George Santayana, in “The Life of Reason,” said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Unfortunately, the past century is replete with painful lessons of the connection between defenseless people and tyranny.
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In Europe, as the Nazi’s rounded up the Jews, they faced virtually no resistance. Most Americans are familiar with the concentration camps, and believe this is where the worst occurred. In reality, the concentration camps were a final step in the evolution of the “final solution.”
The horrors really began with the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile death squads. These were groups of German soldiers who would travel from village to village and take all the Jews from their homes. They would line them up on the outskirts of town and summarily execute them all. (The actions of ISIS in Iraq are very similar.) In most cases, the villagers were made to dig large trenches that they would then line up in front of so that when they were shot, their bodies would fall into the ready made graves. Even as the Jews watched their fellow villagers being shot, they did not resist. They waited their turn and stepped up to their place at the edge of the trench.
The Einsatzgruppen murdered more than 1 million people.
During the Nuremberg trials and other later testimony, Nazi SS officers and soldiers commented on the utter lack of resistance.
Vladimir Lenin, who orchestrated the Communist Revolution and was first leader of the Soviet Union said, “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”
Mao Tse Tung, the greatest mass murdered in history with more than 45 Million deaths to his credit said this. “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” (Problems of War and Strategy, Nov 6 1938)
Here’s a brief history of disarming citizens:
- In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 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, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 45 million political dissidents, 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.
The number of defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control exceeded 80 million!
Now here we are in the 21st Century and we are seeing the same pattern.
Saddam Hussein disarmed the Iraqi citizenry and America’s “liberation” of Iraq did not include ensuring that Iraqis enjoyed the inalienable right to bear arms. Consequently forces of tyranny and evil are marauding across northern Iraq unchecked, and doing the unthinkable. Children are being beheaded. Babies are being cut in two. Woman are being gang raped by the thousands. And the death squads are lining up Christians in front of self-dug graves for execution. If only they could resist.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.”
The tragic history of civilian disarmament cries a warning against any systematic attempts to render innocent citizens ill-equipped to defend themselves from tyrant terrorists, despots or oppressive majorities.
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As multigenerational visionaries, for the sake of our children, let us learn the lesson well, and pass it on to our progeny.