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Reagan’s Wisdom on Gun Control: ‘Disarm the Criminals’

During times of trouble and strife for the conservative movement, it’s almost a certainty that President Ronald Reagan has offered words of wisdom at some point that still apply today.

It’s no different as liberals make a massive push for further gun control in America following the Las Vegas shooting this past weekend.

Speaking at a fundraiser for the California Republican Party in 1983, Reagan dropped an epic line regarding gun control and what anti-Second Amendment Democrats need to focus on instead.

During his speech, Reagan addressed Republican governor at the time, George Deukmejian, and his stance on Proposition 15, a measure which would have required handgun owners to register them with the Department of Justice.

Deukmejian was against the proposition, as were a majority of Californians at the time who soundly defeated the measure 63 to 37 percent.

Why was the strict gun control measure defeated? Reagan puts it in words as only he can …


“You won’t get gun control by disarming law abiding citizens,” Reagan said. “There’s only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up, and if you don’t actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time.”

An important reminder that criminals don’t pay any attention to gun control laws. They don’t pay any mind to laws, period.

What makes Reagan’s comments even more striking is the fact that he defended the Second Amendment right to bear arms, despite having been the target of a would-be assassin two years earlier.

In a speech to the NRA in 1983, Reagan promised to “never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm.”

Here’s an image of Reagan aiming a rifle at a window aboard Air Force One as he headed to California that same year:


After his presidency, Reagan became a key figure in Congress’s passing of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, personally lobbying for the bill over objections of the NRA.

In April, Donald Trump became the first president to address the NRA since that speech by Reagan.

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Trump told the crowd blasting Obama’s record on guns. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

What do you think about Reagan’s comments on gun control? Share your thoughts below!

Read more at the Political Insider

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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