"There is no reason for anyone in this country --
anyone except a police officer or military person --
to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun.
The only way to control handgun use in
this country is to prohibit the guns."
by:
Bill Clinton
[William Jefferson Blythe III] (1946- ), 42nd US President
Source:
No source found for quote. Supposedly spoken while signing the Brady Bill, 1993
Most likely a quote by Michael Gartner (then president of NBC News), Glut of Guns: What Can We Do About Them?, USA Today, Jan. 16, 1992, at 9A
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Reader comments about this quote:
absolute moron
 -- rockycc1, aberdeen     
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    In Illinois it is illegal to take a handgun into the woods when you are deer hunting. I don't know about other states. Hand guns have limited usefulness. I have six of them and have never used them except for a little bit of target practice. Most folks probably can not hit the broad side of you know what with a handgun. I made a mistake, once when my garage door opened mysteriously I investigated with a handgun hidden behind my back. I figured if some one saw it pointing at them they just might fire first. I think Clinton is partly right that there is not much of a reason to own a handgun but that is not to say that there is not a right and as we know many people choose to do unreasonable things. I give it a 3 for reasoning and withhold 2 stars because he should have said "not much reason".
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    PS: Clinton gets 5 stars for courage (even if you think he was wrong) for taking on the gun lobby on this issue. I think Bush the First complained about too many handguns in the ghetto but had no b@#$% to do anything about it.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Either we have inalienable rights or we don't. The argument is never whether or not we'd actually USE the firearm, it's a matter of natural born rights. If I commit a crime in infringing upon another individual's life, liberty, or property, then I have proven myself unfit for self-government and must be penalized. If someone was found guilty for armed robbery, or for some violent act, then that person may be justifiably restrained from ever possessing a weapon (gun, knife, etc.), should the court justly assess that the person has forever shown himself to be incapable of self-government. But to disarm a populace is against inalienable right -- I have a right to defend myself from ANY threat to my family's life, liberty, or property in any manner that will work. This "right" does not magically appear because the majority says it does, it's my right because I exist! Where does my neighbor have the right to disarm me? What of my two neighbors? Ten, one-hundred, a thousand, or one-million neighbors?! How many "neighbors" does it take to alienate the inalienable? This was the very problem brought up by certain founding fathers who contested a Bill of Rights to the Constitution: that to enumerate inalienable rights would soon lead to regulation and enforced alienation of natural rights. While I agree with those who purported a Bill of Rights (because we would have lost many more freedoms than we have already lost by now), I can still see the wisdom in the men who fought against the establishment of a bill of rights. There is never a reason to disarm a law-abiding populace! If there IS a portion of the populace that is not law abiding, is it so smart to disarm the honest portion and make them susceptible to the criminals? Problem is that the ignorant populace of America has been led to believe in a system where the practice of inalienable rights can be, well, in fact, alienated. Under our current taught understanding of American jurisprudence, American's are taught to believe that with a mere 2:1 vote, an individual's rights are alienable, because, under such a system, people believe their rights come from the majority (in violation of the Declaration of Independence). If the majority can magically grant rights one day, then it can magically take them away another. By the way, Waffler, since you support such a system -- are you EVER going to give me your Democratic arbitrary number wherein rape, incest, and murder can be voted okay? What of disarming an honest and law abiding populace? What is your moral ration? 2:1? 100:1? 1,000,000:1? The fact is, you ignorant moron, you CAN'T give me a ratio because your entire system of belief would come crashing down around you! If Congress passed a bill saying it was OK to rape your wife, according to YOUR understanding -- it is totally legal, moral, and the way it should be, and that ANY action against trying to secede from such a group is traitorous! You ignoramus! This is why Democracies are so dangerous! Because there is absolutely no protection or redress in your individual and inalienable rights when the majority comes after you! As per the quote, if taking guns off the street will really make society safer -- when, may I ask, are we to expect the police to disarm? If the cops want me to disarm my law-abiding self because by doing so the society will be safer, then I want to know how soon the cops are going to stand behind such asinine logic and disarm as well. (Most of the policemen I know of stand firmly with the 2nd Amendment, because an armed populace makes their jobs easier.) Until the cops stand up to disarm, I will always have at least a 9mm under my mattress. Why? Because I can -- because it's my right to -- because, even if I never use it, I'm an American wherein I have protected inalienable rights that were given to me by my Creator -- NOT THE MAJORITY!!! Last time I checked, the majority did not create me.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    The Liberal left either doesn't know, or doesn't want you to know that the cities with the highest incidence of gun crime also have gun bans.The cities where citizens are known to own hand guns have a lower crime rate...coincidence?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Right on Clinton is a moron as is anybody who thinks like he does. Along with the other 2 equally absurd quotes of this day.
     -- Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA     
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    There are many reasons why every free individual in this country, including all military and most police should buy, own, and have a handgun. After the police and criminals disarm, there is still no good reason for the individual sovereign to get rid of his hand guns. No nation on earth has eliminated handgun use by prohibition.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    That's scary as hell. America better wake up to these people. A police officer is not obligated to protect you. He arrest the offender after the crime. I have four handguns. Come and get-em.
     -- James H, Independence,MIssouri     
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    Seems to be a precedent being set by Waffler, those from Arkansas aren't quite all there.
     -- Wayne, Bellefonte     
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    The former President should have at least looked at the Constitution while he was in office. When you have seconds to spare, the police are only minutes away.
     -- Billy, Knoxville, TN     
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    ...because, as you know, government is good and responsible, and you're not. Everyone should watch "Innocents Betrayed" produced by the JPFO.
     -- Bryan Morton, Stuart, FL     
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    No need to add more. Logan. Nuff said.
     -- Dan     
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    Idiot I Makes me want to unsubscribe
     -- Chris, Pewaukee     
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    Thanks to God that President Clinton had the intellect and courage to plainly state the logical truth. As a hunter myself and supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as recently reconstituted, I firmly believe that handguns are another matter. We cannot ignore the handgun violence. We can all have our rifles, but hidden handguns have been a bloody embarrassment for our culture. Hello...look at the data! Thank you, President Clinton, for portraying Americans as a people who may have some brains after all, and who may care for our fellow man more than our rigid, misinformed egos! I believe that I am speaknig for thousands of gun owners with open minds who refused to be brain-washed to the NRA and lunkheaded rednecks.
     -- Steven, Point Pleasant Beach     
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    Steven, it sounds as though you and Waffler have been drinking the same kool aid.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Strict original intent interpreters should be allowed to have all of the hunting muskets they want... individuals did not own canons then, and today's' hand guns did not exist either. Those with a brain to understand that that which does not grow and change is dead will understand the wisdom of this quote. Those who think that their hand gun will protect them from a government gone awry just need to look at the government of King George W to see that the real risks and solutions come from other sources than pure violence.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Obviously, there are those that only feel safe with a gun - so sad WELL DONE WAFFLER AND STEVEN, don’t be dissuaded by these gun touting bloggers – words have always been the best weapon against violence. As I have always stated; the reason why only good get shot is because the good don’t shoot the bad. I give it to BC in the face of the NRA and our obsession with guns he had the balls to say that.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Archer, you are conspicuous by your absence - have a great day
     -- RobertSRQ     
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     -- Terrie W., Vidor      
    When every second counts, the police are just minutes away.
     -- Chris, Durham, NC     
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    You thumbs down guys (I did not read all of your post Logan, I am sorry but its' length scared me) I believe, mostly said "The reason to own a handgun is because it is legal." You prove Clintons point that there is no (or not much) reason to own a handgun except that it is legal. It would have been refreshing if you had some reasons. Mike you said that their are many reasons without giving even one, please don't insult our intelligence. Thanks anonymous, fu. I will look for the original quote. Do any of you guys know about the law in Concealed Carry States? My question is, if a law is passed saying that concealed carry is legal does that mean that open carry is and has always been legal in those states? Is it therefore lawful to carry your handgun in a visible holster?It would seem to be the logical consequence. Isn't it interesting how that in the wild wild west they disarmed the folks when they came into town by making them leave their guns at the Sheriffs Office or by checking them before entering the saloon. We might be able to learn something from the reasonable and responsible folks of our great west. When I back pack I always carry a pistol.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  •  
    Editor: I just read the entirety of Clinton's words "Remarks on sigining the Brady Bill", at findarticles.com. I found no such quote either by reading it or by doing a "find on this page". I searched for the string "there is no reason" and for the string "anyone in this country". They both resulted in no hits. Is this quote simply a "hot mike" quote? Are we going to be philosophizing on asides and not for syndication type quotes. Just throwing bones to the rabid among us.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, a long time ago in a land far, far away, (in a more constitutional republic) shortly after law school I assisted many defense cases against using guns. My personal experience was that more people were saved from harm by having a hand gun nearby than all the people that were killed by all guns that particular year. Of course not being politically correct, none of those cases made it to the public's attention or a published statistic. There was one State in particular that I dealt with that had a psych ward designated for police brutality patients and a special trauma team for people shot by police. I'ts been many years since I practiced in that world, but in my small circle of influence or personal knowledge, hand gun use saved far more lives than they took.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Ok, my grammar doesn't win me any prizes, hey, I'm a public school gradeeate. ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    This claim is 100% BOGUS. These words were written by Michael Gartner, former NBC News President, in USA Today, January 16, 1992 -- not by President Clinton. Why would President Clinton be talking about BANNING guns while signing a background check and waiting period law for a woman who adamantly insists she is not about BANNING guns but only about their "common sense regulation?"
     -- Henry Bowman, Phoenix     
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    The Second Amendment is not for deer hunting or target practice. THE SECOND AMENDMENT GUARANTEES AN ARMED CITIZENRY SO THEY CAN OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT IF IT EVER BECOMES NECESSARY!!! Look at any dictatorship or genocide in history and you will find the people were unarmed. The reason Clinton bombed Serbia for almost three months was simple: when Yugoslavia broke up, the Serbs kept the military, while the UN -- in its usual wisdom -- prevented the rest from re-arming... to "prevent" violence. If you think "it can't happen here," you are pretty much making it certain that it will.
     -- Bob Drake, Chicago     
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     -- Bob Drake, Chicago      
    BRAVO CHRIS!!! When every second counts, the police are just minutes away. -- Chris, Durham, NC
     -- Bob Drake, Chicago     
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    Harry Browne, the late Libertarian presidential candidate, had a great way to settle this debate: Within minutes of inauguration, he would issue an executive order disarming the Capitol Police until Congress passed a bill granting all citizens the same right to carry as the Capitol Police. Not only would it settle this debate, we would see Congress act more quickly than at any time in our history.
     -- Bob Drake, Chicago     
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    Slick willy was an ASS HOLE when he was in Arkansas' govenor and he still IS!
     -- ray, graysville     
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    It is error to argue with gun grabbers that the 2nd amendmentt grants any rights when we are born with the right of self defense. It is easy for non thinkers to agree that the 2nd amendment means something else. How many can argue that we have no God given rights?
     -- Anonymous     
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    Henry, thanks for the correction...
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Again, the Rosa O'Donnell Sydrome. You don't need guns to protect yourself and I don't because I have body guards! I'd like to see these elites live in downtown Baltimore for a week without their protection! They wouldn't make it!
     -- Rick Thomas, Baltimore     
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    OK, here are a few reasons: 1) a police officer or military person is not going to be there to protect you when needed -- self-defense is a right whether it is a knife, cross-bow, Derringer, or bazooka. 2) when only police and (former) military persons (i.e. mercenaries like those of Blackwater) have the guns and are authorized to disarm people in their own homes, we are merely following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Home owners in New Orleans were handcuffed while 'military persons' went through their homes and took their guns, then let them go to defend their property with nothing. 3) The threat of a gun is just as powerful as shooting it -- that's why every security officer has one! Clinton's goal was complete disarmament of the populace one step at a time. As far as the wild west goes, Waffler, you watch too much TV. People avoid those that are known to carry guns and know how to use them. And I am not crazy enough to think that shooting a cop in self-defense is going to win any court cases. I do not need a gun, but I do need the right to defend myself whether it be with boiling water, lye, curare, whatever -- there will always be alternatives to explosives. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    This quote sucks, I hate the Clinton's, now that's enough said.
     -- Patriot, pa     
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    Spoken like the one world government statist that he is--"a government official will protect you." Actually, I'd rather take care of myself, thank you. If I were dependent upon CLINTON to help me, I'd have to wait for him to pull his pants back up, first.
     -- Anonymous, Los Angeles     
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    Thanks Henry I am glad someone is on the ball. If you research the comments at the time he signed this you will find that the testcularly challenged former Presidents Reagan and Bush The First, who could have done something to move this legislation along did nothing. When the guy with the cahones ran for election he said that he would sign the bill and then on 11/30/93 he did. The aforementioned testicularly challenged said, "Yeah that is good law, it is just common sense." Editor, have you anything more the source of this comment? Mike if you are reading you will have found that this has nothing to do with taking away peoples guns.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Editor I apologize the fact that you say this quote is QUESTIONABLE did not previously register with me. I guess it is not per Henry questionable it is false. Seems it should be removed from your library.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    You guys will never move to far from the cave - legislation could do more for self defense than any gun control. And if we can defend ourselves with a knife or boiling water then why don't we - the reason is simple guns give us anonymity. Great men and women have always chosen the path of non-violence - in the words of Mahatma Gandhi "Non-violent resistance implies the very opposite of weakness. Defiance combined with non-retaliatory acceptance of repression from one's opponents is active, not passive. It requires strength, and there is nothing automatic or intuitive about the resoluteness required for using non-violent methods in political struggle and the quest for Truth." 1936. Non-violence starts with the people not the police or governments. Until we the people can confront this need to carry guns wars will continue for it is in the heart that wars are fought and when we conquer that war governments will follow. It's not a matter of punishment it's a matter of enlightenment, compassion and love. And, until we live by these simple but courageous examples neighbors and nations will continue to kill and be killed. By the way, I would a million times rather have an intelligent fornicator than a mass murderer ■ what priorities you must have■. O, yes, I'm sorry, you prefer bullies. Lastly by MLK "Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one's whole being into the being of another."
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    The only reason there could possible be for disarming good law abiding people, is to subjugate and enslave them. I will die before I submit to either. America we had better wake up fast or there will be nothing left to stand for. Imagine, Bill Clinton saying such a thing after vowing to defend the constitution, and being a lawyer. This proves how dire the situation is.
     -- ken, milford pa     
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    Thanks, Henry. We have now tagged this quote as False after a bit more research. We will keep it in the database, though, as it is a popular quote on the Internet, and we will attest to its being misattributed. Thanks, everyone, your efforts help keep this database accurate.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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    It is wrong to think that people should be disarmed it is right to think that people disarm.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Handguns have one purpose and one purpose only; to shoot people. If that's your intention, you need one. But who needs to shoot people?
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    Jack, Who needs to shoot people? People who are being shot at! There was a wonderful quote in Rolling Stone once from a Texas Ranger: "I'd rather be on trial for shooting some poor son-of-a-bitch, than have him be on trial for shooting me." Apparently you either have a death wish, or you live in some magical land where everyone is sweet and innocent.
     -- Bob Drake, Chicago     
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    Call it a death wish, Bob, but I know for a fact I couldn't draw and shoot fast enough if someone is shooting at me, and I would not shoot first, so I guess I'll just be your Texas Ranger someone else is on trial for shooting. Do you carry your handgun at the ready all the time to ward off someone intent on shooting you?
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    If handguns were made illegal to own, then the people we don't want to have handguns would just get them illegally and we would have no protection from them.
     -- Anonymous, Texas     
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    uh, false quote? We can get this worked up about a false quote?
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Clinton at his best. Not saying much though.
     -- Jim     
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    It may or may not be a false quote, but the number of mindless sheep that agree with it is truly scary. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting or protecting yourself against home invaders. Its only purpose is to maintain a healthy fear of the citizenry by the government instead of the other way around. This is your one right that guarantees all the others. That was the original intent and it is timeless. You would all do well to remember that.
     -- Ken S., Warren, MI     
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    You guys are stupid. You woun't need a gun to defend your self if no one has a gun
     -- S. Jones     
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    S. Jones, I won't even touch on the obvious stupidity of that statement as far as self defence goes. Again Stupid, the second amenment has nothing to do with defending yourself from criminals. Do you really think that your government will ever give up their guns, STUPID! baaaa, baaaa. Is that a little more clear to you? Moron.
     -- Ken S., Warren, MI     
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    I couldn't agree more. Guns have one use!
     -- Anonymous     
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    Absolute idiot!! You cannot protect yourself in a gun fight with a human who wants to destroy you with anything but a weapon of equal or higher power - a gun. Clinton is anti-constitution with that statement... the 2nd amendment states, "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."
     -- Emily, Colo. Spgs.     
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    I agree he's an absolute moron/idiot! With that mindset all the criminals would own handguns. They wouldn't hesitate to shoot us. B. Clinton needs to check his mental capacity.
     -- Anonymous, Rio Rancho     
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    I think he is an idiot like obama............
     -- craig francis, greenville     
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    There is no argument or debate. The Second Amendment is clear. The President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Bill Clinton is a disgrace to the nation.
    When someone says that they are a hunter and they support The Second Amendment they are actually anti-gun. This is a new but more common tactic being used by anti-gun groups. They feel it will not inflame the public and can convince the uninformed. The Second Amendment is not about hunting so why would someone mention that in a discussion? They also say "sensible" gun laws are needed. Well who does not want to be "sensible"? The word is does not define anything except a state of reasoning at a given time. Using those words do they not see that they are implying then that all gun control laws up to now are "senseless"?
    It does not matter what type of weapon one has or wants to have, whether it is useful or not to someone else, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is just that, a Right. Bill Clinton makes no sense and neither does his husband Hillary who stated she liked to duck hunt with her rifle. She thought she could sound like one of the "boys". However it is dangerous and illegal to hunt water fowl with a rifle. Was she then charged with her crime that she so much as admitted?
    Free means free.
     -- Bob Wyman, Colorado Springs     
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