Recently, gun control has become a major blogging topic on social network sites in the aftermath of the terrible slaughter of young innocents at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and the Aurora, Colo. movie theater. In just a very short time, there was one mass killing after the other. What has amazed me is how many friends of mine have put up some very questionable and hateful blogs comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler for wanting to take assault weapons off the streets in answer to these mass murders.
I asked them: Do you really think this is a fair comparison?
One responded back to me that I was being thickheaded for not seeing the bigger picture concerning this issue when it comes to the Obama administration’s true political agenda.
Really? Adolf Hitler?
Then there’s another blog that talks about how Hitler took all the guns away from the German people, rendering them defenseless to his takeover of that country and like Germany, if we allow Pres. Obama to do the same thing, we’ll end up as equally defenseless to stop his tyrannical reign and eventual takeover of our country.
This one really makes no sense since in the 1930s Hitler was very popular with the German people and by the time the war began in 1939, he had widespread support both in Germany and Austria. Gun ownership had nothing at all to do with his rise to power. And, his army of Brownshirt thugs were armed to the hilt throughout the ‘30s, openly challenging people of other political stripes to engage them in violence-if they dare.
Another even more important point; President Obama can’t take away all the guns – the Supreme Court has already settled that! This should not be an issue! From what I’ve seen released in press reports, all he wants to do is have all gun sales registered; eliminate the public sale of military style assault rifles; the sale of armor-piercing bullets and an end to the sale of high capacity bullet magazines. Does this make him like Adolf Hitler? How?
When I pointed all this out to my fellow bloggers they completely dismissed me. Then they start in on accusing the President of subverting the Second Amendment to the Constitution. This apparently is actually part of his overall political strategy to eventually rid us Americans of all our Constitutional rights.
Again, we’re talking about a man who was a professor of Constitutional Law. It just doesn’t seem to make sense that he’d either want to rid America of its Constitution or for that matter would be able to do that.
I would often point out to my fellow bloggers that this kind of distorted histrionics is hardly a healthy way to hold an intelligent debate in a democracy. And, worse yet, it makes their position seem outright foolish and for most people easy to dismiss.
Is this what they want? To be dismissed?
I think they have a point to make in this debate about the sale of assault weapons but engaging in foolish unfounded and non sensible accusations just makes their arguments seem, well, like nonsense.
For a democracy to work, all sides need to bring their best ideas into the public arena – not histrionic ridicule. I miss the icon of American conservatism, William F. Buckley Jr. He demanded intelligent back and forth debate on all issues and would often eagerly engage in it. Hitler, on the other hand, didn’t want to debate anyone. It was always his way or the highway. When we present our position on any issue in hyperbolic exaggerations that expect no response, I fear that position is actually more a reflection of Hitler and the Nazis than that of Jefferson, Adams, Madison and President Obama.
Rob Braun is a Princeton-based freelance writer.