DID HITLER BAN GUNS?
In order to persecute your victims, you ***must first*** disarm your victims.
I wish that it were true, as it indeed delivers a powerful rhetorical punch against weapons control. But alas, it is false.
Or is it? In fact, it is so plainly true that I don't know whether to laugh or cry at supporters of weapons control and their silly assertion. Let's have a look at some of the details and nuances of the history.
The government prior to the Nazis was the Weimar German Republic. The conditions of the post-World War One Versailles Treaty required stringent restrictions on both military armaments and civilian weapons ownership. However, nearer to the end of the Weimar Government, these civilian restrictions began to be relaxed. Constitutional lawyer Stephen Halbrook says:
Within a decade [1918 to 1928], Germany had gone from a brutal firearms seizure policy which, in times of unrest, entailed selective yet immediate execution for mere possession of a firearm, to a modern, comprehensive gun control law.But Hitler's government did not reverse this trend. In fact, the liberalization of weapons ownership was expanded. Among measures passed in the 1938 revision of German law:
1. Near total deregulation of shotguns and rifles.
2. Extended permits to three years from one.
3. Lowering the minimum age to 18 from 20.
4. Even fewer restrictions on Nazi Party members (which, of course, incentivized joining the Nazi Party)
For your information, here is a pro-Nazi article on the topic.
So are defenders of an armed populace (and even more fundamentally: armed individuals) wrong in referencing Nazi Germany as an example of the dire potential consequences of arms control?
What must be realized is that Nazi Germany was a State and society based on an expansionistic ethnoracial nationalism (as the above pro-Nazi article confirms). Trust of fellow Germans was taken for granted. And in pursuit of German Lebensraum (living space), an armed German populace was required.
For more on what and how the German people thought, see this excellent work.
Make no mistake that the Nazi regime did indeed impose restrictions (or rather, outright prohibition) on the possession of firearms and even clubs and knives for ethnoracial minorities and political opponents. I'll let you guess one of those groups.
More accurately, though, it might be said that the Nazi regime selectively ***upheld*** the prior restrictions. But that is really a distinction without a difference. Were weapons ownership legal and widespread before the Nazi rise to power, would those groups who did not have the ***prior*** restrictions lifted in reality not have faced ***being*** restricted anyway?
Stephen Halbrook, who above noted Weimar Germany's arms liberalization in the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law titled the article the statement is in as Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews.
The law did prohibit Jews and other persecuted classes from owning guns,***YOU MEAN HE ONLY DISARMED THE PEOPLE HE WANTED TO PERSECUTE?!***
I am both laughing and crying at this pitiful and oblivious inanity. The rest of the statement from Salon.com:
but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general.
Of course it should be. It continues with ridiculous straw men:
1. Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning?
2. Should we eliminate all police officers because the Nazis used police officers to oppress and kill the Jews?
3. What about public works — Hitler loved public works projects?
Of course not. These are merely implements that can be used for good or ill, much as gun advocates like to argue about guns themselves. If guns don’t kill people, then neither does gun control cause genocide (genocidal regimes cause genocide).After reading that the first time, I was truly speechless. No one is saying that gun control ***causes genocide***. The argument is that gun control ***enables persecution!*** That persecution was genocide in Hitler's case. This is merely a look at one period of recent history.
Salon is also apparently unaware of the racist and genocidal history of weapons ***control*** in general. For a look at the history of weapons control laws and the rise of oppressive regimes, see here.
The hypocrisy of gun control and the logical disconnect of its advocates is manifest in the following simple observation: Most supporters of gun control are not, in fact, anti-gun. The reason being that if someone were in possession of whatever firearm they would want illegal (regardless of whether the owner is in peaceful possession.), they somehow feel it proper to send people with weapons of similar and far greater lethality and destructiveness. It seems they are just pro-control. Or perhaps, to give them the benefit of the doubt, they are unaware that their position, while superficially reasonable, is so foolish.
I don't think people should be worried about gun control undertaking a new overt racism. But that is not the point. The modern civilian disarmament push knows no race and all are targeted.
So it seems that the popular claim of gun rights advocates that weapons control was fiercely imposed in Nazi Germany on the ***general population*** is false.
And yet, when remembering what Nazi Germany was and its crimes against Jews and others, this history ultimately vindicates gun rights and discredits gun control as it shows quite clearly that in order to persecute your victims, you ***must first*** disarm your victims.