Are you conflicted about the issue of gun violence?
Below are gun violence quotes that illustrate both sides of this social issue.
How do you feel about gun violence?
Almost 40 thousand people died from gun-related injuries in 2017, according to the CDC.
Gun control has divided Americans since the founding of America itself.
With more mass shootings than days so far in 2019, politicians are constantly scrambling for a “right” answer to preventing gun violence.
Many have expressed their opinions on the subject over the years, including politicians, criminologists, political commentators, and celebrities.
The below quotes illustrate the constant struggle between those who are for and against gun control.
Gun violence quotes against gun control
1. “I don’t think there should be more gun control. I think there should be more education.” – Sam Brownback
2. “I’m a Texan – my idea of gun control is hitting what you aim at and nothing else.” – Blake Farenthold
3. “Gun control means being able to hit your target. If I have a ‘hot button’ issue, this is definitely it. Don’t even think about taking my guns. My rights are not negotiable, and I am totally unwilling to compromise when it comes to the Second Amendment.” – Michael Badnarik
4. “Make no mistake about it. Gun control is not about crook control. It’s about America control.” – Derrick Grayson
5. “Understanding the long, sordid history of gun control in America is key to understanding the dangers of disarming.” – Niger Innis
6. “I’m not big on re-inventing the wheel, but I believe we need great clarity on people’s fundamental right to bear arms.” – Mike Jones
7. “I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere… I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family —whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.” – Joni Ernst
8. “Don’t mess with people’s right to bear arms with any restrictions.” – Pat Roberts
9. “Placing a heavier burden on responsible gun owners will do little to prevent troubled individuals from carrying out violent acts. The Second Amendment is very clear and so is my commitment to protecting the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.” – Mike Johanns
10. “An armed society is a polite society.” – Robert A. Heinlein
11. “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.” – George Washington
Other gun violence quotes against gun control
12. “In America, we may reasonably hope that the people will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.” – St. George Tucker
13. “Gun bans don’t disarm criminals, gun bans attract them.” – Walter Mondale
14. “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson
15. “The great objective is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry
16. “Arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order…” – Thomas Paine
17. “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee
18. “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams
19. “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” – George Orwell
20. “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.” – George Washington
21. “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise, they will win and the decent people will lose.” – James Earl Jones
22. “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.” – Thomas Jefferson
Gun violence quotes supporting gun control
23. “I support gun control. But speaking honestly about the combustible mix of race and guns may be more important to stopping the slaughter in minority communities than any new gun-control laws.” – Juan Williams
24. “We have to face the fact that meaningful gun control has to be a part of homeland security.” – Jeh Johnson
25. “I am certain that there are extremists on both sides of the gun control debate in Hawaii, as in the rest of the nation. However, it has been our willingness and ability to develop mutually respectful and effective gun control laws that have kept our community safe.” – Colleen Hanabusa
26. “Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.” – Dianne Feinstein
27. “We in Europe … do not consider the freedom to buy weapons a human right.” – Gisela Kallenbach
28. “It is time to act. We cannot go on like this. Ban them!” – John Chafee
29. “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
Gun violence quotes about non-violence
30. “Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.” – Mahatma Gandhi
31. “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
32. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” – Thomas A. Edison
33. “When I was a student, I studied philosophy and religion. I talked about being patient. Some people say I was too hopeful, too optimistic, but you have to be optimistic just in keeping with the philosophy of non-violence.” – John Lewis
34. “To be violent is the ultimate laziness. War always seems a great effort, but it is the easy way. And false non-violence is also an idol.” – Peter Brook
Gun violence quotes reacting to tragedy
35. “The number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands. And for us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that is distressing.” – Barack Obama
36. “We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence.” – Elizabeth Warren
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of Elizabeth Warren quotes on capitalism, politics, and more.
37. “Probably fewer than 2% of handguns and well under 1% of all guns will ever be involved in a violent crime. Thus, the problem of criminal gun violence is concentrated within a very small subset of gun owners, indicating that gun control aimed at the general population faces a serious needle-in-the-haystack problem.” – Gary Kleck
38. “Gun violence is not something that appears just in a bad neighborhood or in another part of the world. It appears right here, right outside your door.” – Stephen Young
39. “Each and every child in this country is valuable because they are our future as a society. We cannot afford to lose a single child to ill-health, under-education, abuse, addiction, jail, or gun violence. America’s highest goal should be for every child to grow up to be a successful young adult — healthy, educated, free, secure, and a good citizen.” – John F. Kerry
40. “Moments ago, the U.S. Senate decided to do the unthinkable about gun violence – nothing at all. Over two years ago, when I was shot point-blank in the head, the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. Four months ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. It’s clear to me that if members of the U.S. Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the U.S. Senate.” – Gabrielle Giffords
41. “Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon.’ It’s much too late.” – Ezra Klein
42. “We have to go to war against the people who enable the gun violence, the people who stop us from keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people, of felons, and that means the NRA leadership.” – Jerrold Nadler
43. “There is a problem here in America when it comes to police violence and gun violence, that I believe is being ignored by not giving the proper resources to communities.” – Jumaane Williams
44. “As a former District Attorney and Attorney General, I know the urgency of providing safe homes, schools and neighborhoods for all. This remarkable tour-de-force is a powerful study of one promising solution: a data-rich, eminently readable demonstration of why we should treat gun violence as an American epidemic.” – Scott Harshbarger
45. “In Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws, and you have tremendous gun violence.” – Donald Trump
46. “Making improvements to our background check system and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking are common-sense ways to prevent violence without punishing law-abiding gun owners. We owe it to the American people to take real action to reduce gun violence in our communities.” – Martin Heinrich
47. “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. The first people who are going to be in line to turn in their guns are law-abiding citizens. Criminals are going to be left with guns. I believe that concealed carry is a way of reducing gun violence.” – Gary Johnson
More gun violence quotes and sayings
48. “Terrifying mass shooting and high-profile officer-involved incidents have dominated the national conversation on gun violence in recent years. But most deaths by gun are not headline-grabbing massacres. They`re more private, more intimate, and perhaps in that way, even more horrifying. Domestic violence, make no mistake, domestic violence is a gun issue.” – Melissa Harris-Perry
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of domestic violence quotes for support and strength.
49. “Supporting mental wellness is crucial to any goal of decreasing gun violence in America.” – Charles B. Rangel
50. “Moments of crisis, like the shooting in Newtown, tend to produce brief spikes of popular interest in gun control. My research on media attention suggests these spikes are extremely short-lived, and that they may be decreasing in intensity.” – Ethan Zuckerman
51. “We have to tackle the plague of gun violence.” – Hillary Clinton
52. “To disarm the people, was the best and most effective way to enslave them.” – George Mason
53. “Leeches live by guns, legends live by ideas.” – Abhijit Naskar
54. “Guns belong to soldiers, not civilians.” – Abhijit Naskar
55. “There is no place for weapons in civilized revolution.” – Abhijit Naskar
56. “Owning a gun doesn’t increase civilian security, it only threatens it, thus making it far more difficult for law enforcement to ensure public safety.” – Abhijit Naskar
57. “Guns are not the problem, the problem is our fetish with guns.” – Abhijit Naskar
58. “Guns make small men feel big.” – Oliver Gaspirtz
59. “Saying gun control hurts our freedom is a false argument amounting to propaganda. Gun laws don’t curtail freedom any more than speed limits or seat belts. You still get to drive your car and have guns, we’re just trying to save lives as you do.” – DaShanne Stokes
60. “Violence isn’t a Democrat or Republican problem. It’s an American problem, requiring an American solution.” – DaShanne Stokes
Gun violence quotes to truly contemplate on
61. “Daily mass killings are a uniquely American problem, because in America every halfwit can get his hands on a gun. You know what angry halfwits do in other countries? They throw potatoes.” ― Oliver Markus Malloy
62. “Thoughts and prayers won’t stop a speeding bullet.” ― DaShanne Stokes
63. “Our love affair with guns has nothing to do with tyranny, or militias, or self-preservation. Just ask any NRA member the following: If Jesus Christ himself were to come down off the cross and grant you one wish, would you opt for a world without guns — or the one we live in now? If every gun owner truly feared for their life and liberty, the answer would be obvious. But it’s not about life and liberty. It’s all about the sheer hard-on of owning a gun.” ― Quentin R. Bufogle
64. “If guns don’t kill people, why do mass killers arm themselves with guns?” ― DaShanne Stokes
65. “Guns don’t make the society safe, any more than nukes ensure world peace.” ― Abhijit Naskar
66. “A bullet is beholden to nothing, not even the barrel that births it. We can’t ask a gun for forgiveness, as its maker has already been empowered by law to shed blame, to be blameless.” ― Billy-Ray Belcourt
67. “If gun violence isn’t already personal to you, then make it personal. Picture the faces of someone you love when you read the numbers. This conversation means nothing if a number is just a number–it has to be personal. It’s going to be uncomfortable and hard–but important things often are.” ― Taylor S. Schumann
68. “It doesn’t matter how the gun fell into the wrong hands. It only matters that it did.” ― Ellen Hopkins
69. “I screamed but he couldn’t hear me over the blast of the gun or the explosions that followed. I wish I had never touched the damn thing. Guns cause more problems than they’re worth.” ― Ben Ditmars
70. “America is drowning in guns. Even if they were all banned from midnight tonight, it would probably take a century or two to get them all out of circulation and maybe not even then.” ― Stewart Stafford
Gun violence quotes that make total sense
71. “If guns don’t kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?” ― Ozzy Osbourne
72. “Gun control? We need bullet control! I think if every bullet cost five thousand dollars, we wouldn’t have any innocent bystanders.” ― Chris Rock
73. “This strife among ourselves wastes our energy and destroys our unity. My message to those of you involved in this battle of brother against brother is this: Take your guns, your knives…. And throw them into the sea!” ― Nelson Mandela
74. “Only in America can one be pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-unmanned drone bombs, pro-nuclear weapons, pro-guns, pro-torture, pro-land mines and still call yourself “pro-life.” ― John Fugelsang
75. “Why is it that giving guns is so easy, but giving books is so hard?” ― Malala Yousafzai
76. “Gun violence is real. People don’t come back.” ― Stevie Wonder
77. “I do not accept that we cannot find a common sense way to preserve our traditions, including our basic second amendment freedoms and the rights of law abiding gun owners, while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis.” ― Barack Obama
78. “There’s no more personal issue than gun violence; every one of these stories is a life lost, i’m hoping that over the long term, as I tell these stories, that it will help to open people’s eyes.”
― Chris Murphy
79. “Homicide through gun violence is the leading cause of death among young African American males in the United States. If people look a certain way they have a higher tendency of dying, of having their lives taken away.” ― Ryan Coogler
80. “To end the crisis [of gun violence], we have to regulate -or, in the case of handguns and assault weapons, completely ban -the product. We are far past the [point] where registration, licensing, safety training, background checks, or waiting periods will have much effect on firearms violence.” ― Josh Sugarmann
Thought Provoking Gun Violence Quotes
81. “I take these recommendations very seriously, and will listen to the voices of my constituents to ensure I do everything I can to help prevent gun violence.” — Paul Tonko
82. “There’s no evidence that registering guns reduces the level of gun violence. It’s not that I don’t think it’s something worth doing, (but) it’s something you do much later.” — Kim Campbell
83. “We must all take care to resist the tendency to focus too much attention on the role that criminals and prior offenders play in gun violence.” — James Florio
84. “In my lifetime, we have lost a President, a Civil Rights leader and a Presidential candidate – all to gun violence.” — Marianne Williamson
85. “There are certain things in gun control that have a certain public appeal, but when you’re legislating you need to look at the research on what works, what doesn’t, and what really has an impact, recognizing you’re never going to do away entirely with gun violence.” — Kim Campbell
86. “Gun violence. Racism. Whatever the issue. I’m really trying hard with you – and others – to have a respectful discussion, debate about these issues.” — Steven Petrow
87. “In light of all the gun violence in the USA, I’d prefer my democracy unleaded.” — Jayseth Guberman
88. “I don’t view myself as a victim of gun violence. I view myself as a victim of a maniac who happened to use a gun as a tool, and I view myself as a victim of the legislators at the time who left me defenseless.” — Suzanna Hupp
89. “[We must] deal with all of the contributing factors to gun violence as a whole.” — Joycelyn Elders
90. “The proven method for saving the lives of innocent Americans is to arrest, prosecute, convict and jail criminal offenders, especially armed career criminals illegally using guns. This is the way to reduce gun violence.” — Jeff Sessions
Has your family/group of friends talked about gun violence recently?
Gun violence is an issue that affects millions of Americans across the nation.
It’s an issue we are faced with frequently, partly due to its constant rotation on many different news channels.
Seeing this issue on the news can evoke feelings of anxiety and sadness, especially if you feel that it is out of your control.
If you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of gun violence, visit the non-profit organization Everytown for resources near you.
Additionally, here is a list of 26 online resources on the issue of gun violence in America, curated by nonprofit newsroom The Trace.
Do you have any other insightful gun violence quotes to add?
Is there another resource that you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments section below.
September 26, 2022 5:00 AM EST