Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State”, by Stephen P. Halbrook.
©2013 Stephen P. Halbrook Published by The Independent Institute, Oakland CA
ISBN: 978-1-59813-161-1 Hardback; also available in Paperback and via Kindle.
246 pages, 12 chapters, bibliography, and index.
“Gun control”, a politically loaded term for citizen control, seems to be an unrelenting topic for discussion and the rhetoric has grown more heated in recent years. Every time somebody goes wacko and sets out to settle differences of opinion or exact revenge with a firearm, there are new calls for “gun control”. The first things usually cast aside in the ensuing knee jerk reaction is truth and constitutional protections. The politicians cannot pass a new law fast enough in their rush to “do something” to avoid further bloodshed and secure bragging rights on the re-election circuit. In the USA, citizens have a constitutional right to own firearms. The Second Amendment is succinct:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Twenty-seven plain English words that have generated libraries of discussion, thousands of court cases, and endless debate.
The book reviewed herein tells us the story of “gun control” in Germany, beginning shortly after World War I on 13 January 1919 through a series of governments. In an attempt to quell the civil war between nationalists and communists and restore law and order, the German government decreed that all ammunition and firearms must be surrendered immediately. Failure to do so would be punished with a five-year prison sentence and a fine of 100,000 Reichsmarks. This law would help avoid further bloodshed. Law abiding citizens dutifully forfeited their firearms. The civil war continued unabated.
Two years later, on 7 August 1920, the new German government passed another law banning military type weapons. Warrantless searches began. The civil war continued with brass knuckles, rocks, clubs, and knives.
Eight years later, 31 March 1928, a new law was passed banning firearms and ammunition licenses for Gypsies and persons under police surveillance (Terrorist Watch List?). All new licenses would be issued only to “persons of unquestioned trustworthiness”. Silencers (suppressors) and spotlights on firearms were banned. The law was effective for all of Germany and was superior to any and all state laws.
On 28 March 1931, the German government outlawed knives and truncheons, except for police officers and holders of firearm licenses (those deemed trustworthy).
The process continued and worsened under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Amendments were approved, courts cases lost and won, and freedoms slowly stripped away. The list of untrustworthy citizens slowly grew to include the retarded, Communists, Jews, and anyone critical of the government.
This book goes into great detail on the incremental process in an easily readable manner. The author fully documents everything with footnotes. He gives us facts, not propaganda or quick talking points. I strongly recommend you read this book and compare what occurred in Germany with what is going on now in the USA and other nations, such as Venezuela.
Reviewer Personal Note: My study of gun control in Russia/Soviet Union reveals the same incremental assault on citizen rights and freedoms. Lenin seized power in 1917 via a coup, not the revolution of the propaganda machine, and immediately banned two things: guns and food supplies. Only government officials could have firearms, and food distribution was controlled by government bureaucrats. Obey the communists or lose your ration card. The tragedy continues to this day, with the men with guns controlling the largest nation on the planet.
The latest government of Venezuela recently did the same thing with firearms and food. Firearms are banned, and food is available only from approved government agents. Obey or starve.
Here in the USA, in a knee jerk response to a mass killing in Orlando FL, a move is under foot to ban firearms from anyone on the Terrorist Watch List. Who decides who that is? Another proposal is to allow warrantless searches of personal information by the FBI in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. As I write this, a news release just announced that the mass killing was probably an act of revenge, not a terrorist operation.
That said, good grief, folks. Slow down, take a deep breath, and consider the consequences of your actions. Let us wait for all the facts before considering a future course of action. Further assaults on the rights and liberties of law-abiding citizens will not prevent illegal actions by criminals.