When all guns have been banned,
__When all rifles are taken,
When your words have been censored,
__When your life has been shaken—
When all schools fear the state,
__When our history’s erased,
When all freedom’s been choked,
__When religion’s replaced—
Only then you’ll discover,
__That the Right to bear arms,
Was our only protection
__From the Left’s luring charms.



Roy E. Peterson is a writer and former U.S. military army intelligence officer who currently resides in Texas. 

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49 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Dear Mr. Peterson –
    I like your poem very much; it is concise and to the point.

    Your illustration resonates as well. Several of my ancestors were Minutemen, who contributed so much to the founding of this country. I will always honor them and the constitution. And by the way, the left has no lures for me.

    • C.B. Anderson

      I fear, Sally, that it won’t be long before the Lexington Town Council will decide to have that statue torn down, because the people living in Lexington today are nothing like the persons who created that statue, or anything like the patriots who originally inspired it. Lexington, like most of Massachusetts, has gone completely Libtard. As it happens, I pass through that town at least once a month. In the old days of The Victory Garden I was there nearly every day.

      • Sally Cook

        Yes, C.B., I suspect that may happen. But if it does, can you please arrange to ship it to me, where I will have it set up in my yard?

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Like you, some of my ancestors were Minutemen and one of them was with the Green Mountain Boys. Thank you for the kind comment!

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Mr. Peterson points out that the loss of one of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights sets the precedent for the loss of all of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and this should be a concern for all of us, political affiliations notwithstanding.
    The fact that it is cast as a left/right issue is, I believe, a diabolical distraction from the end result, which is the loss of everyone’s freedom.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Joe T. — I agree with you that the loss of one constitutional right will inevitably lead to the erosion of all others. But I believe that the Second Amendment issue has been rightly politicized as a left-right issue, for the simple reason that the liberal left (in this country and everywhere on the planet) is viscerally hostile to an armed citizenry. For that reason, political affiliations do matter, since you’re never going to find a left-liberal Democrat in the Blue State cesspools who doesn’t support confiscatory gun-control. Oh sure, they’ll lie to you about it… but that’s what Gramscian and Fabian types are trained to do.

      The liberal left lies through its teeth in this question. They spout the usual bullshit about wanting to stop “violence.” But their real aim is a disarmed citizenry that cannot defend itself against anything that an all-powerful government wants to impose. The only forces opposing this agenda are hard conservatives and rightists, and that’s why this is a textbook example of a left-right conflict.

      It should be noted that the liberal left aims its “gun control” agenda against law-abiding citizens, but it is very obviously indifferent to the existence of scads of illegal guns in the hands of the parasite criminal-and-welfare class that votes Democratic.

      I urge everyone here to ask yourself: WHAT’S GOING ON, AND WHAT IS THE REAL PLAN? Why are law-abiding, taxpaying, rap-sheet-free citizens being forced to give up their weapons, while drug dealers, ghetto scum, and ex-cons are keeping theirs? And if you’re too afraid to answer that question, then remember this: When you don’t think about something long enough, that’s when it becomes “unthinkable.”

      • Joe Tessitore

        Joe S.

        “their real aim is a disarmed citizenry that cannot defend itself against anything that an all-powerful government wants to impose.”
        We will ALL be a part of that disarmed citizenry and we will ALL be at the mercy (for want of a better word) of that all-powerful government.
        Will it matter – when dystopia is a reality – who
        was more vile, more strident and more vociferous in these current ideological battles? Will we not all wake up one day and realize that we’ve ALL been played and that we were ALL useful idiots? Will it be any better in dystopia for the left than for the right?
        Are these kinds of ideological battles raging in Communist China, or is not the entire citizenry under the all-powerful government’s thumb?

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        The difference is this, Joe T. When massive Canadian-style or New Zealand-style gun control is implemented here in the U.S., the liberal left will be CELEBRATING! They’ll be breaking open the champagne and singing songs, as they salivate about how people like you and me will now be helpless victims. THEY won’t be victims.

        Why? Because gun-control will be implemented by THEIR government, imposing THEIR laws and regulations, and establishing policies that follow THEIR wishes. They won’t need guns, because they’ll have the military and the police forces at THEIR disposal! Don’t you see this?

        The reason we have this problem in the first place isn’t the fault of government per se. American governments in general follow popular trends. The gun-control issue is being hotly contested because of the existence and influence of our left-liberal enemies. They have become wealthy, culturally dominant, and have taken control of the school system, much of the law courts, and now a vast number of major corporations, and all of Silicon Valley. These horrid left-liberal Americans are the problem, not some governmental conspiracy to enslave all of us. They are a cancer on the body politic. Voters in New York and California were stupid and vicious enough to give us vermin like Cuomo and Newsome.

        China has always been a strongly conformist and regulated nation, going as far back as imperial times. Citizens there have always been under the government’s thumb.

      • Joe Tessitore

        I truly hope you’re right, Joe, and that the worst that we face is ideological confrontation. I fear, in fact, that we may be facing much worse, and I truly hope that I’m wrong.

      • Roy E. Peterson

        Well said, Joseph. See my response to Ann.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Interesting comment. I consider myself a moderate leaning to the right these days, since the center has disappeared. Considering loss of freedom now, I take the position that the right is the lesser of evils, since it supports the Constitution until one gets out on the far right. As a political scientist and historian, I still consider the present situation a left/right dichotomy with the left attempting to strip us of our freedom.

      • Roy E. Peterson

        This comment was meant for Joe Tessitore. See my response to Ann. Additionally, the objective of every tyrannical govenment (Germany, Russia, China, and so on) is to eliminate all weapons so their rule is uninterrupted.

  3. Ann Mitchell

    Wow – what a scary comment. Can you not see that country’s that have gun control do not have the mass shootings you do in the US?

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Ann, mass shootings will continue whether the government bans guns or not… criminals DON’T obey the law. The UK (my homeland) is gun free… that didn’t stop the Hungerford and Dunblane massacres. Didn’t gun-free Canada have a mass shooting in Nova Scotia last year? And tell me this, why should every disgustingly rich politician have the benefit of armed protection when the same is not afforded the citizens? In fact, those very same politicians are defunding the police… perhaps you should ask yourself why. Power and control? This is the very reason the Foundings Fathers allowed guns in the first place – protection against an overbearing government.

      And, by the way, medical errors kill more than twenty times as many people as guns do every year… perhaps we should be looking toward the medical profession for answers to the many questions surrounding the skullduggery afoot in the name of saving us from the dreaded Covid-19.

      Mr. Peterson, thank you very much for your spot on poem!

      • Ann Mitchell


        We will agree to disagree on this subject.

        To stick to poetry I do love yours.

      • Paul Freeman

        Hungerford – 1987; Dunblane – 1996. Hardly the epidemic the world witnesses and shakes its head at across the pond.

        And how did MGM make 58 dead and hundreds wounded go away? Only in Second Amendment-ville.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Paul, knife crime and acid attacks through the roof in the UK. British citizens told to “run and hide” when there’s a machete attack on London Bridge. Innocent kids blown to smithereens at a Manchester pop concert with bystanders too scared to turn the demon in because he’s of ethnic origin. Mass rape swept under the British carpet for twenty years in Rotherham because the police force are too politically correct to deal with it. Churches raided in Balham at Easter for Covid violations while illegal immigrants are bringing Covid to your shores. Talk of lockdown relaxation rules on April 12th (one day before Ramadan) while Easter was ruined for many. The British soldier, Lee Rigby, beheaded on a Woolwich street because he’s an infidel. Look to your own shores before insulting those who are trying to protect their country and their culture in the USA!

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Second Amendmentville? Do you mean that we here in the States actually have a Bill of Rights, while you’re a helpless and unarmed slave of U.K. bureaucracy, CHAV punks, and an anti-white Race-Relations Act?

        And we got that Bill of Rights by kicking your arse.

      • Roy E. Peterson

        Wonderful comment, Susan. I believe you are in Texas, as am I. You bring a great perspective to the discussion with your international familiarity. For Ann, by the way, Switzerland REQUIRES all citizens to be armed and they have one of the lowest, if not the lowest crime rate in the world.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      … and, consider this, every household in Switzerland possessed machine guns during WWI and WWII. They were not invaded by their neighbors. Surely a benefit.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      What’s scary is people like Ann Mitchell, and their reflex-response mentality.

      By the way, she has misspelled “countries.”

      • Ann Mitchell

        Apparently Joseph you do not allow free speech (mine) – only those whose opinion you agree with.

        I am new to this site and find much on it very disturbing.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        You’re free to say whatever the hell you want. Who’s stopping you? That’s not true at left-liberal poetry websites.

        But here if you spout leftist sentimentality, you’ll get an argument. That’s also free speech.

    • Yael

      Ann, can you not see that all these alleged “mass-shootings” are false-flag attacks which are instigated and executed by tax-payer funded alphabet letter agencies for the sole purpose of convincing Americans to relinquish their weapons? Every single one of them in the 21st century, and before that too.
      All roads lead to Rome by the way.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Don’t be stupid, Ann. If everyone were armed, a mass-shooter wouldn’t stand much of a chance. Apparently you do not understand the liberties guaranteed by the American Constitution — no wonder you find Joseph’s comment scary. You are a meek rabbit waiting to be devoured by the sly foxes.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      From my book, “Gray Power Politics,” here is the data from the FBI on deaths by rifle including mass shootings from 2006 to 2017 (Not including homicides): 2006 to 2010 -Zero (0), 2012 – 298, 2013 – 285, 2014 – 258, 2015 – 258, 2016 – 271, 2017 – 353.

      You are twice as likely to be killed by a hammer. Yes, I found that information.

      Here are my top ten (10) historical and logical reasons to leave the 2nd Amendment alone:
      1. Assisting Law Enforcement: Stopping a crime, citizen arrest, returning fire.
      2. Deterrence of a Crime and Criminals.
      3. Food Acquisition: Many poor rural families rely on hunting game.
      4. Law of Unintended Consequences: Taking away guns eliminates fear in committing a crime. The Founding Fathers have multiple quotes such as this one from Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man…”
      5. Oppressive Government: The Founding Fathers felt it was important as a deterrent to a potentially oppressive government to have everyone armed.
      6. Prevention of Invasion: One of the reasons Japan did not continue on from Pearl Harbor and attack California was the numbers of guns against them.
      7. Property Protection: “In a free society, every individual has the right to protect the things he cherishes from attack…” (quote from my book)
      8. Trained Manpower for War: With the demise of conscription, young men and women who are trained in carrying and using rifles is the only reserve manpower of last resort.
      9. Self Defense. This should be obvious to the casual observer.
      10. Varmints. Another one self-explanatory (although I went into detail).

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Roy, thank you very much for these contemplative and eye-opening facts you have given Ann.

        Ann, I hope you are still reading this thread. I used to feel just like you ten years ago. I was brought up in a country where people didn’t possess guns and neither did the bobby on the beat (the regular police force in the UK). I was appalled when I arrived in Texas to think that police and (much worse) ordinary citizens were armed. I was in shock and disapproval, as you are now… but, having studied the history of America, and lived among the Texan people, I have since changed my mind.

        This is due to the reasons Roy puts forth, but also some of my own. My homeland has changed beyond recognition since 2011, and I genuinely fear for the British people. They have a government that doesn’t have the people’s interests at heart. Nearly everyone in my circle of friends in Texas owns a gun. I trust them all implicitly, and understand their history. Not one of them would ever use a gun irresponsibly.

        I’m glad you like my poetry and I’m glad you’re a member of this site. It’s full of people with big hearts, big values, and care for the world they live in. They are honest and outspoken – a rare indulgence these days. I have often found the robust and passionate communication abrasive, challenging, and contrary to my beliefs… but, I have benefited from alternative views. They have made me research, think, reassess, and emerge from the other end a better person for the experience.

        Please stick with us. You never know, it may give your poetry the edge to take it to the next level… it’s certainly done that for me, and I’m thankful to all those poets who showed me the way.

    • Dave Whippman

      Ann, as a Brit, I can only echo what Susan says. Terrorists have killed people by the score in suicide bombings (London, Manchester.) They’ve also murdered people in multiple stabbings. Drug dealers and robbers have no problem getting guns illegally. With respect, your view seems to be: ban guns and the violence stops. That just doesn’t tally with the facts. I’m not well up on the latest statistics; but just a few years back, the murder rate in London exceeded that of New York.

  4. Yael

    Great poem, so true. I’m going to post this on a wall around here somewhere, as a reminder.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    You are absolutely correct, Roy. The one and only reason they want to deprive us of our firearms is that they know how pissed off we’ll be if they ever try to do to us what they would like to do. I can’t tell Ann to go to hell, because she is already there. God bless Army Intelligence, and God bless Texas.

  6. RF Brooks

    Setting aside Mr Salemi’s fever-dream characterization of anyone (including other Conservatives and Conservative Governments) who advocate for more responsible gun use, sales and access, the poem isn’t bad in its use of form. A nice anapestic rhythm. I might add one more stanza.

    Unless you’re a child
    At the Sandy Hook shooting
    Then guns won’t protect you.
    It’s guns before schooling.

    • Mike Bryant

      Our politicians have armed men protecting them… I wonder why our children don’t rate protection. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Guns before schooling? Yes, first things come first–
      We know that an armed guard can stave off the worst,
      Unless you are one of those posturing schnooks
      Like left-liberal apologist RF Brooks.

      • Mike Bryant

        Joe S. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. 🙂

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Then I will add another verse, as well.

      The Sandy Hook anomaly
      Must never take my guns from me.
      The reason children there were harmed;
      They weren’t prepared and were unarmed.

      • RF Brooks

        Roy, your addition lacks the nice anapestic rhythm of your original. How does this sound?

        His brains out the window
        And reason defiled,
        The answer he gives?
        Give a gun to a child.

      • Mike Bryant

        Don’t get so riled,
        It’s just not that hard.
        The gun for the child
        Is held by the guard.

      • RF Brooks

        You mean like the one
        Shot dead at the store?
        Before the armed shooter
        Gunned down a dozen more?

      • Mike Bryant

        If that’s how you’re thinking
        Disarm politicians.
        You’re missing the linking,
        You’re not a logician.
        If big shots are guarded
        Then why not our schools?
        Don’t be so hard hearted.
        Don’t take us for fools.

  7. Joseph S. Salemi

    Brooks’s agenda
    Is kept out of sight:
    “Guns for the left wing
    But none for the right.”

    He moans for the children
    With tears in his eyes —
    I’m certain his weeping
    Is just a disguise.

    • RF Brooks

      Salemi’s agenda
      Is plain as a turd
      He trots out the “Left”
      When he’s short of a word.

      Not a tear for the children
      (He knows malefactors).
      There wasn’t a gun
      They were all crisis actors.

      • Roy E. Peterson

        Poets are entitled
        To non sequiturs
        The logic is there
        To which “they” infers.

        The school should have guards
        With their firearms
        To defend the children
        From unspeakable harms.

  8. Joseph S. Salemi

    From a moralist prig —
    You don’t like the word “Left”?
    OK — you’re a Whig.

    And now you come here
    To posture and preen.
    That’s what I’d expect
    From a real drama queen.

  9. Yael

    Amazing: this is the first time I get to witness a rhyming political argument between fellow poets of opposing political views. I had no idea this even exists, thanks guys. Somebody should write a poem about this;)

  10. Robert James Liguori

    So the right held his gun,
    Where the left yielded her needle,
    Once sister and brother,
    Now drum set and fiddle.

    Human, civil and bill of rights,
    Squashed down like a beetle…
    Is it possible to find peace and love,
    Somewhere in the middle?


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