J. D. Heyes
March 26, 2013
They say those who learn nothing from history are doomed to repeat it, but then again, sometimes repeating history is exactly the point, as longtime anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s new “assault weapons ban” planned legislation for early next year proves.Feinstein, a California Democrat, was instrumental in enacting a similar piece of legislation in 1994; with the help of President Clinton and Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, that ban lasted a decade before being allowed to expire by a Republican-controlled Congress in 2004.
But her current measure would go much further and, in many ways, actually mirrors anti-gun measures enacted nearly 75 years ago by Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, in a bid to disarm a particular ethnic group he loathed.
This is gun control redux
Prior to 1938, when Hitler’s new restrictions were put in place, the earlier Weimar Republic government had already enacted gun registration. “The laws adopted by the Weimar Republic intended to disarm Nazis and Communists were sufficiently discretionary that the Nazis managed to use them against their enemies once they were in power,” says Clayton Cramer, author of the book Firing Back, as told to the website The Straight Dope. So what Hitler essentially did was strengthen existing German law (which was aimed primarily at preventing Jews from being armed).
And that is the all-important difference. Bernard E. Harcourt, writing for the University of Chicago Law School and Political Science Department, notes:
If you read the 1938 Nazi gun laws closely and compare them to earlier 1928 Weimar gun legislation – as a straightforward exercise of statutory interpretation – several conclusions become clear. First, with regard to possession and carrying of firearms, the Nazi regime relaxed the gun laws that were in place in Germany at the time the Nazis seized power. Second, the Nazi gun laws of 1938 specifically banned Jewish persons from obtaining a license to manufacture firearms or ammunition. Third, approximately eight months after enacting the 1938 Nazi gun laws, Hitler imposed regulations prohibiting Jewish persons from possessing any dangerous weapons, including firearms.
The point was, Hitler had it in for the Jews, so he first disarmed them before carrying out his murderous campaign against them. And, unable to resist, millions died.
“In Germany, firearm registration helped lead to the holocaust,” National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre wrote in his book, “Gun, Crimes and Freedom.”
Nothing new under the sun
Here are some key aspects of the 1938 law:
– Police permission was required to own a handgun;
– All firearms had to be registered;
– Any Germans who enjoyed shooting bolt-action rifles were told to join the army “if they wished to shoot ‘military’ rifles,” writes LaPierre, in his book;
– The Nazi regime “also enacted the “Regulations against Jews’ possession of weapons” within the days of Kristallnacht – the ‘night of broken glass’ – when stormtroopers attacked synagogues and Jews throughout Germany,” he wrote;
– Firearms registration lists were used to identify (and persecute) gun owners (bear in mind that a New York newspaper just published the names and addresses of legal handgun permit holders after obtaining them via a Freedom of Information Act request, because permit holders by the very nature of obtaining the permit had to be registered [http://www.naturalnews.com/038479_gun_owners_New_York_newspaper.html]).
Let’s compare these Nazi-era gun control requirements to what Feinstein is proposing. As posted on her Senate website, her legislation would:
– Ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacture of 120 specifically-named firearms;
– “Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics;”
– “Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds;”
– Require that currently owned weapons that would be grandfathered in nevertheless be registered under the National Firearms Act;
– Require a background check of any owner and/or transferee;
– Provide the government with the type and serial number of the weapon;
– Require a photograph and fingerprint to be on file with the government;
– “Dedicated funding for [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] to implement registration” of firearms (keep in mind the BATF is the federal agency responsible for launching “Operation Fast and Furious,” in which federal agents supplied thousands of weapons Feinstein wants to ban to Mexican drug gangs, several of which have since been tied to the murders of Mexican citizens and U.S. federal agents [http://www.naturalnews.com]).
What we’ve seen before, we may see again
It doesn’t take a genius (or conspiracy theorist) to figure out the parallels between Nazi gun control laws and some of the same provisions being pushed by Feinstein. Understanding that our country is not a totalitarian state (yet), Feinstein and other gun-controllers like President Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others all know they have to take a longer, more measured approach to disarming the U.S. public, that they can’t just mandate it overnight.
But make no mistake, new gun control laws like those being proposed are nothing more than rehashed mandates dredged up from the past, with similar intentions: To make political opponents and the masses less powerful and less able to resist.