Cold, dead hands

I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands

"I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands!" is a slogan popularized by the National Rifle Association (NRA) on a series of bumper stickers. It is a variation of a slogan mentioned in a 1976 report from the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency: "I Will Give Up My Gun When They Peel My Cold Dead Fingers From Around It. The original version did not originate with the NRA, but with a rival group, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, based in Bellevue, Washington. It, along with "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns", is a slogan that is often used by the NRA and its supporters in discussions of matters of gun control in the United States.

Charlton Heston's usage

The phrase gained newfound popularity on May 20, 2000, when veteran actor and NRA president Charlton Heston capped a speech at the 129th NRA convention in Charlotte, North Carolina by concluding:

Heston paused to pick up a replica of a Civil War rifle, and continued:

He repeated the phrase at the end of each NRA convention over which he presided as president of the NRA. When he announced his retirement, he concluded by repeating "From my cold, dead hands.


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