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For as long as I’ve been alive the social elitist has been floating the term “Gun Control.” The first serious or official use of the term in the U.S. came from “Gun Control Act of 1968.” That act added to the previously existing Federal Government firearms restrictions put in place by the National Firearms Act of 1934. In both cases, opportunist politicians used a popular crisis to persuade the ignorant and mentally lazy that more laws would make the nation a ‘safer’ place. In 1934, the crisis was gang-land violence brought on by Prohibition and in 1968 we were still dealing with the assassination of President Kennedy. . .

Nothing New

From a historical perspective, the term Gun Control is relatively new, but the concept and practice are as old as man himself. It is the determination of who can and cannot possess arms by whatever government happens to be in place. Civilian Disarmament in the history books dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Fearing disobedience by the conquered Jews, Rome forbade them from owning swords.

Moving to the Far East, in 1587 Toyotami Hideyoshi unified the various political factions of Japan and instituted the “Sword Hunt.” Farmers, or the peasant class, were forbidden to own swords, bows, spears, or any firearm. This ensured the continued separation of the ruling class from the peasants; the rulers from the ruled.

Great Britain has a long and storied history of disarming those it feels unworthy or peasant class. British Parliament passed several versions of the Disarming Act from 1715 through 1746. Early on, the Scots were first forbidden to carry a sword in public then they were forbidden possess the sword or “any weapon of war.” Similarly, hoping to ensure absolute control over India, the British applied the Disarming Act to the Indian people forbidding them to own firearms.

During more recent history Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party passed their own version of the Gun Control in 1938 and forbid Jews and others they considered to be “undesirable”, or peasants, from owning firearms. If you don’t know how that turned out there is no hope for you.

Keep in mind that during everyone of these instances, the ruling class put forth the laws as “reasonable” and “necessary.” Politicians consented and cast their vote to disarm those deemed unworthy of possessing arms.

Modern Times

In the United States you cannot use the word “disarm,” instead the more deceptive and “reasonable” term “gun control” has been substituted. The words ‘gun control’ seem to the moderate or intellectually lazy to be rather innocuous. After all, who could argue against the “reasonable” and “rational” control of weapons?

“Gun Control” is a soft pill, one that is easy for the distracted masses to swallow. The term implies that only certain types of guns will be “controlled” and that the citizen will not be disarmed but merely restricted for the safety of the greater good.

The modern argument over the shape, style, accessories, ammunition capacity, and configuration of this firearm or that is merely a smokescreen to cover a very old agenda, Civilian Disarmament. Step number one in discussing the issue is to set the ground rules and reject the term “gun control” as both deliberately misleading and illegitimate.  Refuse to accept that term.

If someone says “gun control” stop them right there and correct them. “You mean disarmament.”  If they protest and claim gun control is not disarmament there are either a woefully naïve or a purposeful liar.  Either way you have established the baseline.

A person either favors civilian disarmament or they do not. It is no more complex than that. Those who wish to disarm you will deliberately cloud the issue with hyperbole about magazine capacity, action-types, etc.

Never mind the fact that cities in the United States with the strictest gun control also have the highest violent crime rate or that areas where concealed carry by citizens is prevalent have the lowest violent crime. Those facts be damned. The first murder in recorded history was committed with a rock.  Murder and suicide existed long before the invention of the firearm and will continue until this world stops turning.

The question on the table is this: who should possess weapons, the government or the citizenry? Two-hundred and thirty years ago that question was answered in the United States very plainly and clearly. Innumerable documents written by the nation’s founders, not just the Bill of Rights, spell out the need for the citizen to be the final authority in a free nation.

During the time of the British Coercive Acts in 1774 Josiah Quincy wrote

No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty without uniting the characters of citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state. The sword should never be in the hands of any, but those who have an interest in the safety of the community… Such are a well regulated militia composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property as individuals, and their rights as freemen.

It was understood at that time that the government derives its authority from the consent of the governed and only by having parity in arms with that government could men return that power to the citizen should it be abused.

During the two centuries that followed the founding of the United States, we have become the most prosperous and thereby most comfortable people on the planet. That comfort has turned to sloth and sluggishness. The populace has forgotten the hard fought lessons of their fathers and fallen into a state of illusion where the nature of man has somehow changed from the previous thousands of years.

We are expected to believe that unchecked governmental power is now preferable and beneficial to society.  That the citizen no longer has the right to hold the government accountable and certainly no longer maintains the right to return that power to the citizen.

Frustration and Quandary 

For those who have yet to sell their principles and their very souls for the offer of a free phone or the unattainable nirvana of government mandated peace and safety, these are most trying times. The modern patriot is confronted on all sides by the comfortable slave and the social elitist. The citizen is extolled to be reasonable and accept rational limits to his liberty for the common good and an empty promise of security.

The first step in the process of legitimate debate is to refuse the offer of “gun control.” Call a spade a spade and inquire from the elitist or useful idiot whether they favor civilian disarmament or not. Ask them if they believe their fellow citizens have the right to possess arms or whether the government has the authority to disarm them.

If you weaken and fall prey to the seductive talk of compromise you have already lost and very soon will fall in line with the rest of the “civilized” world. You will be forced to take your place in the ranks of the comfortable slaves who inhabit the majority of this planet.

Paul Markel © 2013

Paul Markel has been a firearms industry writer for twenty years. He’s the author of the new book “Student of the Gun; A beginner once, a student for life.” Paul hosts and produces “Student of the Gun” a show dedicated to education, experience, and enjoyment of firearms. You can view episodes of SOTG at

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  1. Let’s get the facts right about German Gun Control.

    “Gun control, the Law on Firearms and Ammunition, was introduced to Germany in 1928 under the Weimar regime (there was no Right to Arms in the Constitution of 1919) in large part to disarm the nascent private armies, e.g. the Nazi SA (aka “the brownshirts”). The Weimar government was attempting to bring some stability to German society and politics (a classic “law and order” position). Violent extremist movements (of both the Left and Right) were actively attacking the young, and very fragile, democratic state. A government that cannot maintain some degree of public order cannot sustain its legitimacy. Nor was the German citizenry well grounded in Constitutional, republican government (as was evidenced in their choices at the ballot box). Gun control was not initiated at the behest or on behalf of the Nazis – it was in fact designed to keep them, or others of the same ilk, from executing a revolution against the lawful government. In the strictest sense, the law succeeded – the Nazis did not stage an armed coup.

    The 1928 law was subsequently extended in 1938 under the Third Reich (this action being the principal point in support of the contention that the Nazis were advocates of gun control). However, the Nazis were firmly in control of Germany at the time the Weapons Law of 1938 was created. Further, this law was not passed by a legislative body, but was promulgated under the dictatorial power granted Hitler in 1933. Obviously, the Nazis did not need gun control to attain power as they already (in 1938) possessed supreme and unlimited power in Germany. The only feasible argument that gun control favored the Nazis would be that the 1928 law deprived private armies of a means to defeat them. The basic flaw with this argument is that the Nazis did not seize power by force of arms, but through their success at the ballot box (and the political cunning of Hitler himself). Secondary considerations that arise are that gun ownership was not that widespread to begin with, and, even imagining such ubiquity the German people, Jews in particular, were not predisposed to violent resistance to their government.

    The Third Reich did not need gun control (in 1938 or at any time thereafter) to maintain their power. The success of Nazi programs (restoring the economy, dispelling socio-political chaos) and the misappropriation of justice by the apparatus of terror (the Gestapo) assured the compliance of the German people. Arguing otherwise assumes a resistance to Nazi rule that did not exist. Further, supposing the existance of an armed resistance also requires the acceptance that the German people would have rallied to the rebellion. This argument requires a total suspension of disbelief given everything we know about 1930s Germany. Why then did the Nazis introduce this program? As with most of their actions (including the formation of the Third Reich itself), they desired to effect a facade of legalism around the exercise of naked power. It is unreasonable to treat this as a normal part of lawful governance, as the rule of law had been entirely demolished in the Third Reich. Any direct quotations, of which there are several, that pronounce some beneficence to the Weapons Law should be considered in the same manner as all other Nazi pronouncements – absolute lies. (See Bogus Gun Control Quotes and endnote [1].)

    A more farfetched question is the hypothetical proposition of armed Jewish resistance. First, they were not commonly armed even prior to the 1928 Law. Second, Jews had seen pogroms before and had survived them, though not without suffering. They would expect that this one would, as had the past ones, eventually subside and permit a return to normalcy. Many considered themselves “patriotic Germans” for their service in the first World War. These simply were not people prepared to stage violent resistance. Nor were they alone in this mode of appeasement. The defiance of “never again” is not so much a warning to potential oppressors as it is a challenge to Jews to reject the passive response to pogrom. Third, it hardly seems conceivable that armed resistance by Jews (or any other target group) would have led to any weakening of Nazi rule, let alone a full scale popular rebellion; on the contrary, it seems more likely it would have strengthened the support the Nazis already had. Their foul lies about Jewish perfidy would have been given a grain of substance. To project backward and speculate thus is to fail to learn the lesson history has so painfully provided.”

    • Once again proving the Nazi’s did good things, they decreased the prior regulations on firearms:

      The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law… Under the new law:
      Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition”… Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and NSDAP party members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted… The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18… The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year…

    • After the Holocaust the Jews said never again, yet we are seeing that they have forgotten what happened to them not terribly long ago.
      They once again have been lulled into a sense of safety, and utopian-ism. If the Jewish people do not wake up from this fuzzy bunny dream they will find the world a very different place than when they first lost site of their history.

    • I have two problems with your version of pre-Nazi/Nazi German gun control.

      First, you claim that there was no armed coup in pre-Nazi Germany. I ask then how that claim fits with Kristallnacht, and other documented acts of violence in the time of pre-Nazi and early Nazi control of Germany.

      Second, Hitler was appointed to office and from there worked to increase his power and further his agenda. His appointment and increases in power can be directly attributed to intimidation by the Nazis and related militias.

      • Regardless of who is right, if you Google “Nazi Gun Control 1938” it seems like a false factoid. I am not an expert on German history of the 20th century so I cannot say what is right. The site I used feels more reliable than most.

        Point being, we need to get the facts correct if we are going to use them.

      • Ed is essentially correct. The Nazis won control of sufficient seats in the Reichstag so as to make governing impossible w/o their consent(legal elctions 1933). It was from there Hitler bargained his way into the vice-presidency and shortly after,chancellor. Using the excuse of the Reichstag fire to declare martial law(Jan. 1934) the Nazis soon declared other parties illegal.
        So CA-Chris, by Kristallnacht(Nov. 1937), various Nazi consolidations of power were well underway, the 3rd Reich being 3 years old by then.

        • Good to have info. Like I said elsewhere, we need to have the correct info cited else the argument looses credit.

    • Assuming what Ed says is true, history then teaches us to already have both the tools (arms and ammunition) and the mindset to defend yourself and your rights before tyranny is upon you. History also teaches us not to accept “minor” infringements that, while unpalatable, seem tolerable in the short term. Because minor infringements of rights usually lead to major infringements.

      If only the Jews in 1930s Germany had the tools and the mindset.

    • So, the lesson is that a Nazi dictatorship, regardless,of its route to power would be next to impossible in the U.S. circa 1935 or modern times. If Nazi detractors and the nations they conquered had armed civilians, the Nazis would have bee preoccupied with guerrilla attacks from every direction. They could have conquered with the blitzkrieg, but successful occupation would have been next to impossible. Blitzkrieg worked wonderfully in open country, but was useless in urban combat, e.g., Stalingrad.

      “The fiercest serpent can be overcome by a swarm of ants.” – Isoroku Yamamoto

  2. “in 1968 we were still dealing with the assassination of President Kennedy.”

    I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Better to say that the peace movement and incidents like the Texas Tower shooting in 1966 were more of a catalyst. In general teh country was just feeling plain old anti-gun. Kennedy was killed (allegedly) with a bolt action Carcano, hardly a potent death dealer such as the ones the 1968 act was seeking to restrict.

    • Weren’t RFK and MLK both killed in ’68. Also, it is my recollection that the 60’s had the highest rates of violent crime yet seen. I would say the pumps were primed.

    • I was shocked to read the reference to “dealing with” JFK’s assassination as a motivation of the 1968 Gun Control Act. MLK and RFK had nothing much to do with it either, aside from playing to the emotions of those susceptible to no other inducement, such as Fear. The three murders were committed with second-rate bolt action guns and a revolver. No, the ’68 Act was motivated by the horrendous violence of the ’67 and ’68 race riots. I was 16-17 years old at the time. The burning neighborhoods were shown on TV endlessly. Huey Newton and his ilk had taken to joining Hollywood in turning the gun into a fetish. I have little doubt that the same fear is once again stalking the land, fear of urban core riot and exurban resentment. The signal fact of our time is a US taxpayer chained to a debt slavery conjured by big government, the one that buys both guns and butter on the cuff, the one that purported to buy peace with Medicaid, Food Stamps, enhanced (re-jiggered) social security formulas, and affirmative action, all of which failed to establish economically healthy urban and rural economies. The self-esteemed urban elites are terrified by the realistic fear that the cities may explode again when the money runs out, and may blame the urban social-planning elites (Dem and Rep) for their failure to provide. In the same nightmarish vision these same elites-as-dreamers fear an armed blue-collar and middle class resistance to another huge round of elites-imposed social engineering on the taxpayers’ tab. The leadership can, in large part, afford to relocate to the safety of Aspen or Switzerland. The median-income family cannot. The fears are not poorly founded, but realistic. A legislature-and-bankers induced depression had a source. We know who made the choices and imposed the rules, made and securitized the essentially fraudulent loans, promised the undeliverable socialized handouts and nominated them entitlements. I vote that we keep our modest firearms and let the politicians and urban power-brokers prove they can reform their financial and social agendas to accord with human nature and fiscal reality. Your fears, political and financial elite, are not our fault. Your saddling of us with enormous debt does not amuse. The plain fact that you cannot keep your entitlement promises is not our problem. You spent 16 trillion dollars you didn’t collect…and the poor are still poor, the wars are still lost, the bankers still control your actions, and all you can think of is “We need to get their guns, because they really aren’t going to like what we do next.”

      • This strikes me as sound. Especially with regard the elite–corporate, and political– fearing violent reprisal when the house of cards, growing more enormous by the day, finally must fall.

        I wonder, though, about the nature of the fears of the middle class. These exist quite obviously, for efforts at disarmament require them, but I do not sense an alignment of the fears of the elite and the fears of the middle class. The former is more along the lines of what the English aristocracy would have felt following the French Revolution. The latter is perhaps more mundane, and probably less well-founded–being the victim of gun violence.

        I’ve heard the term useful idiot bandied about when casting aspersions on the anti-gun rank and file. I don’t think that is fitting. I find useful phobics more appropriate. The elite, fearing the armed angry mob, finds a useful and legitimizing power base among the hoplophobic masses.

        Ironically, it is largely those very same useful hoplophobes which will comprise a very large proportion of that angry mob when the corrupt and rotten socio-econimic edifice collapses.

  3. YOU! How dare you bring up relevant historic anecdotes!
    You must be stopped! Next you’ll be telling everyone
    firearms don’t go off by themselves, and that police
    response isn’t fast enough! The horror!

    You just don’t care.

  4. The statists/progressives/communists (whatever you want to call them) currently in control of our country want to control every aspect of your life, from cradle to grave. They can only do this if the populace is disarmed. The only obstacles to their goal are the 2nd Amendment and those of us who believe in it.

  5. As a historical aside, WWII Italian soldiers sarcastically referred to the Carcano rifle as, “The little gun that never hurt anyone on purpose.”

    True on so many levels.

    • Nor were most Italian soldiers supportive of Mussolini’s war,which is what makes the Carcano such a good surplus buy:”Never fired, dropped once.”

    • And while the West conjures an image of Gandhi as the motive power leading to achievement of Indian independence, most Indians of the time credited the re-provisioning of India with rifles, by the Japanese, during WWII.

  6. Don’t forget about the Deacons for Defense, blacks who used the RKBA to keep the KKK-infested state and local governments at bay in the mid-1960s.

    It’s a good trivia question for gun haters. “When was the last time guns were used in the U.S. in a long term campaign against a tyranical government?”

    Waco and Ruby Ridge don’t count; they are blips in comparison.

    There’s a TV movie, not bad, mostly composite scenes, but all truthful in that composite sense. There’s an academic hisory full of footnotes. My favorite episode was when the locals got word the KKK was coming into their neighborhood to shoot them up, and got ambushed instead. The KKK was so embarrased at being out-thought and out-shot that they drove an injured KKKer acrosss two state lines to avoid word getting back. That’s friendship for ya!

  7. “It was understood at that time that the government derives its authority from the consent of the governed and only by having parity in arms with that government could men return that power to the citizen should it be abused.”

    Do you think citizens should have access to all military-grade weapons- Full-auto, RPGs, missiles, nuclear weapons?

    • I’m pretty sure Americans shouldn’t have access to weapons-grade stupidity, but the first amendment guarantees their access to said stupidity, AND the right to repeat it to anyone else who will listen.

    • Why is it that every time someone on this site posts an article about the GCA or NFA, someone trolls out the nukes? Making the jump from SBRs, SBSs, and machine guns to nukes is ridiculous. Please stop this. I highly doubt anyone here could afford one, so what does it matter?

      And to the guy who posted here yesterday about “nobody’s ever defended their house with an M16,” the FOPA basically made that impossible. The remaining M16s are entirely too expensive for 99.9% of Americans to own, so that is another non starter. If you guys want to troll out anecdotal evidence or even plausible what if scenarios, they need to be better than these. The number one gun blog on the interwebz deserves better troll comments.

      And, yes, I’d be willing to bet most folks here believe that SBRs, SBSs, silencers, and full autos should be available to all without the NFA BS. Nukes, not me. Well, I don’t want one. The price point would put off everyone but Bill Gates and Warren Buffett anyway.

      • There really is no comparison between a nuclear weapon and anything else human kind has ever created or known. Nothing else in our world has such raw capacity for annihilation, nor with effects lasting for so long after its use, nor which poses such a longterm problem for storage and disposal.

        Every firearm ever yet created, fired at once at the same target, could not cause as much destruction as a single nuclear bomb.

    • Our grandfathers had CANNONS. The argument that the lawful citizens must be prohibited certain arms and that only government employees should be allowed is the exact design of disarmament. Games are not Liberty and the idea that the citizen should only be allowed firearms that they can use to play games is specious and the kind of “reasonable” rhetoric that has led us to this very point in history.

      • ….and Gatling guns, owned by such people as the publisher of the NYT and the executives of several mining companies back in the day.

    • @WC
      Full autos, RPG’s yes… SBR’s belt fed guns, yes….

      Nuclear warheads are not under the definition of arms. Plus they are controlled by non proliferation treaties, and the AIEA.

    • “To become St. George, you first have to create a dragon.” It is the uncomfortable fact of our times that “parity” has been observed to mean not “tanks-against-tanks” but ratios, that millions of people with simple semi-auto rifles and utter acceptance of hardship are a match for half-a-million troops with all the fancy big toys and endless resupply. That is why, gentle friends, the Rahm’s and DiFi’s have had legislation in their pockets for more than a year. No leader wants to retire to Afghanistan, not even Hamid Karzai.

    • Nice try. We don’t have universal access to fully automatic weapons without special permits, and the nuclear weapons arguments doesn’t hold water because it’s neither realistic or practical. However guerrilla militias have defended and defeated better armed invaders throughout the centuries. We learned that lesson in Vietnam and the Soviets learned the hard way in Afghanistan.

  8. This is a good piece. A lot of the rhetoric of reasonable gun control seems to derive its authority from an unspoken assumption that the United States somehow is exempt from the lessons of history, whether by faith in our ideals or a belief that modern technological advancement has rendered the historical precedent irrelevant.

    Both positions ignore the people’s role as caretakers of freedom and place far too much faith in a few while doubting the many. Those who would see the American people disarmed, even slowly with reasonable steps, are either too short-sighted or stand to gain a measure of power.

    • Strangely enough, I keep a sheathed blade and a machete by the night stand as well, along with a 4 foot staff. One can never be too paranoid. Altho, most of the time I am just anoid.

  9. Funny – I think Gun Control spells exactly like they mean it – think of “Pest Control” or “Mind Control”. None of these are “small” in scope. Remove all pests and love your master.

    My 2c.

  10. Gun control advocates are lying to you when they say that they are after only “certain” guns. By their standards, guns kill people. Why should they exempt some guns when ANY gun is capable of being used to kill a person? Would it be less evil if a person were killed with a .22 or a 9mm or a 30-06 or a .50bmg? And that death from firearms is what they claim they are trying to prevent, right?
    It would seem logical that the end game for those afraid of guns is the total elimination of an evil implement since they are unwilling to address their illogical fear of guns.

  11. Quote of the day…

    “The modern patriot is confronted on all sides by the comfortable slave and the social elitist.”

  12. I am not concerned about Nazi Germany at this point, one way, or another. We have a situation that, if it does not succeed in disarmament this time, it will set up for a next time. This has been going on for years, it will not stop, Constitution be damned. Making comparisons to other times/events is just clouding the main theme, is there a right to bear individual arms or not? I can read, ….until there is an amendment to the Constitution, or, it is proclaimed a relic of the past, or, suspended by the “Most High”, then yes, there is a right to bear individual arms. There will be some that will say, ok you can bear arms, but we (Government) will limit what type/cal./capacity of ammo. They only read what they want out of the Constitution. Two questions can be asked: (1) Do you want to disarm the population? (2) Do you want the right to bear individual arms (as opposed to crew served fire power and artillery)? If it comes down to the government offering cake or death………take the cake.


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