Dangerous gun control precedents

Jan. 3, 2013

By Katy Grimes

As the gun control debate is rekindled in the United States following the recent Newtown, Connecticut school killings, I am reminded of the atrocities which took place in Germany and occupied Europe during World War ll.

Gun control can be a dangerous precedent.

WWll

“Over a period of several weeks in October and November 1938, the Nazi government disarmed the German Jewish population,” historian Stephen Halbrook wrote. In his book,  “‘Arms in the Hands of Jews Are a Danger to Public Safety’: Nazism, Firearm Registration, and the Night of the Broken Glass,” Halbrook explained that the Nazis imposed the death penalty on a Pole or Jew, “If he is in unlawful possession of firearms . . . or if he has credible information that a Pole or a Jew is in unlawful possession of such objects, and fails to notify the authorities forthwith.”

Free America rejects gun control

“In 1941, U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson called on Congress to enact national registration of all firearms. Given events in Europe, Congress recoiled, and legislation was introduced to protect the Second Amendment, Halbrook continued. “Rep. Edwin Arthur Hall explained: ‘Before the advent of Hitler or Stalin, who took power from the German and Russian people, measures were thrust upon the free legislatures of those countries to deprive the people of the possession and use of firearms, so that they could not resist the encroachments of such diabolical and vitriolic state police organizations as the Gestapo, the Ogpu, and the Cheka.'”

Rep. John W. Patman added: “The people have a right to keep arms; therefore, if we should have some Executive who attempted to set himself up as dictator or king, the people can organize themselves together and, with the arms and ammunition they have, they can properly protect themselves. . .”

Perhaps one of the most amazing events during WWll was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. The heroism by the citizens in the Warsaw Ghetto is unsurpassed. Using only a few remaining handguns, Warsaw Jews “put a temporary stop to the deportations to extermination camps, frightened the Nazis out of the ghetto, stood off assaults for days on end, and escaped to the forests to continue the struggle. What if there had been two, three, many Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings?” Halbrook asked.

Other countries have tried and failed at gun control

Despite the recent school, movie theater and shopping mall rampages, America actually is not high on the gun-related murder list maintained by the United Nations (Homicides by firearms).

But countries with stronger gun control laws have higher murder rates, according to U.N. statistics. Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, for example, have very strict gun control laws, and much higher murder rates.

Yet gun ownership has always been very strong in Switzerland, ranked number three for gun ownership in the world. The Swiss have had historically lower murder rates than countries with strict gun control laws.

Gun ownership in Switzerland is part of the national identity, and particularly harkens back to WWll. The Swiss believe they were spared a German invasion because it was commonly known that all households were armed, and all of the men had been taught to shoot.

Israel, New Zealand, and Finland also have high rates of gun ownership and lower murder rates.

Swiss government figures show only 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. By comparison, the U.S rate in the same year was about 5 firearm killings per 100,000 people, according to the 2011 U.N. report.

Gun control failure

Americans do not need to look halfway around the world to see where gun control has failed. Chicago, which just announced a record high of 500 murders in 2012, is one of America’s most violent cities. Gang violence terrorizes many neighborhoods, where brutality thrives as boys and young men slaughter each other, regardless of strict gun laws.

Most people understand the need to find answers after horrific tragedy. It may be easier for some to blame guns rather than the people who use them to kill. But it is a weak reason to criminalize gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, and a potentially dangerous precedent, deeply rooted in history.



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