Hitler and the Gun Nuts

firearms, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

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 NRA wants to register crazy people instead of guns. Considering this guy, this guy, and these guys

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.

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  1. Dan  •  Jan 12, 2013 @4:03 pm

    Reminds me of the “Eye for an eye” argument for ‘tough punishments.’

    The only problem is, “Eye for an eye” was a LIMITATION on the then-prevalent practice of blood feud, stating you were limited to recompense only for what was actually taken…

    One wonders what the world would be like if Republicans were educated, instead of propagandized (and starched and folded on command)!

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 12, 2013 @4:23 pm

    What even the “brightest” wingnut knows, would fit on the back of a postage stamp – with plenty of room left over for someone with really tiny handwriting to copy “The Declaration of Independence” underneath.

    As for that last crazy thing you mention, maha, that sound like a great scam!
    I may swipe that, and send it out via e-mail, with the ‘Subject” being: “Don’t lose your money with those Nigerian e-mail scams!”
    With the body, saying – ‘I’m an American citizen, and I have a legitimate way for you to make up to $20 million dollars that’s owed to you by The Illuminati” and the US Government they run. For details, send me $1,000 in cash to PO Box….’

    And why not?
    I think P.T. Barnum vastly underestimated the number of suckers born in a period of time.
    And if he was right about there being one born every second, then there’s still plenty of time left over for fools, marks, rubes, morons, feckin’ idjits, and, the most common common gullible mental-defective out there – wingnuts!

  3. erinyes  •  Jan 12, 2013 @5:00 pm

    There’s some guy named Larry Ward on the TeeVee right now talking about “gun appreciation day” this Jan.19th The interview is taking a turn down “crazy lane”.
    He is suggesting a well armed citizenry would be a deterrent to a take over by the government and against crime in general.
    I say, a man with a hammer sees nails where others don’t. recipe for a very bad cake.
    I suggest a “penis appreciation day” would be far safer, and fewer “men” would be parading around showing off what they got.In the end, that’s REALLY what this is all about. Ahh, but that would be rude and offensive, especially to the church people.Its like I wake up in a new reality every day.
    The FBI, working in conjunction with the Osceola Co. Sheriff recently raided a “compound” in the hinterlands of the county where a neo-nazi group was training and plotting a war against blacks, Jews, and Hispanics (in particular). I’m sure there will be more raids, the place is crawling with wing nuts.

  4. goatherd  •  Jan 12, 2013 @5:23 pm

    Another thing that comes to mind as I read this, is a BBC documentary I saw on the battle of Stalingrad. The documentary focused on why the Soviet army prevailed in the end. One of the things they mentioned is that Stalin had strongly encouraged town and cities to form rifle clubs and to hold frequent competitions. Events and training were for both men and women. Marksmanship became a very popular pastime.

    The soviets were able to mobilize a large militia of very skilled snipers, made up of the citizens who had taken part in the training and competition. According to the documentary they were very effective against the Nazi army. So evidently “Uncle Joe” didn’t confiscate all the guns either. He favored the same sort of militia that most NRA members envision.

    I will have to watch the Documentary again to make sure i have the facts straight and to see who was involved in the research. But, I find the BBC generally reliable. It would be interesting to see how much truth there is behind the claims about Stalin “taking all the guns”. Please note, I am in no way trying to minimize or support the atrocities committed during the era of Stalin or any of his policies.

    As a side note, the documentary related that many of the snipers who fought at Stalingrad were women who showed considerable skill and courage at what is generally considered the toughest battle in history.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 12, 2013 @5:59 pm

    The Soviet Constitution of 1936 is a remarkably Liberal document – in theory. I remember reading it in both English and Russian when I was in College back in the late 70’s, and I remember laughing, and saying that it was, in some repects, better and more free than ours – again, in theory.
    Reality, was a WHOLE ‘nuther ball game!

    I can’t ask my father anymore, since he passed away last year, but I don’t remember him ever mentioning guns in the USSR. At least not privately owned ones. High-level officials, yes. City, town, and village, officials, sure. But, private citizens?
    I don’t think Stalin would have stood for that – or, at least not from the satellite “States,” like Ukraine. Too many areas weren’t happy to under the Soviet yoke. And besides, as he was starving certain areas into submission, the last thing he would have allowed was for citizens to have guns to hunt and eat, or to put up armed resistance.

    It may be, that since they had Universal Military Service, that they offered shooting lessons in carefully controlled and regulated situations, where the Government brought the guns out for people to practice with in towns and cities, and then, carefully locking them away, with armed guards to protect them.
    It is true, though, that some of the best snipers, were women.

    The USSR was miles ahead of America in its attitude towards women. There was still, believe me, plenty of misogyny there, and still is. But overall, it was certainly a more balanced and equitable place for women, at least until WWII when “Rosie, the Riveter’s” here, were finally allowed to show they could handle work as well as men. I’m not sure it was because the USSR was that egalitarian, or, because it was a poor country with a long history of women working alongside men.
    I remember being in College, and bringing my pretty actress/gymnast girlfriend home for the family to meet.
    My Grandmother’s 3rd husband (the first, my real Grandfather on my Father’s side, was executed in 1938, and the 2nd died of natural causes here in the US – a wonderful and kind man) pulled me aside later, and he said to me in Ukrainian, “Very pretty. But can she pull a plow?”
    I thought for a second, that was some sort of euphamism for sex. But then, I realized, what he was saying was, ‘Yes, she’s lovely. But, in tough times, when the horse, or donkey, or ox dies, can SHE pull the plow so that you can finish planting to help the family survive?”
    And I’m sure that many pioneer women here in the US, had to pull, just like their Russian sisters.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 12, 2013 @7:09 pm

    I checked with my Mom.
    Her father had a hunting rifle in their home in Stalingrad. My Grandmother wasn’t trained to shoot, but she was designated the “Apothecary” for a designated area.

    Of course, that Grandfather was one of the top foremen at some section or other at the Red Army Tractor Plant (and starting goalie on the plant’s team), so, while he and some of his and my Grandmother’s relatives may have been allowed to have them in their home, doesn’t mean that they would be availablle in ALL homes.

    My Father’s Father, was a fairly high-level Ukrainian official, in an area that Stalin was starving the people into submission (anyone interested, please read, “Harvest of Sorrows), so I wouldn’t have been surprised if my Father had told me that no one he knew of, had access to guns – he never, ever, mentioned guns in Ukraine. That Grandfather supposedly had know Stalin fairly well when he was younger, during the Red/White Civil War, and so, was one of the earliest victim’s of Stalin’s late-30’s purges – one theory is that Stalin executed those who were closest to him, or that he know best, or even knew of at all, first. He figured they might also have known Trotsky, and had resented what had happened to him. There were also rumours that, not only was Stalin a spy for the Tsar, but one for the late Tsar’s forced in that Civil War. Stalin makes our villains, like Benedict Arnold, Richard M. Nixon, and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, look like Patrick Henry, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa.

    Yeah, I know – TMI!

  7. Swami  •  Jan 12, 2013 @7:15 pm

    NRA fights for national mental illness registry

    And a house divided against itself cannot stand?

  8. Bill Bush  •  Jan 12, 2013 @9:26 pm

    All the more reason to implement ACA super-double-quick-fast! Can you imagine the amount of economic stimulus at all levels of society as we fast-track psychiatriatric grads? Student loan officials will be busy busy busy. And the construction industry will have to build clinics for the walk-in crazies plus locked facilities for the truly hard cases. The number of police who will be employed in rounding up those who are a danger to themselves and others will be enormous. More police union members. Armed guard training courses at community colleges will flourish! Think of it! The lists goes on and on. It’s Obama’s secret stimulus for his second term. (Can you tell I spent a few minutes reading today’s hate mail year-end round-up on Daily Kos? What a hoot!) Channelling paranoia is fun and profitable. Ask Rupert!

  9. pluky  •  Jan 12, 2013 @10:26 pm

    In my experience, not too far behind the loud protestations of “I own my guns to prevent tyranny,” lies a quiet fantasy of mowing down the hordes of black and brown people “coming after my stuff” following some sort of disaster, natural or social.

    And Cundgulag, not nearly enough information. Your posts in general, here and other places I’ve read with pleasure. The kind of of personal history related above is something to be treasured, and shared as widely as possible. Your grandfather’s narratives about Stalin are the details so easily lost, but so much more illuminative than dry lists of dates, places, and body counts.

  10. Swami  •  Jan 13, 2013 @3:03 am

    I seriously think that gun nut extremism is some kind of mental pathology.

    It’s a balm for the emotionally crippled that gives them a sense of security and empowerment..In layman’s terms… The penis extender*.

    * That’s not intended to be funny or cute..it’s intended to hit at the heart of the matter.

  11. uncledad  •  Jan 13, 2013 @6:41 am

    “I seriously think that gun nut extremism is some kind of mental pathology”

    No doubt so will the anti bullet crowd destroy what little can be made. Now is the time for “go fuck yourself” A pefect example of nothing changes.


  12. uncledad  •  Jan 13, 2013 @6:51 am

    Down to Hammond Don”t be a fool

    Tell me I’m OK


  13. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 13, 2013 @9:50 am

    “And a house divided against itself cannot stand?”

    And Swami lands a perfect landing!

  14. Bill Bush  •  Jan 13, 2013 @9:50 am

    There is more than one kind of paranoid pursuit in this country:

  15. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 13, 2013 @10:10 am

    Bill Bush,
    Yeah, he must REALLY have pissed some powerful people off!

    Usually, they reserve this kind of prosecutorial excess to “Blah” and brown young men.

  16. goatherd  •  Jan 13, 2013 @12:56 pm

    Thanks, cundgulag, your insights and historical notes were interesting and informative. When I have a free evening, I think I’ll see if I can dig up the documentary and watch it again and see who made it, etc.

  17. Swami  •  Jan 13, 2013 @1:26 pm

    A little off topic, but maybe of some relevance. I read where Larry ‘Wide Stance” Craig was at one time a board memer of the NRA. It makes me wonder about the mental illness isssue..Not that Larry’s sexual desires or expression of them represents any form of mental illness,but his choice of venue in expressing those desires would seem to me as some form of mental illness.. I don’t know what criteria will be used in establishing what defines mental illness…in Larry’s case clearly something ain’t right in his head and I wouldn’t be too eager to vouch for his stablity.

  18. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 13, 2013 @2:17 pm

    Woody Allen still had IT!


    He’s STILL one of the funniest MFers alive!!!

  19. justme277  •  Jan 13, 2013 @5:23 pm

    You know, something struck me last night as I considered all this: We spend a decade at war and anytime someone didn’t support the war we were accused of “Not supporting our troops. Now those same troops are seen as someone to be taken out. Who do you think yeager was wanting to fire that first shot at? One day we are throwing parades, we got red neck country stars pimping “The Wounded Warrior Project”(which we wouldn’t need if the right had listened in the first place in stead of being hell bent on taking us to war), we’ve got the “We support our troops ” bumper stickers out the wazoo, the news features every single home coming and reunited parent and child to the extent it is not even touching anymore- it’s just annoying and it feels like they are attempting to tug the old emotion string again on a bunch of puppets. Our troops get well earned applause just walking thru an airport.We are all whipped up in a “Love fest” for our troops and if you even mention the few bad apples who got caught doing tasteless things with dead Iraqi’s you are promptly pounded into dust for suggesting that they may have done something wrong , because to admit ONE troop might have acted poorly does not fit our “support the troops”meme

    But when gun nuts say they are protecting us against the government who do you think they are expecting combat with? The lives of these same heros are now expendable without even a thought. All so bubba can have a gross of bushmasters.
    Cross out the word “troops” on your bumper stickers folks and replace it with the “firearms”.

    And I want everyone to think about what these folks on the right are claiming- IF in fact they are not hiding behind the issue to claim the right to bear arms – They- this fringe group of whack- jobs claim that because they have guns that THEY and they alone have the right to overthrow any gov. that they dont like and label “tyrannical”. This group claims the ability to overthrow any administration they dislike after we the people elected them. They claim the right to go to war with OUR military, even the desire. This is not disturbing to anyone? Or will we wait to be disturbed until they actually try it.

    Geez If I had a nutty kid who said he could burn the house down I would at least tell him “NO YOU CANNOT” if no one even bothers to tell them they can’t they take what they say as undisputed. What they claim they have the right to do is out dated and it needs to be stopped. Everyone pokes fun at how the gun nuts are bringing a gamblers pistol to a surface to air missile fight, and that may be true.But that isn’t the point. The point is they have shown us they have a frightening right that they shouldnt have and we have to fix it. This is our daily intell briefing memo..gun nuts determined to attack.

    If you want a gun because your too big of a wuss to protect yourself thats on you, but if you have one with the thought of someday banding together with other like minded people to overthrow a gov you dont like – wow, thats a ticking time bomb.

  20. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 13, 2013 @6:05 pm

    A long time ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

    And now, we know, that so is a foolish and blatant “inconstency!”

    Right now, from our Conservatives, I, for one, would appreciate some form of ‘foolish consistency!’
    It would be an improvement over what we’ve had over the last 40+ years.

  21. Swami  •  Jan 13, 2013 @8:10 pm

    justme…They”ll go out in a blaze of glory just like the Symbionese Liberation Army

  22. erinyes  •  Jan 13, 2013 @8:37 pm

    The Symbionese Liberation Army; wow, Swami!
    The day my wife and I arrived in Los Angeles, they were having a shoot-out with the L.A. County Sheriffs. We watched it live on the TeeVee, on KTLA while staying at “The Proud Parrot Inn” on PCH, Lomita, Ca.

  23. erinyes  •  Jan 13, 2013 @8:57 pm
  24. Doug  •  Jan 14, 2013 @8:26 am

    “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. ”

    OK. Let’s return to the vision of the founders. Keep a small pentagon, prepared to coordinate state militias (which are the state national guard troops) and do away with 90% of federal defense spending. Have the STATES bear the direct expense of maintaining their armies.

  25. goatherd  •  Jan 14, 2013 @12:25 pm
  26. Swami  •  Jan 14, 2013 @4:40 pm

    Well, it’ll be interesting to see how the upcoming battle between Obama and the NRA plays out. Both have made some pretty strong claims in defense of their positions. The NRA appears to hold the stronger position, but Obama has made statements in regard to imposing restrictions contrary to what the NRA will allow. Maybe if Obama wants to have his voice heard he should get a membership in the NRA.

    I’m curious to know what Obama means by executive action..He could have it all, or he could have nothing..but like they say..Don’t let your mouth write no checks your ass can’t cash. we’ll see.

  27. Swami  •  Jan 14, 2013 @4:49 pm

    When you’ve got more guns than teeth in your mouth, and more bullets than hairs on your head…you might be mentally ill.