Stockholm Syndrome, Newtown and the Liberator Pistol


Two days ago, a man whom I’ve known and respected for over a decade launched into a more than slightly incoherent Facebook rant in which he explicitly blamed the NRA and law-abiding civilian shooters for the Newtown killings. “Those children died,” he wrote, “so you could have your toys without any reasonable restrictions.” I didn’t know how to respond to the post. After all, none of the “reasonable” restrictions now being proposed would have prevented Adam Lanza’s affluent, well-educated mother from purchasing a gun. I tried pointing that out to my friend, only to have him dismiss me as a “gun nut.” Although he’s normally a reasonable fellow, since Newtown happened he’s clearly decided to let emotion take the wheel, at least for now.  He’s not the only intelligent person I’ve seen swept away towards irrationality in the past two weeks. Again and again, I’ve heard that “reasonable gun control” is now necessary, even inevitable. In my struggles to understand this, I thought back to World War II and the failure of what was perhaps the first-ever government-sponsored zip gun . . .

The FP-45 “Liberator” was a throwaway, sheet-steel affair, manufactured in bulk by General Motors in the days when they were the Arsenal of Democracy rather than the Recipient Of Government Assistance. The US Army planned to drop approximately a million of the single-shot, .45 ACP-chambered pistols into Occupied Europe. The stated purpose of the weapon was to enable Resistance fighters to kill soldiers and acquire a rifle or SMG, but the real pupose was to spread a little terror through the German ranks. The FP-45’s concealable nature meant that anybody could be carrying one at any time, so in theory the existence of the Liberators would have vastly increased the stress the occupying troops faced.

During the Occupation, the Allies managed to convey over 200,000 firearms into Europe, but almost all of those were Sten guns delivered to known Resistance contacts. The Liberator, which would have been air-dropped at random, wound up being melted-down en masse instead. That’s right: the United States simply declined to drop a million pistols that it had already built into Nazi-held territory. Why?

In his book “Blitzkrieg,” historian Len Deighton states that the Liberator program was canceled at the request of Charles de Gaulle, who as the self-appointed representative of the “Free French” had an amazing ability to manipulate the Allies towards his interest despite having virtually no followers and despite the fact that France itself didn’t exactly struggle to throw off the yoke of German occupation.

De Gaulle knew that resistance to the Nazis was mostly imaginary, but that resistance to his triumphant return was likely to be quite real, particularly from leftist elements within France. He therefore convinced the United States to cancel any proposed Liberator drops and in doing so significantly reduced the amount of potentially-armed opposition to his postwar ascension.

The astute reader will note that this decision effectively aided the Nazi ability to resist the Normandy invasions. Some minor percentage of the deaths on that day was no doubt due to the fact that the Germans didn’t have a million zip guns pointed at their backs. The payoff for that sacrifice? When the country was liberated, nearly all the hardware was firmly in the hands of de Gaulle’s chosen people and the transition was no doubt smoothed by this happy coincidence. So what if a few Allied soldiers had to die in the cause?

Charles de Gaulle wasn’t just a brilliant politician; he was an effective myth-maker. The Allies sweated blood to put him into power at the end of World War II because he sold them a story that they wanted to believe, even if it wasn’t true: namely, that there had been a massive French Resistance and he, de Gaulle, had directed its many successful operations. The fiction of “Le Resistance” effectively over-wrote the fact of French cooperation. De Gaulle rode the power myth into a nearly absolute power over France.

The people who want to advance “reasonable” gun control in the United States are myth-makers, and they should not be confused with the useful idiots who subscribe to their myths. They know that a ten-round magazine limit or a ban on scary-looking pistol grips wouldn’t have prevented the deaths of those children in Connecticut. They know that nothing short of a nationwide ban on firearms possession, combined with a thorough and merciless seizure of the 300 million weapons in private hands already, could significantly reduce the chances of another Newtown shooting.

They don’t care. In the phrase “gun control”, control should be emphasized. Control is its own reward. Power, as Orwell noted, is its own reward. It needs no other reason, no other justification. There’s no reason to seek out the golden heart behind the iron fist of gun control. It doesn’t exist. The armed citizen is not fully under control, even if his “assault weapon” never leaves his closet. There must be control.

And thus we have ridiculous suggestions like taxing ammunition. What level of taxation deters someone who only plans to fire a hundred rounds — or one round — in anger? We know that the purpose of that legislation is to control recreational shooters, to marginalize them, to tax them, not the criminals, out of existence. Control is the only purpose, and the people who want that control will seize on any excuse, any tragedy, to have more of it. They are inexorable and inexhaustible.

I wonder if my friends who are in favor of “reasonable” gun control aren’t suffering from a bit of Stockholm Syndrome. Surrounded by a media which bleats the mantra of “reasonable gun control” twenty-four hours a day, sick of being vilified for owning firearms, tired of explaining that no, the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee your right to join the National Guard. After a while, it’s easier to identify with the abusers, to go along, to give up something in hopes that they’ll be left alone, that the maw which yawns beneath them to swallow their neighbor’s AR-15 will be satisfied at that and will leave their Mini-14, or their Remington 700, or their Browning Citori, at peace.

Naturally, they’re wrong. No sacrifice will appease their desire for power, for control. The gun control measures stacked up on the graves of Newtown’s children may start off by being “reasonable,” but that pretense of reason will disappear soon enough. How far will the myth-makers of “reasonable gun control” go? Ask any Frenchman who stood under the open sky in 1943 and wished for a salvation that never came.


  1. avatar bontai Joe says:

    What an excellent explaination of what gun control is all about!

  2. avatar Sagebrush Rebel says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This quote is a great launching point for Thomas Sowell’s book, “The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy” – which expands on Lewis’ point.

      Today, we have a cadre of self-appointed pecksniffs sticking their long, thin snouts into every public orifice, seeking to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.

      The best way to deal with these bombastic buffoons would be to start defunding academic disciplines which are useless – eg, take land grant universities back to their original intent, per federal legislation. This would mean wholesale elimination of entire liberal arts departments and going back to nothing but engineering, hard science, agriculture, military sciences and medicine.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        And who gets to decide what’s useless? The pecksniffs, of course. Back to square one. If my liberal arts degrees can be pecksniffed into uselessness, so can your gunsmithing skills.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I can make weapons.

          You can write poems.

          Guess which wins gunfights?

  3. avatar David says:


    It is probably not the fodder for this thread, but I would like to see more references w/ some of your assertions. I am not saying they are not true just that I would like to know. I agree w/ you in politic just a little iffy on history. The French resistance was real – overblown I could totally see that. If the resistance was blown out of proportion to the point of myth then many of our generals were eye-ball deep in the myth making. It would also be interesting to see some more material on resistance efforts in other countries in Europe not just France.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      @David, compare the Yugoslavian, Polish and Russian resistance with the French resistance. Resistance was far more fierce in the Eastern Front, where the Germans were fighting a war of annihilation, than on the Western Front.

      The French resistance committed random acts of sabotage until D-Day, when sabotage became better coordinated. After WW2, the French government recognized 220,000 resistance fighters, although the number of total resistance personnel was probably higher while the number of fighters was actually lower.

      Meanwhile, the Yugoslavian resistance had 800,000 fighters organized into more than 50 divisions and four armies. They were real armies and they engaged the Nazis in several major battles. None of them received much Allied support before 1944.

      IIRC, France in 1940 had at least five times the population of Yugoslavia, yet Yugoslavia had four times the number of resistance fighters. And man, did they fight.

      There’s plenty of information out there if your google-fu is strong.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        The French also had at least 100 thousand volunteers that served with the german army during the war. Over half of france itself wasn’t even occupied by German soldiers until late in the war. The Germans relied on the Vichy government and the french police and military to control Southern France.

        And the real heart breaker of all this is that when American forces landed in French north Africa to begin the liberation of german occupied territory the first resistance the American met was from French Army, Navy and AirForce personnel loyal to the puppet Vichy government. American troops died at the hands of frenchmen they had landed to liberate.

        1. avatar ket says:

          Thank you !

      2. avatar 16V says:

        Which was exactly the policy for France and was the plan for England – use mostly extant governments, as well as public servants.

        Sort of like when the Germans made it to the Channel Islands. Be polite, wait in line at shops, pay cash. Ruthless reprisals for the non-cooperative occupied, but the goal was to take over, not destroy.

        Unlike everyone else, the Brits did have a plan for an invasion in place, as well as a government trained and organized resistance. It wouldn’t have lasted long, but it was in place.

    2. avatar VolandoBajo says:

      The Danish Resistance…as fierce and as successful as any in WW II.

      Repeatedly struck back at the Nazis in spite of any threat or retaliation. Could and would creep into German barracks at night to steal weapons. I heard there was a situation where the Resistance had killed ten German soldiers. The Nazis announced that they would kill 100 Danes in retaliation. The Danish Resistance, when presented with this fact, immediately publicized that they would kill a 1,000 Nazi soldiers, and they did.

      In the end, the Germans decided that they could not stand the escalation.

      The Danes, spiritual heirs to the Vikings, refused to knuckle under to the Nazis regardless of the cost.

      They were not the only fierce European WW II Resistance, but they were among the most fierce and effective.

      DeGaulle was a politician pretending to be a military leader. The analysis of the fate of the Liberator pistol was an accurate presentation of an unpleasant truth.

  4. avatar Larry says:

    We need to stop referring to people as gun cobtrol advocates. They are tradiors, anti-freedom zealots, anti second amendment folks, etc. We need to beat them at their own game.

  5. avatar John Fritz says:

    Jack Baruth!!!!!!!! Yes!

    I knew you’d show up here!

  6. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    You guys keep saying there’s nothing that would have prevented this. Well, how about simple safe storage laws? How about the simple responsibility of keeping your guns away from your mentally ill kids?

    Wouldn’t that have worked?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      No, you are wrong (but at least you’re consistent). She did have a gun safe for her rifles. How the crazy [email protected] got into it we may never know.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Source please?

        1. avatar Jamie in ND says:

          Show me a source that she didn’t, please.

      2. avatar C says:

        I’d like to see a source on this. Safe or cabinet? If a safe, maybe he knew the combination,? You’d think an angle-grinder would have woken her up long before he could get in.

    2. avatar Rambeast says:

      Criminals/madmen that live with or even visit family members will eventually gain access to their secure storage. Being that they are family, they will have the highest chance to get access without needing to force open the safe. The problem with your cited scenario, is with adult children with mental issues are almost impossible to get committed without them committing some crime viable to initiate the involuntary treatment process. Guns aren’t the problem, your willful ignorance is.

    3. avatar Mark says:

      So called “safe storage laws” are unenforceable unless professional law enforcement does nothing but door to door compliance checks all day. Further, proper storage differs by situation. My firearms are always locked up except the one to which I want constant, immediate access and when I leave the house, it comes with me but my wife and I are both licensed to carry and we have no children or unsupervised visitors. The only reason I bother to lock them up is to make them significantly more difficult to steal if someone breaks in when I’m not home. I don’t need to be told that I am a criminal if I don’t install trigger locks. You might; I have no way of knowing.

    4. avatar g says:

      Good luck trying to legislate that parents be more responsible for their children. If you thought prisons were overcrowded now…

    5. avatar MD Matt says:

      No, because last I heard, he killed her and took her guns.
      If the person is dead, then the criminal has a virtually limitless amount of time to circumvent safe storage.
      If the killer is willing to do murder to get a gun then whether he got the gun on the black market or over the cooling body of his dead mother is irelivent. Either way he was going to kill people.

    6. If the Brady campaign and the rest of the prohibitionist crowd want to contribute money toward purchasing better gun safes / cabinets, I am all for it.

      It’d probably do more to prevent gun violence / accidents than pointless buyback programs.

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        I think it’s your responsibility to keep your guns safe, out of the hands of very young kids and disturbed family members. But, you’re doing such a piss-poor job of it, the government is going to have to step in and constrain you to do so. Only then will we see improvement.

        1. avatar AJ says:

          In other words, “Police state now! For freedom!”. Careful what you wish for, dude.

        2. avatar ZM 1306 says:

          Mike, you and the gov can tell me what to do with my property and how I should care for my property when Hell freezes over. (I still will not give a damn)

          My guns are around the house and some are loaded. I do not have a way to lock them up any more than locking my house. If people come over I put them away in my room and no one is allowed into my room.

          I have looked into safes, they are expensive worthless metal boxes. All they do is delay, not only a potential criminal but yourself as well. I have plans to make storage for them but it is a project on a list of many.

          Remember obscurity is the best security.


          Just remember OpSec…. resist the urge to show it off and make youtube vids…

      2. avatar Jim says:

        “Participating in a gun buy back because you believe that the criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you believe that the neighbors have too many kids.”

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    The wingnuts do not hate guns. If they did, they’d be trying to disarm the police. The wingnuts hate us. Period. So I hate them right back.

    There are also a lot of weak-minded, easily led people out there who are delighted to have their thinking done for them because actual thought would hurt their widdle heads. They’ll hate who and what they’re told to hate and like it. I can’t hate them back, but I do hold them in contempt.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      I don’t hate anyone. We are a polite society and better than the haters. Standing up for what we believe does not have to involve hate.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      One of the reasons why I think these people detest those of us who own guns (among other things) is that we represent a threat to their entire world view.

      I have never been in a debate with a gun banner where the fact (litigated all the way to the SCOTUS) that the police are *not* responsible for protecting individuals does not come as a rude shock. Never. The look on the faces of people who were ignorant of these facts and court cases when I pull out the legal citations and the facts of the cases (Gonzales v. Castle Rock, Warren v. District of Columbia, et al) tells me that I’ve effectively challenged some very fundamental assumptions of these people’s entire existence – that government can (or will) take care of them.

      Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially uncharitable towards these people, I find a way to work Flemming v. Nestor (1960) into the discussion, and point out that Social Security is not a pension, it isn’t “their” money and they have no “personal account,” and Congress can change the benefits schedule to people who think they deserve some payout at any time.

      Gun owners represent a group of people who don’t “buy into” their worldview – and as the big government spending models increasingly come close to failure, people who fend for themselves represent a huge threat to advocates of the “government knows best and will provide” mindset.

      1. avatar Jon says:

        Great post.

      2. avatar Al in OK says:

        And the cases are on wikipedia. Thanks for the info. BTW none of the people that I know in Law enforcement have disagreed with this statement. Police do not stop crimes, they investigate them (something Jesse Ventura has said in the past). I usually go on to say that the presence of uniformed LEO’s usually prevent crime. But that’s about it

  8. avatar Steve says:

    Some states do have gun safety/storage laws (Ct is one of them), as do some make it a crime to not report a firearm that is stolen. The mom either (A) left the guns available for her kid, (B) let the kid know where the key was located or the combo to the safe or (C) allowed access to the safe while under duress from the kid, who then shot her in the face.

  9. avatar Casey T says:

    A lot of the people for gun control are ignorant people who have been manipulated by the media. I talked with my father who was obviously has believed the medias lies because he used terminology that was just wrong. It’s really frustrating because we had an argument as it’s because those evil people lied to everyone. I just have no faith in the media now.

  10. avatar mike says:

    After some reflection, I finally realized why it’s imperative not to give even an inch to gun control. Even if just to satisfy the immediate emotions of the country.

    Because, God forbid, when the next mass shooting happens (which we all know it will despite any gun control or bans), that inch will instantly grow to a foot, then a yard, then a mile. Once the dam is compromised by that ONE inch, it’s basically the beginning of the end.

    And this is not being insensitive to the innocent victims past, present or future. It’s just cold, hard, logical fact about how events would play out. Humans (rich or poor, young or old) have the worst decision making process under emotional herd stress.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      You’re right Mike. The only end to “reasonable restrictions” is when all firearms are government owned and issued.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Reminds me of a great line from Men In Black.

      J. says, “People are smart, they can deal with it.”
      K. returns, “A _person_ is smart. _People_ are dumb, panicky animals and you know it.”

  11. avatar Jon says:

    Pretty cool to see Jack Baruth writing here. Now I get to enjoy his writing on two of my favorite sites.

  12. avatar Rokurota says:

    Gun control is really power control, as is press control, speech control and faith control.

  13. avatar hmmmmmmmm says:

    FLAME DELETED The idea that a single shot, wildly inaccurate POS that came packaged with a wooden dowl to remove the cartridge after firing would cause any great fear in a man with a sten gun is laughable, and the idea that any kind of effective uprising against De Gaulle post-war could have been effected with such a device beyond ridiculous. I would have thought that the huge numbers of actual battle weapons held by the Vichy French would have been just a tiny bit more of a concern than a pop gun with an effective range of about 5 feet.

    Yet another example of the depths pro gun folk are now forced to trawl to find some, any, kind of justification for their weapons in the face of 20 dead children.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Your lack of tactical thinking is far from adequate. With that single shot throw away gun, you can aquire a better gun. They were designed to be used when you can get in arm’s length and surprise a lone enemy and liberate their firearm for your use. Similar to the “knuckle gun” (which makes a cameo in Inglorious Bastards) except that this version required you to make contact with your target to discharge the weapon.

      “Yet another example of the depths pro gun folk are now forced to trawl to find some, any, kind of justification for their weapons in the face of 20 dead children.”

      I don’t hear you screaming about the thousands of children killed outside the US by Government issued ordinance and small arms. The few killed in our borders are a drop in the bucket compared to our military’s screwups. I guess little white children are more worthy of our sympathies than the little brown children that never make the headlines of the US propaganda machine.

      1. avatar Jay Dunn says:

        Curtis LeMay incinerated thousands of children every day until he ran out of targets for his napalm and white phosphorus attacks. But it was ok because they were Jap children.

        1. avatar jsallison says:

          They fought a dirty, medieval war of conquest dating from the mid-30’s in China convinced of their own superiority and our unwillingness to get dirty. They got what they asked for. Back then we knew how to convince a people that they’d been beaten. Surgically applied violence demonstrably doesn’t get it done as we’ve seen the last 50 some odd years.

        2. avatar VolandoBajo says:

          Curtis LeMay saved American lives by doing the only thing that ended up destroying the will of the enemy to continue waging war against us.

          War is a dirty business, but there is no reason why one side must suffer because it refuses to fight as dirty a war as its enemy is willing to wage.

          When Patton was asked if he thought that it was a good thing to die for one’s country, he said that he thought it was better to give the enemy an opportunity to die for theirs.

          That simple explanation will likely go right over the heads of the kneejerk liberals who can only think “How horrible…” and cannot think through to what the real horror would be.

    2. avatar foggy says:

      Hmm, I’m sure that if you were facing someone armed with a single-shot .45 that you’d be pissing your pants.

      These weapons were intended to be used steathily (i.e. sneak up behind someone and shoot them, rather than hit them on the head with a brick). Also, they wouldn’t be taking Sten guns off of their victims unless they were attacking British or US soldiers, more likely MP38s or MP40s.

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      FLAME DELETED but it only takes about five seconds to figure out what kind of tactics go along with a gun like this. It’s purpose is explicitly stated in the post.

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Hmmmmm, another English transplant like Piers Morgan. What happened to the Brits? They went from”We shall fight them on the beaches and in the streets” To “Omg, a gun! I think I just wet myself!” In 70 years.

      1. avatar Jon says:

        Sadly, a lot of this is due to the fact they lost so many of their best and bravest and in two world wars.

    5. avatar AJ says:

      How many children has your beloved O’bomb-a killed via drone strike? Where is your outrage?

  14. avatar Patrick says:

    A gun safe is a good extra measure for safety, but will only delay access. Safes can be cracked. Children can do it, and especially adolescents can do it. It’s just a matter of time: sometimes less, sometimes more.

    1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

      Even you own blog meister has said a gun should be on your person or in a safe.

      1. avatar Jim B says:

        Yeah, I remember the time when people kept guns in an open cabinet, or at most with a glass door, usually in the living room or den. You could mail order guns. They were common items with everyone, or nearly everyone. I remember going to friends and relatives houses and asking to see their guns. Nearly all had guns and they were all in display cabinets.

        Times have sure changed. Why? We didn’t have incidents like Sandy Hook back then. It can’t be the guns since there were more guns and far more available. I can remember the ads as a kid. All you had to do was check the box that that you were over 18 to order just about anything except a fully automatic weapon.

        Yep, times have changed and it sure isn’t the availability of guns that did it.

        Oh, my old gun cabinet is now a book shelf. I have a safe. I was at a charity auction a couple of years ago where there was a beautiful gun cabinet in pecan wood as an auction item. Not a single bid. No one displays guns any longer. Those days are long gone and I doubt they will ever return.

        1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          “No one displays guns anymore.” Are you so blind that you think because you do something EVERYONE is doing it? Good for you that you use a gun safe. I have some bad news for you. Not everyone is.

  15. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Since De Gaulle would have gulled the US and Brits into fighting the commie insurrection for him, maybe things worked out for the best.

  16. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    It is common to hear statements that we need to have discussions about “reasonable” or “sane” gun control laws. If reasonable or sane is the standard, then before any new laws are passed we need to repeal a bunch of existing laws first.

  17. avatar gringito says:

    “He’s not the only intelligent person I’ve seen swept away towards irrationality in the past two weeks.”
    This was the important phrase for me…because it happend..and it happens again and again!

  18. avatar SKSlover says:

    personaly, i would like a liberator or 3 for my collection. sure, its a sh!ty slapped together singleshot, but its very cool.

  19. avatar Joe says:

    I’ve been Learking here for a while but had to comment now. Jack, I’ve always enjoyed your writing on that other blog, and am glad to see you writing here. I hope to see more from you on TTAG’s in the future.

  20. avatar O.E says:

    Firstly D-Day was an Illegal Occupation.

    Secondly Gun Control was aimed at an Empire State, the German Empire before the idea was hatched to de-junk that Empire of go alongs very keen on seeing an Empire reduced to a no-mans land.

    Thirdly, spreading terrorist tools amongst a body of people who are abiding of a law is no different to the shinanegans of Oirish Americans feeding the I.R.A with money, means and connections to embark on random acts of undisciplined violence towards yet again disarmed civilians reliant upon national security professionals.

  21. avatar gphx says:

    If you want an example of a current country with gun control look no further than our neighbor to the south, Mexico. Is there more or less gun violence down there now that the lawful citizens are unarmed?

  22. avatar C.R. Krieger says:

    Ah, a slickly packaged combination of a flawed analogy, a straw man, a slippery slope and – voila! A simple answer reveals itself! It’s the Great Leftist Conspiracy, as always! I’d like to think you’re smarter than this, Jack; but I’m beginning to have my doubts.

  23. avatar Jay Dee says:

    Newtown happened because the state of Connecticut gutted their mental health programs to pay for welfare. After all crazy people don’t vote. Nancy Lanza was desperately seeking a residential program for her son when he went over the edge.

  24. avatar Dreama says:

    Kudos to you! I hadn’t thohugt of that!

  25. avatar http://www./ says:

    You need one of those Bibles engraved on a grain of rice. Then you could tape it to a stick and whack away.By the way, you owe me lunch. I threw mine up when I saw the photo of your new friend.

  26. Oh no! I didn't realize you were in the hospital, too. ((Big Hugs))Yeah, I had a flood two weeks ago. I totally feel your pain. Not the back pain, but still.

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