Politics/Law/Government

Ben Carson’s magical thinking on the Holocaust

In yet another bit of stunning historical revisionism, GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson claimed in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Holocaust may not have happened if Europe’s Jews had been armed:

“But just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?” Blitzer asked.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said.

Blitzer pushed a bit more: “Because they had a powerful military machine, as you know, the Nazis.”

“I understand that,” Carson said. “I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.”

In one fell swoop. Carson upholds the NRA party line and completely denies historical reality.

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    • The good Dr. Carson knows.

      The 2d amendment protects the 1st., that’s why it’s the Second. The militia was only one of the vehicles which spearheaded that protection. in areas of early America where there were no militias, they still were in the possession of firearms – for food and protection against government interventions – both foreign and domestic. It was their “inalienable right.” Could the Nazi’s have taken away NRA guns and put NRA members in concentration camps?

      Uh – no.

      It is also the reason why Native-American were never enslaved – although whites tried. They had their own “unwritten” 2d Amendment protection – Africans on the other hand, did not.

      One out of every four humans on the planet is Chinese. In China, no one is allowed to register for or to buy a gun no matter how thorough a background check. No one. No one can write a letter to the editor in China – why? – because no “editors” are permitted – no one is allowed to speak out like they tried in Tennimin Square – no one in China is also allowed a Facebook account. So wise up Liberal media.

      No one is taking anyone’s right to own guns away – especially you – you don’t want a gun? Then don’t buy one. You don’t want anyone else to own a gun? Then move to China. You will all be very happy there.

      Have a nice day.

        • OK, I’ll take your bit of sarcasm and run with it… Look in the mirror, you are the militia. Perhaps a few of the individuals who had a hand in writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights can explain to your satisfaction what the well regulated militia is:

          “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1778

          “That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” – George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776

          “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves… and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms… The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.” – Richard Henry Lee, Letters From the Federal Farmer to the Republican, Letter XVIII, January 25, 1788

          “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. Laws that forbid the carrying of arms laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they act rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment

        • If your reasoning is accurate, then “well-regulated militia” is a synonym for “person.” How come the 1st Amendment doesn’t assign free speech and religion rights to a well-regulated militia?

  1. You are mischaracterizing Ben Carson’s remarks. He didn’t say armed resistance to the Nazi regime would have prevented the Holocaust; rather that it may have diminished Hitler’s ability pursue his goal of persecuting the Jews. Unfortunately, we will never know what would have happened if the Jews had access to arms. By late 1938, the Nazis had confiscated virtually all weapons from the Jews and other enemies of the Reich using registration records compiled under the Weimar Republic.

    We need to look no further than the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 to see what effect an armed resistance can have. Using a small quantity of firearms, Molotov cocktails and homemade explosives, the fighters in the Ghetto tied up over 2000 German troops for a month when the Nazis made their final effort to remove the remaining Ghetto population to the Treblinka extermination camp. Of course, the defenders of the Ghetto were ultimately defeated but they exacted a heavy price from the Nazis in return for their sacrifice and offered inspiration to resistance groups elsewhere. Can you honestly say they didn’t make a difference? If you do, you are the revisionist engaging in magical thinking, not Carson.

    • I dispute your claim that the Jewish defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto “extracted a heavy price” on the Nazis: about 100 casualties, the vast majority wounded. The Jews lost 13,000+ in the fighting and almost 60,000 to the camps afterward. Inspirational? Yes, certainly. But militarily effective? No. Perhaps you’d like to define “make a difference”?

  2. Pardon the hiatus, I’ve been at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, Oct. 9-11, exercising my right as part of the well regulated militia.

    The casualty numbers you cite don’t tell the whole story. When massive deportations from the Ghetto began in mid 1942, the Jews came to the realization that deportees were not being resettled to the east or taken to labor camps but were being transported to extermination centers. Knowing they were doomed to the gas chambers, preparation for armed resistance began and a few skirmishes occurred in January halting the deportations for four months. When deportations resumed in April, approximately 1000 very poorly armed resistance fighters were arrayed against an SS led force of 2100. The Germans planned to liquidate the Ghetto in three days but that didn’t happen. Significant fighting went on for 10 days and was followed by the so-called bunker war for another 17. In the end, most of the active resistance fighters were killed as well as another 7000 to 12,000 noncombatants who were collateral losses to the fighting or were pulled from their hiding places and simply murdered. The remaining Jews were deported to the death camps and very few survived the war. Losses to the Nazis were 17 killed and about 100 wounded. Insignificant? Perhaps, but the Germans lost much more than that. In 1943 the tide of war had already turned against them. For a month they utilized increasingly scarce manpower and materiel to subdue a single square mile of territory that had absolutely nothing to do with their larger war effort. That’s the nature of asymmetric conflict; tie up superior forces making them expend a large amount of resources for negligible gain. Guerrillas choose the time and place for their actions; superior forces cannot be everywhere all the time.

    The Jews didn’t expect to create another Stalingrad when they started the Uprising. They fought with no hope of saving themselves but to uphold their own honor and that of Jews in general. What they did has been credited with inspiring armed rebellion by Jews at a half dozen other locations in Poland, so yes, they did make a difference.

    If you deem the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of little consequence, you may find the actions of the Yugoslavian Partisans, the Viet Cong or the ongoing insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq more fitting of your definition of “militarily effective”.

    You and I apparently have very different views on the meaning and relevance of the Second Amendment. I believe that it affirms an individual right and is as important today as when it was written. I suspect you see it as an anachronism, or if not that, a collective right applying solely in the context of formal military organizations. There is no amount of discourse that will persuade either of us to the other’s point of view, so let’s leave at that.

    Cheers.

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