This is a fascinating article, with a few tidbits to share with your conservative friends and relations.
When you hear “Hitler took guns away from the Jews so they couldn’t fight back”, be sure to mention:
1) Hitler also _armed_ the non-Jewish Germans – the 1938 German law that the NRA is always talking about reversed previously existing gun control, and “completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition”, according to University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt. (The point: You say it was bad news for a law to disarm the Jews, I say it was bad news for that same law to allow other Germans to arm themselves to the teeth. Potato, potahto.)
2) The fact that the 1938 law specifically deregulated guns for the vast majority of the population means that it is irresponsible to represent that law as a “gun control” law. It was, for the vast majority of Germans, the equivalent of the Second Amendment. (It was only the Jews who didn’t experience it that way.)
3) I don’t recall any of these armed Germans resisting the Hitler regime, despite the fact that Hitler let them have guns. There’s a reason for that – Hitler’s real interest wasn’t in gun promotion for everyone or gun control for everyone. It was in gun promotion for his supporters and gun control for his enemies. As Nazi Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick put it in a 1933 memo, “If these provisions guarantee that no enemies of the National Socialist state possess any weapons, then it is justifiable and appropriate to relax the current limiting provisions of the Weapons Law for the population faithful to the state.” Think about that the next time some patriot-wrapping-himself-in-the-flag tells you about how gun control is all about the state oppressing the individual. Could be the other way around – _gun promotion_ might be all about _supporters of the state_ oppressing the individual. (This quote comes from the draft to Professor Harcourt’s 2004 article for Fordham Law Review, available online here: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/harcourt_fordham.pdf … it’s on page 25.)
Keep the pressure on NRA-rationalisers. Their simplistic arguments are your best defence against continuing to live in the kind of world they have planned for you.