It’s been almost two weeks since the audio of National Rifle Association lobbyist Brian Judy went viral, drawing broad condemnation of his comments equating universal background checks to Nazi Germany, and calling Jews “stupid” for supporting Initiative 594. “These people,” exclaims Judy, “you come to this country and you support gun control? … Hello! Is anybody home here?”
So far, neither Judy nor the NRA have had the balls to give an official response. But on her Facebook page, Judy’s co-speaker at the July 23 event, NRA campaign field representative Adina Hicks, has come to his defense, lauding Judy for “speaking the truth and giving a history lesson.”
Hicks herself has a prior history of buying into the NRA’s bullshit “background checks equals Hitler” meme. Introducing herself in a forum on WaGuns.org, Hicks wrote: “When I found out about [I-594] and read the initiative, my first thought was Nazi Germany, Hitler’s gun registration and eventual confiscation.” Because, of course, having to fill out a form to purchase a gun is the moral equivalent of the Holocaust.
But then, that’s the sort of sharp legal reading of I-594 that you’d expect from a disbarred attorney. Adina Hicks is actually registered to vote as Adina Atwood, who was disbarred in 2004 for “multiple acts of misconduct” including abandoning clients and failing to return their fees. Not sure what the circumstances are surrounding her name change, but it seems to be recent, as both names appear on NRA websites, but with the same phone number.
The point the “I-594 equals Hitler” crowd is making is that the Nazis used gun registration records to disarm the Jews, leaving them unable to defend themselves from the state. Which is both a perversion of history, and downright offensive.
First of all, it was the Weimar government that instituted tight gun registration laws after World War I, not the Nazis; Hitler actually loosened gun control laws for everybody but the Jews. The eventual confiscation of the few guns held by German Jews wasn’t an act of gun control as much as it was an act of anti-Semitism. Big difference. And to characterize it as anything but anti-Semitism is insulting.
Second, the very suggestion that disarming the Jews was a significant event on the timeline to the Holocaust is blame-the-victim historical revisionism of the worst kind. Forty-two million well-armed Frenchmen just rolled over in the face of the German blitzkrieg, as did 35 million Poles and much of the rest of Europe. The very idea that Germany’s 500,000 Jews—about 0.75 percent of the population—armed with handguns and hunting rifles, could have defended themselves against the Nazi regime is downright crazy!
Besides, German Jews represented only a fraction of the estimated 6 million European Jews the Nazis exterminated. So to argue that Nazi gun control laws led to the Holocaust is tantamount to arguing that all the horrors of World War II could have been avoided if only German Jewry had the guns and the balls to defend themselves. It is an argument that if taken to its logical conclusion essentially blames World War II on the Jews!
And finally, whatever their logic or their twisted view of history, what the likes of Hicks and Judy refuse to acknowledge is that the “I-594 is Hitler” equation is transitive. I-594 merely requires filling out some paperwork before purchasing a gun. So if I-594 equals the Holocaust, then the Holocaust must equal paperwork. Thus to rhetorically equate I-594 with the Holocaust is to equate the genocide of European Jewry with a mere inconvenience.
I don’t know if Hicks and Judy just lack the empathy to understand why Jews might find this over-the-top rhetoric offensive, or if they just don’t care?