Last week, Conservative MP Larry Miller, compared support for the gun registry to Adolf Hitler and his apparent disarming of Germans.
Most people were shocked but they shouldn't have been. The NRA uses this argument all the time and before they pried the gun from his "cold, dead hands", Charlton Heston declared: "Any of the monsters of modern history such as Hitler and Stalin-confiscated privately held firearms as their first act." Wayne R. LaPierre, the current executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NRA, similarly highlights the link between gun registration, confiscation, and the German experience." (1)
Miller uses his NRA material to challenge the statement that the conservative movement is determined to socially re-engineer Canadians. Maybe instead of reading the American Rifleman, Miller should read a bit of history on his boss. Tom Flanagan claimed that Stephen Harper wrote the Reform Party's policies on guns and only stopped short at calling it "a right to bear arms".
Scrapping the gun registry is being seen by the gun lobby as only an important first step. They firmly believe that if we all carried guns there would be less crime.
I watched an interesting documentary Gun Fight, and in it Diane Sawyer, after receiving so many emails that if students could carry guns the Virginia Tech tragedy would never have happened, she challenged gun enthusiasts to prove it.
Recreating the scene, when the gunman came into view, those involved couldn't even get their weapons out in time. The shooter had the element of surprise. Had others been armed, I think there would have simply been more deaths.
Miller claims that his comments were taken out of context, but I'm curious just how he would like us to take them.
Then of course, Ezra Levant, tiring of performing his impersonation of an owl on crack, for Sun TV, decided to pen (type, scratch?) his support for Miller. Under the heading: Censoring Hitler — and the Past, he gives one of the most convoluted history lessons, using not only gun control, but free speech and concern for human rights; as ingredients for a return to Nazi tyranny.
However, Levant does not blame Hitler, but "do-gooders" and the Treaty of Versailles.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1918 and covered military disarmament. The gun control law was passed a decade later, in 1928, by the Weimar Republic, to deal with the civil unrest after the war.
The Weimar government was attempting to bring some stability to German society and politics. Violent extremist movements of both the Left and Right, were actively attacking the young, and very fragile, democratic state. A government that cannot maintain some degree of public order cannot sustain its legitimacy ... Gun control was not initiated at the behest or on behalf of the Nazis - it was in fact designed to keep them, or others of the same ilk, from executing a revolution against the lawful government. In the strictest sense, the law succeeded - the Nazis did not stage an armed coup. (2)In 1938, the Nazis extended the gun control act, but by then they were firmly in control of Germany.
Levant's claim that attempts to silence Hitler had created the volatile anti-Jewish movement, are just as inaccurate. I've written of this before. It was actually the fact that the courts continued to rule in his favour, that accelerated the hatred and emboldened the Brown Shirts.
Sun media may be in dire need of a fact checker, but they also need a little reality check. Levant's verbal attack on Irwin Cotler is not only unfair but untrue.
Mr. Cotler is a well respected human rights lawyer, who can count amoung his clients, Nelson Mandela, Jacobo Timmerman and Muchtar Pakpahan. Cotler also represented Natan Sharansky, who was imprisoned in the Soviet gulag for Jewish activism. After his release, Sharansky went on to become the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister. (3)
Ezra Levant sings to the choir of the deaf on his television program, and now attempts to write for the wilfully blind.
As for Miller, he's obviously auditioning for a spot on the Friends of the NRA television program. Maybe Winchester will throw a few bucks his way too.
1. CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON GUN REGISTRATION, THE NRA, ADOLF HITLER, AND NAZI GUN LAWS: EXPLODING THE GUN CULTURE WARS (A CALL TO HISTORIANS), by Bernard E. Harcourt, Fordham Law Review, Volume 73, Issue 2, Article 11, January 1, 2004
2. The Myth of Nazi Gun Control, by N. A. Brown, GunCite, July 21, 2001