“Joe the Plumber” is Samuel Wurzelbacher, the man who became famous during the 2008 presidential campaign when he questioned Barack Obama about his economic policies. He is currently running for Congress, as a Republican in Ohio. He is in the news because he blames Germany’s gun control laws for “the extermination of six million Jews and seven million others.” (I thought it was five million others.)
“In 1939, Germany established gun control,” he [Joe the Plumber] says. “From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” he says before ending the video by saying “I love America.”
Gun control opponents have long held that Adolf Hitler was able to seize power in Germany in part because of controls on firearms.
Hitler “was able to seize power”? I thought he was appointed Chancellor of Germany because he was the head of the political party that got the most votes in a democratic election. Could the Jews have prevented his appointment if they had been able to carry guns in 1933?
According to Joe the Plumber, the Jews had uncontrolled access to guns in 1933; he claims that there was no gun control until 1939.
I googled gun control in Germany and found this information:
In 1919 and 1920, to stabilize the country and in part to comply with the Treaty of Versailles, the German Weimar government passed very strict gun ownership restrictions. Article 169 of the Treaty of Versailles stated, “Within two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, German arms, munitions, and war material, including anti-aircraft material, existing in Germany in excess of the quantities allowed, must be surrendered to the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to be destroyed or rendered useless.”
In 1919, the German government passed the Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which declared that “all firearms, as well as all kinds of firearms ammunition, are to be surrendered immediately.” Under the regulations, anyone found in possession of a firearm or ammunition was subject to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 marks.
On August 7, 1920, the German government enacted a second gun-regulation law called the Law on the Disarmament of the People. It put into effect the provisions of the Versailles Treaty in regard to the limit on military-type weapons.
So it was the Weimar government of Germany that passed gun control laws, not Nazi Germany, and it was long before 1939.
This quote, from Wikipedia, is the most important information on gun control in Germany:
In 1928, the German government enacted the Law on Firearms and Ammunition. This law relaxed gun restrictions and put into effect a strict firearm licensing scheme. Under this scheme, Germans could possess firearms, but they were required to have separate permits to do the following: own or sell firearms, carry firearms (including handguns), manufacture firearms, and professionally deal in firearms and ammunition. This law explicitly revoked the 1919 Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which had banned all firearms possession.
The law that was passed in 1928 was superseded by a law passed in 1938, the year of Kristallnacht, when Jews were first sent to Dachau. This quote from Wikipedia explains it:
The 1938 German Weapons Act
The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. Furthermore, the law restricted ownership of firearms to “…persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit.” Under the new law:
Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.”
So in November 1938, the Jews had access to rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition. They could have attacked the Nazis on the night of Kristallnacht and taken over the German government. Why didn’t they?
The Jews, who were sent to Dachau and other Nazi camps in November 1938, were released after two weeks, but only on the condition that they leave Germany immediately. A few of the Jews, who were arrested after Kristallnacht, remained in Dachau for as long as 3 years before they were released, as late as 1941, according to Theodor Haas, a Dachau survivor who was among the Jews taken into “protective custody” on November 9, 1938. Those who remained at Dachau had been unable to find a country that would take them.
Haas had nightmares about the persecution he endured as a Jew in Nazi Germany. He survived the Holocaust only because he was released from Dachau in 1941, two years after World War II started, but before plans for the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” were made on January 20, 1942 at the Wannsee Conference. In February 1942, deportation of the Jews to the death camps, in what is now Poland, began.
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Theodore Haas, conducted by Aaron Zelman, founder of the organization called “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.” Haas was living in America and was a member of this organization at the time that he gave this interview several years ago.
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 Adolph 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. It truly frightens me to see how the government,
media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the
same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had
better start asking and demanding answers to some hard
questions about firearms ownership, especially if the
government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can
the people be expected to trust the government? 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.