They Went There: Right-Wing Media Invoke Nazi Parallels To Attack Obama On Gun Policy

Following reports that President Obama was considering proposals to strengthen U.S. gun laws, right-wing media figures likened the Obama administration to Nazi Germany and compared Obama to dictators like Hitler and Stalin.

Right-Wing Media Figures Invoke Hitler, Stalin To Reject Proposals For Stronger Gun Laws

Drudge Links Potential Obama Executive Order On Guns To Hitler, Stalin. The Drudge Report highlighted an article on the possibility that President Obama might issue an executive order to strengthen gun laws by displaying images of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. From the Drudge Report:

[Drudge Report, 1/9/13, via Media Matters]

Fox's Napolitano Cites Stalin And Hitler To Attack Proposals For Stronger Gun Laws. In a January 10 op-ed against stronger gun measures, Fox News' senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano pointed to 20th century examples like Stalin, Hitler, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, and Mao to argue for “the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession” of the right to own firearms:   

There have been practical historical reasons for the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession of this right. The dictators and monsters of the 20th century -- from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad -- have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom.


If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust. [, 1/10/13]

Fox Guest Lars Larson Compares Mandating Assault Weapon Registration To “Nazi Germany” Asking, “Your Papers, Please.” During the January 9 edition of Fox News' America Live, Fox guest and radio host Lars Larson compared a proposal to track firearm sales to " 'your papers, please,' like Nazi Germany":

MEGYN KELLY (host): Then they say they want to track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database. What does that mean?

LARSON: I think it's scary. If you look at Feinstein's bill, which I think is the model for the president. And if he does executive orders he's becoming more like Hugo Chavez all the time. Under Feinstein's bill, which has been introduced, if the president does it that way, everybody in America who owns one of the guns on the list will be required to go in and give fingerprints, mug shot, be entered into a database. It will be “your papers, please” like Nazi Germany. We're going to register everybody. Then you won't be allowed to transfer that gun. [Fox News, America Live, 1/9/13, via Media Matters] 

Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Invokes Hitler, Stalin, Mao In CNN Gun Rant. In an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones attacked proposals for stronger gun laws by invoking dictators such as Stalin, Hitler and Castro. From the show:

JONES: The answer is -- wait a minute, I have FBI crime statistics that come out of a year late, 2011, 20-plus percent crime drop in the last nine years, real violent crime because more guns means less crime. Britain took the guns 15, 16 years ago. Tripling of your overall violent crime. True, we have a higher gun violence level, but overall, muggings, stabbing, deaths -- those men raped that woman to India to death with an iron rod 4 feet long. You can't ban the iron rods. The guns, the iron rods, Piers, didn't do it, the tyrants did it.

Hitler took the guns Stalin took the guns, Mao took the guns, Fidel Castro took the guns, Hugo Chavez took the guns, and I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! It doesn't matter how many lemmings you get out there in the street begging for them to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand? [CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight, 1/7/13, via Real Clear Politics]

Fox Guest Compares Gun Laws To Nazi Policies. On the January 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy suggested to former Marine Joshua Boston that people “are worried that the federal government will come after your guns.” Boston responded that similar policies were implemented with “Stalin, in Cambodia, and then of course the Third Reich.”

DOOCY: I think you, like a lot of people, Joshua, are worried that the federal government is going to come after our guns.

BOSTON: It's something we've seen happen time and time again in history, with Stalin. It happened in Cambodia, and then of course the Third Reich. No one saw that coming until it was too late. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/7/13]

Right-Wing Media Have Previously Compared Liberals to Nazis, Dictators

Beck: The “End Of The Progressive Road” Is “Nazis Or Communists” Or White Supremacists. On the March 1, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck suggested that progressive policies could lead to “Nazis or communists” having control over individuals' rights:

BECK: I know it sounds like crazy talk to talk about communists, because, I mean, you've got to be kidding me. It's not about communists. It never has been about communists either. Never has been. That guy is a lunatic fringe, just like white supremacists on the other side. Right here.

This side, up and down, communist and fascist. Those people are crazy. This is about progressivism. And most people - they are in here. When they say they're progressives, they don't think they're headed here. But progress, baby steps - you are moving toward something. You're moving toward one of these.

This is why they called George Bush a fascist, because progressives know what is at the end of the progressive road. Whether it's Nazis or communists, someone has to control your life. Someone will be at the controls. Communists would like it to be them. Nazis are rooting for their side.

I'm not rooting for any side. I'm rooting for this side. Wrong side of the scale, guys. This is a war for your rights, you free agency, your free agency to choose for yourself. [Fox News,Glenn Beck3/01/10, transcript via Nexis]

Beck On People Who Say Hitler's Atrocities Couldn't Happen Here: “Well, Did The Germans Think That It Could?” On the September 24, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck, Beck suggested that people who think atrocities couldn't be repeated today were like Germans who didn't think Hitler's atrocities could happen:

BECK: The key is socialism. One never thinks or imagines that this can happen again. No one thinks it could happen here. Well, did the Germans think that it could? Did they -- did the Germans sit there at night and go, “You know, that Hitler thing -- that could end in concentration camps and the liquidation of the Jews.” Did they really think that? Or did people say all along the way, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, this isn't going well. This isn't -- no, this isn't -- no, this isn't us. We shouldn't go down this way.”

And then they were told they were conspiracy theorists. They were told that it was wrong -- that -- they would even speak out. And then the beatings started. And then executions started. And then that argument just went away. [Glenn Beck, Fox News, 9/24/10]

Beck Warned Of Impending “National Socialism.” On February 6, 2009, Beck claimed that “We are really truly stepping beyond socialism and starting to look at fascism.” Then, purporting to “explain what happened in Nazi Germany,” Beck claimed that “we're talking now about nationalizing the banks,” which he called “national socialism.” Beck said that “at first, all the big companies and the big capitalists in Germany said, 'Oh, thank goodness there's a savior. OK, great, we'll do that. Yes.' It didn't take too long before, like here in America now -- Goldman Sachs -- they started to see the writing on the wall and ... they couldn't get out of it fast enough.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor02/06/09]

On Fox & Friends, Hank Williams Jr. Compared Obama Playing Golf With Boehner To “Hitler Playing Golf With Netanyahu.” On the October 3 edition of Fox New's Fox & Friends, co-hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson hosted musician Hank Williams Jr.  who compared Obama playing golf with Speaker of the House John Boehner to “Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/2011]

Hannity: Using Quran For Swearing-In Is Same As Using A “Nazi Bible.” On the November 30, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said that Rep. Keith Ellison using a copy of the Quran during his swearing-in ceremony “will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones” and is comparable to using “Hitler's Mein Kampf ... the Nazis' bible.” [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes11/30/06]

O'Reilly Said Liberals Who Support Stronger Gun Laws Are “Totalitarians,” Compared Them To Hitler. On March 2, 2010, O'Reilly said liberals who support stronger gun laws are “today's totalitarians,” adding that in the past, people like “Hitler and Mussolini” held such positions in favor of “state control.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/2/10]