Perhaps the single most cherished myth floating around Gun-nut Nation is the idea that gun registration has always led to gun confiscation which then leaves citizens defenseless, allowing dictators like Hitler and Stalin to impose tyrannical rule. It’s a myth usually referred to as the ‘slippery slope,’ and it briefly appeared in last week’s Congressional hearing when Andy Harris (R-MD) asked the panel whether they supported national gun registration, and all three gun-control ‘experts’ said or mumbled ‘no.’ Had any of them – Morral, Stewart, Webster – been honest enough to respond to Harris’ question without first measuring their answers against what they believe is the politically-correct point of view, a national audience might have learned that the ‘slippery-slope’ argument has no basis in history or truth at all. So much for how we can rely on the practitioners of evidence-based gun research to align their advocacy with the facts.
The slippery-slope fantasy was most recently in full display when Alaska’s long-time Congressman, Don Young, told an audience last year that the Holocaust happened because Hitler had disarmed the Jews. You can’t really blame Young for saying something that dumb; after all, the Republican Party briefly flirted with the idea in 2016 of running a Presidential candidate named Ben Carson who said exactly the same thing.
If you think, by the way, that the murder of six million ‘defenseless’ Jews was originally the handiwork of some nut-job, far-Right conspiracy theorist like Alex Jones, think again. In fact, the argument can be found in a detailed, scholarly work by Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who argues many 2nd-Amendment cases for the NRA. In this book, Halbrook argues that the Nazi Regime used the gun-control laws previously passed by the Weimar Government to identify and disarm domestic ‘enemies’ like Jews and Communists, thus making it easier to consolidate fascism which led to both the Holocaust and World War II.
Granted, the Nazis made full use of gun-control lists compiled by the Weimar Government after they took power in 1933. But what prompted the Weimar Government to institute a gun-control system in the first place were threats against the government’s authority posed by widespread political agitation from the Left, largely the handiwork of Germany’s Communist Party, which happened to enroll substantial numbers of Jews.
Where Holbrook’s argument falls apart and the myth of an ‘armed citizenry’ as representing the first bulwark of protection against tyranny collapses as well, lies in the fact that the Weimar Government made no effort to disarm the Nazi Party’s street militia, known as the SA, which Hitler formed in 1921. Over the next 12 years, the SA became increasingly violent in its attacks on opponents. By 1931, its 400,000 members, mostly otherwise unemployed street thugs, were engaged in armed battles with government authorities, as well as committing physical assaults on political opponents and Jews.
The point is that the SA armed itself not as a defense against tyranny, but as part of the Nazi strategy designed to create widespread distrust and anger against a democratic state. The disarming of the Left after 1933 wasn’t a slippery-slope at all. The Nazis imposed a military dictatorship with the support of the army and the help of a trained, armed and organized citizen’s militia known as the SA.
Funny, but the only time the NRA and its apologists like Holbrook get concerned about protecting America from government tyranny is when the government happens to be in the hands of the gun-grabbing, tree-hugging liberals who most recently staged a coup d’état and took over what had previously been a bastion of freedom, a.k.a. the House of Representatives, on November 6, 2018. And worse, now they are trying to extend their coup by running a ‘legally-elected’ President out of town.
The only thing which will stop this mad power-grab are the patriots who stand fast with their God-given AR-15s to protect us from the tyrannical, liberal elite. They did it at Lexington and Concord, they can do it again.