Archive for the ‘Genocide’ Category

Aux Armes, Citoyens!

One movement is conspicuously absent in the astroturfed land of genocide and tyrannical governments:  the Parisian Commune of 1871.National Guards and curious citizens at the foot of the Vendôme ColumnPlace Vendôme (Group of Federated Soldiers near the Barricade in the Rue Castiglione), 1870-71

Probably because it’s something that does not fit the narrative.

It was a product of the fall of Emperor Napoleon III and the rise of the Third Republic during the Franco-Prussian War.  The Prussians beseiged Paris for four months from 19 September 1870 to 28 January 1871. The fall and capture of the city by Prussian forces was what led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune.

Paris was not defended by the regular French Army, but by the National Guard, a militia.  The French Army disliked the National Guard anyway, but the hatred was augmented by the fact that the National Guard was a popular and radical force during the commune.

It was also well armed as these pictures show.Cadavres_Soldats_Federes_Commune_Paris_1871

It was still wiped out by the better armed French Army.

As is the case with most of the examples given where “unarmed” populations were wiped out during wartime, this was yet another one where there was resistance that was brutally crushed despite the people being armed.

The real argument against owning guns for fighting the government is Article III, Section iii of the United States Constitution.  The Constitution was a reaction to Shays Rebellion.

It hardly makes sense for a document written in reaction to a rebellion, which makes it clear that rebellion is unconstitutional, would allow for a suicide pact.

Pro-gun rubbish

Let’s see: Kleck and Lott have been discredited all over the internet, yet some people still love quoting them. Well, Michael Bellesiles has some pretty good arguments as well and he didn’t need to pretend to be a student to get praise for Arming America!

Gun Control leads to Genocide! really! I’ve gone over that one with a fine tooth comb. Why hasn’t there been a genocide in Britain since it has had gun control for nearly 90 years now? Maybe the answer to preventing genocide lies elsewhere besides firearms ownership!

Saddam Hussein? Private ownership of guns was very common under Saddam Hussein’s regime and it didn’t stop him. Same goes for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Check out the Durra Gun Market in this video.

The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee private ownership outside of the militia institution and fighting government tyranny is also rubbish. I agree with Matthew White that the most likely outcome of a war between the Feds and the extreme right is that the extreme right is crushed like bugs, even before the network news anchors can move their mobile newsdesks, satellite link-ups and tactical hairdryers out to the battlefield. As I said in my Fear the Reaper post:

Μολὼν λάβε?
Εντάξει, με ευχαρίστηση!

Or in the way that pisses off the gun cretins, let’s just kill them and pry the guns from their fingers if that’s what they want. If these people are that stupid, they deserve to be removed from the gene pool. And they don’t have popular support which means most people would be happy if the government wasted them. I would have called in an air strikes on Ruby Ridge and Mount Carmel.

Whatever theoretical merit there may be to the argument that there is a “right” to rebellion against dictatorial governments is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change.–Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951)

The amount of defensive gun uses is highly overestimated
Oh, yeah don’t forget the study that says armed defenders are more likely to be killed or injured!

Sort of like Melanie Hain!

More Gun Control and Genocide

One tactic of propaganda is to still up the emotions with black and white arguments and dire scenarios. Gun Control will bring about tyranny and possibly genocide. On the other hand, we have a couple of instances from history. There is a bogus quote out there attributed to Hitler which is pretty obviously false. Why?

Gun Control existed in Britain long before Nazi Germany did. In 1870 (19 years before Hitler was born) a licence was introduced for anyone who wanted to carry a gun outside their home, but there were no restrictions on keeping a firearm indoors. More restrictions came into force with the 1903 Pistols Act which denied ownership to anyone who was “drunken or insane”. It also required a licence for firearms with a barrel shorter than nine inches: that pretty much covered handguns. The 1920 Firearms Act introduced a registration system and allowed local police forces to deny a licence to anyone who was “unfitted to be trusted with a firearm”. The 1920s Firearms act was due to fears of working class unrest as was occurring in Germany. Again, this would place 1920 Britain as “the first civilised nation that has full gun registration” to paraphrase and also correct a bogus quote, placing British Gun Control at least 12 years ahead of Nazi Germany: if Nazi gun control truly existed.

In fact, the Nazi Party as we knew it was just formed when Britain had its system of gun registration!

On the other hand, Gun control was not initiated at the behest or on behalf of the Nazis. German gun control was designed to keep them, or others of the same kind (e.g., Communists), from executing a revolution against the lawful government. In the strictest sense, the law succeeded since the Nazis did not stage an armed coup, they were elected in 1932. The Third Reich did not need gun control in 1938 or at any time thereafter to maintain their power. The success of Nazi programs in restoring the economy and dispelling socio-political chaos along with the misappropriation of justice by the apparatus of terror assured the compliance of the German people. Arguing otherwise assumes a resistance to Nazi rule that did not exist. Further, supposing the existance of an armed resistance also requires the acceptance that the German people would have rallied to the rebellion. This argument requires a total suspension of disbelief given everything we know about 1930s Germany.

Several conclusions become clear if you read the 1938 Nazi gun laws closely and compare them to earlier 1928 Weimar gun legislation as a straightforward exercise of statutory interpretation. First, with regard to possession and carrying of firearms, the Nazi regime relaxed the gun laws that were in place in Germany at the time the Nazis seized power. Second, the Nazi gun laws of 1938 specifically banned Jewish persons from obtaining a license to manufacture firearms or ammunition. Third, approximately eight months after enacting the 1938 Nazi gun laws, Hitler imposed regulations prohibiting Jewish persons from possessing any dangerous weapons, including firearms. The Nazis aspired to a certain relaxation of gun registration laws for the “law-abiding German citizen” – for those who were not, in their minds, “enemies of the National Socialist state,” in other words, Jews, Communists, and other undesirables”.

We know that armed rebellions in the Jewish Ghettos were crushed by the better armed German forces. The Jews who did survive did as the Bielskis did and hid in the forests, or were dispersed as they were in Bulgaria.

On the other hand, there was unarmed resistance to Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts at Cable Street in the East End of London, which had a large Jewish population. The anti-facist demonstrators fought with sticks, rocks, chair legs and other improvised weapons, but not guns. Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the police by women in houses along the street. After a series of running battles, Mosley agreed to abandon the march to prevent bloodshed.

So, even though the was gun control in England, it wasn’t the presence or lack of arms that prevented a genocide, but the fact that popular opinion rose up to fight the facists.

The simple lessons about the efficacy of gun control is blotted out by the events in Germany and Britain at the first half of this century. It is all too easy to forget the seductive allure that fascism presented to all the West, bogged down in economic and social morass. What must be remembered is that the Nazis were master manipulators of popular emotion and sentiment, and were disdainful of people thinking for themselves. There is the danger to which we should pay great heed. Not fanciful stories about Nazi’s seizing guns or that possession of guns would have prevented anything.

Posted 05/12/2009 by lacithedog in Genocide, gun control, Nazi, nazism

astroturfed Genocide

The ridiculous “Gun Control results in genocide” “argument” is a lovely case of an specious argument astroturfing the playing field with rubbish. You know the list I’m talking about since googling “Gun Control Genocide” will turn up about 60 million results with that list reprinted verbatim. No need to give it any more power in the rankings.

On the other hand, Matthew White compiled the list Which has killed more people: Gun Control or Christianity? that begins to tear apart this argument. I reposted it at Gun control and Genocides with some additions made to the Holocaust section. I am going to add even more to show that the Guns could have saved the Jews proposition is straight off horseshit.

I am surprised that Matthew’s list doesn’t get the attention it deserves. The “gun control leads to genocide argument” is pretty silly when you think about it.

As Matthew points out “whoever compiled this tally has a different definition of defenseless than I do. I myself wouldn’t declare the largest military machine on the planet “unable to defend itself”, but by adding 20 million from the Soviet Union, this list does. After all, Stalin’s most infamous terror fell heavily on the Soviet Army, culling tens of thousand of officers, and executing three out of five marshals, 15 out of 16 army commanders, 60 out of 67 corps commanders and 136 out of 199 division commanders. In one bloody year, the majority of the officer corps was led away quietly and shot. It may be one of life’s great mysteries as to why the Red Army allowed itself to be gutted that way, but obviously, lack of firepower can’t be the reason.

Matthew points out that “this list of alleged genocides is a pitifully weak argument against gun control, simply because most of the victims listed here did fight back. In fact, if there’s a real lesson to be learned from this roster of oppressions, it’s that sometimes a heavily armed and determined opposition is just swept up and crushed — guns or no guns.

Yeah, yeah, there is the example of the Bielski partisans who were made famous by the film Defiance. You can debate as to how effective they were at armed resistance or whether they were the heroes depicted by the film. The real lesson that should be learned was that it wasn’t their arms that protected them, but the fact that they hid in the forests:

By the early spring of 1942, the brothers managed to form what was called an Otriad (a partisan detachment), which initially consisted of their immediate surviving relatives and close friends. Over the next three years, approximately 1200 Jews came into their Otriad. In contrast to Russian partisan units and many of the other Jewish units that restricted participation to young men capable of fighting, the Bielski’s took in any Jew who sought their help and actively helped liberate Jews from nearby ghettos to join the unit…

At its height, the Otriad camp consisted of long, camouflaged dugouts for sleeping, a large kitchen, a mill, a bakery, a bathhouse, two medical facilities, a tannery, a school, a jail, and a theater. Tailors, seamstresses, shoemakers, watchmakers, carpenters, mechanics, and experts in demolition provided the 1200-member community with necessary skills, and about sixty cows and thirty horses provided food and transportation.

Many of the men served as part of the armed contingent which secured food and engaged in sabotage and even the murder of Germans officials, while many others, including the women, the elderly, and the handicapped received the benefits of the community which protected them, despite the difficulties they presented when it was necessary to travel to new locations.

The Jewish Daily Newspaper Forward points out in its article, Bielskis vs. Hollywood that The Bielski brothers engaged in violence out of necessity, but the nobility of their enterprise is that they preserved lives:

Tuvia was fortunate in choosing the more difficult path — in fact, not a path at all, but a deep marsh — rather than a more inviting route lined with fallen logs, which proved unsafe. The greater human drama was in persevering for a week in an epic trek through the swamp, not in fighting and winning a battle at the end, as the filmmaker chose to depict in his re-creation of the story.

The awesome achievement of the Bielskis to save so many innocents otherwise doomed is cheapened by the image of Hollywood heroes mowing down the enemy, as we’ve seen before in scores of World War II movies. These real heroes had to kill at times, but their story deserves more than a war movie.

In contrast, actual armed resistance by Jews led to mass annihilation. Despite being vastly outgunned and outnumbered, some Jews in ghettos and camps did resist the Germans with force. The failure to halt the genocidal policies of the Nazis has pretty much left Jewish resistance as a footnote to the holocaust. For example, The the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was crushed by the Militarily superior German forces: Casualties and losses during this uprising were 17 Germans killed and 93 wounded Versus 13,000 Jews killed and 56,885 captured. The captured Jews were sent to Treblinka. So much for armed resistance.

Some people forget that inhabitants in the ghettos of Vilna, Mir, Lachva (Lachwa), Kremenets, Czestochowa, Nesvizh, Sosnowiec, and Tarnow, among others, resisted with force when the Germans began to deport ghetto populations. In Bialystok, the underground staged an uprising just before the final destruction of the ghetto in September 1943. Research into Jewish Resistance during the holocaust pretty much repeats the message that The Jews knew that uprisings would not stop the Germans and that only a handful of fighters would succeed in escaping to join the partisans. Still, some Jews made the decision to resist. Most of the ghetto fighters, primarily young men and women, died during the fighting. Unfortunately, this resistance did little to stop the German genocide.

We can add in that Iraqis and Afghans are armed to the teeth, yet this didn’t stop the rise of Saddam Hussein or the Taliban.

Matthew has “what I call the Cold-Dead-Hands Test. If the only way to get someone’s gun is to pry it from their cold, dead hands (literally or figuratively), that’s not gun control. When Grant disarmed the Confederates at Appomattox, that wasn’t gun control; that was taking prisoners. When the Soviets disarmed the remnants of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, that wasn’t gun control either. Mao didn’t come to power in China by tricking the populace into surrendering their arms. He pummeled his well-armed opponents in a stand-up fight. There’s a big difference between unable to fight back, and fighting back but losing.

It’s nice being able to dream of stopping the mistakes of the past with force. It’s a romantic idea to die fighting “tyranny” (whatever that means). But you have to remember that heavily armed and determined opposition sometimes is just swept up and crushed: guns or no guns. Everyone who wanted a gun already had a gun in the list of “gun control victims”. The enemies of the state who were killed in that list weren’t defenseless; they were just plain beaten.

Gun control and Genocides

A tip of the hat to Matthew White who compiled this list (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/gunsorxp.htm) with some additions from me.

There’s an old saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, so wouldn’t it be really ironic if a law created with the purpose of cutting back on the number of murders actually had the opposite effect?

Of course, there’s another old saying: “Yew-juice is sovereign against snake-bite”, which goes to show you that sometimes old sayings are just plain stupid. Sometimes good intentions turn out just fine, and sometimes laws don’t have ironic outcomes.

But among the advocates of irony, the leading cause of 56 million needless deaths would seem to be gun control. Here’s an account ledger that is reposted at several sites:

CONSIDER THIS… This is just part of the known tally …

* In 1929 the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, who were unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million “educated” people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

That places total victims who lost their lives because of gun control at approximately 56 million in the last century. Since we should learn from the mistakes of history, the next time someone talks in favor of gun control, find out which group of citizens they wish to have exterminated.

Well, right off the bat I can see that whoever compiled this tally has a different definition of defenseless than I do. I myself wouldn’t declare the largest military machine on the planet “unable to defend itself”, but by adding 20 million from the Soviet Union, this list does. After all, Stalin’s most infamous terror fell heavily on the Soviet Army, culling tens of thousand of officers, and executing three out of five marshals, 15 out of 16 army commanders, 60 out of 67 corps commanders and 136 out of 199 division commanders. In one bloody year, the majority of the officer corps was led away quietly and shot. It may be one of life’s great mysteries as to why the Red Army allowed itself to be gutted that way, but obviously, lack of firepower can’t be the reason.

I am not sure that the assumption that Turkey’s institution of “gun control” would have helped the Armenians either. One problem with “pro-gun” arguments is that they have the unspoken assumption that people owned guns prior to the enactment of these laws (such as comparisons to England and Australia). Usually, there wasn’t wide spread gun ownership prior to the enactment of these laws, which is likely in the case of the Armenian genocide. Additionally, this happened during the First World War. The Armenians who were in the Ottoman Empire (which is now called Turkey) army were disarmed, but again, this sounds like what happened in the Soviet union.

The Third Reich did not need gun control (in 1938 or at any time for that matter) to maintain their power. The success of Nazi programs (restoring the economy, dispelling socio-political chaos) and the misappropriation of justice by the apparatus of terror (the Gestapo) assured the compliance of the German people. Arguing otherwise assumes a resistance to Nazi rule that did not exist. Further, supposing the existance of an armed resistance also requires the acceptance that the German people would have rallied to the rebellion. This argument requires a total suspension of disbelief given everything we know about 1930s Germany. Why then did the Nazis introduce this program? As with most of their actions (including the formation of the Third Reich itself), they desired to effect a facade of legalism around the exercise of naked power. It is unreasonable to treat this as a normal part of lawful governance, as the rule of law had been entirely demolished in the Third Reich. Any direct quotations, of which there are several, that pronounce some beneficence to the Weapons Law should be considered in the same manner as all other Nazi pronouncements – absolute lies.

A more farfetched question is the hypothetical proposition of armed Jewish resistance. First, they were not commonly armed even prior to the 1928 Law. Second, Jews had seen pogroms before and had survived them, though not without suffering. They would expect that this one would, as had the past ones, eventually subside and permit a return to normalcy. Many considered themselves “patriotic Germans” for their service in the first World War. These simply were not people prepared to stage violent resistance. Nor were they alone in this mode of appeasement. The defiance of “never again” is not so much a warning to potential oppressors as it is a challenge to Jews to reject the passive response to pogrom. Third, it hardly seems conceivable that armed resistance by Jews (or any other target group) would have led to any weakening of Nazi rule, let alone a full scale popular rebellion; on the contrary, it seems more likely it would have strengthened the support the Nazis already had. Their foul lies about Jewish perfidy would have been given a grain of substance. To project backward and speculate thus is to fail to learn the lesson history has so painfully provided.

Just a few steps down, we can trim another 20 million from our total. Take a look at China, 1935. Picture, if you will, a long, peaceful line of naive little natives queueing up to dump their guns into an industrial smelter, while off to the side, a bureaucrat with a clipboard checks their names off the list. That’s the image this list would like to create. The problem is, in 1935 China was in the midst of the Age of Warlords. Even if you know nothing about Chinese history, just the name “Age of Warlords” should tip you off. It was a pistol packer’s paradise, a lawless Wild West where all power flowed from the barrel of a gun.

But it’s not just the ready availability of guns in China that contradicts the Big Tally. No, it’s just as important what everyone was doing with all those guns — fighting for supremacy, fighting against the Communists, fighting the Japanese. In other words, gun control or not, everyone who had a side to take had already taken sides. Everyone who wanted a gun already had a gun. The enemies of the state who were killed after 1949 weren’t defenseless; they were just plain beaten.

This is what I call the Cold-Dead-Hands Test. If the only way to get someone’s gun is to pry it from their cold, dead hands (literally or figuratively), that’s not gun control. When Grant disarmed the Confederates at Appomattox, that wasn’t gun control; that was taking prisoners. When the Soviets disarmed the remnants of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, that wasn’t gun control either. Mao didn’t come to power in China by tricking the populace into surrendering their arms. He pummeled his well-armed opponents in a stand-up fight. There’s a big difference between unable to fight back, and fighting back but losing.

It’s just as hard to label the Cambodians defenseless when you remember that they had just spent five years and a half million lives trying to stop the Khmer Rouge. It’s also hard to call the Guatemalans defenseless when it took a 30-year civil war to rack up their body count. Even most of the victims of Hitler went down kicking and screaming. The majority of the Jews and Gypsies were hunted down in countries like Poland and Russia that had been overrun in open battle, and if they were lacking guns, it certainly wasn’t German laws that created the situation.

Frankly, this list is a pitifully weak argument against gun control, simply because most of the victims listed here did fight back. In fact, if there’s a real lesson to be learned from this roster of oppressions, it’s that sometimes a heavily armed and determined opposition is just swept up and crushed — guns or no guns.

Posted 17/05/2007 by lacithedog in Genocide, Matthew White