TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia are always sending us links to great gunny resources. AIer John Fritz sent this link to a treasure trove of gun-related quotes compiled by the Buckeye Firearms Association. JF’s fave from scifi author A.E. Van Vogt: “The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.” RF hearts this pearl from Gandhi: “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” I’m partial to: “Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars” by that famous sage, Unknown. So what’s your favorite pro-2A quote? Oh, and don’t feel you have to restrict yourself to the linked list. Founding Fathers always welcome.

88 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Gun Quote?

  1. One from Col. Jeff Cooper, out of “Guns & Ammo,” I think, upon being lectured that violence begets violence:

    “I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.”

  2. “One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.” -Jeff Cooper

  3. “Reload when you want to, not when you have to”

    “Concealment makes it harder for eyes to see ya, cover makes
    it harder for bullets to find ya”

    “Stopping an assailant occurs at the intersection of physics, physiology
    and luck”

  4. “I shoot the bastard; that’s my policy” – Dirty Harry

    Okay, it’s not as poignant as some of the quotes relating to gun rights but it’s succinct and to the point.

  5. Some Roman dude:

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

    and Alexander Hamilton:

    The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.

    with a warning, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Tunnel In The Sky”:

    “I know how good a gun feels. It makes you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, 3 meters tall and covered with hair. You’re ready for anything and kind of hoping you’ll find it. Which is exactly what is dangerous about it—because you aren’t anything of the sort. You are a feeble, hairless embryo, remarkably easy to kill. You could carry an assault gun with 2,000 meters precision range and isotope charges that will blow up a hill, but you would not have eyes in the back of your head like a janus bird, nor be able to see in the dark like the Thetis pygmies. Death can cuddle up behind you while you’re drawing a bead on something in front.”

  6. So, you’re obviously the big dick. And there on either side of you are your balls. There are two types of balls. There are big, brave balls, and there are little, mincy faggot balls. You’re dicks have driving clarity of vision. But they’re not clever; they smell pussy, and they want a piece of the action. And you thought you smelled some good ol’ pussy, and have brought your two little, mincey, faggot balls along for a good ol’ time. But you’ve got your parties muddled up. There’s no pussy here- just a dose that will make you wish you were born a women. Like a prick, you’re having second thoughts. You’re shrinking, and your two little balls are shrinking with ya. And the fact that you’ve got “Replica” written on the side of your guns. And the fact that I’ve got “Desert Eagle .50” written on the side of mine, should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now fuck off!
    Bullet-Tooth Tony, Snatch

  7. “Alright, you primitive screw-heads, listen up! See this? This… is my boomstick! – [continuing nonchalantly] – It’s a twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt-blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right… shop smart. Shop S-Mart… You got that?!!”
    Ash from Army of Darkness

  8. Cornelius “Well Taylor, we are all fugitives now.”
    Taylor “Do you have any weapons? Any guns?”
    Cornelius “The best, but we won’t need them.”
    Taylor “I’m glad to hear it. I want one anyway.”
    Planet of the Apes, 1968

  9. “This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy; and it makes a distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it. “

  10. I’ve always been partial to a few of the following

    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject -unknown

    The unarmed man is not just defenseless, he is also contemptible -Machiavelli

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity -Sigmund Freud

    “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

  11. How about favorite misquotes? The “rifle behind every blade of grass” statement, while sounding like the pseudo-poetic utterings of WWII era Japan’s Samurai class was apparently never actually spoken by Admiral Yamamoto.

  12. No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.

    None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important.

    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

  13. I don’t want no teenage queen! -I just want my M-14!-If I die in the combat zone…-Box me up and ship me home!-Pin my medals up on my chest! -Tell my mom I’ve Done my best!

    This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.

    Private Joker: Are those… live rounds?
    Private Pyle: Seven-six-two millimeter. Full metal jacket.

  14. Dunno if this is true/accurate but I have always liked any version of:

    A citizen noted the hammer back on the 1911 carried by Charlie Miller, Texas Ranger. The Citizen asked, “Isn’t That Dangerous?” Charley replied, ” I wouldn’t carry the son of a bitch if it wasn’t dangerous.”

  15. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    This is the one that cured me of my anti-gun mindset (indoctrinated in the CA public schools :P)

  16. More related to gun control than guns, but one of my faves:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
    —C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

  17. i don’t know who is the “author”, but this is an old phrase:
    “Twelve will judge me, but six will not carry my body!”

  18. “This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun.”

    Except the singer’s M16 was for fun, and something else was for fighting. Can’t recall the film.

  19. Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

  20. “If you think you can’t be trusted with a weapon, get help. If you think everyone else can’t be trusted with a weapon, get humble. If you think I can’t be trusted with a weapon, get bent.” -can’t remember source

    “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” -J. R. R. Tolkien

    “Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they was pushed out of windows?” -Archie Bunker

    “There is nothing quite like a gun for convincing a young man with a crowbar that differences may be resolved without escalating the violence.” -again, can’t remember source

  21. I get farther with a kind word and gun than a kind word alone.

    Attributed to Alphonse Gabrial Capone

  22. “Gun control isn’t about the gun at all…. for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly… their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.” – Unknown

    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” – John Locke

    “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” – Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (2 Cranch) 137 (1803).

    “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.” – John Barnhill

    “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” – Claire Wolfe

    “If you voted for obama, you are NOT my countryman. You are NOT on my side. You are a TRAITOR, and when the time comes you will be treated as such.” – Forum Signature

    A couple of my favorites. I love adding new ones to the notepad on my phone. A lot have a common theme.

  23. “AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every m*****f***** in the room, accept no substitutes.” -Sam Jackson

  24. “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — President Thomas Jefferson

  25. “Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size.
    When danger threatens, call on me, and I will equalize.”
    – Inscription on 19th century lady’s revolver

    “If there’s one thing this last week has taught me, it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.”
    – True Romance

    “People who object to weapons aren’t abolishing violence, they’re begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically ‘right.’ Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.”
    – L. Neil Smith, The Probability Broach

  26. any saying from the man Clint eastwood …he always has a good one in almost any of his movies …. even grand torino when he just stood there with his hand formed into a gun blowing away the punks…

  27. How about some Serenity(The movie)
    Jayne: “I’ll kill a man in a fair fight. Or if I think he’s gonna start a fair fight. Or if he bothers me. Or if there’s a woman. Or if I’m gettin’ paid. Mostly when I’m gettin’ paid.”

    And from Firefly(Heart of Gold):
    Inara: “It sounds like the sort of thing this crew can handle. I can’t guarantee they’ll handle it particularly well, but-”
    Nandi: “If they got guns, and brains at all…”
    Inara: “They have guns.”

    and from Serenity:
    Mal: “If anyone gets nosy, just…you know… shoot ’em. ”
    Zoe: “Shoot ’em?”
    Mal: “Politely.”

    And one more from Serenity(The movie):
    Simon: I’m trying to put this as delicately as I can… How do I know you won’t kill me in my sleep?
    Mal: You don’t know me son, so let me explain this to you once. If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me, and you’ll be armed.

    Maybe my favorite is by John Wayne as “Big Jake”:
    “Now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all… your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault… it don’t matter…I’m gonna blow your head off. It’s as simple as that.”

  28. “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.” – Abraham Lincoln

    “When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect.” – Thomas Paine, Dissertation on 1st Principles of Gov., 1795

    “Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.” – John Adams

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect them selves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” – Thomas Jefferson

  29. First: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears: Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.” – Joel 3:10

    Second: “One is none, two is one.” – Clint Smith

    Third: “Fatty Rossiter: It was already loaded. Jesus, Clyde, you have three pistols and you only have one arm for Christ’s sake.
    Clyde: Well I just don’t want to be killed for lack of shootin’ back.” – Unforgiven, 1992

    Fourth: “First rule of a gunfight? Bring a gun!” – Unknown

    Fifth: (Regarding gunfighting) “Take your time but do it in a hurry.” – Wyatt Earp

  30. “Oh dude don’t worry, It’s not loaded.”

    From someone explaining why they dry fired their gun at my chest for “practice.”

  31. I’m surprised no one put up this one yet:

    Harry Callahan: I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  32. I like two. The first because it really is true, and the second because it very eloquently covers those that would “protect us from ourselves.”

    “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” – Claire Wolfe

    “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
    – Daniel Webster

  33. Really supprised I haven’t seen this gem from Charlton Heston.
    “From my cold dead hands!”

  34. Here’s an often forgotten quote:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

  35. When approached by a newsie after a shooting, he asked why I carried a .45. I answered “because they don’t make a .46”.

    I did not create this, I read it somewhere and stored it away. I just stated what I remembered reading.

    • I’ve always heard that Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson came up with this, after a reporter (who was unaware of the arsenal in his car trunk) asked why he carried the .45.

  36. “Any one worth shooting, is worth shooting twice.” no idea who or where I heard this.

    “In a gunfight, there is no second place winner.” I believe Bill Jordan said this.

  37. “God created men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” – Anonymous

    “It is better to die on my feet than to continue living on my knees.” – Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary.

  38. Of course I’m compensating for something, if I could kill something at 300 meters with my d*ck I wouldn’t need a gun!

  39. “A gentleman rarely needs a pistol, but when he does he needs it very very badly.”
    –Winston Churchill

  40. “Yes, it’s a gun. It can’t hurt you. Unless, of course, you pick it up, load it, rack it, point it at something, and pull the trigger. ”

    “Fury will come come down upon they who take that which keeps us free. Wether that fury be of those whom wish to be free, or fury wrought by their own ill actions false protection.”

  41. “All right, stick ’em up! Get ’em up!”

    Ralph Kramden, The Honeymooners, threatening the bad guys with a water pistol.

  42. Not really a Gun quote but it speaks to freedom…

    For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a bitter taste the protected shall never savor.

    Author Unknown

  43. “There is nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at without result” Sir Winston Churchill

    “We shot them under rule Three Zero Three” LT Harold “Breaker” Morant, Bushfeld Carbineers (at his court martial during the Boer War)

  44. “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” – George Washington

  45. When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. … A gun gives you more seconds.

    When things get bad, you can’t get scared. You gotta get mad … and mean. — poorly quoted from Josie Wales. (It’s sort of a summary of the proper mindset.)

  46. Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

    — James Madison, The Federalist Papers

  47. “To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

    — George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

  48. That the said Constitution shall never be 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, in “Phila. Independent Gazetteer”, August 20, 1789

  49. If the Government does not trust you with a gun, then you should not trust the Government with guns. – Little Old Me – It might have been out of Pistolero Magazine – heck, I really do not remember.

  50. I don’t know who first said it, but I’ve always liked, “An armed citizenry insures the existence of a republic.”

  51. “When you draw your weapon be ready to shoot and when you shoot, shoot to kill.”

    My dad, a career military NCO, said this but he likely was repeating a common theme. 

  52. A little late to the party, but you guys missed some of my favorites –

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” Senator Richard Henry Lee

    “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason Co-author of the Second Amendment

    “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” – Vladimir Lenin

    “Every Communist must grasp the truth that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Mao Tse-Tung

    “We don’t let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?” Joseph Stalin

    “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

    “How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual; as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.” – Texas State Representative Dr. Suzanna Hupp

    “If guns cause crime then all of mine are defective.” -Ted Nugent

    “Washington didn’t use his right to free speech to defeat the British, he shot them.” – Unknown

    “Try never to run out of smokes, ammo and luck all at the same time. But remember, if you have ammo, you can always get more smokes, and make your own luck.” – G.K. Shirpa

    Someone already quoted Heinlin, but not completely:
    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” – Robert Heinlin

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin

    “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.” Col. Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

    For Bruce Kraft:
    “The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.” L. Neil Smith

    From the recent case in Maryland:
    “A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.” Benson Everett Legg U.S. District Court Judge

  53. Great stuff here. I have a Word document that I use to archive quotes like these. Found a bunch I didn’t have to add to my collection.

    One of my favorites:

    • “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

    • Another favorite:

      • ‎”Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” – H. L. Mencken

  54. “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for it swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I only love that which they defend.” – Tolkien

  55. “You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.” Capone (allegedly)
    They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue. (paraphrased)

  56. “Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again; poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves.”
    – D. H. Lawrence

    You may not believe in God, that is your right.
    You may not want to own a gun…that is your choice..
    But the first two things you are going to do when someone breaks into your house at 3 in the morning is:
    1) Call someone with a gun, and;
    2) Pray that they get there in time…

  57. One for Bruce Krafft:
    Choose your allies carefully: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be held morally, legally, or historically accountable for the actions of your enemies. – L. Neil Smith

    A golf course is the willful and deliberate misuse of a perfectly good rifle range.
    – Bill O’Connor

    Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. – John F. Kennedy

    Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? … If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands? – Patrick Henry

    and last but not least…

    Cogito, ergo armature sum – I think, therefore I am armed.

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