Seattle, WA – The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility issued the following statement from Cheryl Stumbo, Initiative 594 citizen-sponsor and survivor of the Jewish Federation shooting in 2006, in response to the remarks of a senior National Rifle Association lobbyist that Initiative 594 and other measures to reduce gun violence are the same policies instituted in Nazi Germany and that led to the Holocaust:
“The offensive rhetoric from a senior lobbyist at the National Rifle Association is out-of-touch with what the vast majority of Washingtonians want: a reasonable, productive discussion of solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities. Developing those solutions has been a major part of my life since the attack on my co-workers and me eight years ago, and I am honored to have been joined by other survivors of gun violence, gun owners, hunters, law enforcement, and current and former NRA members. We’ve come together because Washington state needs everyone working together to be part of the solution to making our communities safer – and fringe ideas like Mr. Judy’s are part of the problem.”
In almost any other organization, offensive remarks like these from a public spokesman and lobbyist might prove a firing offense. But not the NRA. Because Mr. Judy’s “fringe ideas”—that gun control is both comparable to the Holocaust, and a devilish plot hatched by wealthy Jews—represent the mainstream of NRA thought.
UPDATE: The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has issued a statement calling for Mr. Judy’s resignation:
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and members of the Jewish community condemn the statement reportedly made by Brian Judy of the National Rifle Association that attempt to link policies to reduce gun violence to the Holocaust. The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle calls upon Mr. Judy to resign his position with the National Rifle Association.
Eight years ago today, the Jewish Federation was the target of a violent attack by an individual harboring dangerous falsehoods about Jews – falsehoods that continue to exist on the fringes of our society. It is deeply offensive for anyone to suggest that Jewish supporters of gun violence prevention have “forgotten” the history of our people. For a representative of the National Rifle Association, or any organization, to repeat the out-of-touch falsehood linking gun violence prevention to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is not only an ignorant distortion but is exceedingly dangerous.
The views expressed by Mr. Judy may be directed at the Jewish community, but their effects are harmful to everyone in Washington. The Jewish Federation, which has endorsed Initiative 594, is committed to helping develop solutions that reduce gun violence in Washington State. We hope that the National Rifle Association will demonstrate that it recognizes how damaging these remarks are to that effort.