ADL Criticizes “Inappropriate” Holocaust References From Conservative Media During Gun Debate

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued a press release expressing concern over the “inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery” in debates about gun violence after the Sandy Hook shooting.

In a related blog post, the ADL wrote: “These com­par­isons, made by polit­i­cal pun­dits on national news pro­grams as well by oth­ers out­side pol­i­tics, are not only mis­placed and offen­sive, rely­ing on fac­tu­ally incor­rect premises and exag­ger­a­tions, but also deflect atten­tion away from an impor­tant national discussion.”

Some of their examples of this type of imagery include:

  • The Drudge Report, under the headline “White House Threatens 'Executive Orders' on Guns,” featured photos of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin (Jan. 9).
  • Former Major League pitcher John Rocker wrote on about what he described as "...the undeniable fact that the Holocaust would never have taken place had the Jewish citizenry of Hitler's Germany had the right to bear arms and defend themselves with those arms" (Jan. 15).
  • During an interview on the Fox News Channel, Lars Larson suggested that, "...if the president does it that way, everybody in America will be required to go in and give fingerprints....  It will be 'your papers, please' like Nazi Germany" (Jan. 9).

The group spotlighted conservative media figures arguing that the Holocaust could have been averted if Jewish people in Germany had better access to firearms, and explained that “Gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.”

In addition to the instances highlighted by the ADL, Media Matters has documented additional instances of conservative media making references to Nazis and other totalitarians in the midst of discussions about gun violence.