Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Hitler's 1938 laws greatly expanded access to firearms for nearly everyone.

   There were several responses to my blog yesterday about Adolf Hitler's policies toward gun control.

   I should clarify what Hitler did about guns. In 1938, the Third Reich enacted new gun laws. They superseded  a restrictive 1928 enactment by the Weimar Republic. The Third Reich's new laws prohibited Jews and enemies of the state from possession of firearms. So Paul Ogden's reference to Hitler's comments about keeping guns from certain segments of society is correct. The ability of everyone else to obtain firearms, on the other hand, was expanded. Restrictions on sales of guns and ammunition were loosened. Gun permits were extended from one to three years for nearly everyone. Hunters and members of the National Socialist Party were given greater latitude to acquire and possess firearms as well, but the ability to own guns was greatly expanded. (As for Mr. Ogden's implication that Professor Harcourt spews nonsense, I would point out the professor addressed an "irony," and others have found that irony worthy of quotation.) 

   One comment from yesterday had to do with the confiscation of guns from Jews in 1938. The time for people to have fought back against Hitler was long before 1938. An important point to remember is that Hitler won at the ballot box. He won in part through the help of the "brown shirts"---the leadership of which later was dispatched on the Night of the Long Knives---and their thuggery. Hitler's folks (or volken) fought it out with the Communists, with fists and clubs and guns. The economy had tanked and a plurality of Germans wanted a "strong" leader. By 1938, the Nuremberg Laws had been in effect for several years. Given Hitler's general popularity at that time, and the authority he wielded as a result coupled with the power of being Fuehrer, if "enemies of the state" had possessed guns, they would have been mown down.

   Our Show on Saturday will be about guns. At this time we lack a venue for our broadcast. Unfortunately, the Indiana State Fairgrounds requires a policy of insurance of Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00) for liability for a gathering, such as ours, in which we would discuss the Second Amendment, efforts to enact restrictions on sale and possession of firearms, and related topics. The State Fairgrounds person was very helpful in arranging space to rent outside the building where the Gun Show is to be held. Unfortunately, the price of rent combined with the cost of the premium for the four (4) hours we would occupy the space (time to set up, do The Show, and pack all the gear up to leave) would have been greater than I can afford. We shall seek a new space for this very important conversation.  

   Wherever we find a venue, Saturday at 11 a.m. we will air "live" on Indiana Talks, on Live365.

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Comment by Bill Thompson on January 15, 2013 at 1:34pm

I neglected to mention Hitler's disarmament of certain sectors of the population, and where that led. Hitler disarmed the Jews and then did his best to kill them all. Totalitarianism depends on a disarmed populace...even in the US in a manner of speaking, as much of Chicago's anti-gun zealotry stems from the Mafia's desire for an unarmed "playing field".

Totalitarianism, fascism, and anything close to it, depends on an unarmed populace, so that the State may ignore the rule of law as it pursues its goals. The rule of law in Illinois is its constitution, which says:

"Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

But many Democrats, including Mr Obama, don't believe an individual has the right to possess a weapon, even inside one's home to be used for self-defense. In other words, the clear language of the Illinois Constitution carries no weight with the State.

Comment by Bill Thompson on January 15, 2013 at 1:26pm

You make two points, one of which I suggest is misleading, the other bears further analysis:

1) The availability of guns to civilians in Nazi Germany is clouded by misquotes and present-day opinion. I accept your premise regarding the availability of guns under Hitler. The misleading aspect I suggest is that the German authorities (military and police) were much more powerful in terms of weapons and latitude, so civilian access to guns didn't constitute much of a threat. Anecdotes prove little, but I'll offer one anyway - in the early 1940's my now mother-in-law was a young girl living in a small town in Germany where a peeping-tom was discovered. The police executed the man on site.

2) Why would the State Fair Board require a $5 million policy to have basically, a small meeting at the Fairgrounds ? Seems oppressive. Could you do it under the aegis of the gun show ?

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on January 15, 2013 at 8:55am

Trying to smear people people's character by some made up association is not "irony," it is McCarthyism.  One would think a college professor would be above that.

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