Sunday Book Review: Gun Control in the Third Reich

courtesy Robert Farago for TTAG

To say Gun Control in the Third Reich is tough sledding is like saying the Jamaican bobsled team was an unlikely entry into the 1988 Olympics. A light read, it ain’t. An academic work on the legal and historical progression of gun control before the Third Reich through to disarmament under Nazi domination, it is. As such, Gun Control in the Third Reich is an important book for gun rights advocates. It gives them the ammunition they need to help others connect the dots between gun registration, gun confiscation and state-sponsored mass murder. Strangely, author Stephen P. Halbrook begins by warning readers against that very line of thinking . . .

This book does not crudely argue that gun control led inexorably to the Holocaust, nor does it claim an intrinsic connection between firearms restrictions and genocide or Nazism, as some polemicists would have it. Of course, the Holocaust itself was in many respects a singular event that was only possible due to a very large number of factors that historians are still attempting to understand.

As a Jew reading this introductory caveat, I was astounded and angered. To suggest that the Holocaust is a “singular event” is to deny that the opposite is true: state-sponsored mass murder is as old as humanity itself and as fresh as Guatemala or Rwanda. To downplay the role of disarmament in mass murder generally and the destruction of European Jewry in specific gives aid and comfort to those who say “it couldn’t happen here” while putting Americans on the same slippery slope into the abyss that claimed my family.

Reading on, I was reassured. It’s certainly true that Gun Control in the Third Reich doesn’t “crudely” argue that firearms restrictions lead to genocide. It makes the point by providing a sophisticated and detailed road map from one to the other, drawing on thousands of source materials. There can be no denying (now) that the Nazis’ systematic disarmament program capitalized on gun control laws passed by well-meaning liberals in the Weimar Republic. The Nazis used the previous government’s registration records to confiscate firearms and send their owners to concentration camps.

One of the truly frightening aspects of this account: the arguments against gun control in the pre-Nazi era are exactly the same as the arguments mooted by gun rights advocates today. Here’s a protest from Dr. Flege (Senior Court Martial Judge for the Navy) against the 1931 Law Against Unauthorized Use of Weapons - establishing a police permitting system and firearms registry - signed by Reich president Paul von Hidenburg.

Are the authorities justified to call the carrying of weapons a “misuse” that is subject to punishment if the person carries the weapon exclusively for the purposes of self-defense, a right that every citizen has by law? May a state, which is unable to protect life and liberty of its citizens from unlawful attacks, keep those citizens from exercising their right of self-defense? It is clear that even a strong, but unarmed man will be helpless when confronted by an armed attacker. The fact that peaceful citizens who respect the law are forced to forego weapons because of the penalties contained in the weapons laws. On the other hand, peace breakers who intentionally violate law and order are not deterred by a prison term.

Dr. Flege’s plea not to leave good men defenseless focuses on criminal assault, not government violence against its citizenry. The same rule applies. Halbrook’s tome shows how the popularly elected Nazi party abandoned the rule of law to tighten their grip on the populace, declaring that the Führer’s will superseded any and all written laws, while making the Gestapo the ultimate authority in matters of enforcement. Which brings us to the central question: could the Nazis have assumed that kind of power without first disarming the general populace?

It is this conundrum that elevates Gun Control in the Third Reich above the “normal” debate over whether or not the Jews of Germany and Europe could have avoided mass extermination (and horrific scientific experimentation) had they been armed. Truth be told, the Nazis’ relentless disarmament campaign applied to all German citizens, preventing any and all of the regime’s opponents from mounting effective resistance to the Nazi Party’s totalitarian policies – including the Holocaust.

This is the hidden history of  German gun control. The assumption that the German people were, as one, brainwashed into blindly and willingly following Hitler’s genocidal mania is false. A segment of the German population detested the Nazi regime but could do nothing about it – because they were disarmed and, in many cases, destroyed. Gun control gave the Nazis free reign to impose their reign of terror, free from dissent.

As Berlin Jewish socialite Bella From wrote in her diary,

“They’ve arrested Pastor Neimoller [the man who wrote the poem 'First they came for the communists . . .'] charging him with subversive activity! They dare anything, knowing that there is no armed minority strong enough to oppose their most outrageous acts.”

Critical to that wider gun control campaign: the disarmament of German shooting clubs and war veterans. The National Socialists considered anyone who wasn’t a Party member with skill at arms and arms to hand an enemy of the state. As they consolidated power, Hitler’s minions “strengthened” gun control laws to reflect that fact. Eventually, anyone who didn’t surrender their guns to the authorities who was later found to have a firearm was shot, hung, garroted, sent to a concentration camp, starved or gassed. The same applied to nationals in Nazi-controlled territories.

It’s gun control as a means of guaranteeing subservience to the state. Halbrook explores this connection in the section on Kristallnacht, the night the Nazis began their move towards the “final solution” for the Jews. A pogrom that was predicated on the assassination of a Nazi Party member by an armed Jew (Heschel Grynszpan) in Paris.

The people at large generally did not participate, and most appeared gravely disturbed by the attacks. Some members of the public helped Jews leave their stores unmolested. But citizens who protested against the attacks on Jews were threatened and silenced by the Rollkommandos [wrecking crews].

Observing that the people at large took no part in and were repulsed by the pogrom, anti-Hitler plotter Hans Gisevius later reflected that they could also see what might happen to themselves if they spoke out or resisted. In addition to the mortal blow to the German Jews, “the cowed middle class stared at the Nazi monster like a rabbit at a snake. A general psychosis had been created, under which the populace was reduced to absolute submission; and this effect was valuable to the Nazis. The class was doomed, but for the present it had its uses and would be made to serve.

In that context, you can almost forgive Halbrook for a glaring omission in his scholarly work, one that would have addressed lingering doubts about potential Jewish resistance to Nazi genocide. How many Jews were armed before the crackdown? Gun Control in the Third Reich provides anecdotal evidence of Jews surrendering arms and Nazi propaganda claims from [alleged] confiscations in Berlin. The information doesn’t paint a picture of an armed populace ready to do battle – with criminals or Nazis – for their survival.

Does that matter? I don’t think so. Those who say the Nazis would have exterminated the Jews even if they’d been armed to the teeth miss the point: the Nazis used gun control to gain, establish and consolidate power. There wouldn’t have been a Third Reich, nor a Jewish holocaust, without gun control. Gun Control in the Third Reich establishes this fact clearly, in nightmarish detail. But the final word belongs to Hitler himself, allowing that you can substitute the word “citizens” for “subject races” without changing the meaning of his rant.

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared for their own downfall is so doing.”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

83 Responses to Sunday Book Review: Gun Control in the Third Reich

  1. avatarJohn F says:

    Gun Confiscation “Will Never Happen in the USA”
    But when it does We the People will be Subjects of the State.
    I am 74, and probably will not see it happen, But there may come a day
    when there will be a Civil War in the US again.
    We the People against the Totalitarian Government.
    Fortunately the liberals will have given up their weapons for $50.

    • avatarjerry says:

      Or a gift card for Starbucks

    • avatardetroiter says:

      Between pistol registration, nics checks and the NSA spying scandels, do you really believe there isn’t a registry, or at least the information to create one stored somewhere?

    • avatarAndy says:

      I feel that this 2nd Civil War or 2nd revolution will happen sooner rather than later , as there are a lot of people unhappy with a lot of things going on such as the government taking more strides to curtail our freedom , by passing laws like the NDAA , the growing rift in the lawmaking process in Congress , the President taking more liberties with executing executive orders on his whim , in essence by passing the power granted by the Constitution to Congress , and then Congress not standing up to the President , the economy , the leftist s in Congress along with the President trying to enact more gun control laws , which I consider a form of Treason since they all took an oath to uphold the Constitution , and now they say it is just a symbolic gesture to pledge this , since when has a law been passed that says that this is “symbolic”? All one has to do is go online to some of the many sites that follow more a traditional line of thought , and you will see the unrest in this country about how things are going , if you listen to people talking or you engage in conversation even with strangers when you are out and about you can hear how these people are fed up too and even some of them speak of armed force may be the only way to get this country back to the free state that this country once was. Me myself , if it comes I will fight on the side of freedom , and will not die a slave , so help me God ! Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        ALAS, they don’t need to confront you, my friend! They can pick you up at your next set in your dentist’s or optometrist’s chair!

    • avatarRobGR says:

      It is already happening in NYC and to the people in Connecticut all waiting in line to register their firearms which will obviously lead to confiscation. It’s so obvious but we’ll just wait for it to happen, we will comply, most of us are law abiding citizens while our government is made of crooks who use the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a doormat to their office’s. (Except for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson though.) So you are seeing it happen in your lifetime, John.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        I met Gary Johnson in Taos, once. He was giving a speech to a small crowd in the Plaza, with a couple of leftist protestors! This was after he’d been out of office several years. Nice guy. I voted for him in 2012.
        This was when he was building a house in Taos Ski Valley. Above 9300 feet.

        Most people don’t know he’s climbed Everest several times, and spent 8 months on his back, on the floor, after busting his back in a fall. Ultralight, I think it was, maybe.

    • avatarG T says:

      It had already happened in the US. Within this last decade. Look up Katrina. Federal troops were used. New York is also doing so with a toe in the water to expand their program. Look at what Boston did. The US Army, with police, have new been unconstitutionally training in Houston and Miami; training against civil uprising. Fascism and tyranny is on the rise in the United States. Its foothold is New York. Sadly, so many Americans are so poorly educated, they don’t realize they are puppets of tranny. And because of how media is controlled by a small number of powerful conglomerates, the news isn’t covering the fact fascism and tyranny is growing more powerful every day. No ifs, ands, or buts, its here – thriving.

      Obama’s background check program was really gun registration. There is only, exactly, one reason to support gun registration – Tyranny. Period. Those who advocate it are by definition tyrants; or supporters thereof.

      So sorry to break the bad news, but you are already living in the times in which you assume can only come to pass decades from now.

  2. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    One only needs to compare two largely Germanic countries to make the point of how astoundingly wrong gun control is. Germany was able to conquer all of its neighbors in very short order, ALL of its neighbors, except for one. That exception was the tiny country of Switzerland, which itself was surrounded by Axis states. Swiss culture and fortitude kept the German Panzer at bey. There are lessons to be learned from that and we ignore or dismiss those lessons at our peril.

    • avatarRalph says:

      The Nazis didn’t need to conquer Switzerland. They bought it. Switzerland was Nazi Germany’s banker and top money launderer.

      Because Switzerland was “neutral,” the Nazis had no fear that their banker would be invaded by the Allies and Nazi loot taken away. The Nazis stashed hundreds of millions of stolen money in Switzerland, where most of it remained even after the war.

      • avatarGreg in Allston says:

        All true of course, but then one has to ask the question; with the Germans in such a dominant position and on such a roll, and that the Germans themselves viewed their position and strength as invincible, then why not just cut out the middleman, in this case the Swiss banks and financiers, and install their own people? Even then, Switzerland was much more than merely its banks, and the vast majority of Swiss were not complicit in the collusion. The Germans knew full well that they would have had to pay a possibly prohibitively high price to subjugate the Swiss, though in the end the Germans would have likely succeeded by sheer overwhelming force, numbers and being in a better logistical position than the resource poor and land-locked Swiss.

        I’ve never really looked into the matter in any depth but it would be interesting from an academic perspective to understand the financial workings of the European theater before and during the war. The Nazis had most of Europe under its control by June 1940. Therefore the Nazis also had the treasuries of those countries under their control, likely to a fairly sizable degree. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the Swiss banking system and treasury to that of other European nations that were ultimately occupied.

        The so-called “common knowledge” that the Swiss were the Nazis financiers and money launderers, while no doubt true to one extent or another, to me becomes a question of degree and scope. I truly have no idea, having never really looked into the matter, and now that my curiosity is peaked, I would welcome some enlightenment from our scholars out there. If any of the AI can point me to a few well regarded resources I’d be much obliged.

        Lastly, a word of caution lest one come away from this discussion with some incorrect assumptions. Because of the collusion between the Nazis and the Swiss banks one might be tempted to damn all of the Swiss with the same brush. Here I’d like to point out, if it isn’t obvious, that the majority of Swiss, like the majority of Germans, were horrified with what the Nazis were doing. There is no doubt that some Swiss were Nazi sympathizers then and even to this day, as, regrettably, were and are some Americans. That said, the vast majority of the Swiss are an honorable and righteous people.

        • avatarRalph says:

          The Swiss are good people and have a well deserved reputation for quality cuckoo clocks, tasty chocolate and complete bank secrecy. It’s the latter that attracted the Nazis, who laundered at least $350 million and as much as $800 million through Swiss banks. And that’s when $350 million was a lot of money.

        • avatarropingdown says:

          It was not simply as a money laundry that Switzerland was important. German war industry required a continuing amount of foreign trade. The Reich was purchaser of foreign oil, Swedish steel and ball bearings, Argentinian and Brazilian foodstuffs, and so forth. Large-scale foreign trade requires a secure financial center through which to create and fulfill letters of credit, secure cash movements, and even transfer gold for inter-bank adjustments. All of this required something like a Switzerland, independent, neutral, and accessible to all in a way which New York or London banking could not be, for both political and practical reasons.

        • avatarGreg in Allston says:

          I see we’ve run out of our reply continuum. Once again rd I appreciate your response and will check out the sources that you’ve directed me to. Many graces upon you.

      • avatarropingdown says:

        Switzerland was neutral only in the sense that it wasn’t about to launch armies past its border. Why on earth would it bother? It was not and is not neutral in this sense: It has been waging a steady war since the early 20th century to break any connection between money and its source of acquisition, whether from crime, government graft, or tax evasion. It has been a very good business.

        The Bank for International Settlements, located from the start in Basel, Switzerland, and immune by international agreement from control or prosecution by any sovereign, was run through the WWII years unchanged despite failing its initial purpose, reparations management, served to launder gold and other assets as they were moved between various domestic Swiss banks. The Gestapo did not keep its principal accounts in Germany, but rather in Switzerland, at J.H. Stein Bank, whose chairman was on the board of the BIS throughout WWII. So too were senior officials of IG Farben and the Nazi party. The bank was run, 1940-46, by American Thomas McKittrick. Important founders of the bank include Montagu Norman, Hjalmar Schacht, and Per Jacobson.

        Switzerland is a charming country. They know how to build and maintain machinery, from electronics and weapons to ski lifts. They are living proof that having low friends in high places pays, as does the policy of “neutral, but heavily armed.” Had it not been for the financial interests of supposedly neutral countries like Sweden, much of Latin America, and those controlling certain “formerly German” US-controlled banks and industrial companies, Switzerland would not have survived WWII intact. It would have served no useful function. The BIS was not needed but for those continuing trade payments needs. FDR and the europeans declared the BIS permanently closed in 1946, but Keynes and Truman made sure it reopened.

        It is worth noting that Jewish Germans (and Jewish Russians and Frenchmen) also made heavy use of Swiss banking secrecy from the pre-WWI years onward. This use did not begin upon the ascent of Hitler, but long before, and it continued long after WWII. Safin Bank and Bank Leumi’s transactions highlight that fact.

        Of course arms in the hands of civilians encourage stability against tyranny, as does political decentralization as in republics and federations. But, everybody needs and likes money, and likes to keep it regardless of political change. Whether protecting money on the way to a bank or lifting someone else’s money out of a bank guns played a big role. Today it’s mostly electronic: Computers are the new guns.

        • avatarGreg in Allston says:

          Thanks rd. Can you recommend any good books on the history of the subject matter?

        • avatarropingdown says:

          On the BIS, “The Tower of Basel” by Adam Lebor is a recent and respected book covering the WWII years in detail, including the ugly. On the history of Swiss Banking, Bauer and Blackmans’s “Swiss Banking: An Analytical History” is good, but probably more than you’d want, and expensive. Most of the history I learned piecemeal as part of the history of various families surviving the Russian Revolution and the destruction of WWI. I don’t have a unitary source for that. (both of the books mentioned are available on Amazon.) I consider the history of Swiss bank assets and holocaust survivors complicated, but some of those investigations revealed the extent to which families had been using Swiss banking long before 1933. Naturally.

        • avatartom says:

          Books on the subject? Yes; The Creature from Jekyll Island.

      • avatarWilliam Burke says:

        Der funds are zafe wis us!

    • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      The mountains didn’t hurt, either.. (Nor did Swiss complicity in laundering the Jew gold..)

      • avatarRalph says:

        It wasn’t just “Jew gold,” as you inelegantly put it. The Nazis looted every country they invaded — the whole German economy was built on stealing every valuable from conquered nations — and most of the gold was stolen from the Netherlands, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Russia etc. That’s where most of the loot came from.

        Nazi Germany has been described as a “kleptocracy.” I think that’s pretty accurate.

        • avatarCliff H says:

          Nazi = National Socialist

          “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” — Margaret Thatcher

    • avatarjwm says:

      Nothing really to gain by invading the Swiss. Remove banking from the equation and you gain nothing of real importance by invading the Swiss. You will lose valuable manpower and equipment defeating a country that has no real military value to it.

      The allies and the axis used Swiss neutrality and the Swiss ability to make a deal and a profit to their advantage. Intel units operated almost freely in Switzerland during the war. American airman who’d had enough of the grind of the air war diverted planes to Switzerland and a comfortable internment for the rest of the war on some pretty slim pretexts.

      The swiss were not pro german or pro ally. They were pro profit and against being shot at.

  3. avatarST says:

    In my calculated estimation, a Nazi style regime wouldnt be sustainable here in the US.There just isn’t a culture of united racial angst to go down that path.

    No, something far worse then that is taking hold here.The leftist perspective is that the collective, as represented by the state , is the only authority empowered enough to make decisions for the individual person.Those decisions periodically require the government mandated sacrifice on the part of individuals-and that’s not possible unless it’s illegal for individuals to own guns.Observe that many collectiveists know full and darn well their plans will result in a police state, and that to them is either a “justified trade off” or a goal to aspire too.Many folks -and there’s a lot of then-would love to live in a society where some other party takes ownership of their power to make choices.

    Note carefully that physically disarming the citizenry isn’t the point.The goal is to make ownership and use of a gun so socially radioactive that no sane man keeps a weapon nearby, and one definitely doesn’t practice enough with it for risk of punishment.

    The reason I say what were becoming is worse then the Nazis, is because the actions of WWII Germany were plainly evil for all to see.The actions of a Totalitarian , Socialist America will be just as evil….yet no one of great repute will think it is .Look at how Britian is turning into 1984′s Airstrip One to the collective yawn of it’s residents.

    Thus, we are tidally locked into a permanent fight between expansion of firearm rights, and the efforts of others to turn down the path of civil disarmament.

    • avatarTaylor Tx says:

      Kind of seems that from the article, the united racial angst was more of a thing just for the National Socialist party and not the general German volk. But I kind of hold a skeptical view that there isnt the potential for a significant broadening of the racial divide we currently have in the US, its been brewing and maintained by those who make a very shady living selling the race card and racial guilt.

      Loved your point about how the current evil is disguised in a palpable form to the sheeple, under the blanket of progress. I think its probably an even split on the ratio of the state wanting to disarm the people and wanting to make firearms as taboo as possible.

      • avatarRalph says:

        The German “volk” were intensely anti-Semitic long before the Nazis came to power. Hitler didn’t create that homicidal tendency, but he did share and exploit it.

    • avatar505markf says:

      “There just isn’t a culture of united racial angst to go down that path…”

      I hope – fervently – that this is true, yet I fear it is more a question of “when” rather than “if”. There’s a ton of fear, suspicion, and perhaps hatred about illegals in this country. While I don’t see it much in New Mexico, it is a deeply polarizing issue in CA and AZ and in many other states. It’ just didn’t hit the big stage this year because of Obamacare.

      I think it’s a powder keg waiting for ignition. I do not think that we could see a true Nazification of the US, but an outpouring of racial hatred is not something I would bet big money against. I think you will see in Western Europe a rise of very scary, institutionalized responses to Muslim immigration, which in 20 years or so will be all that is keeping most of those welfare states afloat because of their aging populations. People are still people. True evolution of our natures takes millennia, not decades.

      A well intentioned, peaceful person is only three days of food away from becoming what many of us would consider a monster. Modern people thing of history in decades. Look at the long sweep of history and it is a much different thing.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      The leftists, simple as I can put it, have chosen what they figure is the winning side, and assume they will be safe for having made that choice.

      Many will have figured wrong, as they will find out too late.

  4. avatarTaylor Tx says:

    I read a comment before on here that was very clever about a tie in to leaders who create their own emblems and symbols rather than using those of the nation, and this post reminded me of it :)

    Good article, I kind of understand the introductory caveat, seems like it might hook a few people who wouldnt read the book otherwise. and he has to say that gun control doesnt EXPLICITLY DIRECTLY tie in to (blank) otherwise the PC shitstorm might be too dense.

    Those who dont study history are doomed to … is almost like the catch phrase for these “interesting times” we live in.

  5. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    Thought exercise…how many of the WWII holocaust refugees who landed on these shores became people of the gun?

    Growing up in the post WWII generation in “Jewish ” neighborhoods of NYC I never saw it. Not until Rabbi Kahana started the JDL. Friends of mine only then woke up. Even then they were the minority in the community. The driving force was the elite Jewish intellectual who delegated still their natural right of self defense and preservation. Halbrooks next book should be on how a community commits suicide.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Ralph and I were talking about American Jews’ tendency to support gun control. He thinks it may have something to do with the fact that Jewish culture is America has become/is feminized. Perhaps the “tough” Jews, the ones who resisted, were destroyed. My father and his two brothers were the only survivors from his side of my family, and they were all tough SOBs. So who knows?

      • avatarToo close to chicago says:

        Robert, I don’t know … my grandfather was the only brother of nine to survive but I would say he was one tough SOB. He (and my father) survived because he was smart, took every opportunity he could get and led a partisan resistance group in Slovakia. I wish I could I hear, first hand, the stories my grandfather had to share. My dad shares a lot, but my grandfather’s stories would’ve all that more powerful coming from him. I think only the very tough and very lucky survived.

      • avatarTommy Knocker says:

        I will defer to the late Aaron Zelman speak to the broader problem of anti-gun sentiment in the Jewish community. I haven’t seen a better treatment …

        http://jpfo.org/alerts/alert20010903.htm

      • avatarjwm says:

        I think a lot of what has happened in England and to some extent France is because the 2 world wars stripped them of their best and brightest before they had a chance to bring new generations into the world. When all you have left of breeding stock is the 4f, the old and the ones sneaky enough to avoid service you wind up with a weakened herd.

        Maybe the same happened to the Jews? Only their attrition started long before the Nazis. Being a jew in Europe and the east was never an easy or safe thing.

        • avatarMark says:

          Not sure about both wars total, but I think the losses in England for wwi were demographically quite sustainable. See “The Unquiet Western Front” by Brian Bond. As with many wars, a romantic tradition sprang up about it much later that was quite divorced from reality.

      • avatarJay Dunn says:

        “He thinks it may have something to do with the fact that Jewish culture is America has become/is feminized.”

        Perhaps the tough Jews went to Israel instead of America.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Perhaps the tough Jews went to Israel instead of America.

          Give this man a cigar.

        • avatarGreg in Allston says:

          To Ralph, the coin toss between the Land of Milk and Honey (America) or the chance to wrest a new civilization in the midst of millenniums old acrimony isn’t so hard to understand. The smart play would be to go to America, the righteous play would be to go to Israel. For whatever reasons, a lot of very tough Jews ended up in both places and we should all be very thankful for that. I know that I am and I certainly think that the World is a better place for it.

      • avatarJericho941 says:

        I’d say it’s more like a New York State of Hive Mind.

      • avatarropingdown says:

        Americans do not know Jewish people as they lived in 19th and early 20th century Europe, and have no idea of the conflicts. This makes historical understanding of the issues very difficult. First, throughout post-diaspora Judaism Jews (as did some other minorities) sought to live under their own law and courts and largely did so, breeding resentment and distrust among outsiders. Second, there were essentially two different classes of Jewish people, the mass of poor religious Jews and a fairly large elite variously called Court Jews, having special privilege in tax-collecting, banking, and such. These latter were very much reliant on the official police or military forces to preserve their safety. So, we have at least two traditions resting on different bases, the financially elite court-connected Jewish and the religious not-so-rich or connected shtetl or ghetto Jewish. These latter may be very loosely identified with the ultra orthodox in New York today, a group not so gun-averse. I leave it to you to decide which of the two outlooks the financially elite Jewish of San Francisco and New York consider their model.

  6. avatarFortWorthColtGuy says:

    Americans should heed this warning…

    “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

    ― Mark Twain

  7. avatarstateisevil says:

    One thing is for sure, Amerika will follow Nazi Germany, at least California and the North East. Please see the rolling over in New York and Connecticut if you balk.

  8. avatarA. Nuran says:

    Hate to bring facts to a perfectly good Two Minute Hate, but the Nazis mostly REMOVED gun control laws. Restrictions on long arms pretty much disappeared. Prohibitions against handguns were drastically loosened. Whole categories of citizens such as senior Party members were legally exempt from most of the remaining laws.

    Only criminals and those declared non-persons such as Jews, the handicapped, Roma and so on were denied firearms.

    • avatarRalph says:

      So what you’re saying is that anyone who the Nazis liked could have guns but anyone they didn’t were disenfranchised.

      And you think that’s a “Two Minute Hate?” My my my, you are totally nuts.

    • avatarDavidT says:

      So what you’re saying is that the NAZI party only wanted those it approved of armed? Sounds king of like the situation today, with the leftists wanting to be able keep their friends and bodyguards armed, but those of us with an independent streak must be disarmed. And this is the truth, they used existing laws to disarm the “undesirables” while allowing the “patriots” to keep their weapons.

    • avatarjwm says:

      Fuck me. Until this very moment and comment by A. Nuran I would have said that it couldn’t happen here. But lower case matt used to make the same argument about gun control and the nazis and he argued that the nazis never imposed the death penalty on those that held guns in the occupied countries.

      Lower case matt was obviously insane. But A.Nuran is marching in lockstep with his reasoning. How many other wannabe nazis are lurking out there ready to answer the call?

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      In today’s America this same thing is called “May Issue.” You slept through where the point of the exercise was covered. RTFM.

    • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

      “Only criminals and those declared non-persons such as Jews, the handicapped, Roma and so on were denied firearms.”

      And that is not gun control?

      • avatarCliff H says:

        It is PERFECT gun control because it leaves to the government (or the dictator) the entire authority to decide who is a criminal and who is an un-person and to then deny them their right to arms.

        Exactly what the infringement of the 2A through NICS allows our government to do, eventually.

      • avatarCliff H says:

        Duplicate post.

  9. avatar505markf says:

    General note: I liked reading this review and would like to see more of these. Many of the contributors here are educated in interesting, and somewhat arcane, areas and I tend to learn something new most days on this site. Evidence: Spartan response to Phillip of Macedonia I learned about yesterday (or the day before).

    How about more book reviews? There are some great books on freedom and the history of gun rights out there that have been published recently. Pointers to same could help illuminate our cause and help expand our collective knowledge. Sometimes it’s hard to search out the wheat from the chaff and input can be helpful.

  10. avatarJay in Florida says:

    People will always be people. We never learn from the mistakes of the past.
    Yesterdays mistakes can always be corrected will be the mantra of the next to try.

  11. avatarDrVino says:

    “the popularly elected Nazi party ”
    I seem to recall that the Nazi party did not have the support of the majority of Germans in any election and only wrested control of the country because they were given control of a coalition in the aftermath of turmoil and power struggles in the German government.
    I’m happy to be corrected on this, nevertheless.

    • avatarrammerjammer says:

      You are correct. Hitler and the Nazis were selected for power not truly elected to power. Von Pappen and the conservatives of Germany thought that they would turn Hitler and his party into their drummer boy. But, Von Pappen and his ilk had also been given a study by the Wehrmacht that indicated that they could not defend against either the Nazi brownshirts or the communist forces and a choice had to be made, National Socialism or communism. We all know who they chose.

      • avatarChaotic Good says:

        A certain amount of the blame for this lies with the allies and the treaty they forced on the Germans. It restricted them to a tiny army, leading to disorder and a reliance on independent militias. This not only led to a push for gun control but also a German army incapable of beating the Nazis.

        • avatarjwm says:

          A 100,000 man professional army is more than enough to keep order in a country as small as Germany. It’s not enough to launch an invasion of your neighbors.

        • avatarChaotic Good says:

          Not when confronted by millions of Brownshirts, who not only outnumbered the army but included a large number of WWI veterans.

          The Weimar army wasn’t even capable of putting down the Bavarian communists without aid of private militias.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      From what I’ve read, the communists did similar things in many Eastern European countries after WWII. They’d become a minority party in elections, join the ruling coalition, get settled, then just declare that communism was to reign supreme and take over.

  12. avatarDrVino says:

    This recurred when the California State Constitution (and all subsequent ‘gun control’) was created.
    In the case of the golden state, the subject races for whom it was undesirable to own arms were the Mexicans and the Chinese.

  13. avatarRockOnHellChild says:

    Judging by the hat you were reading the book at a cafe in South America…

  14. avatarSteveInCO says:

    Strictly speaking, gun control->registration->confiscation does not make genocide inevitable. Many of us like to talk that way, and it’s a mistake. As much as I cannot stand FeinsteinObamaBidenMorseSchumerGironHickeypooper, I can’t see them wanting to exterminate mass numbers of people, and neither can most other people, even though those grabbers do undeniably want our guns.

    It does make genocide possible, though. As well as any of a host of other different sorts of tyrannical actions.

    In a way it’s even a mistake to focus on genocide if you aren’t careful how to do it. A country could end up a total tyranny, but without the genocide that some people seem to think is a hallmark of dictatorships. We don’t want to reinforce that image that fascism is defined by the presence of genocide.

    I’d certainly make the point that gun control allowed the Holocaust to happen. I wouldn’t claim–and I’d make every effort not to sound as if I am claiming—that the ultimate goal of the current bunch is genocide. It’s something else that’s bad. Focusing on genocide is focusing on a subtype of tyranny.

    • avatarjwm says:

      No, that run on chain of names you listed may not, probably do not, want a genocide. But what of the ones that replace them or their replacements? Once you disarm a population, a genocide becomes possible and at some time in the future it may be acceptable to those in power.

      • avatarSteveInCO says:

        That would fall under the “makes it possible” I mentioned. It still wouldn’t be inevitable; the next gang could be equally uninterested in genocide. I’ll say it again. If we somehow allow ourselves to become disarmed, a genocide is not inevitable, but now, suddenly, it becomes feasible. Some opportunists may manage to take the opportunity, or they may not, for first they’d have to gain political power (i.e., control over the legal guns) and other people might manage to keep them out of power because they’d rather hold us in tax bondage than exterminate us.

        What I am trying to get at is the difference between “If A then B” (which is false in this case) and “B, only if A.” (which is true in this case). Those two should not be confused.

      • avatarSteveInCO says:

        Yes, precisely. It becomes POSSIBLE. Which is one of many reasons disarmament must be strenuously resisted in the political arena, and if that doesn’t work, well, move on to the back up plan of your choice.

        The distinction I tried to make clear in my original comment was the one between “If A, then B” and “B, only if A” (from more formal logic classes). The former being equivalent to “A makes B inevitable” and the latter to “A makes B possible” They are very different though they look similar, and I see people confuse them all the time in practice.

        • avatarRalph says:

          @SteveInCO, I’m not in complete disagreement with you. However, I think that people who have great power will, sooner or later, abuse it in the worst possible way. I didn’t invent that political theory. Thus, the fact that a bad outcome is merely possible rather than inevitable is a cold comfort.

    • avatarCliff H says:

      “It does make genocide possible, though. As well as any of a host of other different sorts of tyrannical actions.”

      If we take this term of genocide literally, that is the extermination or attempted extermination by means of the physical death of all members of a particular genus, your argument is correct.

      If, however, we understand genocide to be a less draconian concept of simply DESTROYING particular racial, ethnic, religious or political groups, then the people you mentioned most definitely have genocide on their minds. They would like nothing better than the total destruction of our way of life and with the majority of voters on their side the ability to resort to arms is our only guarantee to prevent this.

      They may not have the stones to round up you and your family into extermination camps, but they do have the will to a long-term process of re-education which will be just as effective (and less messy) in completely eradicating everything we hold dear. As Jonah Goldberg defines it in “Liberal Fascism” – Fascism with a Smiley Face, and Mark Levine refers to it as a “Soft Tyranny”. It is genocide, nonetheless.

      • avatarSteveInCO says:

        Oh there is no doubt in my mind that the people doing the disarming are up to no good, and they have some sort of plan to remold America in a way a lot of people won’t like (that would be killing or transforming a culture). (I even have my thoughts on what that is, and they are probably similar to lots of others’ ideas, but they are purely speculative.)

        I am just trying to point out that there is a tendency amongst many People of The Gun to talk as if it WILL be a systematic, gas-chamber or line-em-up-and-shoot-em genocide. JPFO certainly talks like this at times. Whether the people do this because they actually think so, or because they are just not being very precise when they write their rhetoric (accidentally writing “If A then B” when they meant “B only if A”) is another question entirely.

        In any case, to talk that way without being very careful how you do it is a mistake, because the neutral person you are trying to persuade will simply think “Oh he thinks Obama wants to kill millions of people!” His Bravo Sierra meter will peg, he will figure you are a major purchaser of aluminum haberdashery, and he will now ignore any other good arguments you are making. It’s called Godwin’s Law for a reason; the minute you SEEM to be comparing someone today to Hitler, people write you off. And unfortunately, though it’s valid in my book, invoking unknown future potential Hitlers doesn’t work, because It Can’t Happen Here, This Is America, A Free Country. (Yes, they *won’t* follow up on that thought with a simple “and why is it free?” That involves digging through two many layers of cause and effect for a simple argument.)

  15. avatarGov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Once citizens have been disarmed, they become “subject races” themselves.

    What most people completely miss is the possibility that America has remained (relatively) free is BECAUSE of the Second Amendment and our tradition of private firearm ownership. They point to countries in Europe who have only existed under their present governments for a few decades and think that is the model, but tyrants don’t come about in every country in every generation. No, it couldn’t happen here – we’re armed.

  16. avatarAnmut says:

    No need for gun control – just install TV’s in every room of the house. Our government is hard at work taxing and wiping their ass with our liberties and still no one stands up to them. And we have a lot of f*cking guns.

  17. avatarAngryAZ says:

    There is no difference in the people looking to disarm the populace be it for the Furher or for the Children
    By their actions we will know them…..

    As true today as it was in every other oppressive political movement throughout history.

    • avatarGreg in Allston says:

      AZ, as you said, “By their actions we will know them…..”, very true. I would only add that you shall also know them by the company that they keep. In the case of Obama, that would be Bill Ayers, Frank Marshall, Rev. Wright and a whole cast of others, yet, he was elected twice. One can only conclude that far too many of our fellow citizens aren’t very observant and/or don’t really care. That’s kind of a bummer when you think about it.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Most our “fellow citizens” have never read Shakespeare: “one may smile and smile and be a villain.” Besides, they’re too busy lining up for free sh1t.

  18. avatarRob says:

    There is one thing that all the genocides of the 20th century have in common.

    From Yiddish-speaking Jews from Poland.

    To Armenians in Turkey.

    To Rwanda.

    And every other mass grave known and unknown…

    All the victims were found riddled with bullet holes, surrounded by a pile of still-hot and still-smoking spend brass and shotgun shell cases, with the bodies of those who wished them dead piled high and deep around them.

    All the victims were disarmed.

    Gun Control Advocates should be made to stare at this image every day:

    http://commentisfreewatch.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/holocaust-nazi-shooting-mother-holding-child.jpg?w=593

    An agent of the state, shooting an unarmed woman and her child.

    That is what a disarmed person looks like.

    “From my cold dead hands.” should not just be a nice slogan.

    It should be a solemn vow.

    Never give up your guns.

  19. avatarCubby123 says:

    For the Stupid,history always repeats itself. if the Anti’s haven’t learned their lesson and never will til they are standing on the edge of the pit,hands behind their back,gun to their heads!

  20. avatarMartin B says:

    Hitler seriously wanted Switzerland under his boot heel, and after conquering France then neutralising England, he turned to his generals for a battle plan. They had a shit fit and told him the German Army would be massacred, as the terrain was hostile, and all the population were well armed. Hitler could already see the current advantages Germany was accruing by trading with Swizz financiers, and instead turned his mind to his long planned invasion of Russia. There were some aerial battles between German and Swiss fighter planes, but no major warfare.

  21. avatarFederale says:

    The Guatemalan claim is false. Note that Rigoberta Menchu’s claims in her book were shown by investigators to be false. The claim of an Indian genocide was manufactured by Cuban intelligence agents working to overthrow the pro-American government.

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