Earlier this week, it was Holocaust Remembrance Day, a solemn day we remember the millions of lives lost to the Nazi concentration camps. No, not lost. Taken. Those lives were taken from millions of Jews whose only “crime” was to be Jewish.
Those people were at the mercy of an unmerciful government and it did not work out well for any of them.
Now, a lawmaker is under fire for his words regarding the Holocaust and gun rights.
A Republican senator from Kent County is under fire after warning that stricter gun laws and other progressive ideas in the U.S. could lead to events similar to the Holocaust.
“For we in this chamber to think that it (the Holocaust) can’t happen here? That is absolutely a fool’s errand,” Lawson said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “We can when we continue to take away the rights, we continue to work on disarming our population, our legally owned firearms, taking away and continue to encroach on that. … We continue this path that we’re taking, please don’t forget that everything that Hitler did was legal. Murdering those people was legal. Disarming those people was legal. Do we want to follow that same path? Because I’m telling you, from where I sit, it’s not that far away.”
Lawson’s argument is one that gun rights advocates in Delaware use when lobbying against gun control legislation in the statehouse. Last week, multiple people made a similar argument during a committee hearing for a Democrat-sponsored bill to ban homemade and 3D-printed guns in Delaware.
According to PolitiFact.com, a news organization that fact-checks political arguments, gun control regulation in Nazi Germany did not help advance the Holocaust.
The problem is PolitiFact is looking at it from an incredibly biased perspective. Here’s precisely what PolitiFact has to say:
Let’s make something clear: The Nazis did deny guns specifically to Jews. But, given the size of their forces and their methods of confiscation and extermination, this is a trivial factor. The notion that it would have made any difference is unreasonable.
In other words, their entire decision to classify the claim as false is premised on the idea that the Nazis were just too big and powerful and that they’d have just rolled over Jewish resistance. That’s a biased claim and one that can’t really be supported by history.
Small, under-armed groups have given militaries fits for generations. The mujahadeen fought the Soviets to a standstill. The Viet Cong made life in Vietnam more interesting than many veterans care to remember. Those are just two examples.
So Lawson’s argument, regardless of what PolitiFact claims, is certainly valid.
Not that some of his colleagues seem to understand that fact.
Also that afternoon, the House passed a bill by Rep. Debra Heffernan, D-Bellefonte, to require that Delaware public and charter schools teach about the Holocaust and genocide. Lawson supports this bill. Heffernan also sponsored the resolution to recognize Monday as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In a statement, Heffernan said she was “beyond horrified and appalled” by Lawson’s comments and she felt like they were directed at Jaffe, her constituent.
“Sen. Lawson took that horrifying recounting of surviving a genocide, and while Ms. Jaffe was still in the chamber, tried to turn her somber story into a Second Amendment argument,” Heffernan said. “Sen. Lawson owes Ms. Jaffe an apology.”
Lawson said he would not, nor should he.
One of the phrases we often hear about the Holocaust, a phrase we should all internalize, is “Never Again.” I hate to break it to you, but if you don’t have an armed population, the odds of something like this happening again go up. Look at the attempted genocides all over the world since World War II. None have been tried in an armed society.
Heffernan may not like Lawson’s comments, but she’ll learn to deal with it.
I, for one, refuse to allow myself or my family to be at the mercy of a state that can decide at any moment to become unmerciful.