Sunday, May 25, 2003

I just happened across an article written by David Kopel & Richard Griffiths entitled Hitler's Control: The lessons of Nazi history.

"Halbrook contends that the history of Germany might have been changed if more of its citizens had been armed, and if the right to bear arms had been enshrined it Germany's culture and constitution. Halbrook points out that while resistance took place in many parts of occupied Europe, there was almost no resistance in Germany itself, because the Nazis had enjoyed years in which they could enforce the gun laws to ensure that no potential opponent of the regime had the means to resist.
No one can foresee with certainty which countries will succumb to genocidal dictatorship. Germany under the Weimar Republic was a democracy in a nation with a very long history of much greater tolerance for Jews than existed in France, England, or Russia, or almost anywhere else. Zimbabwe's current gun laws were created when the nation was the British colony of Rhodesia, and the authors of those laws did not know that the laws would one day be enforced by an African Hitler bent on mass extermination."

It's short considering the subject they decided to take on, but informative with some very good references to support their position. Of particular interest is a link to a David Kopel piece on the lack of news coverage on the potential genocide in Zimbabwe.

"Two weeks ago, the organization secretary for Mugabe's political party (Zanu-PF) announced, "We would be better off with only 6 million people, with our own land to support the liberation struggle." Conveniently for the genocide planners in Zimbabwe's government, about 5 or 6 million people in Zimbabwe are at risk of famine, starting in October, when food stocks run out, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development."

That article in turn links to an article by David Kopel, Dr. Paul Gallant, & Dr. Joanna Eisen on the specifics of the situation in Zimbabwe.

"One month later, Mugabe had the country's constitution amended to allow him to confiscate farms without compensation to their owners...
What most genocide scholars and 60 Minutes have failed to appreciate, however, is the presence of the most important factor for the accomplishment of genocide: victim disarmament. In the 20th century, every government that has perpetrated genocide has disarmed its victims first. This suggests that — although disarmament does not cause genocide — disarmament is the sine qua non of genocide. The history of eight genocides in the 20th century committed against unarmed victims is laid out in terrifying detail in Lethal Laws, published by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. A new article in the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, by Stephen Halbrook (a constitutional attorney with a 3-0 record before the U.S.Supreme Court), details how German firearm laws disarmed the nation's Jews.
In Zimbabwe, the essential pre-condition for genocide was unintentionally created by the British colonial government, through the 1957 Rhodesian Firearms Act. That legislation, establishing nationwide firearm registration, effectively closed what America's firearms prohibitionists have dubbed the "gun-show loophole." In fact, the 1957 Act closed every "loophole" for the lawful acquisition of firearms that lacked a government paper trail, because all transactions must go through a licensed dealer.
And the records of all transactions — i.e. the names of licensed gun owners, and details of the firearms they own — go straight to the office of the president, Robert Mugabe.
Of course, the Rhodesian colonial government didn't intend for its 1957 firearms registration law to facilitate genocide. Nor did the legislators in Germany's Weimar Republic intend for their "moderate" gun control laws to be used later by the Nazi government to disarm all opponents of the dictatorship.
The lessons of Zimbabwe should serve as a graphic warning about the dangers of excessive restrictions on civilian firearm ownership. With few exceptions, guns now remain only in the hands of government agents and common street criminals who seek to terrorize Zimbabwe's disarmed citizenry."

If you have the time all the above mentioned articles & the articles they link to are worth a careful read.
& if anyone finds a news article on the genocide that very possibly could occur in Zimbabwe please let me know. I doubt that there will be one in any major paper until the death toll starts to mount but it would be interesting to see if a newspaper attempts to cover it before that happens.

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