Sunday, October 11, 2015

Using the Republican Nazi Argument against Gun Control

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
German Jews forcibly pulled out of dug-outs
Photo: Jürgen Stroop Report, May 1943
Pro-gun proponents use Hitler’s disarming of German citizens as an argument against gun control. The latest is presidential candidate Ben Carson’s “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.” In other words, the Holocaust would not have happened if German citizens had guns to stand up to Hitler.

Candidate Senator Ted Cruz wrote, “The 2nd Amendment… is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny -- for the protection of liberty.”

Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, often emphasizes the connection between gun registration and the Holocaust. As with Carson and Cruz, the Republican and NRA view is that gun ownership serves as the ultimate check against a tyrannical federal government.

The notion that an armed German citizenry would prevent the Nazis reign of terror is naïve. It took six years for the world’s armies to defeat Hitler. To think an armed German citizenry with pistols and rifles could defeat the German army (or armed American citizens defeat the armed forces of the United States) is not only naïve but also preposterous.

Yes, the Nazis restricted gun ownership. However, there was not a restriction on non-Jews owning guns. The restriction banned Jews from owning guns. But as Bernard E. Harcourt, writing for the Fordham Law Review, puts it: "… the small number of personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000) remaining in Germany in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state."

© Copyright 2015 Horatio Green