A former sheriff of Arizona likened the brave survivors of the Parkland shooting to the world’s most genocidal, tyrannical leaders – just because they are calling for much-needed gun reforms.
Some of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become very vocal against tighter gun control, particularly calling for restrictions on semi-automatic, military-grade weapons — like the one responsible for taking the lives of 17 of their schoolmates and teachers — and high-capacity magazine. They have started a #NeverAgain campaign and planned a march next month in Washington, D.C.
Yet, to Richard Mack, the leader of the anti-government “constitutional sheriffs” movement, it seems the teenagers have been using the “exact same kind of language” as Hitler, Stalin and Lenin, who he claimed supported restrictions on guns.
“Well, the talk — the talk that I’ve heard so far coming from either some of the students or from politicians or from the media is that gun control would make us safer,” Mack told the Southern Poverty Law Center. “And I already told you that if you compare that to some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin, you’ll see the exact same kind of language used. That gun control will make you safer.”
The argument is completely preposterous, not to mention entirely offensive to the victims and families of the Holocaust.
During the 1930s, few citizens in Germany owned guns. When the Third Reich gained power, gun restrictions were loosened — but mostly for the Nazi Party and the military. They tightened even further for some people. Even though, some German citizens of the “Aryan” race enjoyed the privilege of toting a gun, Hitler’s law sought to disarm the Jewish population or others they deemed undesirable. The practice had nothing to do with gun control. It had everything to do with oppressing the vulnerable.
In fact, it seems Mack is the one whose party’s rhetoric matches that of these historical tyrants. The various members of the Republican Party, who keep their pockets warm from the millions they receive from NRA, are extremely pro-gun. They are also mostly white. Yet, what happens to a black person who is deemed “dangerous” by a white man, whether or not they are carrying a firearm? The cases of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castile are explanation enough. Would the Republican Party still tout the Second Amendment for all if they see a Muslim man carrying a gun in the streets of America?
Mack is running in next week’s special Republican primary in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. While acting as sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, in the 1990s, he fought for and won a case in the Supreme Court that would weaken gun regulations. After that, he founded the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) which advocates an anti-government theory that sheriffs are the highest authority in the nation and and are above gun control laws — or any law they deem unconstitutional, for that matter.
Mack also claimed he has never shot a gun nor have been shot at during his 20 years as a police officer because he knows how to “avoid ‘em.”
“Maybe I know more because I know how to avoid ‘em,” Mack added. “I do know more, probably, than victims of it. Because I’ve handled lots of different victims of gun violence and of police brutality. So, because they were there that day doesn’t mean that they know more than a police officer of 20 years.”
So, apparently, it’s also the students fault for not avoiding getting shot. As if the students were expecting sudden gun shots coming in from windows of a place they believed was a safe haven.
If this doesn’t take the cake for victim-blaming and tone-deafness, nothing does.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Colin Hackley