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Guns Would Have Prevented Holocaust, GOP Congressman Claims

© AP PhotoU.S. Rep. Don Young
U.S. Rep. Don Young - Sputnik International
Alaska Republican Congressman Donald Young claimed during a debate on gun control last week that Jewish people could have been saved during the Holocaust if they were armed.

"How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed?" Young, who is also a member of the National Rifle Association's (NRA) board, asked during a conference in Juneau, Alaska, last week, in the aftermath of the February Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead. 

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"Fifty million in Russia, because their citizens weren't armed. How many Jews were put into the ovens because they were unarmed?" he added.

This is not the first time that a gun rights advocate has linked gun control to the Holocaust. In 2015, Ben Carson, the current US secretary of housing and urban development, brought up gun rights during an interview with CNN.

"German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s and by the mid-1940s Hitler's regime had mercilessly slaughtered 6 million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior… Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance," he said at the time.

"The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed," Carson added. 

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Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, has previously slammed such sentiments.

"It is mind-bending to suggest that personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany's Jews could have stopped the totalitarian onslaught of Nazi Germany when the armies of Poland, France, Belgium and numerous other countries were overwhelmed by the Third Reich," Greenblatt wrote in a 2015 op-ed in the Huffington Post.

"This historical second-guessing is deeply offensive to Jews, Holocaust survivors and those who valiantly fought against Hitler during World War II," he added.

The heated public debate regarding gun control in the US resurfaced after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago. Amid protests by school students who survived the deadly attack, several US corporations, including banks, airlines and car rental companies, have announced that they are severing ties with the NRA.

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