Last week, in response to the latest mass shooting in America, Republican 2016 Presidential candidate Ben Carson blamed the Holocaust on Nazi gun control. Carson, echoing what he wrote in a section of his book A More Perfect Union, said “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that monitors anti-Semitism statements, quickly and swiftly condemned Carson. The group has long opposed such comparisons to Hitler and Nazi Germany. National Director Abraham Foxman stated “The idea that supporters of gun control are doing something akin to what Hitler’s Germany did to strip citizens of guns in the run-up to the Second World War is historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.”
Though a 1938 Nazi law did ban Jews from owning guns, the small number of personal weapons in the hands of a relatively small minority group in Germany, about 214,000 people, would not have the ability to stop the rise of the Nazis. Furthermore, in instances where there was Jewish resistance to the Nazi war advances, Jewish death quickly followed, in some cases in a more rapid and more brutal fashion. In the Belarus capital of Minsk, for example, Nazi soldiers murdered and hanged Jewish resistance fighters with signs warning others not to follow their lead. In the Warsaw ghetto, 13,000 Jews were instantly murdered after an uprising that killed 20 Nazis. The rest were sent to extermination camps.
Notwithstanding, Fox News contributor and resident anti-semite Dr. Keith Ablow defended Ben Carson. Ablow did not dispute The Anti-Defamation League’s assertion that the few guns possessed by a few Jewish people would have done nothing to stop the Nazi genocide. Instead, he claimed that fiercer Jewish resistance would have preserved a “more courageous mindset” for the Jews. “The mindset that Jews surrendered with their guns is far more important than the hardware they turned over: They surrendered the demonstrated intention, at all costs, to resist being deprived of liberty.” said Ablow. Apparently, if Jews only signalled to the Nazis that they were ready to fight, Hitler would have decided not to commit genocide against them.
Ablow’s and Carson’s statements are the latest in a long and historic revision by conservative pundits to paint Jews as weak and passive, and therefore partially responsible for their own death at the hands of the Nazis. Now, coupled with gun fetishism and fantasy survivalism commonly part of the white nationalist movement, the statements are reaching an entirely new level of hate. 2016 Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz recently said that the Second Amendment provides “the ultimate check against government tyranny.” With the statement, Cruz, a sitting Senator, has openly declared that he is arming in preparation for an insurgency against the US government.
The radical right is too unhinged to be part of a serious discussion on control control. Mass shootings no longer matter. Regardless of the merit of gun legislation, guns cannot be regulated for the sole reason that they are necessary to either perpetuate an armed rebellion, or prevent a Holocaust at the hands of our government.