The Daily Caller's "Guns and Gear" section used an image of Nazi soldiers on parade to accompany the republication of a National Rifle Association press release that attacked proponents of stronger gun laws.
Appended to the top of the press release was an image of Nazi soldiers performing the goose step in front of Hitler and his generals during an October 1939 parade in Warsaw, Poland:
The NRA press release identified three Democratic members of the New Jersey Legislature, Loretta Weinberg, Sandra Cunningham and Linda Greenstein, who were reportedly “complaining” that proposals to strengthen gun laws in New Jersey do not go far enough. The NRA further claims that one of the legislators was caught on tape saying, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.” As the New Jersey Star-Ledger notes, it is actually not clear which legislator named by the NRA, if any, made the comment or what words were said before “confiscate”:
As a committee hearing on new gun-control legislation began winding down Thursday, three state senators started chatting amongst themselves.
What they didn't realize was the microphone was still on.
A recording of the exchange -- which appears to be between Democrats Loretta Weinberg, Sandra Cunningham and Linda Greenstein -- ended up on YouTube, and gun supporters said today they were upset by the remarks.
The recording opens with what sounds like a senator or staff member saying, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate” -- although it is not clear who is speaking or if this is what she is saying.
PolitickerNJ.com also reported on the recording, noting that the “confiscate” comments were made by “an unknown voice.” Reached for comment, Weinberg stated, “All I know is it's not my voice and I don't know who said it or in what context.”
Since a reinvigorated debate over gun laws began after the December 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, conservatives have employed Nazi imagery to attack proponents of stronger gun laws. During a May 4 keynote presentation at the NRA's annual meeting, Glenn Beck depicted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with his arm raised in a Nazi salute and wearing an armband. Beck claimed that the image was based on one of Lenin but also acknowledged that the pose was “a sieg heil salute.”
On March 1, then-NRA President David Keene defended protesters of New York's gun laws who depicted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as Adolf Hitler during a February 28 rally in Albany. According to Keene, “Folks that are cognizant of the history not just in Germany but elsewhere look back to that history and say we can't let that sort of thing happen here.” NRA News investigative reporter Ginny Simone, who produced a report on the rally, noted that one of the “great signs” on display included the phrase “Adolf Cuomo.”
Conservatives in media including Fox News host Mike Huckabee, Fox guest Lars Larson and Fox's senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, along with the Drudge Report, have all drawn comparisons between proposals to strengthen U.S. gun laws and Nazi Germany, often based on the ahistorical claim that Hitler rose to power because of gun confiscation.
As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald noted in a January 11 article, “the notion that Hitler confiscated everyone's guns is mostly bogus.” In fact, Hitler loosened gun laws for his political allies while banning firearms ownership for people he wished to oppress, which is an indictment of dictatorial rule, not specific gun violence prevention proposals.