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Hitler didn’t disarm the German people, the Allies did

In Business, Education, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Religion, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on February 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

This picture couldn't be more inaccurate. Hitler was a strong advocate of gun deregulation.

This picture couldn’t be more inaccurate. Hitler was a strong advocate of gun deregulation.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many high-profile politicians only speak out about issues like gun control when devastating events like mass shootings hit the headlines. Suddenly, people shift to one side of the debate or the other; with conservative Republicans typically taking the defensive, pro-gun position.

Unfortunately, most of this issue is argued, not from factual evidence or statistics, but from the standpoint of emotion, religious dogma and political position. If that isn’t enough, conservative extremists hoping to insight fear seem to always cite Hitler’s Nazi Germany as an example of what could happen to America if guns are taken away. Sadly, people rarely do any research before they start spewing nonsense like this; again, why let facts get in the way of a good scare tactic?

In fact, Adolf  Hitler did have a gun control policy, one that many on both sides of the debate say looked a lot like that proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein. But Hitler’s policy was an addition to gun control acts set up by the Allied powers after World War I to prevent Germany from regaining a military presence.

Quoting Cris Miles, editor of PolyMic.com, “The German (gun control) regulation was in response to the Treaty of Versailles and the Weimar government passed the legislation (not the Nazis).” Article 169 of the Treaty of Versailles stated, “Within two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, German arms, munitions, and war material, including anti-aircraft material, existing in Germany in excess of the quantities allowed, must be surrendered to the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to be destroyed or rendered useless.

As Mr. Miles points out in his own article on the subject, the wording of this policy must sound like the nightmare of every pro-gun activist in the country. So far, there is no national legislation being proposed promoting confiscation of personal firearms. Keep in mind that the German regulations were put into effect nearly a decade and a half before Hitler’s Fascist party took control of the country in 1933. In a strange twist of irony, pro-gun advocates might be surprised to learn that they had something in common with the vile German dictator.

As it turns out, Hitler was a strong supporter of gun deregulation. In 1928, German citizens were granted the right to carry a firearm (applying only to handguns at that point) with a permit but where ownership was restricted to, “Persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit.” (That had to be interesting to enforce before the days of the Internet).

The 1938 German Weapons Act effectively removed most other barriers to gun ownership, deregulating the acquisition of rifles, shotguns and ammunition. It also lowered the gun ownership age to 18 and forbid Jews from manufacturing or selling firearms. It wasn’t until the Nazi surrender after World War II in 1945 that the country was once again disarmed.

So, in effect, it was the United States and the Allies that disarmed Germany each time, not the Nazis. In 1956, German citizens were once again allowed to own firearms, but gun laws in that country are far more restrictive than those in America. The point is that America’s leaders are not trying to circumvent the Constitution but are desperately faced with the seemingly insurmountable problem of rampant gun violence against innocents.

Comparing President Obama, or any other U.S. leader, to one of the most notorious mass murderers in the history of the world is, to put it mildly, disrespectful and unpatriotic. Such statements only further demonstrate the ignorance of a few gun-obsessed people trying to make a point from an uneducated, feeble position.

Any fruitful debate on gun control must originate from facts and effective solutions will have to include some better method to keep deadly weapons from the hands of career criminals and the mentally ill. The idea that weak arguments can be made stronger simply by citing events from Nazi Germany is foolish, to say the least, and just weakens the position of the debater, particularly when the history being quoted is so inaccurate.

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Stop the presses. Please?

In Children and Family, Entertainment, Media, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, Technology, television, Uncategorized on December 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

mic1DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

Following the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I’ve debated whether to weigh in as yet another part of the media’s relentless armchair quarterbacking of the tragedy. When I finally decided to write about it, I thought I’d take a slightly different approach. Even though I am a part of the machinery of the American press, I believe they deserve a scolding.

From the moment the news hit the wires that a gunman had opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary, the press has been relentless in its coverage. Every media outlet has surpassed the necessary “news” aspects of the story, as each tries to scoop the other with grotesque detail, or by displaying the most painful tale from surviving parents and children.

None of this is necessary. As Newtown tries to begin what is certain to be a long and difficult recovery from these events, it has become a media circus. Completely oblivious to how invasive and unwelcome they are, television news programs are broadcasting remotely from every open parking lot, thrusting microphones and cameras into the faces of grieving parents and neighbors.

If the pointless commentary by coffee mug wielding morning show hosts isn’t enough to make you sad for the state of our news agencies, factor in that both sides of the gun control debate are using this awful event as a pulpit for their ridiculous agendas. Other commentators suggested the shooting would distract the public from the Fiscal Cliff debate. Apparently, the ignorance of such an unprofessional media just continues to flow. Politicizing such unspeakable tragedy is reprehensible and, for lack of a stronger word, moronic in the highest degree.

Additionally, when the media gives exploiters a platform, they are just as guilty. While the American press has the responsibility to report, they also have an equal liability to know when enough is enough and let respect and good taste outweigh greed for ratings gold.

No matter how many guest experts are interviewed or what level of speculation goes into the motivations of the troubled man who pulled the trigger, or even how many cameras are shoved into the faces of survivors, we may never know the real reasons why these things happen. Endlessly debating the issue on morning talk shows will do nothing more than provide a better plan for the next unstable loner to do it more efficiently.

As the days and weeks pass, the frenzy will die down and Newtown residents will be left to deal with things on their own. Unfortunately, because of the nature of this event and our country’s twisted fascination with mass murder and other horrific crimes, the families will be faced with constant reminders in the media, books, online, everywhere. They will have something in common with those who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers on 9/11. They will forever be forced to relive that day over and over because of the public’s sick thirst for grotesque detail.

From my point of view, this will happen again; not because of guns or some madman’s quest for power but because our nation aggrandizes the killer and the event. It’s likely that there are more mentally ill people out there who see an act of deadly aggression as his or her only way to get noticed and distort that undying craving for attention into an internally-driven martyr complex.

Those who guard our schools, theatres and malls need to be on the alert, now more than ever. Thanks in no small part to the media’s continuous exposition, somewhere out there, sitting quietly in a dark room, the next shooter is deteriorating into madness and admiring the mayhem of this most recent horror.

Make no mistake – I do not blame the media for the acts of a madman. But I do blame them for their lack of good taste and journalistic judgment. We are lucky to have a free press, but there is a point where complete coverage becomes blatant commercialization and exploitation of tragedy.