Friday, May 25, 2018

Very Impressive Use of Primary Sources

Stephen Halbrook's Gun Control in Nazi Occupied-France: Tyranny and Resistance.  I am just a few chapters in, but wow!  The National Socialists used the 1936 mandatory gun registration law to order all guns turned in with the threat of execution for failure.  Even then, only a fraction of the guns were turned in.  He uses German occupation documents, French police documents, and responses to a questionnaire he sent to surviving members of the French Resistance.  Also entertaining is how much comes from New York Times articles about seizure of guns.

The parallels to National Socialist use of Weimar Republic gun control laws are striking.  France's 1936 law was to deal with threats from both left and right, much as the Weimar Republic laws were to disarm Communists and National Socialists, and then the National Socialists were in charge. 

It is a sobering reminder of how poorly mandatory registration laws are obeyed, as well as confiscation orders, even with a death penalty.  It also points out how brainless it is to mandate registration if you have any reason to fear a totalitarian society.  You know: Bush=Hitler, Trump=Hitler, and whoever the next Republican President is, who inevitably turns out to be Hitler.

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