Letter: Gun debate attracts myths
Monday, February 25, 2013
Myths and facts surround the gun control debate:
"The first thing Hitler did was take away everyone's guns."
Actually, as surrender terms with the allies, the German legislature took away most privately held guns in Germany after World War I in 1919. The democratically elected German government introduced gun registry and licensing in 1928. Hitler was elected in 1933 and enacted a gun control law in 1938 — the main effect of which was to confiscate guns owned by Jews immediately before Kristallnacht. Hitler's first act after being elected was to outlaw unions and strikes in May 1933 as the fulfillment of a campaign promise to Germany's industrialists — you don't hear much about that.
"We need guns to prevent the rise of a tyrant."
Our closest example is again Hitler. There were at least 27 documented attempts on Hitler's life mostly at a time when Germany was awash in guns. How did he survive? He had a huge bodyguard, changed his itinerary and timetable at the last minute all the time and, in the two attempts that came the closest, both of which used bombs, he was just plain lucky.
Let's make an effort to use real numbers and facts in our efforts to achieve a workable compromise through our present debate.