Cling to your guns if you must, but leave the Holocaust out of it

Destroyed_Warsaw,_capital_of_Poland,_January_1945

The fruits of irregular armed resistance against a fascist state: Following the defeat of the Warsaw Uprising, the civilian population was expelled and the city systematically destroyed. (Source)

Recently, a friend on a popular social media site shared a photo of the pile of shoes at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum that was accompanied by the following text:

To all the kids that walked out of school to protest guns. These are the shoes of Jews that gave up their firearms to Hitler . They were led into gas chambers, murdered and buried in mass graves . Pick up a history book and you’ll realize what happens when u give up freedoms and why we have them.

I hadn’t pegged him as someone who would fall for such a cheap shot in the gun control debate. We had served together as missionaries in Austria where most of us had been to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Although primarily a forced labor camp for political and “antisocial” prisoners—in contrast to the death camps farther east that served no other purpose than mass killing—Mauthausen was a sobering and context-rich enough example of the Nazi regime’s horrifying crimes against humanity that I was surprised someone could visit the site and still believe that the problem with the Holocaust was that the victims simply “gave up” their freedom.

But maybe he hadn’t been there. So I pushed back, and he doubled down: the Holocaust remained a valuable example of what happened when people give up their freedoms. Now, I realise that his is not a uniquely Mormon position. But in light of this miserable meme’s traction among those who dutifully attend their meetings, regularly hold Family Home Evening and willingly serve the widows in their wards, and in the spirit of Doctrine and Covenants 93:24, I’m going to go ahead and not just pick up but also open a history book to shed light on why blaming the victims of the Holocaust for their demise does them a grave disservice. Let’s start with Timothy Snyder’s excellent Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin:

In the middle of Europe in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered some fourteen million people. The place where all of the victims died, the bloodlands, extends from central Poland to western Russia, through Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States. During the consolidation of National Socialism and Stalinism (1933–1938), the joint German-Soviet occupation of Poland (1939–1941), and then the German-Soviet war (1941–1945), mass violence of a sort never before seen in history [emphasis mine] was visited upon this region. The victims were chiefly Jews, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Poles, Russians, and Balts, the peoples native to these lands. […] Most were women, children, and the aged; none were bearing weapons; many had been stripped of their possessions, including their clothes.

[…]

The German mass murder of Jews took place in occupied Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Soviet Union, not in Germany itself. Hitler was an anti-Semitic politician in a country with a small Jewish community. Jews were fewer than one percent of the German population when Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and about one quarter of one percent by the beginning of the Second World War. During the first six years of Hitler’s rule, German Jews were allowed (in humiliating and impoverishing circumstances) to emigrate. Most of the German Jews who saw Hitler win elections in 1933 died of natural causes. The murder of 165,000 German Jews was a ghastly crime in and of itself, but only a very small part of the tragedy of European Jews: fewer than three percent of the deaths of the Holocaust. Only when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and the Soviet Union in 1941 did Hitler’s visions of the elimination of Jews from Europe intersect with the two most significant populations of European Jews. His ambitions to eliminate the Jews of Europe could be realized only in the parts of Europe where Jews lived.

The Holocaust overshadows German plans that envisioned even more killing. Hitler wanted not only to eradicate the Jews; he also wanted to destroy Poland and the Soviet Union as states, exterminate their ruling classes, and kill tens of millions of Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles). If the German war against the USSR had gone as planned, thirty million civilians would have been starved in its first winter, and tens of millions more expelled, killed, assimilated, or enslaved thereafter. Though these plans were never realized, they supplied the moral premises of German occupation policy in the East. The Germans murdered about as many non-Jews as Jews during the war, chiefly by starving Soviet prisoners of war (more than three million) and residents of besieged cities (more than a million) or by shooting civilians in “reprisals” (the better part of a million, chiefly Belarusians and Poles).

[…]

This is a history of political mass murder. The fourteen million were all victims of a Soviet or Nazi killing policy, often of an interaction between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, but never casualties of the war between them.

[…]

Mass killing in Europe is usually associated with the Holocaust, and the Holocaust with rapid industrial killing. The image is too simple and clean. At the German and Soviet killing sites, the methods of murder were rather primitive. Of the fourteen million civilians and prisoners of war killed in the bloodlands between 1933 and 1945, more than half died because they were denied food. Europeans deliberately starved Europeans in horrific numbers in the middle of the twentieth century. […] After starvation came shooting, then gassing. [1]

While lengthy for a blog post perhaps, the quotation above barely scrapes the surface of the magnitude of the violence that extinguished the lives of millions of individuals, altered the face of a continent and changed the course of history. It is folly to suppose that the untrained and unorganised civilian targets of this violence, separated by geography and language and representing small minorities of local populations, could have effectively resisted the forces that killed them—what good is a gun when you are being starved to death from a distance?—even if they had been able to organise and arm themselves in a systematic way.

That said, there were armed attempts to resist the killers. Let’s turn to Timothy Snyder’s equally excellent Black Earth for an important insight into the utility of armed resistance by irregular forces against the country that made the Blitzkrieg a household term:

Sometimes Jews survived because they joined the forces that resisted the Germans, or pretended to have done so. More often, however, the Jews who were trying to take shelter from German killing policies were exposed to greater risks by open opposition to German rule [emphasis mine]. When French communists began to resist, the first victims of German retaliations were Polish Jews in Paris. In Serbia, the partisan resistance was used by German occupation authorities as the prompt to exterminate Serbian Jews. In the Netherlands, where there were many rescuers and many resisters, the two groups got in each other’s way. Where the German police sought the Dutch resistance, the tended to find Dutch Jews. In Slovakia, a national uprising led to a German intervention and to the murder of thousands of Jews who would otherwise most likely have survived.

This bloody irony was also apparent in Poland and the western Soviet Union, where more Jews were in hiding, where German rule was more violent, and where resistance was widespread. The Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 was the most significant urban rebellion against German rule. Although it was organized and fought in the main by the Polish Home Army, it was, perhaps, the largest single effort of Jewish armed resistance. In all likelihood, more Jews fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 than in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 (and some fought in both). […] The defeat of the Warsaw Uprising meant the physical destruction of the entirety of Warsaw, building by building, just as the ghetto had been destroyed the previous year. Up until that point the survival chances of a Jew in hiding in Warsaw were about the same as that of a Jew in hiding in Amsterdam. When Warsaw was removed from the face of the earth its Jews had no place left to hide. [2]

I hope the “bloody irony” of the meme’s ahistorical claim is readily apparent by now. But no doubt there remain those who will insist that Jews just didn’t have enough guns or there weren’t enough of them resisting. Well, guess who did have weapons and trained military forces? Czechoslovakia did. Remember Chamberlain’s victory lap declaration of “Peace for our time“? Yeah, that was right before Germany annexed the Sudetenland and a year before the rest of the country was occupied without a shot fired. Then there was Austria, a former empire with a storied military tradition and home to weapons manufacturers just like Czechoslovakia. It too was annexed by Germany with nary a shot fired. What about Poland? Invaded and occupied within five weeks. Ok, you’re saying, the faded rumps of former empires that lost the First World War and the doormat of the Russian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia and Habsburg Monarchy don’t count. What about one of the victors of the Great War, France? Defeated in six weeks.

I’m going to go out on a very sturdy limb and posit that small arms wielded by untrained and unorganised civilians was not the missing link that would have spared the Holocaust’s victims the murderous violence that would befall them. So what was the problem? It turns out to be one for which unregulated gun ownership and hosts of untrained civilians under arms is more of a symptom than a cure:

The destruction of European states in the 1930s was a precondition to all the major Nazi crimes, including the Holocaust itself.

[…]

A common American error is to believe that freedom is the absence of state authority. The genealogy of this confusion leads us back to the Germany and the Austria of the 1930s.

The dominant stereotype of Nazi Germany is of an all-powerful state that catalogued, repressed and then exterminated an entire class of its own citizens. This was not how the Nazis achieved the Holocaust, nor how they even thought about it. The enormous majority of the victims of the Holocaust were not German citizens; Jews who were German citizens were much more likely to survive than Jews who were citizens of states that the Germans destroyed. The Nazis knew they had to go abroad and lay waste to neighbouring societies before they could hope to bring their revolution to their own. […] Not only the Holocaust, but all major German crimes took place in areas where state institutions had been destroyed, dismantled, or seriously compromised [emphasis mine]. The German murder of five and a half million Jews, more than three million Soviet prisoners of war, and about a million civilians in so-called anti-partisan operations all took place in stateless zones. [3]

What good is a gun under such circumstances? Maybe you could use one to keep your neighbours at bay, but it won’t restore the essential protections of the state that spared Jews and other would-be victims of the unprecedented mass violence of the times and make all of us healthier, wealthier and wiser today. If those who oppose gun control were interested in preventing the next Holocaust, they could start by paying their taxes, participating in local government and withholding support of demagogues. Or look to France to see what it is doing differently to the 1940s, namely systematically combatting racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia through the cultivation of civic virtues, a battle that requires no stockpiles of privately-held semi-automatic weapons:

We’ve been developing more and more programs, places, meant to transmit the memory of the Holocaust as a way to build citizenship and tolerance [emphasis mine].

But I suspect that the victims of the Holocaust and the lessons to be drawn from the historical record are of no concern to those who assert their right to possess military-style weapons under the cover of the naive or cynical belief that it would make a difference if the most powerful military in the world were to be harnessed in the service of authoritarian nationalism against them. The millions who were murdered didn’t surrender their freedoms any more than the kids across the country who are calling for stricter regulation of the weapons that have been used to shoot them; to suppose they did does violence to history and their memory. They are not cannon fodder for your culture war. As for the living, sticks and stones wont help as much as sensible regulations enforced by strong institutions. So cling to your guns if you must, but leave the victims of the Holocaust out of it.

PS: If you enjoyed this instalment of “Mormons Believe the Darnedest Things!” stay tuned for the next episode where I examine the claim that the problem with National Socialism was too much socialism!

——————————————————–

[1] Bloodlands, pp.vii–xv

[2] Black Earth, pp. 843–846 (page references to iTunes edition viewed on an iPhone)

[3] Black Earth, pp. 1036, 1045–1046 (page references to iTunes edition viewed on an iPhone)

Comments

  1. Wondering says:

    These holocaust claims are, to put it simply, despicable. Thank you for writing about this, Peter, and I’ve also appreciated Jennifer Mendelsohn (#resistancegenealogy)’s pithy commentary on Twitter.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    Thank you for this.

  3. The Holocaust, like other state-sponsored genocides, was the systematic extermination of ethnic, religious, and other social minorities by the privileged ethnic, religious, and social majority under the pretext of “state security”. I find it darkly ironic that members of America’s privileged ethnic, religious and social majority invoke the Holocaust as a cautionary tale to justify hypothetically defending themselves from the kind of tyranny their government regularly exercises against ethnic, religious and other social minorities under the pretext of “state security” and with the full support of most members of the white, Christian conservative majority.

  4. Karen H. says:

    Thank you Peter. That was a timely, succinct, and necessary history lesson. I’m keeping this one bookmarked.

  5. Chadwick says:

    One need look no further than our own Book of Mormon for a different tale. The Anti-Nephi-Lehi buried their weapons. Next they were attacked. Some perished; but the survivors note that their enemies were mostly changed by the experience. That’s quite the legacy.

    Could such a history have repeated itself in any modern war? Who can say? At the very least, it strikes me as poor taste to meme the Holocaust to prove any political point.

  6. Very nicely done. That the pre-conditions for the genocides that took place involved the dismantling of government and its associated institutions that usually serve to curb excesses can’t be emphasized or repeated enough.

  7. Honestly the best summary w/ conclusions I’ve read on this topic, thank you!

  8. DeAnn Spencer says:

    This is a really thought-provoking history lesson and so true. Guns aren’t saving the Syrian civilians – in fact the political mass murder of Syrians is accomplished more by starvation then by chemical weapons. https://wapo.st/2qoEwku
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/23/syria-shocking-images-of-starving-baby-reveal-impact-of-food-crisis

  9. You have an interesting and thought-provoking viewpoint, but it seems incomplete to me. Emphasis: not “wrong” but “incomplete.” You did not explore whether or not the German (or other country) Jews were previously armed, then disarmed. You jumped straight to the conclusion that it wouldn’t have mattered if they had arms or not because the army was big and well-armed and organized and would have defeated them anyway. While that is possibly true, the question still goes unanswered: Did the Jews (of Germany and other countries) previously have arms that were then systematically confiscated prior to the events of the Holocaust? If so, then I think the conversation would be different. Maybe the same conclusion could still be drawn, but there would actually be a conversation instead of allowing you to simply draw a conclusion that “it would not have made a difference anyway.”

    Obviously, I am not a historian–I don’t know the “gun confiscation” details… but I do think it matters to have the conversation.

    The bigger point, however, maybe be being missed altogether. Maybe you’re right that the Jews would have been decimated anyway, even if they had guns. But it’s probably also true that Americans have access to a) more guns, b) bigger/better guns, and c) a lot more ammo than those Jews did as a whole. I live in Texas, and I can tell you that at LEAST 25% of the people in my town have AR-15’s (or similar) and at least 75% have guns of some kind. And most of those have a TON of ammo. If the US army tried to come through my town and take over, they would have quite a fight on their hands. You might say “the difference is that the Nazis were going after Jews and not all citizens,” but the reality is, if the US government ever does wage a war against any of it’s citizens, it will almost surely be split down ideological lines (loosely termed “left” and “right.”) instead of religious/ethnic/nationality lines.

    The point of the meme still holds true: Citizens should not stand for restrictions on their gun ownership; to do so could lead to significantly devastating consequences at the hands of their own or government or (God forbid) foreign invaders. Not that it WILL lead to devastating consequences, but that it most certainly COULD. We simply can’t take that chance. To think that the left is not interested in repealing the 2nd amendment at this point would just be foolish and naive. Whether or not German Jews would have been spared by resisting whatever gun control measures were (or were not) instituted against them does’t change the fact that our willingness to abdicate our rights could have devastating consequences for us.

  10. Additionally, the 1938 German Weapons act, which further deregulated firearms (while disarming Jews) was enacted 2 days after Kristallnacht. Until this time, Jews were permitted to have guns the same as anyone else in Germany, though sometimes they were determined to be “untrustworthy” and were disarmed.

    I think those who believe guns can hold back government oppression are thinking more along the lines of “not going quietly into martyrdom”; that if you’re going to die, you can at least make it difficult and hopefully take some of them with you.

    Thanks for the excellent post.

  11. Kevin Barney says:

    There’s actually a Wikipedia article on this sort of claim attempting to relate gun control to the Holocaust:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_gun_control_argument

  12. Thank you Peter. This is a pitch-perfect, informed, charitable yet direct response to the absurdity our co-religionists are vomiting all over the internet about the NRA’s current vision/interpretation of the Second Amendment being about stopping state tyranny and a future Holocaust.

    The common-sense gun regulations vast majorities of Americans support, which would greatly reduce or entirely eliminate mass shootings, don’t violate either the letter or spirit of the actual Second Amendment in its historical context.

    Justice Scalia grudgingly conceded as much writing for the majority in Heller (2008):

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’” (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008), https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html)

    The Holocaust as a crime against humanity perpetrated upon an ethnic/religious minority population as the culmination of hundreds and even thousands of years of anti-Semitism and racist conditioning (i.e. against the other victims in addition to the Jews themselves — Poles, Slavs, Balts, all of whom the Nazis considered to be inferior “races”), is too important and tragic for us to allow gun-rights activists to ignorantly or dishonestly subordinate it to their agenda and force it to do ideological work for them at the expense of the victims. As you say, their arguments do a grave disservice — and tread upon, actually — the memory of the victims by blaming them for their own annihilation, making the utterly banal claim that if they’d had a revolver or two in the cupboard (which many did), then the Nazi war machine couldn’t have destroyed them.

    This makes my blood boil.

  13. Yes, Richard. Many of them were previously armed. The NRA and gun rights social media commentators are wrong.

  14. Emphasis: not “wrong” but “incomplete.”

    Of course. The two books I referenced are hundreds of pages each, and of course are not the first or last words on the subject either.

    You did not explore whether or not the German (or other country) Jews were previously armed, then disarmed.

    True, but I did reference the fact that only a very small percentage of Holocaust victims were German citizens who would have been subject to German legislation. Germans primarily murdered non-Germans. And I did point out that the victims were unarmed: “Most were women, children, and the aged; none were bearing weapons; many had been stripped of their possessions, including their clothes.”

    I also take your point that Texans are under more and better arms than the victims of the Holocaust. However, this concern about defending against tyranny only makes sense if it is directed against the US government since the US has the world’s strongest military to protect against outside threats. But then the would-be Texan resistance runs against the problem that it must take on the world’s strongest military.

  15. Thank you.

  16. Behold Richard — one of those devout patriots who hates democrats based on the (false) claim they don’t adequately fund “the military” but who firmly believes a time will come when he and his like-minded neighbors will need to mow down U.S. troops, our sons and daughters, with their small arms.

  17. Another thing to consider in Richard’s hypothetical—if the US military were to be turned against US citizens by someone like Hitler, I see no reason to assume it would adhere to the Geneva Conventions, rules of engagement and other battlefield norms when taking on the resistance. This would not bode well for the resistance.

  18. STH, in modern America, the split is not between ethnic, religious, or social minorities and majorities… it is between political ideologies. Right now, the split is roughly 50/50, as evidenced by several very close elections and a virtual deadlock in congress/senate. Each side is in mortal fear that the other side WILL become the majority, and by so doing, throw the world into chaos. I am pretty sure that both parties are right–if the other side takes a commanding control…55%…60%… all hell will break loose. The losing side will dig in their heels and start resisting with fervor and might as they see their “rights” eroding. It will get messy. Note that IMO it does not matter which side gets the upper hand–it will get messy regardless. Fear of gun confiscation is a symptom of the right’s angst… just as LGBT, immigrant rights, abortion rights, etc. are symptoms of the left’s angst.

  19. Jack Hughes says:

    Mormons, of all people, have no right to invoke the Holocaust in the way that meme does, especially blaming the victims for their own demise. The early Saints, when threatened with government-sanctioned extermination, ultimately chose to flee westward instead of mounting a full-scale armed resistance, despite their earlier attempts at organizing militias.

  20. If the event of a US attack on it’s own citizens, one major factor being ignored by the above commenters is the fact that some substantial part of the US military would defect and refuse to participate in such a war, which would almost certainly be (in the defector’s opinions, at least–right or wrong) unconstitutional. The vision of a coordinated wave of military personnel rolling in to crush the feeble resistance is probably misguided.

    Also, the idea that the German Jews were only a small part of the resistance is also incomplete in this story. For starters, they were the first ones to be affected–could their armed resistance have made a difference that would have possibly changed public opinion and possibly changed the tide of the soon-to-come larger assault? Secondly, what about the Jews of the other countries? Had they recently been systematically disarmed as well? Again, as before, I’m not saying it would have made (or not made) a difference–I don’t know. I am saying that these are critical pieces of information to discuss before throwing out a sweeping conclusion of “if Jews had been armed it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.” The fact that the war was much larger than the Holocaust and the fact that many non-Jews were killed… and the fact that Hitler’s army defeated actual armies (as opposed to poorly-armed rebels) is not proof that 10 million armed Jews would not have made a difference.

  21. Jack Hughes: The Mormons had somewhere to run to. Where were the Jews supposed to go? How were they supposed to get there? If the Mormons had been backed into a corner (say up against an ocean), it’s easy to suppose they would have fought.

  22. And how would universal background checks and the requirement to register your guns violate the real Second Amendment (not the mythologized interpretation of it promoted by the NRA)? Even Justice Scalia, writing for a conservative majority of the Supreme Court, stated in Heller that it would not infringe on the Second Amendment. And yet these are the backbone of the common-sense gun regulations vast majorities of us support in the effort to stop mass shootings. But the NRA now opposes them and riles up ideological culture warriors with completely false accusations that citizens in favor of common-sense gun regulations want to confiscate guns or revoke the Second Amendment.

  23. Richard, you are making false claims when you say or imply the Jews didn’t fight. That’s one of the main points of Peter’s excellent post. They did fight. They did all they could. They were annihilated.

  24. It’s rather disturbing to me that gun advocates seem to have it all worked out how a civil war would shake out, despite the lack of it ever happening the way they envision. I guess we’re all the heroes of our own imaginations.

  25. The vision of a coordinated wave of military personnel rolling in to crush the feeble resistance is probably misguided.

    I agree, though I’m sure from a different perspective—our institutions are still strong enough to rule out the possibility of our military being used against us. And if you want to make sure this remains the case, your time is better spent reinforcing the rule of law than it is stockpiling guns and ammo.

  26. John F: First of all, I don’t hate democrats at all. Second, every citizen of every country only needs to look at the history books to see that corrupt governments have killed their own citizens since the dawn of time. Not all of them, of course, but plenty of them. Why would we not be concerned about this?

    Also, I find it interesting how semi-automatic AR-15’s are “military style weapons of mass destruction” when the left wants to ban/curtail/control them… but when the hypothetical right-wing resistance has to face off against the US military someday, they are suddenly “small arms.”

    At the end of the day it is real simple: Among many reasons to want to keep our arms, one of them is for that cache of arms (of 300M+guns and a trillion rounds of ammo) to act as a deterrent for any government to even THINK about any kind of attack on it’s citizens. If it never happens, trust me, we will all be very happy.

    There is always a balance between rights and consequences. We could have a long and no-fun discussion about all the dangerous things we Americans indulge in because we find benefits outweigh the downsides. Driving automobiles being an easy example. But that’s not really going to help this conversation much.

  27. John F: I’m sure the Jews did fight. And I’m sure if they would have had AR15’s it would have made a difference.

  28. Peterllc: :

    “And if you want to make sure this remains the case, your time is better spent reinforcing the rule of law than it is stockpiling guns and ammo.”

    Why does it have to be one or the other? We can most certainly do both. Mormons don’t gather food storage instead of having family home evening. And we don’t keep food storage to eat as our regular food. It’s a hedge against an emergency, simple as that.

  29. Jack Hughes says:

    Richard, you’ve drunk too much of your own Kool-Aid. Or perhaps it was just the fluoridation of your local water supply.

  30. Re: Universal background checks and gun registration: I have no problem with either of these. In fact, I submitted to a background check for all of the guns I have purchased, and all of them are registered (I assume–I bought them at Academy and Outdoor World). I think most conservatives either on board with closing any loopholes that exist–enough at least to make it happen. But here is my prediction: Trump will push for all of those things that the left is saying they want… and they will a) either happen and then after the next mass shooting the left will come back and want more; or b) the left will reject them saying it isn’t enough.

  31. It is meaningless to speak about disarming of Europe’s Jews (or any other European population) through governmental action without at least making an attempt to discover what the rate of firearms ownership was. My hunch is that the rate was so small as to be negligible, and that most European civilians did not own firearms because (1) hunting was a rich man’s sport and most people weren’t rich and (2) the idea of owning a handgun for self defense never crossed most people’s minds.

  32. Richard, “small arms” is a term that, while not enjoying an internationally accepted definition, is also not wholly devoid of meaning among those who discuss arms control and matters of war and peace for a living. Here it is meant as a neutral classification and not to play anything down. I’m not claiming an AR-15 is a weapon of mass destruction and I’ve not seen anyone here do so either, so level charges of hypocrisy elsewhere.

  33. I think Mark B. is correct regarding gun ownership in Central and Eastern Europe during the period under consideration.

  34. Richard, the common-sense gun regulations the NRA is leading culture warrioring gun rights activists to oppose don’t take away your arms.

    Please read the parts of Heller I quoted. Your “conservative” god, Justice Scalia, clearly stated the right protected by the Second Amendment can be regulated as deemed prudent by a decent people. We aren’t a decent people so the right has run amok and isn’t properly regulated.

    But just stop with your ignorance about the Holocaust. I won’t stand for you insulting the memory of Jews and others who were brutally murdered by your claim they didn’t fight back and it’s their fault for not having small arms with which to oppose the Nazi war machine. That war machine was the weapon of a totalitarian state with overwhelming support of the German people. Small arms would have done nothing for the minuscule minority of German Jews whose neighbors overwhelmingly believed if the police were coming in to haul off those disgusting Jews (in those everyday Germans’ worldview), well, then, those Jewish tailors or bakers or teachers or bankers must have committed some kind of crime — and, as a consequence, *supported* those incarcerations then deportations! (Just like you look on and approve as ICE carts away immigrants from Central or South America who have committed no crime — you say “they must have committed a crime or else ICE wouldn’t have ripped the parents from their kids arms or arrested them when they brought their kids in to the emergency room”.)

  35. Frank Pellet: Regarding conservatives having it “all worked out how a civil war would go without it having actually happened.” This is called human nature and planning. I don’t know how a natural disaster will go, but I have my food storage. I don’t know how my retirement years will go, but I still save money. I don’t know how my kids will turn out, but I still teach them my values. Of course nobody knows if there will ever be a civil war, and if there is, how it will go. But to automatically assume it won’t happen… how does that help? Or to assume that if it does happen, it will happen the way you think instead of the way I think–how is that any different than what you are doing? That line of thinking reminds me of when Sherem told Jacob that Christ was not coming because nobody knows of things to come (even though he just predicted that Christ would not come–as if he could know that by his own logic).

  36. I teach my kids that common-sense gun regulations aren’t against the Second Amendment. I guess that means if they’re ever in the military and assigned to storm your weapons stockpile for whatever reason, you’ll be attempting to kill my kids — and you’re proud of it! Meanwhile, when police officers kill unarmed black men across our country, over and over and over, for the expressly stated reason that those police officers thought the black men were armed (as is their right to be armed, according to your worldview) and therefore the police officers “feared for their lives”, then that’s not only perfectly acceptable as the “law and order” tough love those black communities need (in your “side’s” worldview) but in fact it’s unpatriotic and unAmerican (in your “side’s” worldview) for black people and others who support their cause to protest against such a flagrant abuse of life and liberty by the police by marching or by kneeling in silence to the flag while the national anthem plays, to make the undeniable point that the rights the flag is supposed to stand for are systemically denied African Americans, as so perfectly demonstrated every time a police officer kills an unarmed black man because the police officer thought the black man was armed. Again, in your “side’s” worldview, that black man has every right to be armed. So why should the police shoot him for it? Pure racism.

  37. Richard, how can you be “sure” it would have made a difference? Your speculation that it would have is a lot less persuasive that Peter’s argument that it likely would not have, given what we know about how the way played out. Sure, Peter can’t conclusively prove or disprove a counterfactual, but he doesn’t have to in order to reach some informed conclusions about the probable outcome.

    But the point is that regardless of whether it would have made “no” difference or some marginal difference, it dishonors the memory of the victims to co-opt their story into an NRA fantasy narrative, and on this day of all days we ought to recognize that.

  38. Your entire line of argument in this thread in effect boils down to this: it would be more valid for black Americans to take up arms against the government in response to unjustified police killings of unarmed black people than for them to kneel to the flag during the national anthem.

  39. Jack Hughes: I drink too much fluoridated water simply because I say that common citizen gun ownership is a deterrent to a tyrannical government? I respect your opinion that Americans can relinquish gun rights (to whatever extent you feel is appropriate) and not have to worry about the government, ever. I don’t agree, but I respect the opinion. To me the real questions are these:

    1) Will currently proposed gun control measures make a difference in curtailing mass shootings? I don’t think they will, but I am 100% on board with implementing them anyway just in case–universal background checks, registration of all firearms.

    2) Is the end game of the left to eventually repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate all (or most, at least) guns? Before Sandy Hook, this would have seemed unlikely. In today’s climate, I’m not so sure. We are now *just starting* to hear the chatter about repealing. The chatter is still low and not coming from credible voices–but it is there. My guess is it will grow.

    3) Is it a big deal to repeal the 2nd amendment anyway? This is where the real ideological differences lie… and where things will get really ugly. I think it is actually a 100% impossibility to repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate guns without a complete breakdown of society. You’re simply NOT going to have 100M+ gun owners EVER hand over their guns. This is where the rubber hits the road, whatever your political affiliation or beliefs.

  40. Richard, I’m sorry if I’d not made it clear, but I didn’t say that a civil war has never actually happened, but that it’s never happened, anywhere or at any time, in the manner you are preparing for. Raising children, retirement, and natural disasters, put in proper order, happen with less frequency as you progress. The odds of a civil war in the way you describe are only slightly higher than the odds of an alien invasion. Unfortunately, the odds of a weapon being used to kill or injure someone are much higher than the odds of civil war, but still pretty low, all in all.

    Absolutely we should prepare for natural (and other) disasters, including firearms if your idea of a disaster will require the use of one. But stockpiling against the possibility of a civil war is border-lining on absurd.

  41. John F: You have turned this discussion into something completely different than what we were talking about. I am sure (because you have explicit stated it) that you believe that conservatives are racists and that we enjoy killing armed or unarmed black people (or at least watching them be killed by others). It’s not true, so I won’t argue it. I will only say that it is not true in the least.

  42. Why does it have to be one or the other?

    It doesn’t, of course, and I never said it must, but in a world of finite resources it makes sense to consider our priorities. I suspect that those who oppose gun control have already done a lot of stockpiling; now I’d like to see some rule-of-lawing!

  43. Richard, your (2) is absurd. The idea that “the left” (undefined) is secretly planning to repeal the second amendment is at the level of “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.” And even if repeal were even remotely possible, repeal and confiscation is the purest fantasy.

    But more importantly, if those are the questions you’re interested in discussing, I’d suggest you find somewhere else to discuss them because the issue here is not whether that will or could ever happen, the issue here is correcting a disgusting debasement of the memory of holocaust victims.

  44. Richard, it’s a *comparison* — your argument in this thread is that Jews meekly walked away from their lives instead of resisting, and that they’d have resisted if only they’d had a few Mauser Karabiner 98 kurz rifles or Lugers.

    By analogy, black Americans are “doing it wrong” by meekly marching in protest or kneeling silently to the flag to protest unjustified police killings of unarmed black people — police killings that the police are trying to justify, and which courts are accepting under the deeply flawed doctrine of qualified immunity as currently applied, based on the argument that the police officer(s) who have committed the killings feared for their lives because they thought the black person was armed. Applying the deeply flawed logic of your argument about the Jews, the straightforward conclusion is that black Americans shouldn’t be kneeling in silence to the flag to defend themselves but rather using small arms to kill police officers or other government authority figures who approach them. Isn’t that what you’re saying the Jews in Germany should have done — taken up small arms against local police coming to round them up or Gestapo agents approaching them or Hitler Youth gangs beating them in the streets — instead of peacefully joining and promoting opposition political parties (like the social democrats or, in some extreme cases, the communists) or simply silently trying to live good, pious, neighborly lives mistakenly hoping their German neighbors would stand up for their rights?

    Don’t you see how absurd it is to say the victims of the Holocaust were victims because a group consisting of less than a fraction of 1% of the population, spread out over the whole country, didn’t try to shoot representatives of the duly elected civil government that came, with the full support of their neighbors in most cases, to haul them away?

  45. Frank: You are correct that a war is less likely for the reasons you have suggested. Everyone has too much to lose now. I totally agree. However, I think that the possibility still exists for reasons that have not existed in the past. The major reason is the financial instability of our country. We keep going into trillions and trillions of dollars of debt (can we agree: all politicians’ fault–left and right)… at some point, something has got to give.

    If America’s credit rating ever crumbles (likely in the next 10 to 100 years), how will we continue to borrow from the rest of the world?. Where will be get the money to continue our rampant deficit spending then? Raising taxes is not a workable solution–you’re simply not going to get much more than 50% from the top earners without a war–and we’re already there. “Printing” more fiat money will trigger massive inflation that will ruin the economy (to be clear: I am not talking about the regular printing of fiat money we do now; i am talking about printing EXTRA fiat money to compensate for lack of ability to borrow in the future if the USA’s credit rating tanks). So then what? Then we cut spending by massive amounts… and the economy goes into recession/depression like this world (literally) has never seen. With government benefits cut, millions starve. Unemployment through the roof. Riots ensue. All hell breaks loose. Guns become important at that point–even if it is not to ward off the government.

    And before you say “that’s a conservative’s dream–they fantasize about it!”… let me cut you off. This is a worst case scenario that would be devastating to everyone. Anyone who “wants” this is a fool. I certainly have no appetite for a breakdown of society as we know it.

    But the question remains: What happens if/when the country’s credit rating crumbles? We are not Venezuela or Greece. We are the United States. The worldwide shock wave would be devastating.

    If your rebuttal is “It would never happen,” that is really shortsighted to not at least consider it.

    If your rebuttal is “If the USA credit did crumble, it wouldn’t be devastating like you think,” tell me where the money would come from, and what would happen when it wasn’t there?

  46. John F: I never said the Jews meekly walked away. If you read my comments, I stated multiple times that I don’t know what the Jews did or how they reacted, and that I don’t even pretend to be a historian. I only said that the original article failed to inspect what I thought were critical elements of the discussion; namely, what wast the situation before the Holocaust? Did they Jews have guns or not? If so, when and how were they confiscated? With that information, a more solid conclusion could have been drawn to support the hypothesis that “it would not have mattered even if the German Jews were armed.” I don’t honestly know. I just asked the question. I never said a single word about the Jews being meek or willingly going to slaughter or victim blaming or anything. Correct me if you find something to the contrary in my comments–did not mean to demean Jews or blacks or democrats or anyone else.

  47. “I never said a single word about the Jews being meek or willingly going to slaughter or victim blaming or anything.”

    All of that is absolutely included in your awe-shucks “question” of “gee, did the Jews in Germany have guns before the Holocaust? If they did, then even though they were less than 1% of the population spread out over the entire country, it might have made a difference if they could have just pointed a gun at the police banging on their door.”

  48. JKC: I don’t find the idea that the left is interested in repealing the 2nd amendment is absurd at all. I clearly stated that I don’t think that was the case historically, and I still don’t think it’s mainstream… and that the people who are starting to chatter about it are credible. I said I see it moving more and more in that direction. Let’s discuss it in 2 years and I’ll update you on my opinion then.

    Regarding whether it’s a relevant discussion: Uh, the entire point of the original meme that was being discussed was the idea that giving up gun rights leads to genocide. That’s what we’ve been discussing.

  49. John F: It’s now “aw shucks” I stated probably 10 times now that I honestly don’t know what the German Jew gun situation was, but that it seemed like a salient point for the author to explore before drawing a conclusion. To be clear: I honestly (still) don’t know. I would have liked to have seen it included in the article to strengthen the point.

    All the rest of the discussion isn’t aw shucks either. I have very directly stated I am for common sense gun control (UBC, registration) but I also have concerns that the current political climate is leaning in the direction of even more gun control… which could *possibly* in the future lead to a majority of people favoring a 2nd amendment repeal. No back door there. Just discussing opinions.

    My only frustration in this forum is not dissenting opinions–it’s that I am being called names (over-fluoridated kool aid drinker) and people are saying that I said things that I absolutely did not say.

  50. Please accept my apologies. And please think long and hard about the BLM analogy based on the logic implicit in your repeated question of whether Jews in Germany or elsewhere had a couple of Mausers in the house before the Holocaust.

  51. Richard, so are you backing off from the idea that “the left” (whatever that means) is secretly planning to confiscate all guns?

    No, the point of this post is not to debate the merits of the meme. Those merits are beyond any genuine reasonable debate. The point is that the meme is offensive and that those who believe or perpetuate it are trashing the memory of the victims of the holocaust to make a cheap political point and should be ashamed.

  52. Another significant problem with this comparison is that the most vehement gun rights advocates in the US are the equivalent of Hitler’s “willing executioners;” they don’t actually want to arm minorities so much as they want to terrorize and intimidate them. (See, e.g. Charlottesville) https://www.vox.com/2018/2/27/17029680/gun-owner-nra-mass-shooting-political-identity-political-science

  53. As a reminder, under current LDS policy, if someone came into an LDS chapel and started shooting people, the church DOES NOT want anyone to pull out a gun and shoot back to defend themselves, their families, their freedom, etc.

    Make of that as you will.

  54. A very interesting discussion. After reading the post and all comments I am more determined missionary work is the answer. Since ..”the preaching of the word had a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword (or guns)… to do that which was just…” it is our best solution for peace and civility. If we double our efforts to move the gospel forward, then the need for this kind of discussion in the future will be eliminated.

  55. BTW Richard, a town chock-full of AR-15s with all the ammo in America would be no match for an infantry company of Army regulars. That’s a persistent NRA fantasy fed to the credulous to jack up firearms sales.

  56. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    p:

    Who needs an entire infantry company when a couple dozen mortar rounds would do the job just fine?

    There are way too many overgrown boys out there who have watched Red Dawn way too many times. BTW, it should not surprise anyone that the character of Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski–the canonical distillation of many of the gun nuts I’ve known in my life, including my own uncle–is not merely inspired by, but a very accurate imitation of, the director of Red Dawn, John Milius.

  57. Paul Ritchey says:

    Wow, gang up on Richard. You know, it isn’t crazy to think that many on the left (myself included) would like to see firearms become as rare here as they are elsewhere. Confiscation is probably out, but buyback, sale regulation, licensing, etc can make things look awfully confiscatory.

    That aside, I’ve a question for peterllc: How might you distinguish the history you tell here from the (idealized) American arms-liberty narrative? You know – Lexington and Concord, Boston Massacre, Gettysburg, etc.? I think the average continental-army-worshipping, yankee-doodle whistling American gun owner cannot imagine walking, with one’s family, out of one’s house at the direction of a government official (whether your own or an invading one) to some unknown fate, without firing a shot. It’s unfathomable to them, which is why they impose the arms-liberty narrative on the Holocaust – it’s the only way they can imagine it happening. How would you articulate the difference (culturally, politically) between that person and the millions who, out of desperation, fraud, or the impossibility of some other course, were made to walk to their destruction, and did so? Maybe it’s because most Americans haven’t lived in wartime, or maybe there’s an urban/rural cultural distinction going on. What do you think?

  58. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Paul: I think the fundamental difference is in how warfare changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. The destructive capabilities of the industrial war machine, demonstrated most terrifyingly in WWII (the effective end of which was its transcendence in the form of the atomic bomb) are beyond the imagination of anyone in the 18th century.

    Modern militaries have been defeated by irregulars using small arms, but only when there have been relatively limited rules of engagement. (With the exception of the current C-in-C, we generally have come to frown on intentionally killing civilians to prevent them from providing shelter to enemy combatants.) Lexington and Concord were one-time occurrences; thereafter, the British kinda walloped the Continental Army all over the place until French money and arms enabled the rebels to capitalize on some serious British mistakes. Even then, the British still very much could have won the war, but made the strategic calculation that emptying the imperial treasury and being unable to project power on the Continent were unacceptably high costs.

  59. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    On the note of nuclear weapons, I leave you with this famous passage from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (bowdlerized for the more sensitive readers here):

    Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest m**********r in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

    Hiro used to feel that way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this is liberating. He no longer has to worry about trying to be the baddest m**********r in the world. The position is taken. The crowning touch, the one thing that really puts true world-class badm**********rdom totally out of reach, of course, is the hydrogen bomb. If it wasn’t for the hydrogen bomb, a man could still aspire. Maybe find Raven’s Achilles’ heel. Sneak up, get a drop, slip a mickey, pull a fast one. But Raven’s nuclear umbrella kind of puts the world title out of reach. Which is okay. Sometimes it’s all right just to be a little bad. To know your limitations. Make do with what you’ve got.

  60. Preach it! Thank you.

  61. I am generally pro-gun rights, but anti-gun rights memes, especially ones that reference the Holocaust.

  62. PSA: The British won at Lexington. The patriots won at Concord.

    But more to the point, the American Revolution is, on the whole, absolutely not an example of plucky irregular forces with small arms defeating a trained army. They beat the British by becoming a trained army. The patriots only found success on the battlefield after Von Steuben drilled the heck out of them until they were more disciplined than the British regulars, and they got French money and arms and naval support.

  63. JCK: I am not backing off the idea that “the left wants to secretly confiscate our guns” because I never said that. What I did say, very plainly, is that up until Sandy Hook, practically nobody was even thinking about repealing the 2nd amendment. From then (SH) until recently, I think some on the extreme far left have probably wanted it. Since Las Vegas and Florida, I think the idea is becoming more pervasive–BUT, as I already stated, it is still not even close to the majority (left) opinion. But the chatter is increasing, and given the likelihood of more mass shootings, it will grow louder over time. The current voices shouting for it are not credible (David Hogg, etc.), but that will probably change over time So to summarize: The overwhelming majority of democrats/leftists/liberals do not currently secretly want to ban all guns. But give it a couple years.

  64. David Hogg is extremely credible. He’s also not advocating confiscating your guns, contrary to the absolutely horrendous “conservative” memes inundating social media saying “what would you do if this ‘man’ knocked on your door and asked you to turn over your guns” above a picture of Mr. Hogg. The comments are astoundingly cruel, mocking, vicious, and hateful. That is “conservatism” in 2018. You own that.

  65. John: I agree with you whole-heartedly. I don’t think guns are going to save us in the event of a tyrannical government or an economic collapse of society. Same way our food storage isn’t going to save us. Both could be helpful and useful in certain situations.

    Believe it or not, I’m not a big gun guy. I own 4 of them (hand gun, 22 rifle, AR15, and shotgun) but only shoot them occasionally and only keep a modest amount of ammunition on hand (with the exception of 22 ammo; I think it would be good for hunting small game and basic self defense in the event of a crisis.) I’m certainly not planning on digging a bunker and joining the resistance.

    Nope. 98% of my planning is spiritual. I believe the words of Russell M. Nelson in his April 2016 talk, “The Price of Priesthood Power” are literal and true. In “end of times” scenarios (which I believe are somewhere between 5 and 100 years from now), I believe families with real priesthood power (men and women) will perform miracles and find refuge.

    I am a staunch believer in the 2nd amendment, but I don’t think the guns will save us. I just want to hold onto our civil liberties as long as possible.

  66. jaxjensen says:

    Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is a credible source and has called for the repeal of the 2nd amendment. Unless a sitting Senator or the POTUS calls for it, there might not be a higher source ever. Anyone claiming that “nobody want to take away your guns” is lying or uninformed.

    Further, anyone who thinks a US civil war over gun-control would be US military V Rebels is also uninformed. There is a huge portion of the US military that will flat refuse to obey orders to kill/fire upon US citizens. Military members are not mindless ants that obey all orders, and killing US people is not what they are going to do. Many of them just won’t do it. And there will be another split of those who get involved, but join the rebels. At best it would be a 50/50 split of US military resources. It could be as lopsided as 60/40 or 70/30 favoring the “gun loving rebels” since that is the side many/most military personnel favor anyway. It wouldn’t be tanks and fighter planes versus citizens with AR’s. It would be tanks v tanks, fighters v fighters, etc etc etc. It would not be a simple case of the gov’t calling on the military to quell a rebellion.

  67. John F: There you go again accusing me of all kinds of things I didn’t do or say. I said David Hogg wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I never mentioned a meme that you reference (in fact, I don’t even know what you are talking about) and I have never made a cruel, vicious, or hateful comment about David Hogg. You said that I “own that.” What are you talking about out? I literally have no idea why you are accusing me of this. I don’t think David Hogg is particularly credible right now, but I can certainly see him becoming a driving force in the gun control discussion as he gets older.

  68. Jaxjenson: I totally agree with what you’ve said. I can’t understand why anybody would deny the direction the gun control debate is headed. Regarding a civil war – you stated with better clarity what I had been trying to say previously in this thread.

  69. I can’t even count the number of rebellions that worked with the idea “the military will be on our side, cause they’re our people” only to find that they greatly overestimated loyalties.

    Jaxjensen, the type of civil war you describe has -never- happened. Not even in Star Wars.

  70. Strange how some people are talking about where the gun control debate is headed. As if it hasn’t been heading to the extreme right (less restriction, more urgency to own a gun for any variety of reasons) for the last several decades. Good ole Regan was for more gun control and cool-headedness, as was the NRA, that either the Republicans or the NRA of today. Blinders.

  71. Guns are great for killing people in peacetime, but they’re useless in war unless you have an army. A professional army. In an actual war, a ragtag “militia” of weekend-warrior gun enthusiasts is a mob, not an army.

    The idea that it’s good to stockpile guns just in case you have to fight a civil war is a wicked fantasy. It’s wicked because it encourages the idea that the appropriate response to problems in the government is to prepare for violence. This attitude corrodes our collective commitment to the rule of law and peaceful institutions at times when we need that faith and commitment most.

    Richard asks why can’t someone work to support the rule of law and stockpile guns at the same time? In principle, maybe that’s possible, though I have doubts. In reality, the people who are most vehement about their need to have guns are also the busiest sowing doubt and mistrust in the government. That ideology leads to a violent, self-fulfilling prophecy. Practically speaking, we must choose: we can either spend our personal and collective political resources supporting good government by peaceable means, or we can spend them preparing for a violent end. There is no honor in the latter choice.

  72. jaxjensen says:

    Frank, as one who was in the military in the not-so-distant past, I can tell you we actively had this discussion about what we would do if such a civil war took place. The discussion happened among low-level enlisted and higher level officers. I do not know exactly how it would take place (who would win, etc) any more than anyone else, but my percentages are not guesses. They are the expressed intents of those I served with. Like the civilian population many would try to stay uninvolved. And like the civilian population, involvement will divide along ideological lines as Richard tried to describe above. Unlike the civilian population, a MUCH higher percentage of military personnel favor gun-ownership and oppose the confiscation of firearms from the populace. At best I think the gov’t would be able to retain about 50% of their people and equipment.

  73. Yes, the cultural problems with guns in this country, painstakingly revealed by Richard, are laid bare by the juxtaposition of the images of the open-carrying Black Panthers at the California state capitol building and Governor Reagan signing the Mulford Act (banning open carry) some days later. The lie carries forward in terms like “law abiding citizen,” a concept that doesn’t exist in our law so that it can be free to exist solely to draw a line encircling the in-group. Another place the Holocaust example breaks down is that it’s the very people with Richard’s worldview who would have found a way to inactivate the hypothetical Jewish guns. When you constantly think of yourself as a good guy, a lot of different people start to look bad.

  74. Moth-to-a-flame says:

    If Japanese Americans had resisted being put in WWII internment camps with force of arms, I don’t think anybody would be saying that they fulfilled the purpose of the second amendment.

  75. jaxjensen says:

    Moth-to-a-flame… they might not say that, but they’d be correct if they did!

  76. To all y’all Texans with yer guns, remember the Alamo!

    Santa Anna with his thousands of well trained soldiers killed all 100-200 of the heroic defenders of the Alamo with their assortment of weapons.

    Just to keep things straight: Mexicans loyal to Spain had been living peacefully in Tejas for centuries, when illegal immigration of Americans to Tejas swelled the population to ten times its previous level. When the American illegals sided in with the political party that lost, Santa Anna came north with his army to set things straight.

    Americans didn’t win that war until Sam Houston organized an army, Santa Anna made a critical mistake and divided his army. When Houston attacked, Santa Anna was cavorting in his tent with the original “yellow rose” of Texas, a mixed race light skinned slave of Houston. The over disciplined top-down Mexican army was paralysed when its leader was caught literally with his pants down at the beginning of the battle. Santa Anna was captured and traded his freedom for Texas independence. The republic of Texas was broke financially and never raised enough taxes to survive or function.

    I was wondering how many AK-15s it takes to balance an F-15? I think some of those Taliban guys sort of know the answer. Lets be realistic about what we will be up against fighting the US military.

    There was nothing Civil about that War between the States for Southern Independence. The next one will be the War between the Political Parties? Will it be a truly civil war? Does anyone remember that the US military now has about 10,000 nuclear bombs? Start setting those bad babies off and your small arms will be about as worthless as a squirt gun.

    Don’t confuse a bunch of pot-smoking hippies throwing a few firecrackers at patient police with war. It ain’t gonna be that simple.

  77. In an effort to direct the tangent about a hypothetical civil war back towards the point of the OP, I submit that the Holocaust does not teach us much about how guns prevent a government from turning on its own citizens. Keep in mind that the German government did not murder millions of its own citizens. It declared less than 1% of its population fair game and murdered 165,000 of them in a massive affront to the rule of law, yes, but the mass killings were primarily carried out in stateless regions far from home, as mentioned already in the OP.

    The lesson of the Holocaust from the perspective of a stockpiling would-be resister, I suppose, is less “What if my government turns on me” and more “What if a foreign government decapitates the US from D.C. down to the city level and replaces the rule of law with a campaign for the survival of the fittest?”

    In the meantime, the more likely scenario is that one’s own government will declare minority groups fair game. This should be resisted vehemently, though it is not at all clear to me that the most effective instruments for doing so will be firearms.

  78. There’s a lot of facts backed up by an incorrect anaylsis. Or at the mininum an analysis one can reasonably disagree with. Stringing together facts does not entitle one to their own conclusions, and it doesn’t even mean that there aren’t two possible realities that could have occurred. To deny this is to be a closed minded fundemenalist.

    In 1933 Germany started registration of firearms with the expressed intent to prevent them from getting into the hands of enemies of the state.

    Had the citizens stood up for the rights of those they disagreed with, rather than seek the benefit of security at the cost of liberty, maybe so many millions wouldn’t have lost both.

    Newly empowered Hitler might never have been able to embark on bombing foreign cities if his first acts involved more widescale fighting against ordinary Germans who defended the rights of others that the state declared an enemy.

    There is something to be said that too many Germans we’re willing to keep their heads down and do their jobs because Hitler and his many supporters we’re only depriving the rights of the other guy.

    When you violate sacred principle for seeming pragmatism and allow it especially to be done by politicians seeking power, you help pave the road to hell. It’s always possible to not go down that road, but it certainly makes it easier for someone less principled once the road has already been created.

    Finally, its incoherent to describe how futile a right would be against an powerful tyrant, so better to not have that right at all.

    The first amendment is clearly strained by the fact that corporations bigger than most governments in the history of the world can hide, block, censor, and outright ban certain content. That doesn’t mean we might as well give it up and say what can we do, our only salvation comes in the form of benevolent regulators.

  79. Finally, its incoherent to describe how futile a right would be against an powerful tyrant, so better to not have that right at all.

    Well, now you’re just putting words in my mouth. See, for example, the title of my post, which I hope suggests to even the most superficial reader that it is not meant to be the final word in the gun control debate—I’m fine with people hanging on to their guns (I have several myself). Indeed, my argument does not even address whether Americans in 2018 should further regulate semi-automatic firearms. What I am saying is that the historical facts don’t warrant invoking the victims of the Holocaust as cautionary tale of what happens when a minority population “gives up” its freedoms.

    As for Germany’s registration of firearms, let me simply reiterate that Germany’s national legislation did not apply to the vast majority of National Socialism’s victims. If you are suggesting that gun registration prevented regular Germans from rising up to overthrow Hitler and his murderous regime before they could wipe out millions of people, you might want to consider the paramilitary groups from across the political spectrum that were active during the Weimar Republic for a more complete analysis of the inter-war period. In my own admittedly incomplete analysis, the presence of such irregular troops suggests not an obstacle in Hitler’s quest for power but a weakness of state institutions that he was ultimately able to exploit.

    In other words, the distinction between an armed group of thugs flaunting state authority and an armed group of freedom fighters usurping state authority may be less than readily apparent.

  80. @jaxjensen. Standing up for rights and killing people with guns are not mutually inclusive. Your comment about Japanese-Americans using guns to combat an unjust law and as somehow a healthy manifestation of the 2nd Amendment is horrifying. Sadly, it also taints your other comments. You are saying, “I’ll take the law into my hands and guns and rule of law be damned!” You might think that’s pithy; it’s not. See Ted Nugent.

  81. your food allergy is fake says:

    Jax and Richard, repeal of the 2nd amendment does not necessarily = taking away guns. To many, it is a means of enabling regulation, a concept that is ironically found in the 2nd amendment but ignored by the NRA.

  82. E.C. – I don’t know where you get your facts, but they’re plain wrong. There weren’t any weapons laws passed in Germany in 1933. At that time they were still under the 1928 laws allowing weapons with permits. Before that they had absolute disarmament laws actually called “Law on the Disarmament of the People.”

    Gun control under Hitler was loosened even more, allowing weapons to the people more than ever since WWI. Germany did not follow the right wing narrative of “they took away the guns, then killed the Jews”. As the post states, most of the Jews who were murdered also lived in places what were not under Germany’s laws, leaving the narrative as pure fantasy, made up to stoke fear and improve gun sales.

  83. “I am not backing off the idea that “the left wants to secretly confiscate our guns” because I never said that.”

    This is what you said: “Is the end game of the left to eventually repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate all (or most, at least) guns?” I understood that to be an insinuation that “the left” (again, you’ve still never defined what you mean by that) has plans to “eventually repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate all (or most, at least) guns.” I think any reasonable reader would understand it that way. But I’m glad you didn’t mean that. Because that would be insane.

    There are two things at play here: Repeal and confiscation. First, repeal. There has been exactly one serious person float the idea of repeal. But if you read Justice Stevens’ book you would know that his position is not to call for a repeal of the right to bear arms; it’s to clarify explicitly in the constitution what the Supreme Court has already established: the right to bear arms is not absolute and is subject to reasonable regulation. So saying that Justice Stevens favors “repeal” is technically accurate, but misleading if you’re not reading carefully. And even that was met with a lot of opposition from liberals, who said that repeal of the second amendment is unnecessary. Nobody has called for repealing the right to bear arms. The consensus of many was that he wasn’t even serious, but was simply making a point with hyperbole.

    Second confiscation: even if repeal were a serious possibility, which is absolutely is not, there is absolutely no way you can sanely believe that there will ever be a serious effort by any political party in power in the United States to “confiscate all (or most, at least) guns.” No way.

  84. Someone up above said that “ex-Justice Stephen Breyer” called for repeal of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, it was ex-Justice John Paul Stevens. For a moment I had a flash of hope that Justice Breyer had in fact hung up his robes for the last time, but, alas, it was not so.

  85. jaxjensen says:

    Mark B… that was my mistake. Sorry to give a momentary spark of happiness only to have it squashed by realizing Breyer was still around. My apologizies.

    Brian: Your comment that US citizens should just meekly submit to an unjust arrest and indefinite imprisonment is horrifying. The internment of those peoples is one of the lowest moments of US history and is widely regarded as a black eye on our gov’t; and your suggestion that it was right and proper for Japanese-Americans to just accept it and willingly subject themselves to tyrannical governance is appalling. We have a Bill of Rights precisely so that we can feel confident in NOT allowing/accepting those things happening to us.

    your food allergy is fake: guns are already regulated. Repealing the 2A is the path to complete confiscation.

  86. your food allergy is fake says:

    Jax, you’re being disingenuous. You pointed to Stevens’ article in the NYT as evidence for the seriousness of the call for 2A repeal. Did you read his article? He’s not talking about confiscation, he’s talking about the way the 2A is used to block any reasonable proposals such as age limits and comprehensive background checks. From his piece:

    “Overturning that decision (Heller 2008) via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

  87. jaxjensen, you twist my words. I said nothing nothing about meekly submitting. You project what you want to hear until people who disagree with you. You seem to have a habit not actually engaging with real rebuttals to your points.

  88. And I never said it was right and proper for people “just accept and willingly submit to tyrannical government.”. Holy hell.

  89. jaxjensen says:

    Brian… you said resisting sounded “horrifying” When you say resisting is horrifying then is it not reasonable to assume that they should submit?

    your food allergy is fake: Stevens didn’t talk about complete confiscation (not sure I said that he had, but sorry if that came across), but others have. Sometimes it is all firearms, others it is all rifles, or all handguns, all semi-automatics, whatever. I’ve personally heard countless people say they would like all firearms gone. Have you not heard this? Really? And the only way that would be accomplished is by first repealing the 2nd Amendment. There is no other reasonable objective for the repeal except for confiscation. It is completely reasonable for gun owners to equate them. Guns and other armaments are already regulated, limiting who can buy them, what is available, types of ammo, available calibers, limited accessories, etc. etc. etc. so that is clearly not an issue currently.

  90. jaxjensen, at this point, you need to learn about context. Go back and read, carefully. I said nothing of the sort. There are other words around that. They matter. Words matter. Either your are being intentionally malignant or your reading comprehension is low. Pick your poison.

    You seem to only see one option: guns. If someone suggests another option, you can’t see it. Again, either a lack of education on history, lack of imagination, or extreme myopia.
    Again, pick your poison. Ever hear of the Civil Right Movement? Ghandi? Civil Disobedience? There are lots of options besides guns.

  91. jaxjensen says:

    Brian… they did complain, resist, petition… but to little or no effect. Their resistance was futile. They should have resisted enough to maintain their freedom… and MOST importantly, the US Gov’t shouldn’t have made it necessary by acting tyrannically. A successful resistance by them would have absolutely been a healthy manifestation of the 2nd amendment because having an armed populace capable of such a resistance is the purpose of the 2A.

    The enforcement of that unjust law was a “horrifying manifestation” contrary to the 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendment. They would have been well within their rights as US citizens to withstand interment using the force of arms. Resisting, even with guns, wouldn’t have been horrifying… it would have been exemplary and laudable! If they had, then in the exact same way I look back on the US Revolution and think “Thank God that they were armed and able to protect themselves against tyranny.” I would now look back on them and say the same thing. Instead I look back, as most Americans do, and think with shame about how the US gov’t was able to dictatorially imprison their own citizens.

    I look at any people who put themselves at risk in order to stand for their own freedom with inspiration. Even if they don’t have to use guns to do it (Gandhi). Conversely, all instances of people being enslaved (being taken from their villages in Africa, as an example), being driven from their homes (i.e. Cherokee’s relocated via the “Trail of Tears”), or being unlawfully imprisoned or killed(Holocaust, Japanese Internment) as terrible tragedies and blights upon a nation’s character and history. I don’t know how anybody could not look at any such event and think to themselves “it’s too bad they weren’t able to defend themselves” of “it would be ‘horrifying’ if they’d have protected themselves from an ‘unjust law’ ” That is a shameful position to hold IMO.

  92. Jaxjensen, I’ve had more nuance discussions with my 13 yo. I’m done with you putting words in my mouth.

  93. Brian,
    Gandhi was under the impression that satyagraha was capable of changing the hardest heart. He was lucky he was dealing with the British, who were steeped in democratic principles, were open to persuasion and did not normally murder outspoken leaders!

    Jewish resistance was significant. But they were facing a regime which had disavowed Enlightenment thought and (via Nietzsche) traditional Christian reasoning. But even then , to perpetrate the holocaust, the Third Reich was forced to rely on a small cast of immoral and amoral characters. Heaven forbid that .American civilians face such a foe!

    I personally support the Second Amendment, because our constitutional government can solve serious problems within traditional limits, and I accept an armed citizenry as one of those limits.

  94. I hesitate to feed the zoo animals any more, but I have to point out that the idea that the military would refuse to confiscate arms or commit genocide or whatever is silly based on all of history everywhere. A hypothetical tyrant would already have the support of the military would target whoever opposed him, who by definition would be those not well represented in the power structures of the military. That’s what it means to be a tyrant. A citizen army who represent a broad swath of the country (a representative bureaucracy) is a great thing, and we’d be better off if it was more representative (and included a draft) but don’t kid yourself that an autocrat couldn’t purge it to his liking if the civilian democratic institutions allowed him to. Our own military has done enough horrible things over the past two centuries that this should obvious. Our great institutions didn’t prevent a bunch of incompetent liars from causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no particular reason. When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    I guess in a way our history gives some credence to the white fear of becoming oppressed if we fall out of the majority, since we’ve fought tooth and nail to retain the right to oppress anyone who isn’t us. We should be getting on the civil rights bandwagon pronto and make sure our institutions are rock solid so no one ever gets the bright idea to send us to the back of the bus or an internment camp. Because having guns isn’t going to stop that since…all of history.

  95. Nations go to war against other nations with armies, so obviously an armed citizenry isn’t gonna big to be a deterrent. And we’re still in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, where everybody and their dog is packin heat, so we’re clearly not deterred even when it is futile.

  96. “There is no other reasonable objective for the repeal except for confiscation. It is completely reasonable for gun owners to equate them.”

    Come on, jax. That’s just lazy. I know we disagree a lot, but you’re a much more careful thinker than this. This is beneath you.

  97. Moth-to-a-flame says:

    I guess I need to spell this out. America, as we may recall, was in the middle of a very big war with Japan. If Japanese Americans had taken up arms against the government, which–again–was in the middle of a war with Japan (the place of their ethnic origin), crap would have really hit the fan. The U.S. government would NOT have said, “Hmm these guys really don’t like what we’re trying to do here. Maybe we are being a little oppressive. Let’s re-think this. Nice use of the second amendment, by the way.” No, they would have said, “Holy cow, it’s worse than we thought! Japanese Americans are either traitors or secret agents of Japan. We’re going to have to kill the ones with arms or arrest and charge them with treason, and deport the rest.” Armed rebellion would have further justified the action of the U.S. government. And the rest of the country would have agreed, because they didn’t send a generation of American boys to fight Japan so that Japanese Americans could have the freedom to assert their second amendment rights against the U.S. government during said fighting. No siree.

    The tragedy of the situation would have been greatly compounded, with Japanese Americans as the losers. I’m sure they would have been comforted to know that they earned the respect of future second amendment zealots. Actually, no, let’s not pretend that their memory would have been honored. The sad situation would just be another reason to own guns. Not because of fear of government oppression, but because you never know if your minority neighbors are traitors to your country and you might need to lend the police a hand.

  98. jaxjensen says:

    “A hypothetical tyrant would already have the support of the military”… I’m assuming you haven’t been in the US military?? Because wow is this a stupid statement! A tyrant might take command of the military, that is true, but as stated above they would NOT have the “support” of the military. People don’t become mindless obedient zombies when joining the armed forces.

    JKC, If not confiscation, what other objectives to repealing the 2A do you think are reasonable? What have I not thought about?

  99. Our great institutions didn’t prevent a bunch of incompetent liars from causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no particular reason.

    The US experiments with regime change certainly highlight the difficulty of playing with fire, i.e., toppling established institutions even with the best of intentions is fraught with death, though I submit that part of the reason the US becomes bogged down in these situations is that the military observes wartime norms unlike, say, the Einsatzkommandos of the Second World War.

  100. jaxjensen is arguing in this thread, through his clever “coding” of talking about Japanese internment, that Black Lives Matter adherents and supporters should take up arms and kill police officers and other government representatives in response to the epidemic of unjustified police killings of unarmed black people. But normally around these parts (Mormon blogs), the positions he takes on issues closely align with those who cast them as radicals for kneeling to the flag during the national anthem in an example of the most peaceful form of silent protest possible — kneeling without speaking. That, perhaps more than any other thing — more than the sex scandals, openly bitter and vile misogyny (boasting about sexual assault), aggressive opposition to immigration from “brown” countries, deficit explosions resulting from tax benefits to the ultra rich while reducing or eliminating services for the poor, attempting with every tool and trick possible to deprive tens of millions of people of health care — exemplifies the intellectual and spiritual state of “conservatism” in 2018. We’re lost.

  101. jaxjensen says:

    John f. I think you are confusing me with a Trump supporter. Please don’t insult me like that. He’s a despicable human being.

    And yes, how much better would the Jim Crow south had been if blacks would have been able to violently defend themselves from lynching? So of course I DO advocate that blacks be well-armed as well. All people should be. I don’t do any “coding” of my words. I’ll tell you openly what I think.

  102. Please explain, then, why Black Lives Matter “activists” shouldn’t be exercising their Second Amendment rights and shooting police officers or other government employees who approach them in a coordinated response to the epidemic of police killings of unarmed black people.

    This is what you are arguing Japanese Americans should have done.

  103. jaxjensen says:

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE ARMED AND ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST TYRANNICAL GOV’T!

    That clear enough for you now?

  104. No. It’s completely incoherent. BLM can (and should?) shoot police officers in response to police killings of unarmed black people but they are radicals and bring the pale for kneeling to the flag during the national anthem?

  105. *beyond the pale

  106. Come on, jax. It’s not hard to imagine that someone wants more or a different kind of regulation, short of confiscation, than the second amendment is currently thought to allow. They may want more restrictions on possession or use of certain types of weapons without wanting to confiscate them. Even an outright ban on acquiring new weapons doesn’t necessarily mean confiscation of existing weapons.

    You can agree or disagree whether such regulations would be effective, but to just broadly state that anyone who favors repeal or amendment necessarily wants confiscation is lazy, and simply not true.

    Our you could imagine someone taking the position that even though the second amendment doesn’t legally prohibit regulation, repeal or amendment is necessary to remove it as a cultural idol. Put differently, the second amendment (the actual constitutional text) does not need to be repealed, but the Second Amendment (the cultural idol that demands the sacrifice of any new regulation of guns at all) might med to be, and repealing the first, though not legally necessary, might be an effective means to repeal the second.

    None of that requires confiscation. This isn’t hard.

  107. Jaxjensen, you misunderstand me. A tyrant can’t be a tyrant until he’s gained the support of the military. By definition by the time someone is a tyrant, they’ve got the military behind them. If you think some straw poll in the barracks can tell you how the support of a force designed to be obedient would fall under the exigencies of politics and wars, you’re delusional. Quick swings in opinion are common in history and there’s always some way to vilify any group. Like, for example, the war criminal George Bush manipulated a whole country of pretty smart people into launching an unconcscionable war for no good reason. Is a tyrant likely to try to confiscate everyone’s guns? No. Just whoever opposes him and whoever he can purge from the military. The safety is not in owning guns, it’s in holding political power and being represented in all parts of civic and business life. Blacks in the Jim Crowe south taking up arms would have just been that much easier to vilify, round up, and murder. What they lacked wasn’t guns force of arms (since they had enough actual arms and legs to take all the guns they would have wanted from the white folk), it was political power and representation.

  108. jaxjensen says:

    O, Yes, a tyrant would need the military to retain power. I did misunderstand that point. They could get into position, but won’t remain there long without the military to support them. But I don’t think they would get it… not here. Not without imagining some other hypothetical to discuss.

    And I’m not talking about a “straw poll in the barracks” but official meetings with commanders that actively taught contrary to what you are saying. That trained their troops that defying an order would be their duty in order to protect US citizens. Reminding them that their oath is NOT to be obedient to any POTUS, commander, or person, but to protect the US from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that we’d be duty bound to fight any tyrant that rose to power. This conversation took place with low level Platoon Sergeants and high level unit commanders. Maybe other vets didn’t have this experience, but I did with several units so I can’t believe I’m the exception. I’m telling you that my experience is that the military is actively trained to act differently than you are suggesting.

    JKC. Yes it is easy to imagine someone simply wanting more restrictions. But it is almost impossible to believe that EVERYONE simply wants some restrictions. Is it not also as easy to imagine another group of “someones” who want complete confiscation? And that without a 2A they could get the courts and/or legislators to agree?

  109. Olay but your point was not that some people might want confiscation, it was that there’s no reason to argue for repeal or amendment other than confiscation. I’m glad you now recognize that’s not true.

    To answer your other questions: (1) Yes there may be some people on the fringe who want confiscation, but no serious person with a chance of any mainstream support has complete confiscation as a goal. To believe otherwise is to fall for fear mongering. (2) No, I don’t believe that there’s ever any realistic chance that courts and/or legislatures would agree with complete confiscation. The right to bear arms is too deeply ingrained in our law and culture for that. And let’s not forget that the second amendment, like other constitutional rights, is a ceiling, not a floor, and that most state constitutions expressly protect a right to bear arms. Again, to believe that confiscation would be realistic, even without the second amendment, is to fall for fear mongering.

  110. All these hypotheticals, in the past and in the future, while in reality, in the present, people die every day of gun violence, over and over and over, by accident, by suicide, in “domestic” incidents, in mass shootings. This is not hypothetical, it happens as we speak. To some, it is the acceptable price of freedom. I wonder if it would be acceptable if it were your child dying.

  111. Jack of Hearts says:

    This was an outstanding post; thank you.

  112. jaxjensen, all a tyrant need do is paint his enemies as domestic enemies of the state and voila, the protections you imagine vanish. Questions of constitutionality, what constitutes tyrany, and who is an ememy are always contested. Your constitutionality is not my constitutionality, and Andrew Jackson is still on the $20 despite ignoring the Supreme Court and committing genocide. None of what you say protected Mormon settlers, American Indians, blacks, kids at Kent State, Japanese internees, prisoners at Abu Ghraib, torture victims, civilians at Mai Lai, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, or anyone else successfully demonized by corrupt authority figures. The German military was full of swell kids with Christian values too.

  113. jaxjensen says:

    JKC, I still think it is reasonable for people to equate repeal with confiscation though, which was the main point. Guns/arms are sooo heavily regulated now that there is no reason that you’d have to repeal it in order to “regulate guns.” I don’t buy that story. And given that there will be people who could likely be successful in having guns confiscated, I think equating repeal with confiscation makes sense to many, many gun owners (even if not 100% of repeal supporters want confiscation).

  114. Not even close to 100% Not even close to 50%. Probably not even close to 10%. And even of the tiny fraction of people that do support some measure of confiscation, I doubt any would support confiscation of more than a narrow sunset of certain kinds of weapons. If you think it’s reasonable to equate repeal or amendment with confiscation of all guns on that basis, fine. I don’t.

  115. What does this have to do with Mormonism? Suddenly, I have the urge to pen a rebuttal to a former mission companion’s Facebook post with scholarly citations.

  116. This is necessary when you need freedom and to defend yourself from the odds. And it cannot be compromised at any cost.

  117. I’m always wary of statistics, but I think guns are a bit too much for defending against odds.

  118. jaxjensen says:

    JKC, Emma Gonzalez (Parkland survivor and a new face in the gun-control movement) was out yesterday calling for confiscation of all semi-auto firearms. That would be almost all pistols, a majority of all rifles, and even a fair number of shotguns. NRA and such obviously thinks that ridiculous, but I didn’t read any repudiation of that idea from any other gun-control person or group. Yet you tell me almost no gun-control people support such an idea. Can you point me to references of gun-control advocates refuting her suggestion?

  119. your food allergy is fake says:

    You find one example of a high school kid who wants to confiscate semi-automatics, amid no mention of repeal of the 2nd amendment, and you think this supports your conclusion that everyone who favors repeal of the 2A wants to confiscate all weapons? You’re just not thinking about this very hard Jax.

  120. What does this have to do with Mormonism?

    Did you read the post? Here, let me help:

    “…in light of this miserable meme’s traction among those who dutifully attend their meetings, regularly hold Family Home Evening and willingly serve the widows in their wards, and in the spirit of Doctrine and Covenants 93:24, I’m going to go ahead and […blah blah].”

    TL; DR: I’m a Mormon who is annoyed that Mormons of all people pass this stuff around and posted something about it at a time when people in the world Mormons inhabit are remembering the Holocaust. Is that Mormon enough for you?

  121. Two issues with your comment, Jax. (1) I suspect there’s some confusion/ignorance about what semiautomatic really entails. (2) I don’t believe it’s reasonable to presume that everyone who favors some version of repeal or amendment agrees with everything the Parkland kids say unless they affirmative refute it. I stand by earlier comments. The reality is that total confiscation has no serious chance of ever becoming realistic. Using it as some kind of boogeyman is manipulative and deceptive, and falling for it is dumb. But I guess we probably just disagree on that.

  122. jaxjensen says:

    JKC… I’m sure there is confusion over what semi-auto means. I also think it is very reasonable to presume that not every agrees with Ms. Gonzalez. I’m sure there are many millions of gun-owning Democrats who support banning “assault rifles,” but who think she is way out of line. I just don’t hear their voices. They don’t speak up. None of their spokespersons convey that message on their behalf. And if they aren’t willing to speak up about opposing confiscation, then do they really oppose it?

    The NRA supporting faction of the country does obviously. But if such a huge percentage of even the “repeal the 2A” crowd oppose confiscation (as you claim they do), then she should have been shouted down almost immediately from her own “side” of the issue. Those on the “right” obviously think she’s nuts, but the silence from those on the left makes it seem like they either agree with her, or at least are willing to go along with it.

    (I put quotes around things like ‘side’ and ‘right’/’left’ simply because I hate thinking in terms of opponents/enemies/us v them … but it makes it easier in conversation because the terms are so prevalent that everyone understands them. But I suppose if everyone thinks that way, then maybe its true?)

    your food allergy is fake… she wants to confiscate whether the 2A is repealed or not. So in her case (which again, none of the leaders/pundits from the left seems to have a problem with) the two aren’t related. So I didn’t relate them either. I didn’t say it supported the idea that repealing the 2A means confiscation, I’m pointing out that their silence seems to indicate that leftist leadership favors confiscation regardless of what happens with the 2A.

    All I asked for was some source you can point me toward where the voice of gun-control advocates are pushing back against the idea that we should confiscate guns. You say it’s the prevalent opinion among that crowd… so please point me to where that opinion is being expressed. I want you to help me believe what you believe. Convert me already! . If “Probably not even close to 10%” are against confiscating guns then it shouldn’t be hard to point me to the 90% of articles/interviews/op-eds where gun-control supporters voice their opinion against confiscation. Where are they? Why don’t they shout down the “one example of a high school kid” whose has been given a platform they oppose? Perhaps they have and I missed it. So I’m asking you to point it out to me.

  123. “Why don’t they shout down the “one example of a high school kid” whose has been given a platform they oppose?”

    Because shouting down high school kids is best left to other high school kids.

  124. your food allergy is fake says:

    Jax,
    You’re moving the goalposts a bit here, so now you’re saying that all leftists favor confiscation? Not just those who favor repeal of the 2A? Are all gun owners rednecks who cling to their guns and religion out of fear? Or is there room for some variation in political views on this issue? I can only speak for myself. I am politically center-right. I do not own guns but would like my brothers who are veterans and know how to handle firearms to be able to keep theirs. If one of them commits a violent crime or begins hearing voices I believe he should not have access to his weapons. I do not think the right of gun ownership should rise to the fundamental level of specific constitutional protection such as the right to vote or free speech or assembly, so I would have no problem seeing the 2A repealed. But I do not want all guns confiscated. Please consider that there is room for a lot of variety on the gun-lover gun-hater spectrum.

  125. jaxjensen says:

    your food allergy is fake. No, I don’t believe that everyone who wants gun control wants confiscation. I don’t think that everyone who wants to repeal the 2A want confiscation. But it is wanted by enough that if a 2A is repealed I think confiscation will 100% be the result. I know that there is variety of opinions. But I don’t think if repeal takes place that there will be variety in options, meaning that confiscation will be imposed regardless of opinion or will. RIght now there is variety of gun ownership… some one many, some own select few, some own none. But I believe that variety will turn into nobody owns any if the few who want confiscation can get the 2A repealed. Thankfully, I don’t think they will ever be successful in that happening.

    The right has been crying out for years that they are ferociously opposed to any confiscation. JKC says that the left largely feels the same way. I’d like to hear that same cry from them if they really feel confiscation is a no-no as well. I just don’t hear/see it.

    I think gun ownership is absolutely equal to (or even above) voting rights, free speech/assembly, etc. in terms of importance. Seeing as how being able to defend yourself can literally be a matter of life or death, whereas you can survive quite happily without being able to speak freely (see modern University campuses).

  126. jaxjensen says:

    Kristine, I agree. But the “left” doesn’t do that for conservative kids. So surely you are going to say something (send an email perhaps) against the admin and Sheriff’s office at Parkland that pulled Kyle Kashuv, a high school kid, out of class and interrogated him, berated him, and tried to intimidate him for making pro-gun tweets and visiting a gun range with his father. And since it’s apparently okay for adults to “shout down” conservatives then it must surely be okay to “shout down” the liberals too.

    Here’s the source: https://www.dailywire.com/news/29790/breaking-anti-gun-control-parkland-survivor-kyle-daily-wire

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