Liberty Tree. Other quotes from this cite have been easily verified as authentic, so I tend to trust it. Also, the words sound like other quotes from Washington that are well documented. Teeth are a metaphor that runs through other of Washington’s writings and speeches. It makes sense that teeth would be on his mind, since his were in pretty bad shape and he ended up losing them all. His dentures were not wood as used to be commonly believed. Modern science has examined them and found them to be made from gold, ivory, lead, human and animal teeth (horse and donkey teeth were common components). But were they comfortable? Not likely. No matter, Washington was a man of action and must have gotten used to discomfort and hardship in all its forms.