In the months since the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, some gun rights supporters have repeatedly compared U.S. gun control efforts to Nazi restrictions on firearms, arguing that limiting weapons ownership could leave Americans defenseless against homegrown tyrants.
But some experts say that argument distorts a complex and contrary history. In reality, scholars say, Hitler loosened the tight gun laws that governed Germany after World War I, even as he barred Jews from owning weapons and moved to confiscate them.
Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control, and lived under a dictatorship commanding overwhelming public support and military might, historians say. While it doesn’t fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, the truth is that for all Hitler’s unquestionably evil acts, his firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews’ very tenuous odds of survival.
“Objectively, it might have made things worse” if the Jews who fought the Nazis in the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising in Poland had more and better guns, said historian Steve Paulsson, an expert on the period whose Jewish family survived the city’s destruction.
At schools like Michigan, Kansas and Gonzaga, family connections obvious at NCAA tournament
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. can take the questions in stride at this point.
Any time Michigan is in the national spotlight, his familiar name stands out — and the queries about his father seem inevitable.
“It was hard just to try to follow his footsteps, and you try not to worry about it,” Hardaway said. “You try to leave a legacy of your own. It takes a long time to do that.”
Hardaway is one of three Michigan players with fathers who were in the NBA, and the Wolverines aren’t the only team with some famous names in this NCAA tournament. John Stockton’s son plays for Gonzaga, and Danny Manning’s is with Kansas. Several of college basketball’s top performers are from athletic families, and some of these players have already conjured memories of generations past.
Hardaway scored 21 points to lead Michigan over South Dakota State on Thursday night, and he had plenty of help from Glenn Robinson III, who added 21 of his own for the Wolverines. Hardaway’s father, of course, was a standout in the NBA, and Robinson’s was a star at Purdue who scored 44 points in a win over Kansas during the 1994 NCAA tournament.