United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When we discussed how our support for the Second Amendment comes across, one of the items mentioned was the importance of maintaining your credibility. There are far too many in the media who seek to help in the cause of those who would take our freedoms away that would eagerly leap to paint us as liars or worse, thus depriving us of a key advantage, we have over the likes of Schumer, Feinstein, Bloomberg, and their ilk. It also hurts efforts to win over local media.
Think it won’t matter? In 1996, Al Salvi was running against Richard Durbin, an avowed opponent of our right to keep and bear arms, for a United States Senate seat. He falsely claimed that former White House Press Secretary James Brady had a Class III FFL. Salvi quickly apologized, but the damage was done, and Durbin is now Chuck Schumer’s sidekick in the Senate.
I wish I could say that’s the only time… but there are others, and many were prevalent in the 1990s, and they stick around today and can be found on many a web site. It is a classic booby trap… just waiting for some poor, unsuspecting Second Amendment supporter to do irreparable damage to their credibility by using them.
One such quote is attributed to Sarah Brady (deceased), and a variation of it is even the top quote on her page at azquotes.com: “Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.”
It’s a damning quote – one to explain why the push for semi-auto bans or other laws that are completely ineffective at keeping guns away from bad guys. It explains the motive, nice and neat in a tidy package. There is just one problem:
She never said it!
Sarah Brady, for all her opposition to our right to keep and bear arms, was nowhere near socialism on the political spectrum. Granted she ultimately endorsed Democrats, but she was a lifelong Republican. There are, however, legitimate quotes that she did utter, including one that called for a “needs-based licensing” scheme for firearms.
In a similar vein, in efforts to oppose gun registration, some pull out a quote purportedly from Adolf Hitler: “This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
It’s another damning quote – one that ties the anti-Second Amendment agenda to one of history’s most iconic representations of evil. What could be better to show our moral superiority over the likes of Schumer, Bloomberg, and Feinstein? Again, there’s a problem:
He never said it!
There is no dispute that the Nazis used gun control to disarm their intended victims, including Jews. But we don’t need to resort to a phony quote. We have the history of places like Australia and the United Kingdom. In both countries, law-abiding gun owners who had registered their guns were then told to turn them in when politicians chose to wrongfully punish them for the acts of madmen who carried out mass shootings.
The worst of the phony quotes, though, are the ones allegedly uttered by the Founding Fathers. The most notable of these is the “liberty teeth” speech by George Washington. Guncite.com has outlined how that quote is not confirmed, as well as one by Thomas Jefferson that Gun Owners of America uses on its website. There are a number of real quotes from the Founding Fathers that support our right to keep and bear arms.
Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.”
Patrick Henry said, “The great object is, that every man be armed.”
Richard Henry Lee wrote that, “to preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.”
Thomas Paine noted, “[A]rms . . . discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.”
Samuel Adams warned that: “The said Constitution be never 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.”
If you ever have a doubt about the authenticity of a quote – you can look to some of the links in this article. Guncite.com listed a few phony quotes, as well as the phony ones from the Founding Fathers. If it isn’t listed there, contact the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. I can personally attest that they will be able to confirm if a quote is real or if its authenticity is doubtful.
Folks, our credibility is one of the most crucial assets we have in the fight to defend our freedoms. It is always better to tell someone, “I don’t know, but let me find out,” than to make an ass out of yourself and make it easier for the media to paint Second Amendment supporters as liars.
If a quote sounds too good to be true, it’s best to double-check it before you use it.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.