Carson: Gun Control Preceded the Holocaust
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday suggested that Jews could’ve been saved from persecution by the Nazis in Europe were they allowed to carry armed-guns by law.
Fresh off recent controversial remarks on U.S. Muslims and gun control, Carson once again used a Nazi analogy to speak about domestic policy.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
Carson referred to a passage of his new book, A More Perfect Union, in which he writes: “German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior … Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) immediately condemned the inappropriate comments. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s National Director, said in a statement. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”
This is now the fourth time Carson used a holocaust-related controversial reference. Just last week, the Republican presidential hopeful suggested that a Nazi-like force could rise to power in the United States. “If people don’t speak up for what they believe, then other people will change things without them having a voice. Hitler changed things there and nobody protested. Nobody provided any opposition to him,” he said.
Last year, Carson compared the current state of our government and institutions to Nazi Germany. “I know you’re not supposed to say Nazi Germany, but I don’t care about political correctness,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News in March 2014. “You had the government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.” Carson didn’t apologize or retract his comments when he was asked about it during several TV appearances later on. In a 2003 high school graduation speech, Carson made a holocaust-related chauvinistic comment while presenting himself with a non-political correctitude. “I do not believe in political correctness, by the way, OK?” the retired neurosurgeon said. “There’s almost never a time when I give a speech where somebody isn’t offended. I remember one time I was talking about human brains versus dog brains, and a guy came up and said, ‘You can’t talk about dogs like that,’ you know, ‘It’s very offensive.’ And then, you know, I said something about how the fashion industry makes young women think they’re supposed to be so skinny it looks like they escaped from Auschwitz, and a young Jewish woman came up to me and said, ‘You can’t talk about Auschwitz.’”
The National Jewish Democratic Council called on Carson to stop using the Holocaust and the Nazi regime when discussing policies and his presidential campaign, and immediately apologize to the Jewish community.
“Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has a disturbing pattern of comparing a range of topics to Hitler and the Nazi regime. Even his campaign has acknowledged the troubling nature of this pattern, yet Carson continues to choose to use this type of rhetoric,” the Jewish Democratic group said in a statement. “What Carson fails to realize, time and again, is that this rhetoric is unacceptable and there is nothing in our domestic politics or policy that should be equated to mass murder carried out by Hitler and the Nazis. Carson’s suggestion that some small arms in the hands of civilians would be able to successfully defeat the well-armed and genocidal Nazi war machine is absurd. He owes the entire Jewish population, as well as all the descendants of those murdered by the Nazis, an apology. It is way past time for Carson to stop using this type of rhetoric once and for all.”