The National Rifle Association fights hard to defend the rights of American gun owners, but one Washington state lobbyist has caused quite a stir for making questionable comments about the red tape required to purchase a firearm. Brian Judy is fiercely opposed to Washington’s rumored proposal that all gun owners must go through a background check in order to purchase a firearm. One of the background check proposal’s most outspoken supporters is Jewish and Judy told opponents that the man was “stupid” because the proposed registration process is basically the same as Hitler requiring Nazi tattoos for Jews during the Holocaust.
Witnesses reported that Judy mocked the Jews in support of the new background check proposal, calling them unintelligent. But he mainly targeted the primary Jewish supporter with his most shocking comments. “He’s put half-a-million dollars towards this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of German by the Nazis,” he remarked.
While many cringed at his insensitive remarks, Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and the acting chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is defending Judy. “I don’t see anything wrong with those remarks,” he told reporters. Gottlieb is also a Jew, but he doesn’t feel that Judy had any anti-Semitic motives. “I mean it’s a historical fact that Adolf Hitler registered people’s firearms and then confiscated them,” he explained.
Gottlieb said that Judy was sympathizing with the Jews more than anything. “Gun owners don’t like the idea that Jewish people had to have, you know, numbers tattooed and registered on their arms. They don’t like the fact that they have gun owners that get registered either.”
Alex Seitz-Walk, a former reporter for Salon, has previously attacked the NRA and right wing media for spreading stories about Adolf Hitler collecting guns. “The notion that Hitler confiscated everyone’s guns is mostly bogus. And the ancillary claim that Jews could have stopped the Holocaust with more guns doesn’t make any sense at all if you think about it or more than a minute,” he said.
So who is telling the truth? A look back at historical records shows that Hitler did actually confiscate guns, but the real problem began long before the Holocaust when Germany’s Weimar Republic instituted gun registration in the 1920’s. Just a short time later in 1933, Hitler took control of Germany and used those registration records to disarm and attack Jews and other political enemies of his regime. In 1938, Hitler signed an official Gun Control Act. Jews were not allowed to work in the firearms industry and .22 caliber ammunition was banned. German Jews were ordered to surrender their guns and after the Jews were adequately disarmed, Hitler made his move on the historic Night of the Broken Glass.
In the midst of the horrors of the Holocaust, SS Chief Heirich Himmler ordered any Jew possessing a firearm to serve 20 years in a concentration camp. Soldiers confiscation every weapon imaginable, rounding old revolvers and even bayonets from World War I. These events are well supported through historic documentation and were even covered by American news outlets.
For many years, opponents of gun registration have pointed to Hitler as a good example of why it’s a bad idea to collect the information on gun owners. Even with the best of intentions, those records could be catastrophic if they fall into the wrong hands. This is likely the sentiment that Brian Judy was hoping to express in his remarks about the background check proposal, but his choice of words left many offended.
Do you think that Judy was out of line in his comments or did he have a legitimate point?