Jesse Ventura on Gun Control

Former Independent MN Governor; possible Presidential Challenger


It's up to gun owners to ensure their weapons aren't misused

As a gun owner, it's up to you to make sure that these weapons can't get into the hands of children. That's why you have a gun safe. That's why, if you so choose, buy gun locks and put those on. With freedom we have to accept responsibility, and you certainly don't want to lose your freedoms. But again, you must accept responsibility in which to hold those freedoms.
Source: CNN coverage: interview on Larry Kind Live show , Mar 14, 2001

Gun responsibility goes with gun rights

The Second Amendment grants us the freedom to possess and use firearms-and that’s about the part where most people stop reading-but it goes on to say that it rants us that right because of a responsibility. To me, that means we are entrusted with using our firearms safely, for the protection of ourselves and others. I’m no advocate of gun control, but I do think in recent years we’ve made way too much noise on the “rights” side of the equation, and not enough on the “responsibility” side. [But] forcing people to register their firearms goes against the intent of the Second Amendment.

A certain amount of gun control is fine. I don’t want the average citizen walking around the streets carrying machine guns. I agree that gun use should be controlled, but I don’t believe the government should be the one doing the controlling. I think control is the gun owner’s responsibility. But the ban on assault weapons was a stupid piece of legislation. It banned guns for simply looking like machine guns.

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p.112-14 , Jul 2, 2000

Guns are designed to kill; respect them

I believe very strongly that guns are instruments of death. That’s all they’re used for; there’s no purpose for them other than to kill. I think you have to understand that in order to respect them. I have no fear of my teenage son handling weapons, because he has that respect. I remember the first time I let him shoot my M-16. He was just a young kid. I took him up to the lake, I set up a target range, and I let him shoot. He fired it three or four times, then he set the weapon down, walked away, and sat down. I asked him, “What’s the matter?”

He said, “I just need to rest a little, Dad.”

I told him, “See? It’s not like the movies, is it? This is real.” And he understood. What you see in the movies, and what you pretend when you play cops and robbers and that sort of thing, is very different than what you’re doing when you fire the real thing. You know that those projectiles you’re firing could kill. That’s what they’re designed to do.

Source: Ain’t Got Time to Bleed, p.137 , Jan 1, 1999

If you’re going to own a gun, know what you’re doing

I’m all for gun control, I just define it a little differently. If you can put 2 rounds into the same hole from 25 meters, that’s gun control! If you’re going to own a gun, you have an obligation to know what you’re doing with it. When the Constitution gave us the right to bear arms, it also made us responsible for using them properly. It’s not fair of us as citizens to lean more heavily on one side of that equation than on the other.

So I support waiting periods and training requirements for gun ownership, and I like the idea that is shouldn’t be incredibly easy to get guns. I support the right to carry concealed weapons, but I think people who want a concealed-weapons permit need to pass a training and safety course. The Constitution calls for a “well-regulated militia.” In other words, you need to know how to use your weapon, and practice with it.

Where I draw the line is at gun registration. A law that says that everybody who owns a gun has to be on record is too easy to abuse.

Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 41-2 , Jan 1, 1999

Concealed weapons OK if you can pass safety exam

I will support legislation that permits some citizens to carry concealed weapons. I will not give carte blanch approval to all types of concealed weapons. People who want to carry concealed weapons should be prepared to demonstrate certain competencies with their guns, just as the police must do.

People who want to carry concealed weapons must be able to prove that they can use a gun safely, hit a silhouette target rather than innocent bystanders, and prove they have no criminal history. Applicants should complete a gun safety and training course for their requested weapons. They should be able to show competency and accuracy in weapon use, both at the time of purchase and periodically thereafter.

Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign , Nov 1, 1998

Other candidates on Gun Control: Jesse Ventura on other issues:
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Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
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Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

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Page last updated: Mar 20, 2021