William S. BurroughsWilliam S. Burroughs, (1914-1997) American novelist, essayist, social critic

William S. Burroughs Quote

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

William S. BurroughsWilliam S. Burroughs
~ William S. Burroughs

Ratings and Comments

Nine Millie Meter, Deadly Force, TX

Right on dude! I sure as hell agree man!

usafreedom, Rochester

"Those that deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God shall not long retain it." Abraham Lincoln Well spoken , Mr. Borroughs!

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

Less than 2,000 die each year due to acceidental shootings. About 100,000 die each year due to accidents of medical negligence. Ban doctors.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

So, our first respondant (NMM of DF) just wants to "kill kill kill", Our freedom correspondant just cares about his view of freedom while condeming the rest of us of the freedom of walking down the street feeling safe from drive-by shootings. And our third is implicitly claiming that guns save lives as medical professionals do... no wonder this country is in such a mess.

Logan, Memphis, TN

The truth is, no society will ever be "free" from guns... Any gun-control laws that are passed will only make the honest people more honest. Once the honest people are disarmed, how will they protect themselves from the criminals who aren't following "the law"? That's what makes a criminal a criminal - someone who does not follow the law. What would you do then? Call the police to protect you? You have good luck with that. This is why Socialism will never work - you cannot disarm a society and create peace.

Rick Z, Heartland, USA

First of all, what kind of a namby-pamby faggot is "anonymous" who won't even sign his/her name? Next, I did live in Belize for five years -- a society where the only people who had guns were the police, the military, and uuuuhhhh, the bad guys! Oh, wait -- some of the bad guys were Cops!! Did that cut crime? Murder? Uh, no. You can buy a machette for $2.75! I left, just in time. Rick Z -- http://belizenorth.com

E Archer, NYC

Let it be clear -- the police are not and have never been there to protect us -- they cannot. They can be called upon after a crime has occurred, but their purpose has never been to protect homes from burglars -- it is the individual who is responsible for protecting his/her family and property. Taking guns away from the people is merely more centralization of power into the hands of a few. Don't fall for the lie -- we are responsible for our own security. The answer is not more government control! The people in government cannot be trusted any more than the crack addict -- let us stop believing in the infallibility and beneficence of authoritarian power.

Mike, Mount Holly, NC

You don't take away the rights of law-abiding citizens because criminals commit crimes. Besides, criminals, by definition, don't obey laws ... that includes gun control laws.

DaveH, Ft Lauderdale

William S Burroughs shot his wife through the head playing "William Tell" during a night of alcohol and drug use. Good proponent for responsible gun ownership! Great quote though - COPS ARE THE CRIMINALS.

Editor, Liberty Quotes

Thanks, DaveH! I was wondering who would post that. This should stimulate some discussion.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Not a shabby quote for a druggie/fugitive/casual murderer/slouch kinda guy. - LOL

Ken, Allyn, WA

When they finally ban those guns, I guess I'll just stop being a law abiding citizen and become a criminal. Oh, well. Being a criminal man is better than being a law-abiding sheep.

Helberg, Minnesota

Hey anon from Reston, How well does banning pot work?

RickZ, Heartland, USA

Well, after Katrina, the DHS was going around collecting guns from the citizens. Surprise! They're not getting them back very quickly. Here in the heartland, they are passing laws that will prohibit DHS Nazis from taking away your guns during an emergency. PTL RickZ

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Anonymous    12/25/06

I agree with logan pretty much. but police are not our enemies. why can't anyone get that? John, LA

John, Williamsburg

Besides the police and the military (which are well regulated in their arming) criminals are the only ones "allowed" to own/carry guns - because the government gun control targets those who are innocent. It is very, very difficult (if not impossible) to control the gun ownership of the people who shouldn't have the guns! The criminals will find a way to get what they want!

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Anonymous    11/5/07

...and the criminals, Mr. Burrough

Prenna Unsane, Brisbane

The first major gun laws in the world were used to keep guns out of the hands of black slaves. The second major guns laws the world saw were to keep the guns out of the hands of Jews and anti-Nazis in 1930s and '40s Germany. History leads me to agree with Mr Burroughs.

S Tolo, New York

Surrender your guns And you Surrender your Freedom. Period.

Mike, Norwalk

Me too

J Carlton, Calgary

Disarmament is designed for security...of the government that is. Any excuse to disarm will do. On another note, Australian Shooter magazine did a comparison of civilian death rates in Iraq vs. Wash. DC. DC has gun control and a higher rate of civilians being shot. Conclusion: The US should pull out of Washington. :)

jim k, austin

Anonymous, when guns are banned the police will be your enemies. They will pitch right in to enforce anti-gun laws. They don't call communist countries "Police States" for no reason.

Bob, Eugene, OR

Actually Reston, even good physicians kill more people than guns do.

Mike, Norwalk

The founding concept, in each State and the States united, was that each individual was sovereign with each individual being responsible for himself (including protection). The then liberal concept (as practiced in England and the colonies) was, that a police force constituted a standing army (intrusive / abusive to individual rights). It was legally understood that the post 1776 sovereign individual (individually and/or in concert) was to pursue and attempt to apprehend criminals (under certain circumstances required - letting the police do their job was secondary to the sovereign doing his) Thus, another lost concept that gives clarity to the 2nd Amendment's 'right' that shall not be infringed. Only after England's moving toward socialism in the early 1800s did that country even implement a police force in London around 1827. Certain cities, such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia (where a centralized nationalist type government was being promoted and becoming vogue - following England's socialistic lead) implemented such standing army type police departments between 1835 and 1845. Not until after the War Between the States did such standing armies become nationalized through the many jurisdictional venues. Even at the establishment of any and all of the standing armies (policing departments), all such were to remain auxiliary behind the sovereign authority of the self protecting individual(s) I have given on this blog multiple Supreme Court decisions that declare all policing departments are to serve and protect the state, not the individual and, no policing body or personnel has any responsibility to an individual. Such cases as DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989) at 1006 decry no public protection requirements. Another example is: Riss v. City of New York, 293 N.Y.2d 897 (1968) where Linda Riss was being terrorized by an ex-boyfriend for months. After getting a restraining order and, after repeated pleas for protection, lye was thrown in her face, blinding her in one eye and permanently disfiguring her. Again, the police have no responsibility for protecting the individual. One dissenting judge stated: "What makes the city's position particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the . . . law, Linda did not carry any weapon for self defense. Thus, . . . she was required to rely for protection on the City of New York, which now denies all responsibility to her." That society, where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military, is a society of slaves, unprotected legal nothings, is not a government of, by, or for We The People, and is antagonistic to all perceivable concepts of freedom and liberty.

Pam, Northern Colorado

Agree with the quote but W.S. Buroughs was a troubled soul! (see his bio on Wikipedia)

M. Brown, Florida

Good quote and good reading from all the comments...except anon from Reston, who said kill, kill, kill? Calm down there.

Bob, Cincinnati

If I have the right to defend myself , and my family ( God almighty allows self defense ) That means possibly using deadly force if needed . I dont think it wise to take away anything from me to secure my family . As for the degrading comments towards cops ...I work with them as a civilian volunteer on a HRWS team ( SWAT ) . They dont worry about good people with guns .....Common sense seams to rule them , unlike in some cities where the second amendment means nothing .....I guess I'm lucky !

waypasthadenough, Taylor County, Kentucky. CSA

The cops are or are not our enemies? Well let's see: If they're pursuing and arresting real criminals who have harmed real people or their property while obeying their oath to protect the constitution and Bill of Rights they're our friends, but if they're part of that team who's breaking down the 'extremist's' door because he didn't want to go along with the police state they're our enemies. And they could be both in the same day. Got that? To clarify: The team members who helped round up guns in New Orleans after Katrina, they can be seen on YouTube, clearly deserved to be gut shot and hung from any available light pole or tree. If they were holding to their oaths of office they would have shot the authority figure who told them to go around and confiscate guns. So if you're a cop and you obey an order to confiscate my guns I'm going to do my best to kill you. If I find out about it before hand I'll show up at YOUR house and kill you there. That's what you deserve for enforcing the police state. It's time for you to wake up and pull your head out of your ass and think about the situation we are in.

waypasthadenough, Taylor County, Kentucky. CSA

Sorry, meant to include something to help you think about the situation we are in: http://willowtown.com/promo/quotes.htm

Bob, Cincinnati

WAY PAST......Its apparent you didn't really read my post, I clearly stated " unlike in some cities where the 2nd amendment means nothing ......I guess I'm lucky . " Please read that part again . It would seem your passion on the issue allowed you to overlook that point . The officers I work with and some of the others of different departments have clearly said they WOULD NOT go after people over guns . Many of the same issues are discussed between myself and others including The Chief . We agree on the second amendment ,and everyone knows where I stand . If it were different , I wouldn't work with them . I took an oath joining the Army to uphold the Constitution . The Special Forces Crest reads " De Oppresso Liber " ( the oppressed free ) . I take this to heart . I understand your position , but maybe you should get to know which cops are the ones that would come after you , and the ones you can trust ....Its easier than it seems . Word of advise on the Come to your house rant .....The statement can be construed as a direct threat due to the word YOUR being capitalized . I'm sure this was meant more as a general statement . At least I hope so ....Correct me if I'm wrong . Freedom is not free and we are all in a battle to keep our freedom . Si vis pacem para bellum

Mike, Norwalk

Bob, may I concur with you. I have business nationwide and lived in several States. I have been active in court and other venues in many parts of the country vainly trying to slow down the despotic onslaught. Though I believe the majority of police and policing agencies are nothing more than armed thugs, it has been my great pleasure to meet some of the finest people on the planet, in uniform. They are, in my estimation, far and few between with a few departments that stand out as beacons of light. I am not familiar with Cincinnati but it is good to read about honorable freedom lovers. It gives hope. And I am with you, Si vis pacem para bellum

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Anonymous    10/1/09


Edward Ross-Adams

Let it be clear -- the police are not and have never been there to protect us -- they cannot. They can be called upon after a crime has occurred, but their purpose has never been to protect homes from burglars -- it is the individual who is responsible for protecting his/her family and property. Taking guns away from the people is merely more centralization of power into the hands of a few. Don't fall for the lie -- we are responsible for our own security. The answer is not more government control! The people in government cannot be trusted any more than the crack addict -- let us stop believing in the infallibility and beneficence of authoritarian power. -- E Archer, NYC Quoted from above. An excellent comment. To add to it : In my opinion most of the shooting spree actions have at their source PDH ( Pain Drug Hypnosis) , done by Psychiatrists or Psychopolitical operatives to keep the communities and society on the boil, to create evidence needed to force social manipulations. See The manual of Psychopolitics and Brainwashing www.lawfulpath.com

Kimo, USA

If they outlaw guns, the entire nation, will be outaws....Not by choice, but by nessessity.

Kimo, USA

Justone FACT for the aninomous posters, there IS NO SUCH thing anymore, on the web, if ya had the wisdome, you would know that. Even, if you use a virtual keyboard, and are behind a hardwall, and a softwall, and bouncing off servers from another country..And that bring me to this ..WHO IS in control of the NET right now??? Nothing is private now folks, was 8 years ago, not anymore, when ur on a computer, online, you can run, but ya cant hide. Welcome to a TOTAL survielance and info sociaty, and YES, one name for it is socializim, another, police state. And it all comes down to..you aint free no more, and those od us who post with our names, are speaking freely, because, if we dont, there would be No voice of freedom. The voice of freedom rings in men like Mike, Archer, and MANY others. reston..have you ever been shot at?? Hase you ever been attacked by 6 or more men, with the intent of killin ya?/ Well, good luck, with ur knife or baseball bat. Ya know, many men , bear arms, all thier lives, and have NEVER committed violence with one. Guns are a tool, just a tool. If you HAD to have the right tool to save ur life..just excactaly WTF would you use?/ Dont say it, we already know, ur mouth.

J Carlton, Calgary

Reston, you're complete failure to understand any of the comments you attacked explains why "you're in such a mess". So you'd feel safer walking down the streets if only criminals had guns? Absolutely moronic!

Mike, Norwalk

Just another note; when the progressive end of the occupying statist theocracy that infests this land was loudly and often promoting, 'a gun take away from We The People because the people's guns were ending up in Mexico'', they got caught in their own propaganda (they, the Amerikan foreign despots, were supplying the guns) Even Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin, with his off prompter remarks was/is looking a little red faced. After the resulting shooting spree, (a result from the government’s criminal gun give away program and other ellicit activities), why was there no mention of taking the guns away from the people who acted in such a criminal manner (the government, resulting in having their own killed - it is astutely apparent that they are the one's that can't be trusted - Archer above said well). Its getting to be an almost daily occurrence where some policing agent is being set free after shooting an unarmed innocent individual. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.

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    Abby    10/19/11

    "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356 What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." -- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789 "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788 "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188 If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

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      Abby    10/19/11

      "To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws." --John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788) Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive." --Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787). "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." -- Zacharia Johnson, delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention, Elliot, 3:645-6 ... most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved." -- James Burgh, 18th century English Libertarian writer, Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604

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        Abby    10/19/11

        "The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally ... enable the people to resist and triumph over them." -- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833 Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible." -- Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959 "[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights." -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 2:178

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        Abby    10/19/11

        I agree with the list of quotes from the wise men who are now dead. I pray we have some wise men in our country now because we really need them. Restore America NOW

        Mike, Norwalk

        Abby, great comments, thanks

        Charlie, Kirkland, Washington

        Over and over it's been proven, outlawing guns creates more opportunities for the outlaws. As Mike from Norwalk said, "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

        tinamccrory, new orleans

        Joan Vollmer was only 28 when she was shot in the head by her husband, William S. Burroughs.

        Read more at Suite101: The Death of Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs | Suite101 http://suite101.com/article/the-death-of-joan-vollmer-adams-burroughs-a205648#ixzz2GG92nOT6
        Follow us: @suite101 on Twitter | Suite101 on Facebook

        tinamccrory, new orleans

        if you like this quote, you need to read more about William S Burroughs- he accidentally SHOT HIS WIFE IN THE HEAD!
        yes, they had children.

        J Carlton, Calgary

        That's tragic if it's true tinamcrory...but it doesn't change anything. Outlawing guns will create a perfectly horrendous society of violence.

        Devo, SC
        • Reply
          Devo, SC    3/25/13

          He shot his wife in the head.

          George Stewart, Edinburgh

          From a British viewpoint this is an engrossing debate. I've always been an admirer of Burroughs and the fact that he was against gun control has changed my perspective on the whole topic.

          Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT

          Hear, hear !!

          Ronw13, Yachats Or

          Excellent comments, ( knee jerk reactions ) and Very Good answers from our officers in blue ! It is better that words be felt, through capitalization than at the point of a gun ! This is, and of Great value, for all Lives ! More Should know, and not be surprise, that such a system of communication is monitored AND moderated. Due by the nature of such an avenue. Burroughs an example of the fragility of judgment and life. Nevertheless a true and just observation. Commonsense is a gift from our Creator. for the guard at the gate or the watchmen on the wall, of and for That Just Cause, we can feel the hand that guides us. However slight or heavy the hand, to realize his presence gives joy to the unity of a wholesome family. God Blessings to All. Amen

          Robert, Somewhere in Europe

          Sorry Reston, I must disagree with you on this one. America has more guns than any other nation.It's not a matter of guns but a matter of the type of guns. To protect yourself do do not need these crazy guns that shoot off hundred rounds per minute, that is absolute craziness. Tell me this, if the people need to revolt because they are being tortured and abused, how the hell can they do it without some form of protection. Otherwise you are leaving the coast wide open for absolute tyranny. I have always been an advocate for a gun-less America but recent incursions into individual rights and the criminal activities of our law enforcement agencies has lead me to believe that it is necessary for every capable American to carry a fire arm. The NRA needs to take a few steps backward to ensure the sanity of their organisation which at the moment is out of control. From the very beginning of humanity we have protected ourselves from unlawful governments and criminals - OK, perhaps they are one of the same... And, more importantly, considering the intellectual prowess of the security forces, it's paramount that we have some form of self protection. It use to be the dagger, bow and arrow, the sword, then the flint lock pistol, but today it's the 9mm hand gun or 380 take your pick.. But a word of warning, you better make sure you know how to use these weapons for it is not a matter of just having one by the bedside - Also keep all weapons under lock and key and the clip unattached. Go to a recognized shooting cub and make sure you are familiar with your weapon. I am a pacifist, but in this world it's a different matter. In the world of my dreams there are no guns and no psychopaths....

          E Archer, NYC

          Robert, the NRA represents but a fraction of the gun owners in America. The liberal establishment tries to make it sound like the NRA alone is responsible for defending American's rights to arms. Robert, it ought to be noted that carrying arms was a proud British right -- what happened?

          There are several hundred MILLION military arms in the hands of the citizenry -- THAT is where they are supposed to be! In American AND Britain. Canada has perhaps more arms per capita than the US -- the Swiss apparently are all armed at home with military weapons.

          Everyday, 100 million gun owners do NOT initiate threat or violence - EVERY DAY. More people die from car accidents, but we are not banning automobiles. Removing the arms of 100 million law-abiding citizens to give to corrupt politicians will end up pointing those weapons back at them.

          If man cannot be trusted with the power of the gun, what makes him trustworthy once in a position of power and authority over others? The issue is about personal power -- how much personal power is one allowed to have? Who says? The issue is not how much destructive power you possess but how you have used it -- lawfully or unlawfully. We can't just disempower everyone to protect us against the possibility that power will be misused -- and that is the argument proffered by the liberals, fascists, and communists that ALL POWER is to be regulated and the individual is never to possess enough power to say "NO!"

          Ronw13, Yachats Or

          The implications are WAKING THE GIANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!. Consider Solomon !! WAKE NOT MY LOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!! TILL TIME !


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