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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Jersey City Mayor Gives Best Response to Gun Control Equals Holocaust Meme

Many conservatives have invoked Holocaust comparisons – and claimed that if European Jews only had guns in the 1930’s and 1940’s there would have never been a Holocaust – when it comes to any effort to implement new gun control laws.  This time, the focus of their anger is Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop, himself a grandchild of Holocaust survivors.

Mayor Fulop’s offense is that he supports a measure which would require gun vendors that seek contracts with Jersey City to fill out a gun safety questionnaire.  For this, his grandparents ordeal in the Shoah was invoked by Scott Bach, a member of the National Rifle Association’s board.

Mayor Fulop’s response to the claim that if only his grandparents, and other Jews, had guns when the Nazis came for them:

If my grandparents had guns in their house when the Nazis came, my grandparents would be dead and I wouldn’t be here. (emphasis my own) So that’s probably the reality of the situation. But I don’t think that you can equate religious persecution to a manipulation of the intent of the Second Amendment.

These conservatives seem to forget exactly what would happen if you had one or two people go up against fully equipped soldiers.  Maybe one or two or even three soldiers would get killed, but, in the end, it would be the ordinary people that were killed.  No, it wasn’t a lack of guns that caused the Holocaust, but the complicity of millions of people in Germany and occupied Europe who actively assisted in the Shoah and those, throughout the world, that turned a blind eye to what was happening and the countries that closed their doors to Jewish refugees fleeing for their very lives.

As Holocaust survivor, and Anti-Defamation League head, Abraham Foxman explained:

No matter how strong one’s objections are to a policy, or how committed an organization is to its mission, invoking the Holocaust to score political points is offensive and has no place in civil discourse.

It is especially disturbing that in the debate over gun control in America, Holocaust analogies and references to Nazi Germany flow so freely off the lips of critics of gun control.  There is absolutely no comparison of the issue of gun control in the U.S. to the genocidal actions of the Nazi regime.

Scott Bach’s critique of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s gun control measures undermines and trivializes the historical truth of the Holocaust as a singular event in human history that led to the murder of six million Jews and millions of others. That he did so by invoking Mayor Fulop’s family history makes it all the more offensive.

This, sadly, is far from the first, and likely far from the last, time that the Holocaust will be invoked in the gun control debate in this country.  It smacks of anti-Semitism and is blatant disrespect to the memory of all those that were murdered in an attempt to wipe us from the face of the earth.  I am fortunate to be a Jew that lives in 21st century America and I am only here today because my family fled the anti-Semitism of Latvia and Poland one century ago.  Their family that did not join them in leaving Europe vanished 40 years later.  I exist today solely because a few people decided to get on a boat rather than stay where they were.


  1. Mets102

    It’s customary in Jewish tradition to leave a stone when one visits a grave as a marker that someone was there.

  2. HappyinVT

    These conservatives seem to forget exactly what would happen if you had one or two people go up against fully equipped soldiers

    Conservatives use the argument all the time that they are a defense against the US government to justify owning arsenals or military-style guns.  I’m sorry but they may be able to hold off the military for hours or days and only because the military wouldn’t want to absolutely crush them but in the end they don’t stand a chance.  This isn’t 1776.

    Comparisons to the Holocaust, Hitler, Katrina etc are too common and taken too lightly.  But we have people emboldened to do so because they are given some legitimacy; it is simply easier to make such comparisons than it is to actually explain the issue.

    Lastly, the mother of Sandy Hook victim, Noah Pozner, wanted to put a stone in each of her sons’s hands.  She couldn’t because he was missing one of them.  He was the youngest victim at 6.

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