By John Orth
Modern mythology holds that the political spectrum can be neatly defined, with communists on the far left, socialists and liberals to the left of centre, conservatives on the right, and Fascists and Nazis on the far right. This is a convenient piece of fiction, since it allows liberals to place themselves nearly at the opposite end of the spectrum from Nazis. In truth, Nazism and Fascism are not right wing philosophies at all. They are types of socialism. If there is any political philosophy today which comes close to matching the beliefs of Hitler, it is not neo-conservatism, but modern liberalism.
I believe it was Mark Twain that said "History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." When we examine history for recurring patterns, it would be naive to expect things to repeat exactly. Instead, we find patterns do repeat, but in a form sufficiently altered so that most people do not recognize the parallels with previous events.
Thus, it would be foolish to expect twenty-first century Nazis to follow exactly the racial or ethnic biases of their twentieth century forerunners. (Of course, there are still some of these old style bigots remaining, but their numbers are declining, and they are dwindling in importance.)
Indeed, liberal bigots are scrupulously careful to avoid any hint of bias based on race or ethnicity. Instead, they direct their hatred at those who possess certain cultural characteristics. Consider the above illustration, which accompanied an anti-gun editorial in the September 4, 1997 Toronto Star. The implication is clear: Gun owners are members of a sub-human species, dull witted, brutish, and prone to violence.
Imagine the furor that would erupt if a paper were to publish the Neanderthal picture with an article about Somalian refugees. Every liberal in Toronto would be howling like a pack of wolves. Human rights commissioners would be huffing and puffing with indignant outrage, and the paper would probably be taken to court for publishing hate literature. Yet, because the illustration maligns only gun owners, no one complains.
There is a rather striking parallel emerging between the liberal campaign against gun owners, and the Nazi plan to eradicate Jews. As I have already stated, this parallel is not exact, but there are numerous similarities.
1. Both Nazis and liberal bigots characterize their target group as a sub-human species. American anti-gun columnist Gary Wills refers to "the sordid race of gunsels", "gun fetishists", and "traitors, enemies of their own patriae." To an Atlanta newspaper editor, gun owners are simply "bulletbrains." A Miami Herald article declares "Gun Lunatics Silence the Sounds of Civilization" and describes gun owners as: "urban trash from the North, dangerous yokels from the South, van gypsies, half wits, and losers of every other stripe imaginable." An anonymous anti-gunner, in a letter sent the former president of the Sporting Clubs of Niagara says "I wonder if you are simply further down the evolutionary ladder than most of us. Check and see if your knuckles drag on the ground."
The December 1989 Yale Law Journal contains an anti-gun article by political science professor Wendy Brown. Her piece is remarkable, not because of its simplistic analysis, but because it provides a perfect example of liberal bigotry. Ms. Brown concludes by relating an adventure she had while hiking in the Sierra Nevadas. After a week in the wilderness, she and three female friends emerged from the forest to find their car would not start. Luckily, they were able to find a disgusting hunter "making his way through a case of beer" in a nearby Winnebago. "Not feeling particularly discriminating" she persuaded this low life to spend the next two hours fixing her car. Her feeling "then and now" is the fear that if she had run into him alone in the woods he would have used his gun to overpower and rape her. Nowhere in her writing does Ms. Brown provide any evidence that she or her friends were actually in danger. It was merely her intuitive feeling, based on the fact he had a gun (or more precisely, an NRA cap, since she never actually saw any firearm.) Just as remarkable as the story itself, is the fact it was accepted for publication in a prestigious law journal.
2. Both Nazis and liberal bigots seek to eradicate the target group. Remember the famous quote from our former Justice Minister "I came to Ottawa in November of last year with the firm belief the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers." Needless to say, without guns, there can be no gun owners and no gun culture. Here are a few more examples: U.S. Senator Joseph Bidden: "[Banning guns] is an idea whose time has come." U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein: "[Banning guns] addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe." U.S. Representative Mel Reynolds: "If it were up to me, we'd ban them all."
3. Legislation is passed which affects only the target group. Bill C-68 allows police to enter the homes of gun owners without evidence of a crime, something they can't do to sex murderers, pedophiles or anyone else. It abrogates the right of gun owners to remain silent, to legal counsel, and forces them to incriminate themselves. It places a reverse onus (guilty until proven innocent) on gun owners charged with registration violations. Canadians were recently treated to the bizarre spectacle of Clayton Ruby, who calls himself a civil liberties lawyer, appearing in court in support of C-68. How can someone who professes to be a civil libertarian support measures which override nearly every right possessed by citizens in a free society? Because the legislation affects only despised gun owners, not robbers, rapists, murderers, and other mascots of Mr. Ruby, he can sleep at night without his conscience bothering him.
4. The target group is said to be responsible for a wide range of social and economic problems. Nazis blamed Jews for Germany's loss in WWI, the hyperinflation of the twenties, the reparations payments, and for the depression. Canadian gun owners are blamed for violent crime, murders, suicides, and the deaths of children.
5. A massive propaganda campaign is directed at the target group.
Anti-gunners have expertly copied Hitler's first rule of effective
propaganda: Take a few simple statements and repeat them over and over.
"No one in a civilized country needs a handgun."
"No one in a civilized country needs an assault rifle."
"Handguns are only made for one thing: killing people."
"Assault rifles are only made for one thing: killing people."
"We register cars so what's wrong with registering guns?"
"Every illegal gun was once a legal gun."
"If guns made you safer, the US would be the safest country in the world."
6. Members of the target group are required under penalty of criminal code sanctions to identify themselves to government officials. Germany in 1938 passed legislation requiring all Jews to carry an identification card. By 1940, Polish Jews were required to wear a yellow star of David. Canadian gun owners will be forced to register themselves (by means of a firearms possession permit) by the year 2001.
7. The government confiscates the property of the target group. (Jews were eventually deprived of all their property, whereas gun owners have thus far, only lost some of their guns. Again, the parallel is not exact, only uncomfortably close.)
8. Members of the target group are restricted to certain areas of the country. By July of 1940 the Nazis had proclaimed that most of the area under their control was to be free of Jews (Judenfrei). Jews would be confined to work camps or to walled off areas of large cities, such as the Warsaw ghetto. Similarly, there has been much talk among anti-gunners about establishing 'gun free zones'. It is probable this will be their next move, after the registration program is completed. If we end up with a hostile (Liberal) government at both the federal and provincial levels, it is entirely possible all of southern Ontario could become a gun free zone. Gun owners living in this area would then be forced to dispose of their firearms or move to a gun owners' ghetto.
9. The government devises a complicated set of rules governing how members of the target group are to be classified. Nazis regarded anyone with three or four Jewish grandparents as a full Jew. Someone with no Jewish grandparents was Aryan. Those with a Jewish great-grandparent, or great-great-grandparent, who were consequently one eighth or one sixteenth Jewish, were also Aryan. Those with one or two Jewish grandparents were classified as Mischlinge (mixed race). Mischlinge were broken down further into two sub-groups: first degree - two Jewish grandparents, second degree - one Jewish grandparent. First degree Mischlinge could be reclassified as Jewish if they participated in Jewish religious ceremonies. Marriage licenses were issued on the basis of whether the outcome of the union would be Jewish, Aryan or Mischlinge. For example, two second degree Mischlinge would not be permitted to marry, since their children would also be Mischlinge. However, an Aryan could marry a second degree Mischlinge since the children in this case would be Aryan.
The classification system for Canadian gun owners is just as outlandish. There are currently at least five degrees of grandfathered owners, full auto, converted auto, semi-auto prohibited under Kim Campbell's Orders in Council, semi-auto prohibited by Allan Rock's OIC, and short barreled handgun. New firearms possession certificates will come in several different levels as well, long gun possessor, long gun with acquisition rights, restricted possessor, and restricted with acquisition rights. The regulations governing the transfer of firearms between different classes of firearms owners holding various categories of FAC and FPC, are just as bizarre as the Nazi marriage laws.
10. A specialized branch of law enforcement will be formed whose purpose is to 'deal with' the target group. In Nazi Germany this police agency was the Gestapo. Here in Ontario we have recently witnessed the creation of the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit. When this group was formed we were told its purpose was to interdict gun smuggling. Instead, it appears they spend most of their time hanging around gun shows and raiding the homes of gun collectors. Needless to say, the modern American version of the Gestapo, is the ATF.
11. Both Nazis and liberal bigots lie through their teeth about their true intentions. After the invasion of Warsaw, military commanders in the Wehrmacht told Jews that "they need not be worried about their well being." Jews who were being marched to their death in gas chambers were told they were to be given showers. The sign above the entrance to Auschwitz proclaimed "Work Will Set You Free". In a similar mendacious vein, most governments that have registered firearms have done so claiming they "only want guns to be registered" or "Registration does not mean confiscation." These same governments (New York City, New Jersey, Canada, Great Britain, Australia) have subsequently reneged on their promises and confiscated many of these registered guns.
12. The government will attempt to coerce members of the target group to perform much of the dirty work associated with their own demise. Jews were forced to remove the bodies of their comrades from gas chambers, dig mass graves, and police the ghettos. The Canadian government has attempted to set up a network of gun owners to assist with firearm registration by acting as volunteer 'verifiers'. Fortunately, it appears the only gun owners who have volunteered are dealers who need to verify their own sales.
13. After the state begins the systemic massacre of members of the target group, it will justify this action by claiming these people had weird beliefs, bizarre religious or sexual practices, and were a threat to the established social order. For example, Hitler writes of the "nightmare vision of the seduction of hundreds of thousands of girls by repulsive, crooked-legged Jew bastards." Compare this to press reports during the Waco siege which alleged there was widespread child abuse in Mt. Carmel and that David Koresh had sex with numerous teenage girls. As author Dick Reavis reported in "The Ashes of Waco", the government's description of the residents of Mt. Carmel was built on four concepts: Texas - child molester - gun cult - crazies.
I have always marveled at the fact modern liberals honestly believe they are the antitheses of Nazis, when in reality they are simply a more genteel version of that breed. Like Nazis, they are always in favour of increased regulation and restrictions on the activities of citizens. Like Nazis, liberals believe the state should have a monopoly on the use of force. Like Nazis, liberals view the word "individualism" as a profanity. Like Nazis, they speak constantly of collective responsibilities, and the need for community efforts. Like Nazis, they have a blind faith in the ability of the state to correct social and economic problems. Finally, like Nazis, they do not hesitate to use the power of the state to crush a culture they regard as foreign.
 The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy. David Kopel. Prometheus Books. 1992. Page 306.
 Guns, Crime, and Freedom. Wayne LaPierre. Regnery Publishing. 1994. Page 85-86.
 Resistance - The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Israel Gutman. Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1994. Page 73.
 Ibid. Page 50.
 The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. William L. Shirer. Simon and Shuster. 1960. Page 26.
 There is one important difference between the persecution of gun owners and the persecution of Jews. If one wishes to exterminate the Jewish culture, as the Nazis did, it is necessary to exterminate Jews. If one wishes to eradicate the gun culture, as modern liberals do, it is not necessary to do away with gun owners, but merely to eliminate guns. Although there have been a few highly publicized massacres of gun owners in the US (Ruby Ridge, Waco), it is unlikely this will be their preferred method of attack. When cornered, gun owners have a nasty habit of fighting back.