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The debate over outing Illinois firearms owners has The Chicago Sun-Times‘ knickers in The Mother of All Twists. The paper’s editorial board reacted in no uncertain terms to the controversy surrounding an article at gunssavelife (since removed). The post in question equated releasing the names of Illinois firearms owners to the beginnings of Nazi genocide. In an editorial labeling the argument “appallingly offensive,” the anonymous eds claim that “The group’s twisted logic lays bare a profound disregard for historical truth. It was not the identification of Jews, or the loss of their firearms, that led to their deaths in the gas chambers. It was a maniacal government, supported by powerful cultural forces, that led to mass Jewish deaths.” I think someone’s mistaking cause and effect . . .

To liken that march toward death to the simple naming of people who applied for a government ID card in Illinois is absurd.

There are legitimate arguments against releasing the names of gun owners, arguments that have been articulated by thoughtful gun-rights advocates.

But nobody has dared to resort to this kind of craven and offensive twisting of history — until now.

Craven my ass. As the proud son of a man who barely survived the Nazi “work camps”, whose grandparents were slaughtered by the Nazis, I state here, openly and for the record, that any government that “outs” gun owners is enabling the same sort of intolerance that characterized the brutal regimes which decimated my family.

It may be a stretch to say so, but one thing’s for sure: releasing these records is not government for the people. My father, an American patriot to the very depth of his being, would not be pleased.

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  1. Well said.

    How any reasonable person can look at the horrors of the twentieth century and not think “I want a rifle and I want to know how to use it” is beyond me. We tend to think of genocide as something that can’t happen here, that it’s for other people. This is foolishness. Remember the disbelief of the ordinary German folk upon being shown what had been happening to the Jews at the camps.

    It’s also important to look at the central ideas that drove the Nazi push for ethnic purity and “living room” and remember those ideas are still at work today.

  2. “It was a maniacal government, supported by powerful cultural forces, that led to mass Jewish deaths.”

    So they don’t think that it would have been at least a little harder for the nazis to pull off if the Jews had been armed?

  3. He’s right.

    It wasn’t the lack of guns that lead to their deaths — but the lack of guns helped prevent them from resisting their deaths.

    • How can we know their resistance wouldn’t have led to prevention? Isn’t this how resistance fighters win: by making the offensive more difficult than it’s worth? Or stalling the enemy until help comes?

    • Gunnutmegger says “Nazism was a leftist creed”. I give this a failing grade, Nazi-ism is a form of fascism, and as such is a rightist creed i.e., supported by people on the right. Communism and socialism is a Leftist creed. Nazism was a form of fascism in which the German people gave power to the state and the state allowed large corporations to do what they want with little or no oversight. What this meant for the average law-abiding German citizen, is the erosion of their rights, and they end up disappearing and killing of anyone deemed a danger to the state.

      • That’s why it was the National Socialist Party. Who’d a guessed? Clever bastards.

      • As long as rather arbitrary designations like “right” or “left” are used, confusion will result. Where the Nazis sat has little to do with their ideas.

        Examine any political party’s basic assumptions about God, man and the world and you will start to understand their intentions.

        Why did the Nazis seek to eradicate German Jews?

      • His history is exactly correct. The painting of nazism as a rightist thing is propaganda from the American left. The Nazis’s named themselves the National Socialists Party. They did not call themselves Socialists for nothing. The Nazis were definitely leftists in any sense of the term. They were not much different from the Communists. A great exploration into this whole fascism, nazism thing is explained in Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.”

        • I’ll give that a shot, thanks.

          Try this as well: Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s “Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot”

          In it you will find a discussion of this business of referring to Nazis as right-wingers. It’s tough reading, but very interesting.

        • Yes. They were communists. That is why Hitler hated Stalin and the Soviet Union so much. It was jealousy. Hitler and all his backers were mad that the USSR got all the glory of being communists before the Nazis did, so they invaded them to be known as the one true communist state.
          I am very sorry, but going to Jonah Goldberg for historic accuracy and thought is a bit like going to Mike 2300 for gun information. Claims are made. Statistics are given. Conclusions are reached–and not a bit of it means a thing since the need to support his preconceived answers obliterates any rational thought.

          • Wow! You’re right! I suppose the socialist states of Red China and Vietnam, and Red China and Soviet Russia, and Red China and India.. have never, ever, ever engaged in conflict. That was all a dream.

  4. Sometimes a historian gungrabber will say, “You don’t know history. Nazis didn’t ban guns from citizens.” And (last I checked) they would be right. But what they are hiding is that guns were banned from non-citizens, and Jews were made into non-citizens.

    “As the proud son of a man who barely survived the Nazi “work camps”, whose grandparents were slaughtered by the Nazis, I state here, openly and for the record, that any government that “outs” gun owners is enabling the same sort of intolerance that characterized the brutal regimes which decimated my family.”

    This is a very strong statement and is the thing I wish more people who can say it would say when anyone downplays the gun registration subject. People who had their families personally affected or who personally know people who lived through it basically telling gun-grabbers and the like quite matter-of-factly they are wrong.

    • This is a very strong statement and is the thing I wish more people who can say it would say when anyone downplays the gun registration subject. People who had their families personally affected or who personally know people who lived through it basically telling gun-grabbers and the like quite matter-of-factly they are wrong.


  5. It wasn’t the identification or disarming of Jews that led to their slaughter? I think the Chicago Sun-Times has gone mad. Identification was just one more step in the incremental marginalization of an entire people. Disarming them made them more compliant — armed resistance is so messy and attracts a lot of attention. Both paved the way for the German people to accept and approve of the so-called “resettlement” of millions of other Europeans.

  6. My mother’s family was from Minsk, and my dad’s family was from a shetl outside of Kiev. Many of my relatives did not survive what was locally called in contemporary times, “The Great Patriotic War”.

    Between the pogroms and the forced genocidal starvation in the Ukraine, followed by the Nazi rampage, I have said many times that I am lucky to have been born in the USA.

    When ever my extended family gets together, my cousins, who were brought up in liberal (almost socialist) families, chide me about my avocation and my interest in guns. The night before the wedding of one of my daughters in Houston, and after the bridal party dinner, we were all sitting at the bar in the hotel, when they started up on me again.

    Not only are they incredulous that a good Jewish boy with a graduate school education could work in law enforcement and have an interest in those evil guns, but how could I allow my daughters to follow my “radical” non-Jewish ideas. One of my married daughters (a PhD) has a CHL and has shot competitive handgun matches using an instrument “only designed to kill human beings.” Another married daughter has a master’s degree in criminology, and is a sworn peace officer with a state police agency; she carries her issue .40 Glock or her Ruger LCP wherever that goes. Both of these daughters have children, and “Don’t you know how dangerous it is to have guns in the house with children? You need to get rid of them, and turn them over to the police!” has been hammered at us repeatedly by my relatives. The ubiquitous “why do you need more than 10 bullets in you gun?” was repeatedly asked of me. “Do you carry those dum dum bullets?” When I replied that I and my daughters all carry hollow points and always have a round in the chamber, they went apoplectic.

    With antisemitism and radical Islam rearing their ugly heads in this bastion of freedom, at least I and my daughters have the means and ability to defend ourselves. What will my cousins do if they ever receive the dreaded knock on the door? Turn the other cheek?

    Never again.

    I like the graphic you used in “IL Firearm Owner Outing Debate Descends into Godwin’s Law”

    Do you know if it is available as a poster or decal?

    Texas Deputy

    • +1, Texas Deputy. Yours was a great post.

      We can all have our faith and our guns too, whatever our religion or heritage might be. Guns and religion are completely compatible. Crime and religion are not. It’s just that simple.

  7. “Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA — ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.” – Heinrich Himmler

    “We don’t let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns? “– Joseph Stalin

    “Every Communist must grasp the truth that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” – Mao

    “We want them all registered.” – Nancy Pelosi

    “If you are a Jew who supports “gun control,” you’ve either forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust, or you never learned them in the first place.”

  8. Here’s the trouble with comparing anything with the Holocaust: Nothing within the bounds of ordinary human experience truly compares with the Holocaust.

    I don’t approve of these names being released either. But if you think it compares in any way with the Nazi genocide or any of the events that led to it, you’ve lost any sense of perspective and proportion and you are now lost in the tall grass of gun loon extremism. Rational people who hear your blabbering will assume you are out of your minds. The rhetoric is ridiculous, completely self-absorbed, and offensive. Get over yourselves, for crying out loud.

    • “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
      – Santayana

      This exercise is not so much a comparison as a reminder that such evils are real, they have taken place and they start with seemingly benign acts that deprive the individual of God given rights.

      While publishing a list of names, or telling us we don’t need more than 10 rounds, or demanding gun registration are all a long walk from the gates of Auschwitz; every journey starts with first steps. To deny this is to deny history. We have not lost our sense of perspective and proportion, we are just keenly aware this journey must be stopped before we are condemned to repeat the unthinkable.

      • Poor old George Santayana: seldom read and invariably misquoted. This quotation comes from his work The Life of Reason, which was published in five pocket volumes. He toiled in the shadows of his colleagues at Harvard, including William James, but he did have a gift for aphorism, the most famous of which is quoted above. Unfortunately, here Santayana was not being prescriptive but fatalistically descriptive. What he meant was mankind is doomed to repeat its mistakes precisely because it fails to learn from them. In this case he was reflecting upon the First World War, which he was certain would not be the last one.

        And while nobody actually reads Santayana anymore, the quote remains popular, due no doubt to its near-infinite flexibility. Most anyone can employ the quote to in effect say: “Accept my interpretation of history,” regardless of the actual value of the interpretation. Had they cared to, the Nazis could have used the quotation to support their obscene persecution of the Jewish people. The Nazis had a long list of historical grievances against Jews, completely imaginary though they were. In their twisted minds they were righting a historical wrong.

        Santayana also wrote a fairly unusual novel, The Last Puritan, which is well worth a look.

        • Correction: The First World War was not the inspiration for Santayana’s reflections on the futility of history in the Life of Reason, but for a later work very similar in theme.

  9. I guess it doesn’t really compare to Farago’s story, but my grandfather was executed by the NKVD for counter-revolutionary/state sentiments. He was a highly decorated volunteer soldier in the Velikaya Otechestvinaya Voyna, or the Great Patriotic War (Soviet label for their theater or WWII), going from Stalingrad to Berlin, and he exchanged flags and ammunition rounds with an American GI around that time. I think we’ve still got that pre-reform Soviet flag.

    He retired from state service as a colonel of the KGB, and was arrested and sentenced to death by firing squad 18 years later. Why? He hated the fuck out of the government at the time, and I guess he thought his background would prevent retaliation. He paid the price for that.

    Today, pretty much my entire family is composed of rabidly patriotic, capitalistic constitutionalists, and all but two are gun enthusiasts, and most carry, too.

    Anybody who’s fucking stupid and clueless enough to suggest that likening the first stages of tyranny here to what those first stages led to elsewhere (i.e. Holocaust) is an obfuscatory bullshitter, or delusional and immoral or uninformed to a perplexing extreme.

    One thing’s for sure – if an agent of the state ever shows up at my door demanding my firearms, I’ll empty the drum of my revolver into his chest before he realizes what’s going on.

  10. For those who think guns wouldn’t have helped the Jews avoid the death camps they need a lesson on the Warsaw ghetto. Several groups of Jews combined to form an armed force of less than 1000 and attached a German column transporting Jew to a transfer facility allowing most to get away and have a chance to escape. The main group was killed or captured after about a week with the razing of the Warsaw ghetto but individuals and small groups held out for a month armed with only pistols, homemade grenades, and a few rifles. The ferocity of these lightly armed and untrained fighters stunned the SS and Police forces that were arrayed against them. Over 300,000 Jews were deported and killed with about 50,000 left in the ghetto either allowed to stay or in hiding. From this group the less than 1000 that fought was drawn. Imagine if a large part of the Jewish population has possessed arms and been willing to use them in their defense. It may take years but registration inevitably leads to banning and confiscation followed later by government commited atrocities.

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