Grand Funk's Mark Farner with guitar and AR

The Most Pro-Gun Song of All Time

If I asked you who wrote the most pro-gun song of all time, you'd probably assume it was Ted Nugent. But while the Motor City Madman has recorded some great tunes, he didn't write these lyrics:

My daddy told me "son, don't let 'em take your gun.
That's what they tryin' to do.
Son, don't let 'em take your gun.
They're takin' your bill of rights away from you."

Those words are not from a punk rocker or some obscure right-wing group, but, ironically, from a band that got its start during the "flower power" movement and packed arenas with screaming fans in the 1970's. They're known for hits like "I'm Your Captain," "We're an American Band," and "Some Kind of Wonderful."

Yes, it's THAT band, Grand Funk Railroad. And the song is titled "Don't Let 'Em Take Your Gun" from the album Good Singin', Good Playin', released in 1976, the year we celebrated the Bicentennial.

The song is an anthem to the ongoing fight for American freedom, and it represents the sort of full-throated, unapologetic patriotism that used to be mainstream, but is now under attack from a generation who are no longer taught history and who too often raise a finger in the air instead of hold a hand to their heart. 

Here are the full lyrics:

Don't Let 'em Take Your Gun

by Mark Farner

Ohhh, people why don't you come in here and let me talk to you a while.
That's right, step right up and listen to a concerned citizen speak his piece.

I'll tell you a little something that my daddy told to me.
My basic fundamentals if you want to be free.
'cause son, there's something wrong internally.
So, if you want your freedom son.
Don't want your country to be overrun.
You got to keep America number one.

My daddy told me "son, don't let 'em take your gun.
That's what they tryin' to do.
Son, don't let 'em take your gun.
They're takin' your bill of rights away from you."
My daddy said "son, don't let 'em take your gun.
That's what they tryin' to do.
Son, don't let 'em take your gun.
Don't let 'em take your gun away from you."

Ohhh, this year is our anniversary.
Two hundred years, people we've been free.
Won't be nobody takin' over our land.
If everybody's brother's got a gun in his hand.
I'm tellin' you we've learned to fight for justice.
We're willing to die for freedom.
Hand in hand.
You got to understand.
We are American men.

Said they want your gun.
Said they want your gun.
Send 'em on the run.
Send 'em on the run.
Hip-hurray for fun.
Hip-hurray for fun.
If they do we're done.
If they do we're done.

My daddy told me "son, don't let 'em take your gun.
That's what they tryin' to do.
Son, don't let 'em take your gun.
They're takin' your bill of rights away from you."
My daddy said "son, don't let 'em take your gun.
That's what they tryin' to do.
Son, don't let 'em take your gun.
Don't let 'em take your gun away from you."

Unlike other musicians who refer to guns with sarcasm, Grand Funk's co-founder, Mark Farner, wrote the song to mean exactly what it says, just like the Second Amendment. He's quoted by Michegan's MLive:

"There's no other way for me to protect my family except that gun," Farner said. "The world is a crazy place. Look what happened to poor John Lennon. There's too many looney-tunes out there."

"I think every one of us needs to be packing heat" to help prevent (incidents like school shootings)," Farner said in a telephone interview from his home in northern Michigan.

If more people are armed, he said, would-be killers will "be taken down long before they fire the second shot."

Farner said guns have always been a part of his life since his father, a World War II veteran, was an avid hunter. "If a man don't have the right to protect his family, he ain't free," he said.

The album Good Singin', Good Playin' was produced by none other than Frank Zappa, who became a life member of the NRA after Farner taught him how to shoot a gun. It wasn't a hit album, and "Don't Let 'em Take Your Gun" probably didn't get a lot of radio airtime, if any. So don't feel bad if you've never heard it or don't remember it. I certainly don't remember hearing it, even though as a teenage musician I listened to a lot of music at that time and covered some of Grand Funk's songs in various local bands.

However, now that I've "discovered" this hidden gem, it's going to be my personal anthem. And I hope it will be yours too.

Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.

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