The issue presented: Whether the debate about controlling guns really could be about the power to control people?

© CLIFFORD C. NICHOLS, ESQ., February, 2018

First, please forget about banning AR-15's because they are "assault weapons." Let's agree that ALL firearms are "assault weapons" when one person points one at another human being. Thus, any government that wants all "assault weapons" banned will eventually have to ban ALL weapons, regardless of their stylistic differences.


Before a citizenry should even consider allowing this to happen, however, they should next come to grips with the fact that this world is, by definition, broken. It's a given ... evil will erupt from time-to-time no matter what anyone does to prevent it ... and where and when it will happen is most often unforseeable. 

Once that is agreed upon, perhaps we can also then agree that, when it does, and we find ourselves confronted by an evil -- whether the threat is personal or national -- the last thing any of us should want is for us to have allowed our government to have removed our ability to defend ourselves against it.

Consider ... Hitler did take away people's guns in Germany in the 1930s and in every country he conquered thereafter ... particularly from people who were either not members of his Nazi Party or were members of particular groups "disfavored" by his Nazi Party.

In the words of Heinrich Himmler, "Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as having guns doesn't serve the State."

One might reflect upon the similarity of the evolution of today's gun debate in this country in comparison to the following sequence of historical events that occurred in Germany not so very long ago:

"In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the [Weimer] government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.” The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group.

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"In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the [gun registration] records [of the former Weimer government] to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued. Police revoked gun licenses of Social Democrats and others who were not “politically reliable.”

"During the five years of repression that followed, society was “cleansed” by the National Socialist regime. Undesirables were placed in camps where labor made them “free,” and normal rights of citizenship were taken from Jews. The Gestapo banned independent gun clubs and arrested their leaders. Gestapo counsel Werner Best issued a directive to the police forbidding issuance of firearm permits to Jews.

"In 1938, Hitler signed a new Gun Control Act. Now that many “enemies of the state” had been removed from society, some restrictions could be slightly liberalized, especially for Nazi Party members. But Jews were prohibited from working in the firearms industry, and .22 caliber hollow-point ammunition was banned."* (emphasis added)

At minimum, this series of documented historical events should bring to light the fact that, from a government's perspective, the operative word in "gun control" is ultimately the latter -- control.

Such control allowed the Nazi's (i.e. German government) in the 1940s to deport millions of people on trains to Auschwitz -- or destinations like it -- from, not only Germany, but every country Hitler's "government" (i.e. tyranny) came to control.

Amazingly, it has been documented that many of these trains required only as few as ten (10) armed soldiers to subdue any resistance and guard each group in transit to their death -- in some cases estimated to be as many as 8,000 captives per train.** People knew before boarding that they were likely taking their last journey and would soon be killed and so were people who should have resisted. But they didn't, in large part, because they had been disarmed.

Nazi Guards at trains.GIF

Think about that ... 10 men and/or women with guns (i.e. armed government officials) were able to contain and control as many as 8,000 angry and frightened people (i.e. ordinary citizens) at a time because the latter group had NO guns.

Guns taken from good people by their "government" only really matters if that government for whatever reason becomes bad ... and so decides to do really bad things to some or all of those good people. And, if you don't think that can happen in any nation -- even America -- think again.

Whether a person supported Clinton or Trump, all should be able to agree on at least one fact: any government anywhere is susceptible to coming under the control of people who are evil and could thereby cause it to evolve into a tyranny -- if not now, at some unforeseen time in the future. Those who would contend otherwise would do well to review the recorded histories of England, China, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and, for that matter, almost any other country that has ever existed anywhere in the world. 

To empower our people (citizens) with the ability to resist any such future possible tyranny that might erupt in the United States was the primary, if not sole, reason our founding fathers gave all American citizens the right to bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment -- nothing more, nothing less. And, to dispel many of today's critics of this right, it is noteworthy that they did so almost a century before there existed any form of the National Rifle Association.

Many have speculated that, if even just some of the many thousands of people being deported to their deaths on trains from throughout Nazi-controlled Europe had had the ability to shoot back at the guards, things might well have turned out differently.

I, for one, think that is correct.

Moreover, I count myself among those who wish they had had that ability to defend themselves -- and would want that ability preserved today for the sake of my friends and family. And, as to those of you who would disagree, you might want to ask yourselves ... Why?

* How the Nazi's Used Gun Control, by Stephen P. Halbrook, National Review, December 2, 2013

** Ordinary Men -- Reserve Police Battalion and the Final Solution in Poland, by Christopher Browning, Chapter 4: "The Order Police and the Final Solution: Deportation"

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Clifford C. Nichols is a former research associate of The Heritage FoundationHe graduated from the University of California, Los AngelesSumma Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, where he was elected to membership in the Phi Beta Kappa society. He received his Juris Doctorate degree, Cum Laude, at Northwestern Pritzker University School of Law where he served as a member of the Board of Editors of the Northwestern University Law Review. Today, Mr. Nichols is an attorney licensed to practice law in both California and New Mexico.