50 Ban Quotes for All Things Forbidden

These ban quotes give insight into the controversial topic of bans and government control.

According to vocabulary.com, “ban” means “to forbid something from being or happening.”

The term “ban” was first used before the year 1000 in England.

Typically, a ban is either a punishment or a policy instituted to keep people from doing something illegal or dangerous.

Bans can also protect you or your property.

For example, as a private citizen owning property, you can ban other people from trespassing on your property.

Although bans can feel restrictive, it’s often proclaimed that they are instilled for the good of the people.

Take a few minutes to read these ban quotes to see if you can identify with any of these circumstances.

Best Ban Quotes to Remember

These quotes on banning things will get you thinking.

1. “The first step towards tyranny is to ban something.” G. K. Chesterton

2. “Banning things never works; it only makes them more appealing.” — J. K. Rowling

3. “The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.” — Tommy Smothers

4. “In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.” — Alfred Whitney Griswold

5. “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” Mark Twain

6. “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” Noam Chomsky

7. “The only thing worse than a world where everything is banned is a world where everything is permitted.” Albert Camus

8. “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington

9. “Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others.” Charles Bukowski

10. “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar; you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” — George R. R. Martin

Ban Quotes About Banning Books

Banned books have been a topic of disagreement for generations, as seen in the following quotes.

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11. “I cannot live without books.” — Thomas Jefferson

12. “Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn.” — Alfred Whitney Griswold

13. “Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.” Lyndon B. Johnson

14. “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” Oscar Wilde

15. “A book is not dangerous because of what it says, but because of what it might make us become.” — Umberto Eco

16. “Banning books is just another form of bullying. It’s all about fear and an assumption of power.” — Lauren Myracle

17. “To prohibit the reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants of to be either fools or slaves.” — Claude Adrien Helvetius

18. “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door… Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?” Ray Bradbury

19. “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack.” — Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan

20. “Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.” — Stephen Chbosky

Ban Quotes About Freedom of Speech

Protecting freedom of speech is crucial, as shown in the following quotes.

21. “The right to free speech means the right to offend.” — Salman Rushdie

22. “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

23. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall

24. “The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in an open forum.” — Adlai E. Stevenson II

25. “To suppress free speech is double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” Frederick Douglass

26. “Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views.” — Ronald Dworkin

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27. “The freedom of speech is not absolute, and does not include the right to incite actions that would harm others.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

28. “The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honor you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself.” — Joseph Sobran

29. “To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.” — Claude Adrien Helvetius

30. “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved.”  Benjamin Franklin

Ban Quotes About Government Control

As you’ll see in the following quotes, government control, and bans have been part of heated disagreements for years.

31. “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” Vladimir Lenin

32. “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” H. L. Mencken

33. “The power of the state is measured by the power that men surrender to it.” — Felix Frankfurter

34. “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

35. “The idea of the government telling us what we can and cannot say should be chilling to every American.” — Mark Levin

36. “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.” — Thomas Jefferson

37. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

38. “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” — Ronald Reagan

39. “I’m against censorship of any kind, especially by government. But it’s plain common sense that producers should target their product to the audience it’s meant for.” — Jack Valenti

40. “The first step in saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental political changes occur.” — James Bovard

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More Ban Quotes to Learn From

See what you think about the following quotes about placing bans on things.

41. “The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.” — Wole Soyinka

42. “Banning things never works. History has shown us that.” — James Patterson

43. “Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.” — Laurie Halse Anderson

44. “Banning something doesn’t make it go away. It just makes people want it more.” — Jay Asher

45. “Banning things is just an admission of failure. We should be working to change minds, not enforce ignorance.” Margaret Atwood

46. “Banning anything… is an admission that society’s mechanisms for enforcing norms and values have failed.” — Chuck Klosterman

47. “I believe that censorship is a form of violence. I think it’s the most terrible form of violence because it is systematic and it’s systemic, and it goes on for a long time.” Toni Morrison

48. “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.”  Abraham Lincoln

49. “Banning ideas or speech doesn’t make them go away. It just drives them underground where they can fester and grow into something even more dangerous.” — Salman Rushdie

50. “The first step towards censorship is the banning of those books that challenge authority, that question the status quo, that criticize religion, that ridicule the government.” — Henry Louis Gates Jr.

What Are People Banned From?

As a child, you may have been “banned” from something you enjoy, such as video games, the phone, television, or several other things, if you were being punished for something.

As adults, we are banned from certain things by the government, such as cell phone usage while driving, making alcohol without the proper licenses or permits, and many other items for safety or legal reasons.

Please share these Ban Quotes with your friends and family and post any comments about being banned from something in the comment section below.

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