Gun supporters use of Nazi, Hitler references irritates historiansHistorians in the News
tags: Nazis, guns, gun control, AP, Adolf Hitler
When the president of Ohio's state school board posted her opposition to gun control, she used a powerful symbol to make her point: a picture of Adolf Hitler. When a well-known conservative commentator decried efforts to restrict guns, he argued that if only Jews in Poland had been better armed, many more would have survived the Holocaust.
In the months since the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, some gun rights supporters have repeatedly compared U.S. gun control efforts to Nazi restrictions on firearms, arguing that limiting weapons ownership could leave Americans defenseless against homegrown tyrants.
But some experts say that argument distorts a complex and contrary history. In reality, scholars say, Hitler loosened the tight gun laws that governed Germany after World War I, even as he barred Jews from owning weapons and moved to confiscate them.
Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control, and lived under a dictatorship commanding overwhelming public support and military might, historians say. While it doesn't fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, the truth is that for all Hitler's unquestionably evil acts, his firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews' very tenuous odds of survival....
comments powered by Disqus
- Berlin's street names provoke debate over forgotten colonial history
- 'World's first newspaper published in Korea in 1557'
- Trump’s claim that ‘no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days’
- Trump parroted Chinese version of history
- Museum of the American Revolution opens: 'It's high time we had a museum such as this'
- David McCullough: President Trump's Disregard for History Is 'Utter Nonsense'
- Professor uses role-playing, video game to teach history
- American Historical Review apology prompts soul-searching over racial gatekeeping in the academe
- Professor who tweeted Trump 'must hang' goes on leave for semester
- Jonathan Zimmerman is joining the growing ranks of liberal historians alarmed by college speech codes