Thursday, April 5, 2018

Guns save us from tyrants?

I was about halfway through my first cup of coffee when a Facebook friend shared this public post about gun control...  The person who shared this is a guy Bill used to work with.  He's a really good person, but he loves his guns and, no doubt, probably voted for Donald Trump.  I'm sure all the furor about school shootings has him worried that wacky liberals will be trying to take his guns away.

I have written before that I'm not "anti-gun" per se.  However, some of the arguments against gun control have gotten pretty ludicrous.  Have a look at the post that is inspiring today's rant.

The original poster has used a photograph of a huge pile of shoes to illustrate why America needs more guns.  Apparently, she thinks that if the Jews had only been armed better back in the 1940s, the Holocaust would not have been so devastating.  Then, in her plea for young people to "educate themselves", she uses a "u" instead of typing out the word "you".

I know... the bit about the "u" is kind of petty.  I just have a hard time taking people seriously when they write an inflammatory post, ask people to "educate themselves", and then can't even take a second to spell a three letter word properly.  All of the other words in her post were correctly spelled, so she gets points for that.

Now, on to my more serious issues with this post.  First of all, the Holocaust was absolutely horrifying and tragic.  I have read a lot of books about what happened to people who were systematically rounded up and murdered at Adolf Hitler's behest.  I've watched a lot of documentaries about the Holocaust, some of which included actual footage of prisoners in Hitler's concentration camps.  I'm left with the impression that if you're going to talk or write about the Holocaust, you should do so in a way that conveys nothing but respect to the victims.  That's just my opinion.  Those poor people who died and the families who were left behind to mourn for them deserve nothing but the utmost sympathy and kindness.  The above post, in my opinion, is very unkind and lacks empathy.

Just sitting here thinking for a few minutes about Jewish people in the 1940s, I wonder what exactly they would have done had they had more weapons.  They were still confronted by Hitler's Army and the police.  Armies and police typically have a lot more weapons at their disposal than private citizens do.  So even if Uncle Klaus had had a revolver in his possession when the police came to arrest him, how successful would he have been trying to fight them?  Maybe he might have been able to shoot one or two of them, which would then make him guilty of a crime and give the police even more reason to arrest him.

Moreover, we're talking about a populace of people who voted in a very charismatic, sociopathic leader who was hellbent on exterminating an entire race of people.  He had everything at his disposal to do it.  Private citizens fighting against Hitler would not have stood a chance at fighting back.  What they needed to do in order to ensure survival was escape Europe.  Some of them were able to do that.  Others, tragically weren't.  That's NOT their fault.  Even if people did make naive decisions that ultimately led to their demise, they did not have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.  The above post sounds an awful lot like victim blaming to me, and that's not cool.

Another thing this person fails to realize is that our current president has spouted off many ideas that are eerily reminiscent of Hitler's.  While Trump is not an anti-semite (that I know of, anyway), he does seem to be against people who come from what he's publicly referred to as "shithole" countries.  And he has put forth ideas about building walls, mass deportations of "illegals", and changing the law so that he can stay in power beyond term limits.  People who are rounded up by immigration officers are kept in detention centers, which may not yet be as bad as Hitler's concentration camps, but certainly can't be considered humane.  Trump wants to build more detention centers for illegal immigrants... privatized centers to lock up more people, many of whom were just hoping for a "better" life in the United States.  Those privatized jails will certainly make corporate people happy, but will come at a huge price to humanity and decency.

Back in Hitler's era, students protested, and non-violently called for the fall of Hitler's Nazi regime.  The core group leading the student resistance movement were arrested by the Gestapo in February 1943.  They were sentenced to imprisonment or death.  While we haven't yet reached that pinnacle in the United States, things do seem to be getting more and more out of hand.  It seems like every day, there's more violence in the United States.  While I can understand why some people would feel safer armed with guns, do they really think that their guns are going to stop the government?  Dude... you're GOING to be outgunned by police or military forces.  

Good luck, buddy.

Maybe if you're Patrick Swayze leading the "Wolverines"?  Nah... Red Dawn isn't real life.

The American students who are protesting guns have good reason to be scared.  In 2018 alone, there has been an average of one school shooting per week.  Young people should have the right to be able to go to school without fear of being shot, especially in a so-called "first world" nation like the United States.  Since I graduated high school in 1990, we've seen police officers moved into schools, metal detectors, more rules about what kids can and can't bring to school, and even bullet resistant "shelters" being proposed for classrooms.  School systems that don't even pay their teachers decent salaries are now purchasing "shelters" to protect kids from gun toting nut cases who invade school property.  Despite all of the "protections" put in place since I left high school in 1990, kids are still being killed at an alarming rate.  I wonder if those shelters will do anything more than simply make its manufacturers richer and teachers poorer.  

Like I mentioned before, I am not anti-gun, but there is way too much violence in the United States.  Something has to be done.  I admire the students who are protesting.  It's as much their right to protest as it is their right to bear arms.  And to compare what those brave young people are doing to the so-called "naivete" of Jewish people in Hilter's era for giving up their firearms is not just stupid; it's also extremely offensive.  Those kids are brave enough to do SOMETHING... and what they are doing is not violent.  They should be commended, not shamed.

But I do find it very ironic that the gun enthusiast who prompted today's rant brings up Hitler...  Have a look at the video below.  This man is from Germany, a country where people are entirely too conscious of what can happen when a sociopathic lunatic is put in charge by a complacent public.  He makes a lot of sense.  I wish more of my fellow Americans did.  And I truly hope that I won't be rounded up and shot because I am openly expressing my opinions about this... another thing that would have happened in Hitler's era and seems somewhat threatened in Trump's.

This German man from Hamburg implored Americans NOT to vote for Trump.  It's such a shame that only 36,000 people have seen his video from 2016.  It should have gone viral.