You’ve probably noticed that whenever someone talks about gun control, the wingnuts shriek that Hitler confiscated the guns! I’ve long been skeptical of that claim, but I never bothered to check it out. Well, there’s a historian named Bernard Harcourt who fact-checked the Hitler confiscated guns claim, and he says it’s bogus.
As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.
The 1938 law signed by Hitler that LaPierre mentions in his book basically does the opposite of what he says it did. “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote. Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including Nazi party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.
You mean, Wayne LaPierre lied? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you … For more, see ON GUN REGISTRATION, THE NRA, ADOLF HITLER, AND NAZI GUN LAWS: EXLPODING THE GUN CULTURE WARS by Bernard Harcourt.
It’s true that Jews and other people identified by the Reich as “problems” were not allowed to own guns. But another historian, Omer Bartov, pooh-poohs the idea that if the Jews had been armed they could have avoided the Holocaust. “Just imagine the Jews of Germany exercising the right to bear arms and fighting the SA, SS and the Wehrmacht. The [Russian] Red Army lost 7 million men fighting the Wehrmacht, despite its tanks and planes and artillery. The Jews with pistols and shotguns would have done better?”
By the same token, today’s “patriots” armed with assault weapons quickly could be rendered into a quivering pile of protoplasm by the U.S. military. One would have to be demented to think otherwise.
Bartov, of Brown University, continues,
“Their assertion that they need these guns to protect themselves from the government — as supposedly the Jews would have done against the Hitler regime — means not only that they are innocent of any knowledge and understanding of the past, but also that they are consciously or not imbued with the type of fascist or Bolshevik thinking that they can turn against a democratically elected government, indeed turn their guns on it, just because they don’t like its policies, its ideology, or the color, race and origin of its leaders.”
The fanciful notion that the Second Amendment arms citizens so they are perpetually prepared to overthrow the government (see example) is a gross distortion of history, of course. There is a credible argument to be made that the Second Amendment was written to make sure that the federal government could not deprive the states of their militias. And the reason the early Republic chose to maintain state militias was that some people of the time were nervous about maintaining a large standing regular army. But the Second Amendment obviously is concerned with arming a militia, and the first purpose of the militia was state and national defense.
The very first time state militias were called into federal service was to put down a tax rebellion in Pennsylvania, the Whiskey Rebellion. President George Washington actually put on a military uniform and rode at the head of the troops. If you listen to today’s Gun Nuts, the second amendment was written so that the whiskey rebels could defend themselves against George Washington’s militia. I don’t think so.
The U.S. Government effectively dissolved, in either the Civil War or 1933, when it went off the gold standard. And because of that, “you don’t have to pay your taxes, pay off your house, you don’t really owe anybody anything, and by the way if you file the right documents, you can get as much as $20 million from the federal government.”
That’s right, the government actually owes you money. See, when it went off the gold standard, in order to maintain this false sense of legitimacy, the illuminati turned us all into “straw men.” Those capital letters on our birth certificates are our straw man names, and our Social Security numbers are just a way to keep track of us. The government then convinced some suckers in China and other countries to fork over their hard-earned Yuan for a stake in Americans’ future earning potential, anywhere from $600,000 to $20 million, per person. The so-called U.S. Government has been cashing in on you since the day you were born, somehow. And all you have to do to collect is file the right paperwork—and in the meantime, refuse to acknowledge the straw man.
I seriously think that gun nut extremism is some kind of mental pathology. So maybe we should take them up on the crazy people registry thing.