from my cold, dead hands

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from my cold, dead hands

A phrase used to indicate that someone is unwilling to give something up (thus, the item would need to be pried from one's "cold, dead hands"). The phrase gained popularity after Charlton Heston used it in a speech in support of the National Rifle Association. If you want me to stop practicing at night, you'll have to pry my trumpet from my cold, dead hands!
See also: dead, hand
References in periodicals archive ?
from my cold dead hands, but I say that the second and third cancel out the first.
For others he'll ever be remembered clutching a rifle and booming "From my cold dead hands!"
Their view is summed up by the famous image of movie star Charlton Heston, once president of the NRA, declaring: "If you want to take my gun away, you'll have to take it from my cold dead hands."