The Washington Gun Control Axis

Lloyd Billingsley Policy Fellow, Independent Institute
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As the world knows, back on June 11, Omar Mateen, an American-born Muslim, entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and shot to death 49 people, the worst mass shooting in American history. President Obama remained skeptical about Mateen’s motivation and quickly focused on gun control.

“The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle,” the president said. “This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.”

Clearly, the President of the United States doesn’t want the kind of country where a citizen may legally purchase a semi-automatic rifle and pistol. What that kind of country might look like emerges in Stephen Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State.” The old-line establishment media may not like the comparison with National Socialist Germany, but in this case it is both accurate and appropriate.

In the Weimar republic, German citizens had no legal right to bear arms or keep arms in the home. In 1932, a year before the Nazis took power, a liberal Weimar government sought to register, regulate and prohibit firearms. The gun registration records of the Weimar Republic then fell into the hands of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers Party, more commonly known as the Nazi Party.

Nazi official Wilhelm Elfes ruled that weapons belonged only in the hands of the organs of the Reich and the states. In the Nazi view, nobody needed a firearm for self-defense when the police protected society and sport shooting and hunting were not a “need,” as determined by the government.

Clearly, the President of the United States wants a country where citizens can’t buy a semi-automatic rifle. In similar style, for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the problem was not Omar Mateen’s intention to kill but the kind of weapon he used.

“Weapons of war have no place on our streets,” said the former Secretary of State. In reality, Omar Mateen, 29, purchased a Sig Sauer .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle and a Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol at St. Lucie Gun Sales near his home. By all indications, the purchases were legal and raised no red flags with law enforcement.

For an example of weapons of war in our streets, deployed against civilians, Mrs. Clinton should turn back the clock to the time she was First Lady and her husband Bill Clinton was president.

In April, 1993, the Clinton Administration deployed two Abrams M1A tanks, powerful weapons of war, against the compound of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. Seventy-six people perished in the ensuing inferno, including 23 children. Consider also the case of Elian Gonzalez.

On Thanksgiving day, 1999, Florida fishermen found the five-year-old clinging to an inner tube after his mother and 11 others had drowned in an attempt to escape Cuba. In April, 2000, the Clinton Administration deployed federal agents armed with military-issue fully automatic rifles to seize Elian from the home of his relatives.

The Clinton Administration denied the boy asylum and returned him to the totalitarian dictatorship of Fidel Castro, the Stalinist from whom Elian, his mother, and countless others have fled. Like the Nazis, that regime has disarmed its citizens, and thus represses them with ease.

The American founders knew the dangers of an all-powerful government. They crafted the kind of country in which the right of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” The president and his designated successor have made it clear they want to infringe on that right.

Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow and Communications Counsel at the Independent Institute. He is author of Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie Industry, and Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield.