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Ben Carson, Firearms and False Parallels to the Holocaust

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 13/10/2015 Warren J. Blumenfeld
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Dr. Ben Carson, current Republican Party presidential candidate, seems obsessed with stretching himself into a pretzel to fabricate links between the conditions giving rise to and advancing the Nazi German Holocaust with conditions enfolding within contemporary U.S.-America. For example, in Carson's recently published book, which he co-authored with his wife Candy, A More Perfect Union: What We The People Can Do To Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, they discuss Nazi Germany's weapons confiscation policies. The Carsons argue that an armed citizenry is needed to protect the people against "tyrants" and "radicals."
They assert that our country must never impose restriction on firearms since "our founders recognized that 'we the People' could represent a significant fighting force if necessary to repel an invasion by foreign forces. They also knew that an armed population would discourage government overreach."
"The founders feared an overbearing central government might attempt to dominate the people and severely curtail their rights," the Carsons write. "This, in fact, is the primary reason that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights."
The Carsons anticipated that that many people might charge that it is "ludicrous to imagine our federal government trying to seize unconstitutional power and dominate the people." By referring to James Madison, the Carsons said the founder "could foresee a day in America when radicals might assume power and try to impose upon America a different system of government." They continued, "His hope was that the establishment of such a different way of life would be difficult in America, because American citizens, having the right to keep and bear arms, would rebel."
And in this context, they referred to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, writing how "German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler's regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior."
"Only law-abiding citizens are affected by legislation imposing gun control," the Carsons write. "The criminals don't care what the law says, which is why they are criminals. Confiscating the guns of American citizens would violate the Constitution as well as rendering the citizenry vulnerable to criminals and tyrants."
Ben Carson stepped in it when Wolf Blitzer interviewed the candidate and former neurosurgeon on CNN by declaring that Jewish people under the Nazi regime might have prevented the Holocaust if they had been armed.
Blitzer asked Carson: "Just to clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?"
Responding to Blitzer, Carson said: "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I'm telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first."
Carson proclaimed to a standing ovation by a conservative crowd listening to his stump speech during a March 2014 event in New York, that according to the conservative website Breitbart.com reported, "Carson said the current state of our government and institutions are 'very much like Nazi Germany': You had the government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe." He blamed the U.S.'s Nazi-like conditions on so-called political correctness and government intimidation.
And in a September 2014 interview with J. D. Hayworth of Newsmax, Carson advised people to read Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), and also to read the works of Vladimir Lenin to draw their own parallels with President Obama and the United States.
Carson is completely misguided as are other anti-gun regulations activists regarding Hitler's actual policies. University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt investigated this myth in his article published in 2004 in the Fordham Law Review. He discovered that the Weimar Republic, the German government immediately preceding Hitler's, enacted tougher firearms restrictions than under the Nazi's. After its defeat in World War I, under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, the German legislature passed a law banning all private firearms, and the government confiscated guns already in circulation. According to Harcourt, however, "The 1938 revisions [signed by Hitler] completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition."
Under this 1938 law, many additional categories of people, including Nazi party members, were excused from all gun ownership regulations, and the legal age to purchase firearms was lowered from 20 to 18. Also, the length of time the permits were in affect increased from one to three years. Yes, the law did prohibit Jews and other oppressed groups from firearms ownership, but the vast majority of Germans were free to purchase weapons.
In the past, Carson seems to have blamed the victims of tragic shooting for their own murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina killing 9 parishioners, and at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon also killing 9, by asserting that instead of merely succumbing to threats by shooters brandings firearms, people must stand up and aggressively confront shooters. Referring to the shooting in Oregon, Carson said:
"If everybody attacks that gunman, he's not going to be able to kill everybody. But if you sit there and let him shoot you one-by-one, you're all going to be dead. And, you know, maybe these are things that people don't think about. It's certainly something that I would be thinking about."
Parallels to Firearms Advocates
While Carson seems intoxicated by the conspiratorial soup he ingested sparking hallucinatory comparisons between Nazi Germany and the United States, he does, in fact, parrot the Nazi Germany and contemporary U.S. connections: a primary argument spouted by what I am calling the "Pro-Firearms with No More Regulations Movement."
In my effort to better understand why the United States remains among the last of the more developed Western countries to resist instituting meaningful and appropriate gun control measures, I took the risk of engaging with a radical fringe of the movement on the Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates Facebook page.
Virtually every responder to my comments lodged toxic personal attacks against my character, my masculinity, and my "using big words to impress," in addition to actual threats of violence against me. In addition, everyone engaged in binary, all or nothing thinking: total freedom and independence from government regulations v. governmental tyranny.

One person giving a more rational response on the theme connecting the U.S. to the Nazis and to Soviet-style Communism came from this man [I prefer to keep names confidential]: "If you watch the History Channel, Hitler and many other dictators removed guns using the same thought process. 'Let's make our society safe by removing guns', it's logical and thoughtful. Not really, it's thought control. To (sic) many times the powers that want to remove an individuals (sic) right to self defense use this 'let's all get along' argument . I really don't think anyone who uses this argument really cares for the general populace."
Others who did not post abusive comments simply expressed their opinions on this topic by dispatching pictures, including the following on showing Hitler with the words "To conquer a nation, First disarm it's citizens." Another one stated: "'This year will go down in history...For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.' - Adolph Hiter." And yet another depicts a number of world leaders with the caption above Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton, "These men supported your right to bear arms," while above pictures of Hitler, Castro, Stalin, Amin, Lenin, and Obama, "These men opposed it." Below all the pictures is written, "Who do you trust?"
[Not a] Conclusion
Literally hundreds of my family members suffered at the hands of Nazi invaders in our ancestral towns in Poland and Hungary. My material grandfather, who lived with us, left his family in Krosno, Poland where 9 of his siblings, parents, and extended family were all rounded up, marched into the woods, and shot at close range by Nazi soldiers.
To compare events and conditions in the contemporary United States to the Nazi's "final solution" of the Jews amounts not only to historical revisionism to the maximum, but more importantly, it trivializes the extreme conditions under which so many people, Jews and others, suffered from the dehumanization, marginalization, surveillance, arrest, incarceration, torture, "medical" experimentation, rape, murder, and incineration.
So I ask, how many more politicians, pundits, and individuals are going to liken President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and to Joseph Stalin (the two latter who perpetrated opposing political philosophies, just sayin'), and the United States to these forms of government?
I hold both extremes - the Holocaust deniers and the Holocaust revisionists - as offensive to the good people who were all taken from us far too soon. Let them rest in peace. Let the truth prevail.

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