We’ve heard right-wingers make a lot of absurd arguments against sensible gun legislation, but never as ridiculous (and despicable) as making the claim that gun control lead to a genocide. More specifically, the Armenian genocide, which was the Ottoman Empire’s (Turkey) systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians
Perpetual congressional Republican candidate Danny Tarkanian, a radical xenophobic nationalist who was endorsed by President Trump, boldly suggested in a recent radio interview that the Armenian genocide could have been prevented had the Ottoman Empire not taken away Armenian’s guns.
“I happen to understand that the first thing Hitler did before he herded the Jews into concentration camps to kill them as he passed, I believe in ’38, a law that said no Jew could own a gun,” Root said. “In the end, you’re powerless and defenseless if you have no gun.”
Tarkanian, an unapologetic supporter of Donald Trump and all of his outlandish and racist policies, said the Holocaust was an example of “history repeating itself,” and pointed to the Armenian genocide.
The Hitler analogy is a popular myth perpetuated by right-wingers in their hatred of any sensible gun measures.
When they came to power, the Nazis used whatever gun records they had to seize weapons from their enemies, but Dagmar Ellerbrock, an expert on German gun policies at the Dresden Technical University, told Politifact that he found many Jews who well into the late 1930s possessed guns. Ellerbock told us.
The Nazis adopted a new gun law in 1938. According to an analysis by Bernard Harcourt, a professor at Columbia University School of Law, it loosened gun ownership rules in several ways.
It deregulated the buying and selling of rifles, shotguns and ammunition. It made handguns easier to own by allowing anyone with a hunting license to buy, sell or carry one at any time. (You didn’t need to be hunting.) It also extended the permit period from one year to three and gave local officials more discretion in letting people under 18 get a gun.
So Tarkanian’s analogy is not only disingenuous, it’s simply not true.
Tarkanian has perennially (and failingly) ran in state elections since 2004. Hours before the filing deadline for the 2018 midterms last month, Tarkanian dropped his bid to unseat Sen. Dean Heller (R) and decided to run for a House seat instead, according to the Huffington Post.
Featured image via Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore