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If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

A gun is a projectile-firing weapon, which can be either muzzle or breech-loaded. The term is regularly used for both heavy artillery pieces and smaller firearms such as rifles and pistols.


When echoes of the fusillade fade away, thirteen bodies are sprawled on the ground.  Nine students are wounded.  Four are dead—Allison Krause, Bill Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer, and Jeffrey Miller. ~ Jules Archer
Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun, and they have not. ~ Hilaire Belloc
Alphabetized by author or source
I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military. ~ William S. Burroughs
And I swear that I don't have a gun

No, I don't have a gun… ~ Kurt Cobain

The good people of this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemakers. ~ Samuel Colt
Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
An armed society is a polite society. ~ Robert Heinlein
There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody — except bad people... ~ Charlton Heston
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. ~ Adolf Hitler
All human strength vanishes when confronted with firearms. A man is dead before he sees what’s coming. ~ Martin Luther
I mean I'm a gun-owning pacifist, so there you go. ~ Krist Novoselic
Even a pacifist would get violent if someone were trying to kill him or her. You would fight for your life, whatever your beliefs. ~ Bruce Willis
Give a guy a gun, he thinks he's Superman. Give him two and he thinks he's God. ~ Barry Wong and John Woo
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. ~ Mao Zedong
  • If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
    • Anonymous American adage, as quoted in The Wayward Welfare State (1981) by Roger A. Freeman, p. 286
    • When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
      • Bumper sticker, quoted in Design with Type (1982) by Carl Dair, p. 174.
  • Лучше старенький ТТ, чем дзюдо и каратэ.
  • And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
    • Samuel Adams, (February 6, 1788), reported in Charles Hale, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1856), p. 86. This language was proposed in the Massachusetts convention for ratification of the U.S. Constitution to be added to Article I of that document.
  • Suddenly the men of Troop G pause and wheel around, rifles upraised.  At 12:24 one of them, possibly an officer, fires his weapon.  This is immediately followed by a staccato sound like a series of giant firecrackers exploding.  At least ten guardsmen fire fifty-five rifle bursts, five pistol shots, and a shotgun blast at students over a hundred yards away in the parking lot.

    When echoes of the fusillade fade away, thirteen bodies are sprawled on the ground.  Nine students are wounded.  Four are dead—Allison Krause, Bill Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer, and Jeffrey Miller.  Of the thirteen who were shot, only two have been hit frontally.  Seven have bullets in their sides and four in their backs, proving they were not advancing but fleeing.

    One young guardsman is horrified by the spectacle.  Falling to the ground and tossing hysterically, he cries out, "I just shot two teenagers!"  The other guardsmen march off up the hill, leaving the dead and wounded behind.

  • The laws of [false utility] are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator?
  • Whatever happens, we have got
    The Maxim gun, and they have not.
  • "The highest love, a woman's touch / Harmony, a strong mind, a strong body, beauty, all the things / He couldn't be, all / The things he couldn't have. / Little man with a gun in his hand"
  • After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
  • The firepower wielded by organised crime groups in Mexico has not only led to mounting instability in the US's southern neighbour, but also contributed to lawlessness on the two countries' shared border and the deaths of American agents. As the US invests millions in Mexico's security through the Merida initiative, it does itself a disservice by allowing lax gun regulation to arm the same groups it is trying to combat. Poor gun regulation and oversight also threatens the US by providing potential terrorists with easy access to military grade weapons, as was boasted by American-born al-Qaida member Adam Gadahn in a recent video.
  • You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
    • Al Capone, as quoted in Forbes (6 October 1986).
  • The good people of this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemakers.
  • The consensus is that no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society. These people fight small wars amongst themselves. It would seem a valid social service to keep them well-supplied with ammunition.
  • The town in Georgia's got a law on the books / Says if we all got guns then we won't have crooks / Now what could make them think that way?
  • To accept the principal that "all power proceeds from the barrel of a gun" is to accept a society which will be dominated by those with the biggest guns.
    • Tommy Douglas,Speech delivered at Luther College, Regina, Saskatchewan, March 16, 1973.
  • I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    • Clint Eastwood, "RJ Eskow: Confessions of a Gun Lover," Huffington Post, (18 April 2007).
  • A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.
    • Larry Elder, "Million Mom Madness," FrontPageMag (22 May 2000).
  • Hast thou named all the birds without a gun;
    Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk.
  • If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them... Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here.
    • Dianne Feinstein, interview with CBS-TV 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995.
  • Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, "An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth", Chapter 27, Recruiting Campaign, from a leaflet urging Indians to serve with the British Army in World War II. [5]
  • But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you... it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
  • The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
    • Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 46.
  • If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying — that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 — establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime.
  • An armed society is a polite society.
  • Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?
    • Patrick Henry (J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836).
  • Let me make a short, opening, blanket comment. There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody — except bad people...
  • England, where no one has guns; fourteen deaths. United States — and I think you know how we feel about guns; whoo! I'm getting' a stiffy — 23,000 deaths from handguns. But there's no connection, and you'd be a fool and a communist to make one.
    • Bill Hicks, Quoted in Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines, 2004.
  • The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.  History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.
  • GUN CONTROL! That is what the Branch Davidian compound attack was all about. David Koresh was a gun collector and a tax evader. Boy, they didn't like him, and one of the purposes for that raid was to scare the American people into submission. You better register your firearms. Make sure they know. They might come for you as they did for Koresh.
    • Kent Hovind, "Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution Chapter 4", 1996,
  • The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
    • Hubert Humphrey, “Know Your Lawmakers”, Guns magazine, February 1960, pg. 4.
  • No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands].
  • 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 the constant companion of your walks.
  • One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.
  • The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, … or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.
  • By... our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing; by allowing all of these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., November 1963. Quoted in I have a Dream: the Life and Times of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Lenwood G. Davis, 1973. (p.266).
  • God created men. Colonel Colt made them equal.
    • Old frontier saying
    • Quoted in Larry Koller, The Fireside Book of Guns, 1959, page 136.
  • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.
  • Happiness is a warm gun.
    • John Lennon, The Beatles, a.k.a. "The White Album" (1968). In a 1970 interview for Rolling Stone Lennon attributed the words to the cover of a gun magazine (Jann S. Wenner, Lennon Remembers (2000)).
  • I think these things ( firearms ) were invented by Satan himself, for they can’t be defended against with (ordinary) weapons and fists. All human strength vanishes when confronted with firearms. A man is dead before he sees what’s coming.
  • Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate Governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple Government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the Governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
    • James Madison, Federalist No. 46 (1788).
    • Sometimes paraphrased as: “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
  • Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual was to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.
    • George Mason, June 14, 1788, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, 2nd ed. (1861), Jonathan Elliot, v. 3, p. 380. (The "artful man" in the quote is Sir William Keith.) This quote has typically been rephrased by gun control opponents; for instance, "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."
  • The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's goodbye to the Bill of Rights.
    • H.L. Mencken, “A Time to be Wary” (1933), collected in A Carnival of Buncombe.
  • As long as I have a pen in my hand and a revolver in my pocket, I fear no one.
    • Benito Mussolini, 1914. Quoted in Paolo Monelli, Mussolini:the intimate life of a demagogue, Vanguard Press, 1954.
  • A gun is not just a bit of metal. There is a relationship between the person and the gun which develops and changes. It became something he (Hamilton) could show off, then an extension of himself.
  • There's one thing for sure; you can't kill sixteen children in less than two minutes with a club, a knife or even a machete.
    • Dr. Mick North, interviewed by Ed Vullimay, The Guardian, pg. T2.
  • And in my mind, I'm going why can't I just shoot this guy in the spine right now; shoot him in the spine, explain the facts of life to him
    • Ted Nugent, as guest DJ on WRIF-FM, Detroit, September 28, 1990; referring to an encounter with a Hare Krishna.
  • If it was up to me, if you uttered the word 'gun control,' we'd put you in jail.
  • There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?
    • Arms dealer Yuri Orlov (played by Nicolas Cage), Lord of War, 2005 [8].
  • The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong.
  • It is the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.
    • Debates in the House of Representatives, ed. Linda Grand De Pauw. (Balt., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1972), 92-3.
  • The sense of impending conflict means business is picking up at the capital's 43 gun shops, even though they are only licensed to sell hunting guns or pistols. Customers are stockpiling bullets or shotgun cartridges, says Wiham Ghazi of the "Free Bird" gun shop, whose 12-gauge shotguns and .22 caliber rifles hang from gun racks on the wall of his shop, emanating a faint scent of gun oil. "It's our culture that people keep guns in their houses - it's inherited from our grandfathers," says Mr. Ghazi, sorting through an array of pistol bullets. Among the ammunition selection is a 12.7mm bullet for a heavy machine gun, with the red-painted tip of a tracer that burns bright as it flies.

    "People are buying these kinds of guns just to protect themselves, in case of conflict," Ghazi says, adding that one customer Saturday morning came in looking for bullets for his father's .45 caliber pistol, which had been "put aside for years."

    To explain their bond with weapons, Iraqis are fond of the modernized version of one traditional saying: "Give everything to your friend, except your car, your wife, and your gun."

    • Scott Peterson, "Iraqi public well-armed and wary", The Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2003. [9].
  • You don't need no gun control. You know what you need? We need some bullet control. Man, we need to control the bullets, that's right. I think all bullets should cost $5000. $5000 for a bullet. You know why? 'Cause if a bullet costs $5000, there'd be no more innocent bystanders...
  • A great many sportsmen have urged me to support this bill. It is hard for me to understand the interest of sportsmen in pistols. I myself have fished and hunted a great deal. I have a deep interest in outdoor sports and the various associations which foster them, but it is common knowledge, of course, that fishermen never use a pistol and hunters practically never use a pistol... [even for] theoretical self-protection, the value of a revolver is very problematical.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1931, opposing the Hanley-Fake firearms bill which would have increased access to hanguns. Quoted in Gun Violence in America:The Struggle for Control, Alexander DeConde, 2003 (p.132).
  • For the purpose of securing the working class in the possession of complete power, and in order to eliminate all possibility of restoring the power of the exploiters, it is decreed that all workers be armed.
  • I have a love interest in every one of my films — a gun.
  • Any politico who's afraid of his constituents being armed, should be. Leaders of the anti-gun movement (for the most part, politicians who enthusiastically advocate confiscatory taxation and government control of everything) realize that a populace is much easier to herd, loot — and dispose of — if it has been stripped of its weapons. The naked fraud and transparent fascism of victim disarmament must be eradicated through the repeal of all gun laws at every level of government.
  • Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.
  • The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
  • Homer: Just give me my gun!
    Wiseguy: Sorry, the law requires a five day waiting period. We've got to run a background check.
    Homer: Five days? But I'm mad now! Oh, I'd kill you if I had my gun.
    Wiseguy: Yeah, well, you don't.
  • Robert Kennedy, whose summer home is eight miles away from the home I live in all year round, was shot two nights ago. He died last night. So it goes.
    Martin Luther King was shot a month ago. He died, too. So it goes.
    And everyday my government gives me a count of corpses created by the military service in Vietnam. So it goes.

    My father died many years ago now—of natural causes. So it goes. He was a sweet man. He was a gun nut, too. He left me his guns. They rust.

  • A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.
    • George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address [13]; part of this accurate quote has also been used as part of improperly altered statements on the internet, and a few published works, such as America : The Final Chapter (2009) by Jessi Winchester, p. 213: "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." See also NRA edited version available on t-shirts: "A free people ought to be armed - George Washington." [14].
  • Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.
    • Noah Webster, Examination into the the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787) in Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, Paul Leicester Ford (1888), p. 56.
  • People use guns but, in a sense, guns use people too. When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action.

"Archbishop of Canterbury backs calls for stricter gun controls in US",The Guardian, December 22, 2012.

  • Remember when she had Tom Selleck on her program a while back? She blind-sided Tom Selleck! He's a good fella, ain't never hurt nobody, but he's in the NRA, so she hates that. She was like, 'Well, you're in the NRA. Let me tell you something, Tom: guns kill people!' Do you believe she said that? On the Rosie O'Fatass show! She looks right at him and says, 'Guns kill people!' Let me tell you something: husbands that come home early kill people! Alright? The gun was just sitting there! If guns kill people, I can blame misspelled words on my pencil! Git-r-done!
  • If you take guns away from legal gun owners then the only people who would have guns would be the bad guys. … Even a pacifist would get violent if someone were trying to kill him or her. You would fight for your life, whatever your beliefs. You'd use a rock or tear one of these chairs out of the floor. Hey, maybe I've been watching too many Bruce Willis movies!
  • It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
    • Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Jewish Zionist leader, 1903, said as justifying the arming of Russian Jews agains Russian Pogroms.
  • Every communist must grasp the truth, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party. Yet, having guns, we can create Party organizations, as witness the powerful Party organizations which the Eighth Route Army has created in northern China. We can also create cadres, create schools, create culture, create mass movements. Everything in Yenan has been created by having guns. All things grow out of the barrel of a gun.


  • "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." - Falsely attributed to Sigmund Freud.
    • This has been sourced to General Introduction to Psychoanalysis [15] [16] [17] [18] due to a misreading of a 1990 essay by Don B. Kates [19]. The quote is Kates' own characterization of a passage in Freud and Oppenheim, Dreams in Folklore, and not Freud's words.
  • "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson
    • This has been sourced to "The Papers of Thomas Jefferson", asserted to have been edited by C.J. Boyd. The quote does not appear in Jefferson's collected papers as searched in Google Print. The name of the editor is also problematic: some volumes of Jefferson's papers were edited by Julian P. Boyd, not C.J. Boyd.

See also[edit]


"Revolver" redirects here

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