The June 2001 issue of American Rifleman magazine carried an article by Stephen Halbrook entitled, “Registration: The Nazi Paradigm,” which is worth a reread:
New research into Adolf Hitler’s use of firearms registration lists to confiscate guns and the execution of their owners teaches a forceful lesson — one that reveals why the American people and Congress have rejected registering honest firearm owners.
It would be instructive at this time to recall why the American citizenry and Congress have historically opposed the registration of firearms. The reason is plain. Registration makes it easy for a tyrannical government to confiscate firearms and to make prey of its subjects. Denying this historical fact is no more justified than denying that the Holocaust occurred or that the Nazis murdered millions of unarmed people.
I am writing a book on Nazi policies and practices which sought to repress civilian gun ownership and to eradicate gun owners in Germany and in occupied Europe. The following sampling of my findings should give pause to the suggestion that draconian punishment of citizens for keeping firearms necessarily is a social good.
What follows is a fairly succinct history lesson on how the Nazis disarmed civilian populations across Europe. Included is a much older 1942 American Rifleman report:
From Berlin on January 6th the German official radio broadcast–“The German military commander for Belgium and Northern France announced yesterday that the population would be given a last opportunity to surrender firearms without penalty up to January 20th and after that date anyone found in possession of arms would be executed.”
So the Nazi invaders set a deadline similar to that announced months ago in Czecho-Slovakia, in Poland, in Norway, in Romania, in Yugo-Slavia, in Greece.
How often have we read the familiar dispatches “Gestapo agents accompanied by Nazi troopers swooped down on shops and homes and confiscated all privately-owned firearms!”
What an aid and comfort to the invaders and to their Fifth Column cohorts have been the convenient registration lists of privately owned firearms–lists readily available for the copying or stealing at the Town Hall in most European cities.
What a constant worry and danger to the Hun and his Quislings have been the privately owned firearms in the homes of those few citizens who have “neglected” to register their guns!
Hopefully we have more than a few “neglectful” gun owners. One wonders how many of them will allow their arsenals to be confiscated, as I discussed in my “Gun Collecting” essay last summer. Something tells me we don’t have long before we find out. Think, people; if you don’t think it could happen here, you haven’t been paying attention lately. ◄Dave►