Twelve Million Cold, Dead Hands

 

On Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson sat for an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer (the relevant exchange begins at 6:48):

Carson’s views were quickly highlighted (and distorted) by liberal media, with headlines such as:

  • “Ben Carson Says Guns May Have Stopped Holocaust” [BBC]
  • “Ben Carson Suggests Holocaust Would Have Been Less Likely If Jews Were Armed” [ABC]
  • “Ben Carson Blames Holocaust On Gun Control” [Huffington Post]
  • “Ben Carson Says Holocaust Would Have Been  ‘Greatly Diminished’ if Jews Had Guns” [TIME]
  • “Ben Carson Suggests Holocaust Might Have Been Stopped If Jewish People Had Guns” [The Independent]
  • “Ben Carson Says Gun Control To Blame For Holocaust” [Telegraph]

The Anti-Defamation League also weighed in. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

Maybe not. But I once met a German Holocaust survivor who said that his biggest regret was that he complied with the law when Jewish gun ownership was outlawed. Never, he said, would he go unarmed again.

Survivors who migrated to Palestine shared this sentiment. Syrian Arab attacks on Jewish settlements prompted the formation of the Jewish self-defense league, or Haganah, which evolved into the modern-day Israel Defense Forces. Palestinian Jews would seek peace, but if necessary, they would defend themselves — with guns. This ethos is central to the modern State of Israel.

Today Israel finds itself in a new wave of Palestinian Arab terrorism. Hour by hour, there is news across the country of murders and attempted murders with guns, with stones, with  firebombs, with knives, with screwdrivers, with vegetable peelers. In many cases, security personnel with guns were nearby and were able to respond quickly. In others, responses were longer in coming.

It’s important to note, though, that Israeli notions of self-defense have been collective rather than individual. To own a gun for self-defense, Jewish Israelis must meet strict permitting requirements, which include a demonstration of need. Anyone granted a permit is allowed only a single firearm. So it’s noteworthy that Israeli attitudes may be changing. Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem — who tackled a terrorist himself earlier this year — is encouraging Jewish residents of his city with permits to carry their weapons all the time. “One advantage that Israel has is that there are quite a few ex-members of military units with operational combat experience…. Possessing weapons increases the confidence of residents, who know that in addition to police there are many people who are not afraid to intervene. If we look at the statistics in Jerusalem and elsewhere, we see that aside from the police, civilians carrying weapons have foiled terror attacks. They will increase the likelihood of fast intervention.”

This proactive approach security has a respectable pedigree in Jewish history and theology. “If one comes to kill you, arise and kill him first,” exhorts the Talmud (BT Sanhedrin 72a), and gives examples of rabbis who did just that (BT Berakhot 58a). The rabbinic tradition understands — as did the authors of the Declaration of Independence — that we are all born with God-given rights to life and liberty. And moreover, that those rights are meaningless without the further right to forcibly resist those who seek to murder or enslave us. None of us, Jew or gentile, is required to be a victim.

Ben Carson, in his defense of gun rights, appears to understand this well. Unfortunately, the elites at the heights of journalism, government, and culture — our President among them — appear not to. Perhaps someday they will learn. In the meantime, those of us who truly value freedom will continue to cling to our guns and defend our right to keep them. Because without them, the phrase “Never again” is not much more than an empty slogan.

Published in Guns, History
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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Son of Spengler: Perhaps someday they will learn.

    Good article.

    It’s not a question of “learning,” though.  They already know.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The first thing you do to control the people is take away their guns. This has been done over and over again.

    • #2
  3. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Son of Spengler: None of us, Jew or gentile, is required to be a victim.

    Amen. Great post.

    The Left have predictably turned his words around. With that said, as a politician, I would never use a Holocaust analogy. It never ends well.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    However, we are not dealing with true rational thought on the other side.

    • #4
  5. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I actually agree with at least some of those distorted headlines, for example, the one from ABC.

    • #5
  6. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    ABC called his comments “bizarre”.

    The Jews in Warsaw held off the Nazi’s for days.  Just think what they could have done if they were armed.  Sure the military would have eventually ruled, but if the people were armed, how many would have escaped to other countries, and thus escaped death and torture in the camps.

    It is impossible to say what difference guns would have made, but it is not “bizarre” to think they would have made a significant difference.

    Think about it.  Do you think it would be possible for an army to come into a community in the U.S. and start loading people into cattle cars?  The army would always be on the defense, and no soldier could ever feel safe walking down a street.   It would be vastly different than Poland in 1940.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The no-guns-for-anyone attitude on the left has been a complete mystery to me for years. I just don’t understand it. It is illogical on every level.

    When the Left disarms the Secret Service and the Capitol Hill Police, maybe I’ll listen. Until then, . . .

    • #7
  8. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    Trying to turn Dr. Carson into some kind of extremest, just makes these people look like bigoted, partisan fools.   This is nothing new for Blitzer.

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    David Sussman:

    Son of Spengler: None of us, Jew or gentile, is required to be a victim.

    Amen. Great post.

    The Left have predictably turned his words around. With that said, as a politician, I would never use a Holocaust analogy. It never ends well.

    I am a big fan of Dr. Carson. But on the dumb-things-to-say meter, this was one of the dumbest. :)

    • #9
  10. Solon JF Inactive
    Solon JF
    @Solon

    The more Carson annoys the left-wing media, the more I like him.

    Mr. Carson, not the Daily Show, is the one who is truly waging a war on BS.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I agree with Dr. Carson’s point in that guns would have helped more Jews escape–being able to kill a few individuals on their way out of Germany. However, more guns would probably not have helped as the Nazis got going–they went after children and old people.

    The Nazis killed everyone who disagreed with them. Then they took their money and possessions.

    That’s how they went so fast through Germany and then Europe.

    The only way to have defeated the Germans was with a stronger, bigger, and more deadly military. Personal defense weapons would have been insufficient.

    PS: I just had a great thought. In the Orwellian world we live in, how about we rename guns “PDWs”–personal defense weapons? The socialist-Democrats would love the acronym doublespeak. This could work. :)

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    MarciN:The no-guns-for-anyone attitude on the left has been a complete mystery to me for years. I just don’t understand it. It is illogical on every level.

    When the Left disarms the Secret Service and the Capitol Hill Police, maybe I’ll listen. Until then, . . .

    It makes perfect sense. Disarm, then rule.

    Edited to add comma

    • #12
  13. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    I would like just for fun for Dr. Carson to play the race card. “You are misunderstanding me because I am black. You are doing this on purpose because you want to keep a 100 % black man down. As long as someone is half white, from Hawaii, and Ivy League educated you give them a pass. This nothing more than a high-tech lynching.” He wouldn’t do it but it would be fun to watch these “news people” head for cover.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    MarciN:The no-guns-for-anyone attitude on the left has been a complete mystery to me for years. I just don’t understand it. It is illogical on every level.

    When the Left disarms the Secret Service and the Capitol Hill Police, maybe I’ll listen. Until then, . . .

    It makes perfect sense. Disarm then rule.

    Yup. That’s how jaded me sees it. Typical tyrants.

    Of course, that’s totally paranoid. :)

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    10 cents:I would like just for fun for Dr. Carson to play the race card. “You are misunderstanding me because I am black. You are doing this on purpose because you want to keep a 100 % black man down. As long as someone is half white, from Hawaii, and Ivy League educated you give them a pass. This nothing more than a high-tech lynching.” He wouldn’t do it but it would be fun to watch these “news people” head for cover.

    Awesome.

    Please let him do this.

    You need to be his adviser. :)

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MarciN: Of course, that’s totally paranoid. :)

    The three stages of paranoia:

    1. They’re out to get me!
    2. I may be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.
    3. The paranoids are out to get me!
    • #16
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    And it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Arahant:And it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

    And that’s exactly how I feel about the socialist-Democrats these days. :)

    • #18
  19. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Arahant:And it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

    Arahant,

    You just wish someone was thinking about you, right?

    • #19
  20. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    It’s so interesting how weighted some of those headlines are.  “Carson blames holocaust on gun control,” is not even attempting to be honest about what his comments actually were.  He is absolutely correct about the point of our second amendment, which is to protect us against the possibility of a hostile government.  However cliche it is to mention the holocaust (a point I made a few podcasts ago regarding abortion), sometimes the analogy is 100% correct.  There is nothing wrong with mentioning the Nazis when you discuss government overreach, and his comments are spot on.

    • #20
  21. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    The twisting of words and the creation of scandalous headlines are both SOP for the Leftist media. They are so predictably biased that I automatically assume they are lying under proven otherwise.

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Hold on: I can do better than personal defense weapon (PDW):

    We should call it a “personal defense device” (PDD). That would absolutely work. We should do this. :)

    The problem is the language. We can win this one. :) They would think it was some kind of Apple App. :)

    • #22
  23. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Son of Spengler: The Anti-Defamation League also weighed in. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

    How many strawmen are here?

    1) Limiting it to Germany as noted above relative to the Warsaw Ghetto.

    2) Limiting the desired result to stopping  rather than slowing down or otherwise increasing the cost also as noted above.

    3) The bizarre chicken and egg reference to “available to”. Wasn’t Carson’s whole point that more should have been available? Or perhaps more Jews should have availed themselves of the right before the unavaliability arose.

    • #23
  24. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    ctlaw:

    Son of Spengler: The Anti-Defamation League also weighed in. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

    How many strawmen are here?

    1) Limiting it to Germany as noted above relative to the Warsaw Ghetto.

    2) Limiting the desired result to stopping rather than slowing down or otherwise increasing the cost also as noted above.

    3) The bizarre chicken and egg reference to “available to”. Wasn’t Carson’s whole point that more should have been available? Or perhaps more Jews should have availed themselves of the right before the unavaliability arose.

    Oh, CT.  Your mind will explode if you start thinking about things like that.

    • #24
  25. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN:The no-guns-for-anyone attitude on the left has been a complete mystery to me for years. I just don’t understand it. It is illogical on every level.

    Well, they don’t actually mean that. As we’ve seen, the elites will mouth support for gun control, but secretly have their own guns at the ready.

    They just don’t want you filthy proles having guns.

    • #25
  26. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Would be nice to hear, “Democrats favored gun restrictions in Reconstruction era South to disempower freedmen” rather than “Nazis.”

    Would be more shocking and thus more effective, while equally valid.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MarciN: The Nazis killed everyone who disagreed with them. Then they took their money and possessions.

    Not entirely true.

    There was a troublesome priest in one village, for example, who kept resisting them.  For example, he organized church youth programs when the Nazi government wanted them shut down. His bishop was a patriot who thought he should cooperate with the Nazi government, but he didn’t.

    The reason I know about this is that we’ve stayed at the B&B run by the author (a former Notre Dame history professor) who wrote about it, and I have read the book.  (The Nazi Impact on a German Village by Walt Rinderle.)  Walt has family ties to the village, which gave him access to oral history others could not have got.

    Walt goes back to visit from time to time and has raised money for a historic marker to honor the priest.  The part about the bishop was not in the book; I learned that by asking what his bishop thought about it.  Walt also pointed out that if the Nazis had won the war, they would have come and got this priest and killed him.

    The point is that resistance vs non-resistance, whether with or without guns, is not always so cut and dried as the GOPe would have us believe.  Determined people can make a difference.

    I greatly enjoy our stays at the B&B. I go bicycling by day and we sit and talk history evenings.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    10 cents: You just wish someone was thinking about you, right?

    I’m that predictable, eh?

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The Reticulator: The point is that resistance vs non-resistance, whether with or without guns, is not always so cut and dried as the GOPe would have us believe.  Determined people can make a difference.

    I’m sure that’s true. That sounds like a great book. I know there were pockets of brave and noble resistance throughout Germany.

    But I think we’re talking about numbers here and overwhelming force, which the Nazis eventually had. Those small pockets of resistance were simply not sufficient in any of the countries the Nazis took over.

    Which was my original point. Yes, guns would have saved a lot of individuals. Would private ownership of guns have been able to stop the Nazis and the Holocaust? I doubt it.

    Malcolm Gladwell’s “tipping point” comes to mind. Once that had been reached, nothing except an equal force would stop it.

    In the “gathering storm” before the war, everything that was happening to empower the Nazis was covert and hard to defeat.

    Hitler would have responded to hand gun-armed Jewish resistors with bombs. The first town would have sent the Nazis on their way, but not the second.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MarciN: Which was my original point. Yes, guns would have saved a lot of individuals. Would private ownership of guns have been able to stop the Nazis and the Holocaust? I doubt it.

    It’s hard to know precisely what difference it would have made.  We know that the Nazis feared private ownership of guns, and probably had good reason for it, just like the Soviets feared private ownership of guns in Vilnius, Lithuania when they were trying to keep their empire from falling.  If private guns would have made no difference, there would have been nothing for the governments to fear and no reason for them to try to confiscate them.

    • #30
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