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Anti-Gun Advocates


For Bogus Quotes, see BOGUS

President William J. Clinton:
"Assault weapons in the hands of civilians exist for no reason but to inspire fear and wreak deadly havoc on our streets" Weekly Radio Address to the Nation, Saturday, November 15, 1997; As quoted in The Washington Post, Nov. 16, 1997 on Page A12.
President William J. Clinton:
"It has come to my attention that certain answers my staff and I entered on your candidate questionnaire have been misinterpreted to suggest that I favor stricter gun controls than the status quo or that I differ with the NRA position on these issues. Neither is the case. I am against any legislation or regulation on gun control that goes beyond the current law, and am in support of the NRA position on gun control." October 11, 1982 letter to NRA regarding governor's race in Arkansas
President William J. Clinton:
"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 there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities." MTV's "Enough is Enough", March 22, 1994
President William J. Clinton:
"The Constitution is a radical document... it is the job of the government to rein in people's rights." on MTV - 1992
President William J. Clinton:
"You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say." May 29, 1993
President William J. Clinton:
"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans to legitimately own handguns and rifles...that we are unable to think about reality." USA Today, March 11, 1993
President William J. Clinton:
"The fights I fought... cost a lot --the fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their seats in Congress. The NRA is the reason the Republicans control the House." Cleveland Plain-Dealer, January 14, 1995
President William J. Clinton:
"It's not going to kill anybody to wait a couple of days to get a handgun while we do a background check on somebody that wants to buy a gun." Army Times, September 22, 1997
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen:
"U.S. citizens may soon have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive forms of protection." Remarks at the Adult Learning Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 1, 1993
Jose Cerda, White House Official:
"We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns." Los Angeles Times, October 22, speaking about the ban on importing modified "assault weapons" to meet new requirements.
VP Al Gore:
"... to prevent you from getting weapons you need to defend yourself is a very difficult case to make morally." Meet the Press, May 2, 1993, answering a question on the Bosnia arms embargo
Sarah Brady:
""...I don't believe gun owners have rights." Hearst Newspapers Special Report, "Handguns in America" October 1997
Sarah Brady:
"A victory for Initiative 676 will take us a giant leap down the road toward eventual passage of a national gun licensing law -- just as California's passage of an assault weapons ban in 1989 led to the national assault weapons ban we have today." Handgun Control Inc. letter, Oct 7, 1997
Sarah Brady:
The Brady Bill is "the cornerstone of a serious gun-control policy in America....more thorough background checks, including fingerprinting of purchasers, required safety training for gun buyers and a system of `needs-based licensing', with different requirements for hunters, target shooters and security guards." Coming after "Brady", she told the paper, are "a national ban on semi-automatic assault-style weapons, which hold large numbers of cartridges; limits on multiple purchases...;background checks for private gun sales and far tighter control over who gets federal licenses to sell guns...Once we get (the Brady Bill), I think it will become easier and easier to get the laws we need passed." New York Times, Aug. 15, 1993
Sarah Brady:
"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." HCI newsletter, Spring 1993
Sarah Brady:
"It [the Brady Bill] is not a panacea. It's not going to stop crimes of passion or drug-related crime." Washingtonian Magazine, March 1991
Sarah Brady:
"We needed the Brady Bill for a framework. Now we've got to get to work." Press Conference, Nov. 24, 1993
Sarah Brady:
"To me, the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes." Tampa Tribune, Oct 21, 1993
Sarah Brady:
"We are not for disarming people. When you have an epidemic it's a public health issue, a safety issue." in the Austin American-Statesman, Oct 14, 1994
Sen. John Chafee:
"I believe all handguns should be abolished" The Associated Press, January 9, 1997
Rep. Charles Schumer:
"We're going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We're going to beat guns into submission!" Press Conference, December 8, 1993
Rep. Charles Schumer:
"The Brady law is not a cure for the bloody scourge of gun violence. It's a good beginning, it's a good first step, but it's not enough. And we are going to move forward. The Brady Bill was the first step. We are not taking in one proposal many, many more steps." at the Press Conference introducing Brady II, February 28, 1994
Rep. Charles Schumer:
"We don't compel in the Brady bill. We allow." CNN Crossfire, March 3, 1993
Rep. Charles Schumer:
"Once Brady is signed into law, we will have to go back and get this sunset [phaseout of the delay] undone." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 11, 1993
Rep. Charles Schumer:
"You know, we're having trouble in the House. It's neck and neck on an assault weapons ban, which is a ban of the most obnoxious kinds of weapons that nobody uses." at the Press conference introducing Brady II, February 28, 1994
Rep. Mel Reynolds:
"If it were up to me, We'd ban them all." CNN Crossfire, December 9, 1993
Sen. Howard Metzenbaum:
"Until the day arrives that we can ban all of them (semi-automatics), then we might as well ban none. It makes no sense to approach the problem in a piecemeal fashion, expecting Congress to get together over and over again to add new weapons to the list. In order to provide a comprehensive solution, we need to make sure that any list remains current...Isn't it a fact that, as long as there's one weapon out there, that the impact...of our effort would be pretty much of a nullity?" August 3, 1993
Sen. Howard Metzenbaum:
Replying to the statement "Senator, we will take you up on the offer if we are looking at how to control criminals and not law-abiding people." by NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker, stated "No, we are not looking at how to control criminals."
Sen. D. P. Moynihan:
"The risk of controlling small caliber ammunition is that criminals will shift to higher caliber weapons like the 9mm which are inherently more dangerous to law enforcement officers."
Sen. D. P. Moynihan:
"Guns don't kill people; bullets do. It is time the federal government began taxing handgun ammunition used in crime out of existence." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 4, 1993
Senator Dianne Feinstein:
"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out-right 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." CBS-TV's "60 Minutes", February 5, 1995
Senator Dianne Feinstein:
"Semi-automatic assault weapons are turning America's streets into war zones. True, they are not responsible for a large number of homicides, but what they do is offer the possibility..." Congressional Record, November 9, 1993
Dan Black, Deputy Director, BATF:
"No, that's not the case at all. There are certainly thousands of legitimate gun dealers and our intent is not to get rid of them. The intent is that gun dealers licensed by the federal government should be actively engaged in business. That was the intent of the [1968] Gun Control Act. But many of these dealers are buying and selling no weapons on an annual basis." Responding to a question of whether he wanted to get rid of dealers because he believed that criminals are getting guns from them. [American Rifleman, March 1994]
Ron Noble, Assistant Secretary Of Treasury:
"So we see the impact Brady is having. We're making it more costly, more expensive for people to purchase firearms." Press Briefing, March 29, 1994
Frederick Devesa:
"We're ready to concede that there is not really a high percentage of crimes committed with assault firearms." Member of New Jersey state attorney general's office to the New York Times, 1993
S. C. Helsley, Acting Assistant Director of the California Department of Justice Investigation and Enforcement Branch:
"Weapons that must be manually reloaded do not seem to fit anyone's description of an assault rifle, even though many have large-magazine capacities ... workable definition cannot be based on whether a detachable magazine is used ... If we were to base the definition on magazine capacity alone at least one rifle used in the American Civil War would be affected ... Last year, I surveyed the firearms used in violent crimes . . . assault type firearms were the least of our worries . . . Information on assault weapons would not be sought from forensic laboratories as it was unlikely to support the theses on which the legislation would be based." Memo of Oct. 31, 1988
Tony Capizzi, City Commissioner, Dayton, Ohio:
"We're going to modify the law to make weapons, such as my own, legitimate again. We're finding out the language we passed was unfair." Speaking on Dayton's Semi-Auto ban
Mayor Richard Riordan, Mayor of Los Angeles:
"We should try to keep handguns in the hands of police." NBC's Meet The Press, November 28, 1993
Ross Perot:
"Pick a night and cordon off a section of South Dallas. Send hundreds of police officers--however many it would take-into the area to 'vacuum it up.' Shake down everybody on the street. Search every house and apartment. Confiscate all drugs and weapons." The Washington Post, June 6, 1992
Dan Cohen:
"...no legitimate recreational use for automatic or semiautomatic weapons." Pittsburgh Council member, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 18, 1993
Sam Donaldson:
"My personal opinion is that guns kill people." ABC News Primetime Live, February 22, 1990
Michael Gartner:
"There is no reason for anyone in the country, for anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use, a handgun. The only way to control handguns use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution." Former President of NBC News, USA Today, January 16, 1992
Al Hunt, Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor :
"Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Fayetteville, Tennessee; Springfield, Oregon -- all towns that live in infamy because a troubled teenager with access to a deadly gun went on a killing spree. There are no panaceas to stop such violence but there are too many guns and too many teenagers have too easy access to them. It is an outrage to deny that as too many politicians in the back pocket of the National Rifle Association are too wont to do." CNN Capital Gang, May 23, 1998
Dr. Arthur Kellermann:
"If you've got to resist, your chances of being hurt are less the more lethal your weapon. If that were my wife, would I want her to have a .38 Special in her hand? Yeah." Health Magazine, March/April, 1994
Dr. Arthur Kellermann, et al:
"It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide." New England Journal of Medicine, October 7, 1993
Christoffel KK, Founder and Medical Director, Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan:
HELP "work[s] toward changing society's attitude towards guns so that it becomes socially unacceptable for private citizens to have handguns." Letter to Edgar A. Suter, Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research Inc., September 28, 1993
Mike Robbins:
"If a citizen is law-abiding, then he'd have no reason for carrying a firearm with him anyway." Spokesman, Illinois Council to Prevent Handgun Violence, CNN Interview, August 26, 1996
Josh Sugarmann:
"`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 a machine gun - can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons." Assault Weapons and Accessories in America, The Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence and New Right Watch
Josh Sugarmann:
"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 [Sarah Brady's Handgun Control, Inc.] is wrong. Criminals don't buy handguns in gun stores. That's why they are criminals." "The NRA Is Right," The Washington Monthly, June 1987
Josh Sugarmann:
"They love to be seen kicking down crack house doors in their brightly colored ATF jackets. They don't want to be seen as pencil-pushing bureaucrats." New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 6, 1993
Josh Sugarmann:
"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." The Washington Post, May 18, 1993
Nelson "Pete" Shields:
"I'm convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. 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 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 first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of _all_ handguns and _all_ handgun ammunition --except for the military, policement, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors --totally illegal." Chairman Emeritus of Handgun Control, Inc., in "A Reporter At Large: Handguns", The New Yorker, July 26, 1976, pp.57-58
ACLU:
"The Union agrees with the Supreme Court's longstanding interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected." ACLU policy statement #47 (1986)
Helio Luz:
"Guns are great tax collectors. The existence of a gun factory is an absurd. That's the interruption of Mankind's evolution. It interrupts the evolution of Mankind. It's an absurd Man making firearms" Former Chief of Police of  Rio de Janeiro - TV MANCHETE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, interview on March 17, 1997.
Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi:
"The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of these elements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues, and tends to permit uprising. Therefore, the heads of provinces, official agents, and deputies are ordered to collect all weapons mentioned above and turn them over to the government." Royal Decree, August 29, 1558
German Firearms Act of 1937:
"No civilian is to have a firearm without a permit and permits will not be issued to [persons] suspected of acting against the state. For Jews this permission will not be granted. Those people who do not require permission to purchase or carry weapons [include] the whole SS and SA, including the Death's Head group and officers of the Hitler Youth." [Kates, Restricting Handguns pg. 185, 1979]
Adolph Hitler:
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so." April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitler's Tischegesprache Im Fuhrerhauptquartier 1941-1942, [Hitler's Table-Talk at the Fuhrer's Headquarters 1941-1942], Dr. Henry Picker, ed. (Athenaum-Verlag, Bonn, 1951); The original source is notes taken by Hitler associate Martin Bormann, a document called Bormann-Vermerke.
Heinrich Himmler:
"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."


Anti-Gun Advocates / Revised December 2001