Dalai Lama Quote

“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”

~ Dalai Lama

(May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

There is great honor in those that love their God and a doctrine of nobility of life and peace sufficiently and, in such a manner, as they would willingly die before harming another individual under any circumstance. That is a very intimate and personal choice. The natural law right of self preservation, support of inalienable rights, and justice at defense of life in general is an innate quality that rises to action when someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, you having the inalienable right to shoot back with your own gun.

J Carlton, Calgary

It is reasonable to use deadly force to protect yourself, your family, your property or that of a perfect stranger in the face of deadly force no matter what form that deadly force takes.

Waffler, Smith

Okay, so what's new? Do we need to be a high spiritual leader to know this? But I, being the quintesential devils advocate, remember the words of Christ and Mr. King about abhorring violence and turning the other cheek. I agree that turning the cheek certainly stops when someone is trying to kill you.

  • 2
  • 2
  • Reply
RBESRQ    12/13/10

Ah! yes, I knew we could all agree on something, and coming from a great Liberal I thank you for giving the Dalai Lama five stars. Though I am amazed he said this - all you have to do is read the Bhagavad Gita to understand his premise for this comment.

E Archer, NYC

Ah, yes, RBE and Waffler are so predictable. Since the Dalai Lama said it, then well it is OK. That doesn't explain why every other quote they have rated recently about gun control has shown their contempt for the personal right to possess weapons and use them in self-defense. Yeah, sure the Dalai Lama says it is reasonable to shoot back with your own gun, but isn't this kind of hard to do without a gun?! I have read the Bhagavad Gita, RBE. It is the story of Krishna urging Arjuna to go to war against his own brother. After much convincing, Arjuna finally goes to war and destroys his brother and his army as 'god' (Krishna) has told him to do so. ;-) Geez, RBE, I do not think you are an atheist, just anti-Christian. Ask the Dalai Lama if he believes in God... I am sure you will be surprised by his answer.

MK Hammer, The Village

The depth of thought exhibited by the whole group of pacifists who quote things like turn the other cheek appear to forget that Jesus did not turn the other cheek, though he did renounce violence. The temple money changers for example. How violent would you be willing to get if you barged in on some sicko raping your six year old? I think violence is not only allowed. Sometimes it is the epitome of heroism.

  • 2
  • Reply
Publius    12/13/10

The term "turn the other cheek" used by Christ does not mean to not defend yourself when in harm. During that time a slap on the cheek was a form of insult. What He means is if someone is insulting you, let it be, do not retaliate with more insults.

Jim, Oakland

Christ also said to sell your cloak to buy a sword. Christ's word throughout the bible is interpreted that evil is out there and when faced with the devil you are to resist and fight back. That does not mean go out get a gun and become a vigilante. It means that if your life or the life of another in your midst is in iminate danger of death at the hands of evil, whatever form that takes you are to protect yourself and others. It is each law abiding citizens duty to make sure they are capable of self protection whatever form they choose, but today's culture and indoctrination of our youth has taught us that a gun is a bad thing to have. I don't care if it is a knife or a rock you must be able to protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember an armed society is a polite society, cops are not there to protect U.

  • 5
  • Reply
warren    12/14/10

The true meaning in turning the other cheek, at that time, was an ultimate insult to the one that slapped you. We read these things and use our contemporary understanding. True meanings of these things are hidden by time but can be uncovered by study of the time, language and culture that they were in.

Judith, Janesville

Horribly disappointed and ashamed that some would take this comment of such a holy man out of context and use it to their own aims in marketing and to arm even more people with deadly weapons. Anyone who has to ask if the Dalai Lama believes in "God" knows nothing about the Dalai Lama's faith, Buddhism. The wonder of being in the Dalai Lama's presence is enough know he and other Buddhists would certainly agree with self-defense but not at the cost of any other living creature's health and well-being.

Felipe, So Paulo

Probably taken very out of contest, since school girls don't have guns nor would. He probably meant some sort of "spiritual gun" like forgiveness or peace of mind or smtg like that. I would need more evidence to believe this quote is not being taken out of contest and that the Dalai really believe we should defend ourselves (I don't think he does)

Tony, Silver Spring, Md

Self defense a basic human right that liberals want to take away.

E Archer, NYC

Why is the Dalai Lama living in exile instead of in Tibet? What role did communism, guns, and violence play? Do any of us have the right to NOT be commanded, robbed, enslaved? What is to prevent that? The Dali Lama has armed guards -- a hired gun is still a gun. The fact that the gun-grabbers cannot seem to grasp is that guns are what keep this all in check -- when the balance of powers change, it is due to the guns being pointed in different directions. Remove the defenses, and watch the invasion.

Mick, Manchester

To kill or to disarm? The inalienable right to defend yourself should not be conflated with the right to own a gun or to use it to kill someone. The Gita is an allegorical story depicting man's internal struggle with choice and conscience which is the story of everyman... the quest for Dharma: doing the right thing at the right time.

Ronw13, OR
  • 2
  • Reply
Ronw13, OR    4/10/18

The People of Nepal know very well the struggle to Hold their own ground. China to the north, India to the south wanting that High Ground. The British found out, suffering one of their biggest defeats at the hands of the Nepalize. Some Nepalize fear India more than China, yet it is China who fears the Dalai Lama and his ability to move the faith among the Buddhist. The quote is a simple answer to a simple question. The girl received a Commonsense answer. fight to live.
It is a perversion of scripture to indoctrinate Christians to passiveness, when they are given the Spirit of power to defend their Liberty through the shed blood of Christ. A willing sacrifice upon our alter of Freedom, the innocent blood fulfilling prophecy of reconciliation and redemption.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

The pacifism of a plurality of pacifists is born of their fear and prideful denial of the potential for violence that they have apprehended resides within them.

Mary - MI
  • Reply
Mary - MI    4/18/18

There are people who live in a Utopia of the mind by believing that if the law abiding would just give up their guns (instruments of protection) then all criminal attacks and murders will cease.
Such thinking completely lacks any cognitive common sense, and rational objective thinking. Why? Because, criminals and despots will always find the means to make or purchase through a Black Market guns and other weapons of destruction to use for their murderous whim's, schemes and agenda's.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.