prying their cold dead fingers


Senior Member
‘Let’s break into his house tomorrow and take his guns.’
Tom McCourt looked at him as though he were mad. ‘The man isn’t as paranoid as some of those militia types out in Utah –I mean, he does live in Taxachusetts –but he’s got one of those burglar alarm signs on his lawn that basically says DO YOU FEEL LUCKY, PUNK and I’m sure you must be familiar with the NRA’s stated policy as to just when their guns will be taken away from them.’
‘I think it has something to do with prying their cold dead fingers—’
Source: Cell by Stephen King
Context: Clay is suggesting to Tom to break into neighbours house and liberate some guns.

What does the bolded sentence mean?

Word I looked up:
pry (with direct object) use force in order to move or open (something) or to separate (something) from something else, as in using a screwdriver, he pried open the window.

Thank you.
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes. If someone very, very much wants to keep something, and will never let you take it away from them, they might jokingly (or not, in the NRA's case) say, in effect, you will have to kill me to get it - the only way to get it is to pry it out of my fingers when I'm dead. The actual words are usually close to: 'You'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers first.'
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