Email: A Little Gun History
The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.
A Little Gun History
[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [f] Gun History
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 13:30:45 -0400
*Gun History *
After reading the following historical facts, read the part about
A LITTLE GUN HISTORY
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control.. From 1929 to
1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded
up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1..5 million
Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from
1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to
defend themselves were
rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From
1948 to 1952, 20 million
political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Guatemala established gun control in
1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend
themselves, were rounded up
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From
1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were
rounded up and
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million
educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century
because of gun control: 56 million.
You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians
disseminating this information.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes,
gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens
Take note my fellow Americans, before it's too late!
The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them
of this history lesson.
With guns, we are 'citizens.'
Without them, we are 'subjects'.
During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew
most Americans were ARMED!
If you value your freedom, please spread this anti-gun control message
to all of your friends.
The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in
defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more
important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is
SWITZERLAND ISSUES EVERY HOUSEHOLD A GUN!
SWITZERLAND'S GOVERNMENT ISSUES EVERY ADULT THEY TRAIN A RIFLE.
SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY
CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!
IT'S A NO BRAINER!
DON'T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS
IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET.
I'm a firm believer of the 2nd Amendment!
If you are too, please forward.
Just think how powerful our government is getting!
They think those other countries just didn't do it right.
Learn from history.
Wow, the Swiss sound like they have it made! I had to find out if the Switzerland stats are really true.
A quick internet search proved that old adage: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."
I found out that Switzerland has a system called conscription, which requires every male Swiss to endure 21 weeks of basic military training beginning between the ages of 19 and 25 and lasting up until the age of 35 or 50. More strict than the U.S. Military Reserves or National Guard, under conscription, the Swiss will spend "the next 22 to 32 years...[in a] succession of two- to three-week training camps...until he's accrued 300 to 1,300 days of active service." The Swiss government does allow every soldier to keep "his military outfit, his weapon, and war ammunition at home at all times...[but] the ammunition shall only be opened in case of war." http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/swiss-switzerland/3-2-1-Switzerland-Military-service.html So, what good is having a lot of guns in a lot of houses, if you can't use the ammo?
And until 1996, if you refused to join the Swiss army, the government would put you in jail. Now, the government will allow a "conscientious objector" to serve in a non-combat capacity (although the website notes that this isn't common). And don't think you can move out of the country or flunk the required military physical and get away with not giving the army its due: "if declared unable for service, a citizen must serve on the civil protection...and pay a military substitute tax (3% of total gross income)."
Holy socialfascimarxicommunism, Batman! It appears there is a trade-off for having government-issued "guns in [many] home[s]": "the next 22 to 32 years" of your life in the military.
But that's not all that this "Little Gun History" lesson leaves out. FactCheck.org also debunks the claim that the Japanese did not invade America because they knew Americans were armed:
"One of the more fanciful claims in the message is that during World War II "the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!" In fact, according to the U.S. Army's Center for Military History, Japan in World War II had set its sights mainly on Asia; its attacks on U.S. military targets were intended to clear the way for Asian conquests...Japan had no thought of invading the U.S. mainland, and the idea it was deterred from such an invasion by fear of homeowners with guns in their closets is historically absurd."
FactCheck.org also researched the other claims in the email:
"As for the other claims, we talked to Dr. Robert Spitzer, a political science professor and the author of "The Politics of Gun Control" and two other books on gun control legislation. Spitzer called the e-mail "a cartoonish view of the complex events" regarding the rise of Nazi Germany, the Cambodian mass killings and the other events that the anonymous author attributes to gun laws. "The people who write these things don't know comparative politics, they don't know international relations, they haven't studied war," Spitzer told us.
We have no doubt that Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot tried to keep guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens. But that doesn't mean that gun control necessarily leads to totalitarian dictatorships. This reasoning is a classic example of the fallacy known as "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" - "after this, therefore because of this." The fact that one thing happens after another does not mean that there's any causation involved. And that rule would apply to anyone making an argument completely counter to that of our e-mail author, as well."
And rest assured, you're not the only "firm believer" in the 2nd Amendment. I found a video of President Obama promising "I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people's lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won't take your handgun away."
Watch it yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBHkMADXnOw
So, there you have it: gun control doesn't automatically equal a dictatorship, the Swiss way of life may not be for everyone, and Obama's not taking away our guns. Let's learn all the "history" before we forward these on in the future.
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