Ben Carson Goes Full Hitler

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, famous for being the first person to give himself a lobotomy, will not stop talking about the Nazis. Pretty much everyone in the political world wants him to shut up about the Nazis and focus on the non-Hitler parts of his campaign platform, but Carson is a man obsessed.

He dropped by CNN last week and tried explaining to Wolf Blizter that the Holocaust might not have happened had someone with a gun had just stood up to Adolf Hitler.

This was an elaboration of an argument Carson laid out in his new book, “A More Perfect Union”:

German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior… Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.

As can be expected coming from a Republican presidential candidate, Carson’s version of history is exactly backwards. Gun access in Germany was tightly restricted by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, however the restrictions were loosened in 1928 and 1938 (for non-Jews). Also,  there  were in fact instances of organized armed resistance to the Nazis, like the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, which was crushed by the better-armed and better-trained forces of the Third Reich.

If there was one thing the Nazis were really good at, it was using violence to their advantage. The fact of the matter is that it took the most powerful armies in the world half a decade to dislodge Hitler and the Nazis from power. And Ben Carson expects us to believe that the German citizenry could have thwarted Hitler and his fanatical, militarized regime with lugers and hunting rifles?

But Carson insists that he is in the right, he keeps returning to the Hitler example because he thinks it provides a powerful cautionary tale that bolsters the increasingly mainstream conservative view that gun ownership serves as the ultimate check against a tyrannical federal government.

Despite his apparent belief to the contrary, all this Nazi talk is bad for Carson. Instead of talking about what Ben Carson plans to do as president, he has us talking about Hitler. He’s the Hitler guy in the 2016 campaign.

Generally speaking you don’t want to be the Hitler guy.


Robbin’ Hood

The Oklahoma legislature will consider a bill next month that would make it illegal to wear hoodies because what we really need in his country is some hoodie control, not gun control though. Because freedom.

You can’t make this shit up:

Republican Senator Don Barrington will introduce the bill, which would make it a misdemeanor to “wear a mask, hood, or covering” either while committing a crime or in order to intentionally conceal one’s identity. If the bill is passed, offenders would be subject to a fine of $50 to $500, and up to one year in jail.

Who can say whether or not someone is intentionally concealing their identity by wearing a hoodie in public? Who makes that call?

Given that minorities are already subject to racial profiling, criminalizing an item of clothing would only expand the list of dubious reasons why police may harass and imprison people of color.

White people, such as myself, also wear hoodies in public on a regular basis, but if you actually believe this law would be applied equally I may be able to interest you in some volcano insurance.

Return of the “NRA Hipster”

The National Rifle Association’s resident waif-like hipster, Billy Johnson, is back with another hilariously simplistic video. You may recall Billy’s previous NRA effort in which he explained how gun classes should be taught in schools. But that wasn’t the craziest part. Billy also proposed that the U.S. government should subsidize gun purchases under the blanket idea that “everybody gets a gun” and also free government ammo, too. Nothing says “keeping Big Government in check” like a proposal for a gun subsidy entitlement program. Yes, the NRA is going socialist, but only when it comes to genuflecting before its gods in the firearm industry. We can’t possibly allow government to subsidize health insurance, but give all you can to gun manufacturers.

That brings us to “Episode 93” of NRA News, titled “De-mystifying Guns,” and the return of Billy Johnson. In this installment, Billy elaborates on the classic NRA bumper-sticker slogan: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Only, he never actually mentions it. Call it the “Guns don’t kill people” idea but repackaged for the new generation, to the X-TREME! In other words, he wonders out loud why society is so afraid of open-carry firearms.

I think it has everything to do with our irrational, media fed, hysterical fear of guns. Somehow, we have completely dehumanized gun violence and have instead, humanized guns.

Right. So, the people who insist they have a God-given right to open-carry firearms because imaginary enemies will attack them inside a Target or a Starbucks, the people with irrational, conspiratorial fears about federal goon squads confiscating their semi-automatic retail products, products which they’ve imbued with sacred, providential qualities, are telling us that gun control activists are dealing in irrational behavior? Yeah. Now that right there is some authentic frontier projection.

He continues by mocking gun control supporters.

“Guns kill. Guns strike fear. Guns intimidate.” Seriously?

Well yeah, seriously. Isn’t that the entire argument for open-carry firearms, to kill, scare and intimidate would-be criminals? Otherwise, why open-carry them? If firearms aren’t meant to provoke these reactions, why not stash them in camouflage man-purses or fanny packs or whatever the hell conceal-carry gun owners do? Something tells me Billy hasn’t completely thought this through.

And then he delivers what could be the most insane thing ever said about firearms.

They’re just bits of plastic and metal.

Well sure, in the most simplistic, basic terms, I suppose they are. But such a ludicrous description glosses over what firearms can do. The fact is, firearms also expel bits of metal at a velocity faster than the speed of sound. These bits of metal inflict immense damage upon the human body. While, yes, they typically require a living being to trigger the release of a bullet, the inherent intention of firearms is to quickly and efficiently kill or wound living flesh. This is what firearms are made for. Exclusively.

Guns aren’t scary. Guns aren’t cruel. Guns aren’t intimidating.

Again, if they aren’t, then what’s the point?

Just about all other retail products regardless of whether they have the potential to be used as a weapon, cars, knives, baseball bats, axes, chainsaws, are designed for other purposes. Cars have the capability to kill people, sure, but cars aren’t explicitly manufactured to kill or wound. And, by the way, cars and car owners are heavily regulated by the government at every level, from the municipal level on up. Because firearms are not only cheap and readily available, but also specifically designed to wound or kill, they ought to be regulated accordingly, which, as we all know, Billy and the NRA are against.

Why? Because the NRA is in the business of lobbying for the firearm industry. They’re paid to sell more weapons, and to prevent laws which might impact gun sales. If you think the NRA is interested in your constitutional rights, you’re out of your mind. This entire campaign attempts to make firearms seem more cuddly and acceptable in public, and therefore more marketable, almost like a fashion accessory, a fashion accessory that could de-brain you in a fraction of a second.