Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson ruffled a bunch of feathers earlier this week when his response to the Oregon shooting was to point out how he’d handle the situation in the face of such danger. Carson continued his pattern of controversial comments on Thursday when he spoke with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Somehow succeeding at tying his new book release for “A Perfect Union” into the ongoing gun control debate and senseless tragedy that happened earlier in the week, the Republican candidate claimed the Holocaust could have been prevented if the Jews had guns.
The quote in question is pulled directly from the book saying, “through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.” Blitzer requested a clarification from Carson who turned around and pretty much blamed the Holocaust on gun control:
“But just to clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?”
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”
The basic concept of arming the civilian population against the incoming throngs of Nazi soldiers sounds reasonable, I guess, if you’re Indiana Jones. And sure, there were plenty of armed Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising years after Hitler came to power. But adding to the current debate on gun control in this country by attempting to shine a light on the Holocaust as a possible result to such proposed restrictions is outlandish and based on false information.
Further, it didn’t take long before the Anti-Defamation League responded to Dr. Carson’s inaccurate remarks:
“Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”