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Thread: If Only We Were Armed

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    'If Only We Were Armed Before'



    One R. Lane wrote in on March 31:


    "After reading his March 23 diatribe, it is clear to me that Review-Journal columnist Vin Suprynowicz has not yet learned the obvious: The more handguns a country has in circulation, the more handgun deaths that country is going to get – not less.

    "The United States has some 200 million handguns in circulation, and the highest handgun death rate (per 100,000 population) of any industrialized nation, with the possible exception of Brazil. Japan has the fewest number of handguns in circulation and the lowest handgun death rate per 100,000.

    "If all these guns make us safer, we should be the safest nation on earth."
    Thus endeth R. Lane's succinct submission.

    Wow. This really simplifies the question, doesn't it? All we have to do is look to see if we can find any historic examples where a government has banned access to handguns for a sizeable portion of the population, and see what that did to handgun death rates among that population.

    And you know what? It turns out R. Lane is correct!

    Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the forward-thinking German "Weimar" republic effectively banned firearms possession by just about anyone but the military, the government police, and the ruling "Junker" class, members of whom were allowed to keep their fancy hunting rifles.

    The ban was particularly effective among the ethnic minorities, such as the Jews.

    Was this effective in keeping the Jews from killing each other with handguns? Yes!

    Later, when millions of Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald to be exterminated – despite the fact that on some mornings the other prisoners were each given water and a piece of bread, while the Jewish prisoners were not allowed to either eat or drink – did the Jews kill anyone with a handgun in order to get some food or water to keep themselves or their loved ones from starving. No! They couldn't, because they had no handguns!

    You see how well that works?

    Now, some troublemakers may point out they pretty much all died early and violent deaths anyway, so the manner in which they died – the fact that they died of starvation, or by being gassed in the extermination chambers, or being shot with rifle bullets – isn't really as important as the fact that they might have defended themselves and avoided being loaded on the trains to the death camps if they'd had handguns.

    But that's hardly the point at issue, is it? Besides, what are you saying: That they should have disobeyed the lawful orders of the duly constituted authorities?

    The government took away their handguns, and – just as R. Lane predicted we'd find – their rate of handgun deaths dropped to almost nothing.

    Or did it? At http://www.jpfo.org, Aaron Zelman, head of the civil rights organization Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, interviews Holocaust survivor Theodore Haas, who, as it turns out, managed to get himself shot with a handgun while at Dachau – more than once – despite the ban.

    "Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times. Were these experiments, punishment or torture?

    "A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted while the brain was not in gear. The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees. Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the slugs out."

    But this, as R. Lane would doubtless point out, is "the exception that proves the rule." In contrast, look at the trouble that was caused when a few surviving Jews in the Warsaw ghetto were allowed to lay hands on a few handguns on April 19, 1943 (a date which Janet Reno decided to commemorate 50 years later by gassing and incinerating a bunch of our own innocent women and babies in a church at Waco, Texas for daring to possess perfectly legal firearms).

    Those Polish Jews used those handguns to kill Nazi-sympathizing Ukrainian guards and take away their rifles. Then, with this slight increase in armament, they were able to hold German Wehrmacht forces at bay for weeks, tying up units that were badly needed by Hitler on the Russian front.

    Surely we can all agree that was a bad thing. How much better it would have been had those desperate Jews not been able to get their hands on even a few handguns. Why, maybe then they would have marched peacefully onto the trains to the death camps, sparing everyone a whole lot of trouble.

    We return to my friend Aaron Zelman's interview with concentration camp survivor Theodore Haas:

    "Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, 'If only we were armed before, we would not be here now'?

    "A.) Many, many times. Before Adolf Hitler came to power, there was a black market in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were. ...

    "There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not 'brainwashed' about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitler's thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half-starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis."

    Thus ends the interview with Theodore Haas.

    Other population groups who saw their rates of death by handgun bullets reduced after handgun bans included the prosperous Ukrainian farmers under Stalin in the 1930s, and just about everyone under Mao Tse-Tung in China after 1949, and under Pol Pot in Cambodia a few decades later. See these fine "progressive" leaders' proud death tolls at the "Gun Control Hall of Fame." But not from handguns!

    So now we have some hard, historical examples of the kind of peaceful paradise that victim disarmament statists like R. Lane have in mind for us.

    Personally, I don't think aiming to be the "safest" nation on Earth is shooting very high. I'd much prefer to live in "the freest and safest" nation on earth. And this was indeed the freest and safest nation on earth, R. Lane (possibly tied with equally well-armed Switzerland) – from 1782 to about 1912, back when we were also the best-armed nation on earth.

    (De Tocqueville was astonished to find a single woman could travel the length of the Mississippi unmolested in the 1830s; few Americans even locked their doors.)

    Since then, crime has indeed crept upward, along with a lot of other infringements on our freedoms, our happiness and our prosperity.

    What has changed since 1913 that might help us explain that? Can any of you "progressives" out there help me, here?









    April 18, 2008


    Vin Suprynowicz [send him mail
    ] is assistant editorial page editor of the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal and author of The Black Arrow.


    Copyright © 2008 Vin Suprynowicz



  2. #2
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    Good piece, though I wish that examples other than Jews in WWII were used. The situation unfortunately highlights the point perfectly, but I tend to think it invokes a Godwin's Law response in many people.

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    Sad but true. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

    I first read this on a wall in the HolocauseMuseum in DC and was immediately moved becausefailing to learn the lessons of history, we are indeed repeating it asthe verse still rings true today:


    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    - Pastor Martin Niemöller

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    Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote:
    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.
    That should be posted for all the gun owners who are cheering for the persecution of immigrants, atheists, homosexuals, "liberals" (whatever that means anymore), Arabs, and recreational drug users. Or for those who think it's cool and patriotic to be as politically incorrect as possible: lazy job-stealing Spanish-speakers, godless pagans who dance around murdered virgins, family-destroying queer child molesters, the mortal enemies of "true Americans" for reasons that can't be remembered, terrorists in training, and evil animals who tie down schoolchildren and inject them with heroin, respectively.

    Note that I'm not saying that all of those biases exist in all gun owners, but most of the biases exist in most gun owners, from my experience of reading pro-gun forums. The point is, a tyrannical government eventually gets around to exerting its tyranny on everyone, so we gun owners need to work with oppressed minority groups instead of trying to get rid of them.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    The point is, a tyrannical government eventually gets around to exerting its tyranny on everyone, so we gun owners need to work with oppressed minority groups instead of trying to get rid of them.
    +1

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Good piece, though I wish that examples other than Jews in WWII were used. The situation unfortunately highlights the point perfectly, but I tend to think it invokes a Godwin's Law response in many people.
    Sometimes, Godwin's Law has to be ignored. Certainly overusing the fate of Holocaust victims in arguments weakens the impact of it, but it is what is is: one of the finest examples of tyranny in modern times.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    That should be posted for all the gun owners who are cheering for the persecution of immigrants, atheists, homosexuals, "liberals" (whatever that means anymore), Arabs, and recreational drug users. Or for those who think it's cool and patriotic to be as politically incorrect as possible: lazy job-stealing Spanish-speakers, godless pagans who dance around murdered virgins, family-destroying queer child molesters, the mortal enemies of "true Americans" for reasons that can't be remembered, terrorists in training, and evil animals who tie down schoolchildren and inject them with heroin, respectively.

    Note that I'm not saying that all of those biases exist in all gun owners, but most of the biases exist in most gun owners, from my experience of reading pro-gun forums. The point is, a tyrannical government eventually gets around to exerting its tyranny on everyone, so we gun owners need to work with oppressed minority groups instead of trying to get rid of them.
    We should not persecute anyone, but we should prosecute "illegal" immigrants!

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    lockman wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    That should be posted for all the gun owners who are cheering for the persecution of immigrants, atheists, homosexuals, "liberals" (whatever that means anymore), Arabs, and recreational drug users. Or for those who think it's cool and patriotic to be as politically incorrect as possible: lazy job-stealing Spanish-speakers, godless pagans who dance around murdered virgins, family-destroying queer child molesters, the mortal enemies of "true Americans" for reasons that can't be remembered, terrorists in training, and evil animals who tie down schoolchildren and inject them with heroin, respectively.

    Note that I'm not saying that all of those biases exist in all gun owners, but most of the biases exist in most gun owners, from my experience of reading pro-gun forums. The point is, a tyrannical government eventually gets around to exerting its tyranny on everyone, so we gun owners need to work with oppressed minority groups instead of trying to get rid of them.
    We should not persecute anyone, but we should prosecute "illegal" immigrants!
    Just like how the BATFE should prosecute "illegal" guns and gun owners?

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    lockman wrote:
    We should not persecute anyone, but we should prosecute "illegal" immigrants!
    We should? Meaning we don't?

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    swillden wrote:
    lockman wrote:
    We should not persecute anyone, but we should prosecute "illegal" immigrants!
    We should? Meaning we don't?
    Is this a serious question?

    If it is, then technically, yes..., we do prosecute. However, not nearly to the extent that we are obligated to and catching, preventing, etc. the illegals from sprinting across our bordersis where the real problem lies. It's a joke.

    We helpprotect the borders of other nations better than we do our own.

    Article IV section IV of the constitution is being violated daily.
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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