Defeating the NRA is Like ‘Defeating the Nazis’

Bob Schieffer compared Obama’s gun control speech to “passing civil rights legislation, as Lyndon Johnson was able to do; and before that, surely, defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby.”

When young people study the history of what the Nazis did to the Jews, one of the first questions they ask is, “Why didn’t the Jews fight back?” With what? The guns had been taken from them by law. The only people who could legally own guns were non-Jews who were loyal to the State.

Alex Seitz-Wald at SALON doesn’t like comparing what Obama and Co. are doing with new gun regulations to Nazi Germany. Who would? He says the NRA and others have their history wrong.

“[P]eople were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.”

Incremental tyranny is still tyranny. Tyranny by the inch leads to tyranny by the mile. Universal gun registration was part of Hitler’s strategy to put the German people under his thumb.

Gun ownership in Germany has an interesting history. It’s true that prior to Hitler, gun laws were very strict, but not because Germany had anything to do with them. To comply with the Treaty of Versailles, the German Weimar government was required to restrict gun ownership:

“In 1919, the German government passed the Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which declared that ‘all firearms, as well as all kinds of firearms ammunition, are to be surrendered immediately.’ Under the regulations, anyone found in possession of a firearm or ammunition was subject to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 marks.”

Some historians contend that the draconian economic and military conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, which the Weimar government accepted and the German people hated, were a factor in elevating Hitler to power and creating German aggression that led to World War II.

Hitler was gearing up for war. He wanted Germans armed except for enemies of the State. Who were the biggest enemy of the German Master Race? Jews.

The 1938 law, Provision 1, stated:

“Jews . . . are prohibited from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority.”

What made it easy for Hitler and his Brown Shirts to take over and intimidate the masses? The people had been generally disarmed! Dr. Gary North writes: “As everyone with any knowledge of German history in the 1920s knows, the Nazis ignored the [gun prohibition law that had been implemented by the Weimar government]. In 1933, they took over. They suppressed all dissent. How? Because they were armed, while the rest of the population wasn’t. Is there cause and effect here?”

There are a number of historical “what ifs.” Armchair historians often speculate what would have happened if Fidel Castro had been a better baseball player or if the bubble top had been in place on JFK’s car when he went to Dallas on that fateful November day in 1963.

The same is true about Germans, Jews, and guns. Would Hitler have been able to use strong-arm tactics to bully his way into power if the Weimar government hadn’t implemented strict gun control laws? Would the Jews have been in a better position to resist if they had been able to arm themselves? We’ll never know. What we do know is that an unarmed population is a defenseless population :

“If the slogan ‘Never Again!’ is to be taken seriously, then no single aspect of the Holocaust can be relegated to the Orwellian Memory Hole for denial—including Nazism’s brutal repression of the right of the people to keep and bear arms in order to dominate the populace at large and to eradicate disfavored members and groups.”1

  1. Stephen P. Halbrook, “Nazism, the Second Amendment, and the NRA: A Reply to Professor [Bernard] Harcourt,” Texas Review of Law & Politics, vol. 11 (2006), 116–117. []