Yesterday, a friend of mine posted this link on Facebook from Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/stop_talking_about_hitler/.
Along with the link he added this comment: Let’s stick to facts folks! If you need 20 bullet clips and an assault rifle to hunt deer I feel very sorry for you and support your right to have them.
Ok, I’m game. I like a good debate, especially when I’m right.
The link and sentiment above are in response to one of the best arguments for the 2nd Amendment in the current debate over gun control laws: Dictators and despotic governments, like Nazi Germany, use gun control as a method of controlling its citizens.
My remark to this comment was deleted by my friend and my queries have been ignored. Since I didn’t copy it, I’ll do my best to paraphrase.
I wish we could sue for literary malpractice. Not only does Mr. Seitz-Wald misinterpret the facts of history or is intentionally lying to make a point, but much of the points he uses contradict his argument. The fact that Hitler made exceptions for people in the Nazi party proves the point of the 2nd Amendment. Mr. Seitz-Wald then cowardly uses the quotes of Omer Bartov to slander proponents of the 2nd Amendment as violent and racist and wanting to overthrow the government. Then I looked up Alex Seitz-Wald and learned that he is an assistant editor for Think Progress, and works for the Center of American Progress. Now it all makes sense. He is just as much a proponent of gun control as the NRA is against it. This is all propaganda (name deleted). This article is no different than an NRA flier.
Like I said, my comment was removed while comments supporting my friend, or comments that he could argue against were left. Here I sit writing my blog 22 hours after asking why, and I still have no response. I won’t cry censorship, because that would be wrong. His Facebook page is his forum and he’s entitled to edit it as he chooses. Also, I have my own forum where I can express my views, so I don’t need to waste time being angry. In fact, I’m happy. I consider the removal of my comment and the silent treatment as confirmation that I won.
Since this is my forum, I want to expand on my point though. A quick quip on a social media page doesn’t do justice to the debate. Because the original intent of the 2nd Amendment is its best argument, progressives have to shoot holes in it (pun was intentional) to get the majority of the American people to agree to compromise, and ultimately, do away with it. This is why Seitz-Wald is intentionally distorting history.
The author is distorting history when he cites the gun control laws under the Weimer Republic. The Weimer Republic was by no means a successful or model government. It was created after World War I under the terms imposed by the League of Nations. As a parallel, think of a college football program that is faced with the “death penalty” such as SMU. Germany had severe limits on its military. Germany also had severe economic penalties placed upon it. The Weimer Republic had a terrible economy which was hi-lighted (or low-lighted) by inflation so high that it took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. The Weimer Republic was never a bright, shining light of democracy. We shouldn’t act as if it was a conservative ideal that Hitler’s election did away with. Seitz-Wald mentions that Hitler made exceptions to the gun control laws for Nazi party members and other groups that he had favor for although he kept the restrictions for the Jewish population. Isn’t that what proponents of the 2nd Amendment are pointing out? The Jews were the scapegoat and rallying point for the Nazis. I don’t know if I can say “DUH” any louder. Doesn’t it speak volumes that Hitler’s targets were not allowed to have guns, but his supporters were? That goes for any dictatorship we have seen in history.
Seitz-Wald then takes on the argument that even if the Jews were allowed to have guns, they wouldn’t have been able to stop the Nazis. The Jews were by no means close to being a large population within Germany. So Seitz-Wald is right; when you have the numbers that far against you, you can’t possibly win.
…but are we to believe that maybe a few couldn’t have escaped, or at the very least, it would have been so easy? Didn’t those people deserve a fighting chance?
What Alex Seitz-Wald is trying to do is give the false impression that deregulated and not regulated societies are more prone to fascism and violence. That is why he goes further to use the quotes of Omer Bartov who says:
“Their assertion that they need these guns to protect themselves from the government — as supposedly the Jews would have done against the Hitler regime — means not only that they are innocent of any knowledge and understanding of the past, but also that they are consciously or not imbued with the type of fascist or Bolshevik thinking that they can turn against a democratically elected government, indeed turn their guns on it, just because they don’t like its policies, its ideology, or the color, race and origin of its leaders.”
This quote is meant to portray any person who wants to have a gun is out to revolt against the government, is against the Democratic Party, is against progressives, and is a racist against our Black president.” Alex, be a man and say what you mean with your own words. And shame on you saying that anyone who disagrees with you are these things.
My friend was right that when we discuss gun control we should stick to the facts. Unfortunately he erred in believing they were in this article.