The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Quotes by Gun-grabbers

There is little sense in gun registration. What we need to significantly enhance public safety is domestic disarmament .... Domestic disarmament entails the removal of arms from private hands .... Given the proper political support by the people who oppose the pro-gun lobby, legislation to remove the guns from private hands, acts like the legislation drafted by Senator John Chafee [to ban handguns], can be passed in short order.

signed by Henry Cisneros and Kurt Schmoke (Cisneros is the former Secretary of the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Developement; Schmoke was Baltimore Mayor); "The Case for Domestic Disarmament", Communitarian Network

Why should America adopt a policy of near-zero tolerance for private gun ownership? Because it's the only alternative to the present insanity. Without both strict limits on access to new weapons and aggressive efforts to reduce the supply of existing weapons, no one can be safer. ... [W]ho can still argue compellingly that Americans can be trusted to handle guns safely? We think the time has come for America to tell the truth about guns. They are not for us. We cannot handle them.

Editorial, "Taming the Monster: Get Rid of the Guns", Los Angeles Times, p. B6, 1993-12-28

The only way to discourage the gun culture is to remove the guns from the hands and shoulders of people who are not in the law enforcement business.

The New York Times, 1975-09-24

Gun violence won't be cured by one set of laws. It will require years of partial measures that will gradually tighten the requirements for gun ownership, and incrementally change expectations about the firepower that should be available to ordinary citizens.

The New York Times, 1993-12-21

By a curiosity of evolution, every human skull harbors a prehistoric vestige: a reptilian brain. This atavism, like a hand grenade cushioned in the more civilized surrounding cortex, is the dark hive where many of mankind's primitive impulses originate. To go partners with that throwback, Americans have carried out of their own history another curiosity that evolution forgot to discard as the country changed from a sparsely populated, underpoliced agrarian society to a modern industrial civilization. That vestige is the gun - most notoriously the handgun, an anachronistic tool still much in use.

Time, 1981-04-13

Repealing the Second Amendment is no cause for the faint-hearted, but it remains the only way for liberals to trigger an honest debate on the future of our bullet-plagued society. So what if anti-gun advocates have to devote the next 15 or 20 years to the struggle? The cause is worth the political pain. Failing to take bold action condemns all of us to spend our lives cringing in terror every time we hear a car backfire.

Walter Shapiro (columnist); USA Today, 1999-09-17

We are inclined to think that every firearm in the hands of anyone who is not a law enforcement officer constitutes an incitement to violence. Let's come to our senses before the whole country starts shooting itself up on all its Main Streets in a delirious kind of High Noon.

Washington Post, 1965-08-19

No presidential candidate has yet come out for the most effective proposal to check the terror of gunfire: a ban on the general sale, manufacture and ownership of handguns as well as assault-style weapons.

Editorial, "Guns Along the Campaign Trail", Washington Post, p. A18., 1999-07-19

The [American Academy of Pediatrics] believes handguns, deadly air guns and assault weapons should be banned.

American Association of Pediatrics; "Where We Stand" (retrieved 1999-01-21)

Our goal is to not allow anybody to buy a handgun. In the meantime, we think there ought to be strict licensing and regulation. Ultimately, that may mean it would require court approval to buy a handgun.

Michael K. Beard (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, president); Washington Times, p. A1, 1993-12-06

The best way to prevent gun violence is to ban handguns.

Michael K. Beard (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, president); "Letters to the Editor", Wall Street Journal, p. A19, 1997-07-23

Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.

Joseph Biden (US Senator); quoted by AP, 1993-11-18

I don't know why people carry guns. Guns kill people.

Michael Bloomberg (New York City Mayor), 2003-07

Yes, I'm denying you your rights.

Tom Bradley (Los Angeles Mayor), on constitutional rights at a "Save the Brady Bill" rally; from article by Steve Comus, Western Outdoor News, 1992-09-04

For target shooting, that's okay. Get a license and go to the range. For defense of the home, that's why we have police departments.

James Brady; Parade magazine, 1994-06-26

To me, the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes.

Sarah Brady; "Jackson, Keeping the Battle Alive", Tampa Tribune, 1993-10-21

We must get rid of all the guns.

Sarah Brady; The Phil Donahue Show, 1994

The NRA is bound and determined not to allow the Brady Bill to be enacted. And they're a fearsome opponent. They see this as `threshold' legislation. Because they realize if we get the Brady Bill to President Clinton and he signs it into law, then the door will be wide open for further gun control legislation. Of course, we hope that's true because, as you know, our campaign to enact a National Gun Policy to combat gun violence doesn't end with the Brady Bill - it just begins.

Sarah Brady; HCI Newsletter, Handgun Control Inc., 1993-03

It [the Brady Bill] is not a panacea. It's not going to stop crimes of passion or drug-related crime.

Sarah Brady; Washingtonian magazine, 1991-03

It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society.

George W. Bush (Governor of Texas; later US President); Houston Chronicle, 1999-08-12

I don't think there is a Second Amendment right to own a gun. But I think it's a loser political issue.

James Carville (Clinton-Gore campaign strategist); 1992

We must be able to arrest people before they commit crimes. By registering guns and knowing who has them we can do that .... If they have guns they are pretty likely to commit a crime.

Mary Ann Carlson (Vermont state Senator)

We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns [to ban.]

Jose Cerda (Clinton Administration White House official) Los Angeles Times 1997-10-22

As you know, my position is we should ban all handguns, get rid of them, no manufacture, no sale, no importation, no transportation, no possession of a handgun.

John H. Chafee (US Senator, R-RI)

I believe all handguns should be abolished.

John H. Chafee (US Senator, R-RI), 1997-01-09

Mr. President, what is going on in this country? Does going to school mean exposure to handguns and to death? As you know, my position is we should ban all handguns, get rid of them, no manufacture, no sale, no importation, no transportation, no possession of a handgun . There are 66 million handguns in the United States of America today, with 2 million being added every year.

John H. Chafee (US Senator, R-RI); The Congressional Record, 102nd Congress, 1992-06-11

Defensive gun ownership is "anarchy, not order under law - a jungle where each relies on himself for survival," and an insult to government, for "[a] state in which a citizen needs a gun to protect himself from crime has failed to perform its first purpose.

Ramsey Clark (former US Attorney General); Crime in America, p. 107, 1970

[P]eople who like assault weapons, they should join the United States Army; we have them.

Wesley Clark (US Army General, ret.); Crossfire, CNN, 2003-06-25

We need much stricter gun control, and eventually we should bar the ownership of handguns except in a few cases.

William L. Clay (US Representative, D-MO, St. Louis); "NRA-Backed Measure May Derail Brady Bill", by Robert L. Koenig, St. Louis Post Dispatch, p. 1A, 1993-05-08

I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun. I also believe that every new handgun sale or or transfer should be listed in a national registry, such as Chuck [Senator Schumer] is proposing.

Hillary Clinton (US First Lady), 2000

If you know of any guns in your house or in the houses of your uncles, cousins, friends or neighbors, I want you to promise you will never, ever go near them. I want you to promise you will never, ever play with anybody who goes near them, and I want you to promise you will never, ever pick up a gun with any idea of using it against another person.

Hillary Clinton (US First Lady); appearance at Valley Cottage Elementary School, 2000-03-03

And we should - then every community in the country could then start doing major weapon sweeps and then destroying the weapons, not selling them.

Bill Clinton (US President)

Assault weapons in the hands of civilians exist for no reason but to inspire fear and wreak deadly havoc on our streets.

Bill Clinton (US President), 1997

We've banned these guns ['assault' weapons] because you don't need an Uzi to go deer hunting, and everyone knows it.

Bill Clinton (US President); weekly radio address, the Roosevelt Room, the White House, 1997-11-15

When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans .... And so a lot of people say theres too much personal freedom. When personal freedoms being abused, you have to move to limit it. Thats what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how were going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities.

Bill Clinton (US President)

We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans to own handguns and rifles that we are unable to think clearly about reality.

Bill Clinton (US President); press conference in Piscataway, New Jersey; USA Today, p. 2A, 1993-03-01

If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.

Bill Clinton (US President); 1993-08-12

You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.

Bill Clinton (US President); 1993-05-29

The constitution is a radical document. It is the job of government to reign in people's rights.

Bill Clinton ; MTV 1992 or 1993?

It is our aim to ban the manufacture and sale of handguns to private individuals ... the coalition's emphasis is to keep handguns out of private possession - where they do the most harm.

Recruiting flyer, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The goal of CSGV is the orderly elimination of most handguns and assault weapons from the United States. CSGV seeks to ban handguns and assault weapons from importation, manufacture, sale, transfer, ownership, posession and use by the general, American public. Reasonable exceptions would be made for the police, military, security officers, and gun clubs where the guns are secured on the club's premises. Gun dealers would also be permitted to trade in antique and collectable weapons kept and sold in inoperable condition. Hunting weapons, such as shotguns and rifles would un affected by these bans,as those weapons do not pose a large threat to the American public in comparason to handguns and assault weapons.

Recruiting flyer, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

[All firearms] ... should be outlawed. Our organization will probably take this stand in time but we are not anxious to rouse the opposition before we get the other legislation passed.

Elliot Corbett (National Council for a Responsible Firearms Policy, secretary); Washington Evening Star, 1969-09-19

If it was up to me, no one but law enforcement officers would own handguns ....

Richard Daley (Chicago Mayor); Federal gun legislation press conference in Washington, D.C., 1998-11-13

Guns have a place in the theater of war, they have no place out on the streets.

Gray Davis (California Governor), 1999-07-20

You know I don't believe in people owning guns, only the police and military. And I'm going to do everything I can to disarm this state.

Michael Dukakis (Massachusetts Governor); in conversation with Mike Yacino (Massachusetts Gun Owners' Action League) and Roy Innis (Congress of Racial Equality), 1986-06-16

I want to make it as hard as possible. Gun owners would have to be evaluated by how they scored on written and firing tests, and have to pass the tests in order to own a gun. And I would tax the guns, bullets and the license itself very heavily.

Jocelyn Elders (US Surgeon General); Mother Jones magazine, 1994-01

I think you have to do it a step at a time and I think that is what the NRA is most concerned about, is that it will happen one very small step at a time, so that by the time people have "woken up" - quote - to what's happened, it's gone farther than what they feel the consensus of American citizens would be. But it does have to go one step at a time and the beginning of the banning of semi-assault military weapons, that are military weapons, not "household" weapons, is the first step.

Barbara Fass (Mayor of Stockton, California); ABC News Special: Guns, hosted by Peter Jennings, 1991-04-11

The national guard fulfills the the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment. Citizens no longer need to protect the states or themselves.

Dianne Feinstein (US Senator, D-CA)

Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of Americans to feel safe.

Dianne Feinstein (US Senator, D-CA); quoted by the Associated Press Newswire, 1993-11-18

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 (US Senator, D-CA); 60 Minutes, 1995-02-05

Because less than twenty years ago I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer. And the bomb didn't detonate. ... I was very lucky. But, I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home" "And, I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I'd walk to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me.

Dianne Feinstein (US Senator, D-CA); Senate hearings on terrorism, 1995-04-27

There is no reason for anyone in this country, anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. I used to think handguns could be controlled by laws about registration, by laws requiring waiting periods for purchasers, by laws making sellesr check out the past of buyers. I now think the only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution.

Michael Gartner (NBC News, president); "Glut of Guns: What Can We Do About Them?", USA Today, p. 9A, 1992-01-16

In fact, only police, soldiers and, maybe, licensed target ranges should have handguns. No one else needs one.

Michael Gartner (NBC News, president); Wall Street Journal, 1991-01-10

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

Rudolph Giuliani (former NYC Mayor; 2008 US Presidential candidate); speech at a forum on urban crime, 1994-03-20; "'Freedom Is About Authority': Excerpts From Giuliani Speech on Crime", The New York Times, 1994-03-16

Any 18 year old can walk into a gun store, pawn shop or gun show and buy a handgun.

Al Gore (US Vice President)
[He said this almost 30 years after the Gun Control Act of 1968 set the minimum age to buy a handgun from an FFL at 21.]

These automatic, semiautomatic handguns and assault weapons, they really have no place in our society.

Al Gore (US Vice President); Larry King Live, 1999-09-17

And nobody is talking about taking guns away from hunters or sportsmen or banning all guns. Nobody is talking about that.

Al Gore (US Vice President); Larry King Live, 1999-09-17

I think that we should ban so-called junk guns. I think we should ban assault weapons like the weapons used here [in Fort Worth], yes. I think that the kinds of weapons that have no legitimate use for hunting or the kind of weapon that a homeowner would use, I think they should be banned, yes, those kind of weapons.

Al Gore (US Vice President), on the 1999 Fort Worth shooting; Larry King Live, 1999-09-17.
[The "assault weapons" mentioned are just semi-automatic handguns.]

We don't need more concealed weapons in our malls, in our movie theaters, and our streets. We need fewer concealed weapons in our society.

Al Gore (US Vice President), on concealed weapons licences; Houston Chronicle, 1999-05-27

Indeed, that the Second Amendment poses no barrier to strong gun laws is perhaps the most well-settled proposition in American constitutional law. Yet the incantation of this phantom right continues to pervade Congressional debate.

Erwin N. Griswold (US Solicitor General under the Nixon Administration); Washington Post, 1990-11-04

Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.

Heinrich Himmler

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 the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.

Adolf Hitler; Edict of March 18, 1938. Quoted in: H.R. Trevor-Roper; Hitler's Table Talks: 1941-1944; London: Widenfeld and Nicolson; pp. 425-426 1953.

This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the [1994] Assault Weapons Ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction we've seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.

Eric Holder (US Attorney General), 2012-02-02.
[Holder goes on to mention a then-current bill by Ms. Malloney that the administration feels is a good starting point for new gun legislation.]

I don't believe that assault rifles ought to be sold in America.

John Kerry (US Senator, D-MA)

In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea .... Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed by sister democracies such as Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the Unisted States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic - purely symbolic - move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.

Charles Krauthammer; "Disarm the Citizenry, but Not Yet", Washington Post, p. A19, 1996-04-05

No one has the right to destroy another person's belief by demanding empirical evidence.

Ann Landers (Handgun Control Inc., director)

One man with a gun can control 100 without one .... Make mass searches and hold executions for found arms.

Vladimir I. Lenin [translated from Russian]

Every good Communist should know that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, and that gun must remain firmly in the hands of the state.

Mao Tse Tung [translated from Chinese]

As much as I oppose the average person's having a gun, I recognize that some people have a legitimate need to own one. A wealthy corporate executive who fears his family might get kidnapped is one such person. A Hollywood celebrity who has to protect himself from kooks is another. If Sharon Tate had had access to a gun during the Manson killings, some innocent lives might have been saved.

Joseph D. McNamara (San Jose, California, Police Chief; Handgun Control Inc., spokesperson); Safe and Sane, pp. 71-72, 1984

I don't care about crime, I just want to get the guns.

Howard Metzenbaum, 1994

What good does it do to ban some guns? All guns should be banned.

Howard Metzenbaum

I am one who believes that as a first step the U.S. should move expeditiously to disarm the civilian population, other than the police and security officers, of all handguns, pistols and revolvers ... no one should have a right to anonymous ownership or use of a gun.

Dean Morris (Director, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration); testimony before the US Congress

We will never fully solve our nation's horrific problem of gun violence unless we ban the manufacture and sale of handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons.

Jeff Muchnick (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, legislative director); "Better Yet, Ban All Handguns", USA Today, p. 11A, 1993-12-29

We are beyond the stage of restrictive licensing and uniform laws. We are at the point in time and terror when nothing short of a strong uniform policy of domestic disarmament will alleviate the danger which is crystal clear and perilously present. Let us take the guns away from the people. Exemptions should be limited to the military, the police and those licensed for good and sufficient reasons.

Patrick V. Murphy (New York City Police Commissioner); 1970-12-07

I would like to dispute that. Truthfully. I know it's an amendment. I know it's in the Constitution. But you know what? Enough! I would like to say, I think there should be a law - and I know this is extreme - that no one can have a gun in the U.S. If you have a gun, you go to jail. Only the police should have guns.

Rosie O'Donnell; "Rosie Takes on the NRA", by Shannon Hawkins, Ottawa Sun, p. 55, 1999-04-29

I honestly think, and I am not an expert on the amendments, I think the only people in this nation who should be allowed to own guns are police officers. I don't care if you want to hunt, I don't care if you think it's your right. I say, "Sorry!" It is 1999, we have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun and if you do own a gun, I think you should go to prison.

Rosie O'Donnell; The Rosie O'Donnell Show, 1999-04-21

I'm consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.

Barrack Obama (Illinois state Senator; later US President); Chicago Tribune, 2004-04-27

I think it's a scandal that this president (Bush) did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.

Barrack Obama (Illinois state Senator; later US President); Illinois Senate Debate #3, 2004-10-21

I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturers lobby.

Barrack Obama (US Senator, D-IL; later US President); "The Audacity of Hope", 2006

Q: When you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners. Would you do that as President?
A: I don't think that we can get that done.

Barrack Obama (US Senator, D-IL; later US President); Democratic Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2008-01-15

I just want you to know that we are working on it," [Sarah] Brady recalled the president telling them. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.

Barrack Obama (US President); meeting between Jay Carney, Jim Brady, Sarah Brady, and President Obama, 2011-03-30; "Over a Barrel? Meet White House Gun Policy Adviser Steve Croley", by Jason Horowitz, Washington Post, 2011-04-11

Mr. Speaker, my bill prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, possession, or transportation of handguns and handgun ammunition. It establishes a 6-month grace period for the turning in of handguns. It provides many exceptions for gun clubs, hunting clubs, gun collectors, and other people of that kind.

Major Owens (US Representative, D-NY, Brooklyn); The Congressional Record, H9088 at H9094, 1993-11-10

We have to start with a ban on the manufacturing and import of handguns. From there we register the guns which are currently owned, and follow that with additional bans and acquisitions of handguns and rifles with no sporting purpose.

Major Owens (US Representative, D-NY, Brooklyn), 1993-11-10

Forget what our forefathers said.

Dominick Potifrone (ATF Special Agent, ret.); On the Inside: The BATF, Discovery Channel, 2000

My own view on gun control is simple. I hate guns and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.

Deborah Prothrow-Stith (Harvard School of Public Health, dean)

I believe with every ounce of feeling that I have that there are far too many guns.

Ed Rendell; Reason magazine, 1998-07-01

[Assault weapons] are used on school yards, at airports, in bank lobbies, on trains, in traffic and in front of the White House. They have no legitimate sporting purpose, and you won't find them in a duck blind or at the Olympics.

Janet Reno (US Attorney General); Washington Times, p. A4 1996-03-22

What we have got to do is make sure that before a person possesses a gun, they have exhibited by test that they know how to safely and lawfully use the weapon and by experience that they are capable of doing that.

Janet Reno (US Attorney General); Associated Press Newswire 1999-03-29

Nobody should be owning a gun which does not have a sporting purpose.

Janet Reno (US Attorney General)

Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.

Janet Reno (US Attorney General), 1993-12-10

Gun registration is not enough.

Janet Reno (US Attorney General); Good morning America, 1993-12-10

If it were up to me we'd ban them all.

Mel Reynolds (US Representative); Crossfire, CNN, 1993-12-09

When anyone uses a firearm, whether it's the kind of terrorism that we are trying to combat with al Qaeda and these non-state terrorists, or as a former district attorney involved in the conviction of an individual who used firearms against innocent citizens - regardless of how we define terrorism, that individual and that family felt that they were victims of a terrorist act. Brandishing a firearm in front of anybody under any set of circumstances is a terrorist act and needs to be dealt with.

Tom Ridge (Secretary of Homeland Security); Senate Governmental Affairs Committee testimony, 2003-01-17

To hell with the constitution ....

Mike Roos (California state Assemblyman), on the constitutionality of the Roberti-Roos "assault weapon" ban, 1989

My guess [is] ... that the great majority of Americans are saying they favor gun control when they really mean gun banishment. ... I think the country has long been ready to restrict the use of guns, except for hunting rifles and shotguns, and now I think we're prepared to get rid of the damned things entirely - the handguns, the semis and the automatics.

Roger Rosenblatt (columnist); "Get Rid of the Damned Things", Time, p. 38, 1999-08-09

The Democrats ran away from gun safety in the 2002 elections, and look where it got them .... Whoever is advising them on gun control should be shot.

Blaine Rummel (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, spokesperson)

My staff and I right now are working on a comprehensive gun-control bill. We don't have all the detauls, but for instance, regulating the sale and purchase of bullets. Ultimately, I would like to see the manufacture and possession of handguns banned except for military and police. But that's the endgame. And in the meantime, there are some specific things that we can do with legislation.

Bobby Rush (US Representative, D-IL); "Bobby Rush: Democrat, U.S. House of Representatives", by Evan Osnos, Chicago Tribune, p. C3, 1999-12-05

We're here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true! We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy. We're going to beat guns into submission!

Charles Schumer (US Representative, D-NY); quoted on NBC Nightly News, 1993-11-30

We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We're going to beat guns into submission!

Charles Schumer (US Representative, D-NY); quoted on NBC, 1993-12-08

Like flat earth fanatics, Second Amendment fanatics just don't get it. Facts are facts. The earth is not flat. And Constitutional law is Constitutional law. The Second Amendment is not absolute. It does not guarantee the mythical individual right to bear arms we will hear argued for today. The gun lobby and its friends in Congress can line up professors of history and law from here to NRA headquarters and back. They can all swear what they think the Second Amendment means, and how many angels can dance on a pinhead. But the settled law is flatly against them.

Charles Schumer (US Representative, D-NY); statement before the House Subcommittee on Crime, 1995-04-05

Gun traffickers have found a new avenue for dealing guns to criminals, to the mentally ill, and the under-aged—the Internet. The firepower available on the Internet is chilling. Machine guns, assault weapons and cheaply made pistols are available in cyberspace for the taking. And they are available to those who could never buy a gun under the Brady law.

Charles Schumer (US Senator, D-NY); quoted on NBC, 1999-03-16. Also quoted in: "Bill aims to control Web gun sales", ZDNet, CBS Interactive, 1999-03-18.
[Class III applications are easier to get approved than Brady paperwork?]

Those who push the gun lobby's absolute view of the Second Amendment, get over it! The earth is not flat and the Second Amendment is not absolute. You're wrong.

Charles Schumer (US Senator, D-NY); American Rifleman, 1999-02

[T]he NRA, which is an extremist organization ... believe people should be allowed to have bazookas and tanks ....

Charles Schumer (US Senator, D-NY); debate with Bill McCollum, PBS, 1996

[T]he only people who use them [so-called assault weapons] are mass murderers ....

Charles Schumer (US Senator, D-NY); debate with Bill McCollum, PBS, 1996

We're going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily - given the political realities - going to be very modest. Of course, it's true that politicians will then go home and say, "This is a great law. The problem is solved." And it's also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-control issue for a time. So then we'll have to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with a half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal - total control of handguns in the United States - is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition - except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors - totally illegal.

Nelson T. "Pete" Shields (Handgun Control Inc., chairman); "A Reporter at Large: Handguns", The New Yorker, pp. 53, 58, 1976-07-26

Yes, I'm for an outright ban [on handguns].

Nelson T. "Pete" Shields (Handgun Control Inc., chairman emeritus); interview, 60 Minutes

The goal is an ultimate ban on all guns, but we also have to take step at a time and go for limited access first.

Joyner Sims (Deputy Commissioner, Florida State Health Dept.); Chicago Tribune, 1993-11-07

Mr. speaker, we must take swift and strong action if we are to rescue the next generation from the rising of tide armed violence. That is why today I am introducing the Handgun Control Act of 1992. This legislation would outlaw the possession, importation, transfer or manufacture of a handgun except for use by public agencies, individuals who can demonstrate to their local police chief that they need a gun because of threat to their life or the life of a family member, licensed guard services, licensed pistol clubs which keep the weapons securely on premises, licensed manufacturers and licensed gun dealers.

Stephen J. Solarz (US Representative, D-NY); The Congressional Record, 102nd Congress (1991-1992), Daily Edition, E2492-2493., 1992-08-12

Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We wouldn't let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

Josef Stalin [translated from Russian]

If the [political] opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.

Josef Stalin [translated from Russian]

Assault weapons ... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

Josh Sugarmann; "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation", 1989-03. Originally published in: "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America"; Washington, DC: Education Fund to End Handgun Violence, and New Right Watch; p. 26, 1988-09 [identified by Concealed: It's an Individual Right! blog].

[M]any Americans do believe that handguns are effective weapons for home-defense and the majority of Americans ... believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms. Yet, many who support the individual's right to own a handgun have second thoughts when the issue comes down to assault weapons. Assault weapons are often viewed the same way as machine guns and `plastic' firearms - a weapon that poses such a grave risk that it's worth compromising a perceived constitutional right.

Josh Sugarmann; "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation", 1989-03

You can't get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the [gun control] movement.

Josh Sugarmann (Violence Policy Center, executive director), on Korean shopkeepers during the 1992 Los Angeles riots; Washington Post, 1993-05-18

A gun-control movement worthy of the name would insist that President Clinton move beyond his proposals for controls - such as expanding background checks at gun shows and stopping the import of high-capacity magazines - and immediately call on Congress to pass far-reaching industry regulation like the Firearms Safety and Consumer Protection Act introduced by Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey, and Representative Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island. Their measure would give the Treasury Department health and safety authority over the gun industry, and any rational regulator with that authority would ban handguns.

Josh Sugarmann (Violence Policy Center, executive director); "Dispense With the Half Steps and Ban Killing Machines", Houston Chronicle, p. 45, 1999-11-05

One tenet of the National Rifle Association's faith has always been that handgun controls do little to stop criminals from obtaining handguns. For once, the NRA is right and America's leading handgun control organization [Handgun Control, Inc.] is wrong. Criminals don't buy handguns in gun stores. That's why they are criminals.

Josh Sugarmann (Violence Policy Center, communications director); "The NRA Is Right", Washington Monthly, 1987-06

The semi-automatic weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons - anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun - can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

Josh Sugarmann; (Violence Policy Center, communications director), 1988

We believe that if any gun dealer, manufacturer, or gun owners wants to test the law in court, they should be given every opportunity. Arrest them. Put the burden on them to prove the law is too vague.

Louis Tolley (Handgun Control Inc.), on HCI's position concerning California's Roberti-Roos "assault weapons" ban legislation, 1991

It is also interesting to note that the top officials of Handgun Control Institute are gun owners themselves. They also intend on keeping them. It's other people's guns that bother them ....

Mark Urbin

If someone is so fearful that, that they're going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, makes me very nervous that these people have these weapons at all!

Henry A. Waxman (US Representative, D-CA)

Whatever is being proposed is way too namby-pamby. I mean, for example, we're talking about limiting people to one gun purchase or handgun purchase a month. Why not just ban the ownership of handguns when nobody needs one? Why not just ban semi-automatic rifles? Nobody needs one.'

Jack E. White (Time, national correspondnent); "Lock-and-Load Mode Against the 2nd", by L. Brent Bozell III, Washington Times, p. A12, 1999-05-08

Whatever right the Second Amendment protects is not as important as it was 200 years ago .... [The government should] deconstitutionalize the subject by repealing the embarrasing Amendment.

George Will, 1991

Mutual protection should be the aim of citizens, not individual self-protection. Until we are willing to outlaw, the very existence or manufacture of civilian handguns we have no right to call ourselves citizens or consider our behavior even minimally civil.

Garry Wills (historian, writer); "John Lennon's War", Chicago Sun-Times, 1980-12-12

Every civilized society must disarm its citizens against each other. Those who do not trust their own people become predators upon their own people. The sick thing is that haters of fellow Americans often think of themselves as patriots.

Garry Wills (historian, writer); "Or Worldwide Gun Control", Philadelphia Inquirer, 1981-05-17

Investigate the NRA with renewed vigor. It may be on the run, but its spokesman claims membership ($25 annual dues) is up 600,000 over 10 years ago. Print names of elected officials who take NRA funds. Interview them. Support all forms of gun licensing; in fact, all the causes NRA opposes.

Thomas Winship (Boston Globe, editor); "Step Up the War Against Guns", Editor & Publisher magazine, p. 24, 1993-04-24
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