Sunday 25 September 2016

Gun controls helped Hitler, claims Carson

Nick Allen in Washington

Published 10/10/2015 | 02:30

US Republican candidate Ben Carson speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Photo: Reuters
US Republican candidate Ben Carson speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Photo: Reuters

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon running for the US Republican nomination, has been criticised for suggesting that the Holocaust could have been "greatly diminished" if Jewish people in Germany had been armed with guns.

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It was the latest in a series of controversial comments on gun control by Mr Carson and is believed to be the first time a leading presidential candidate for president has linked the issue to Nazi atrocities.

Mr Carson, who has no political experience, is surging in the polls and is second behind Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination in 2016.

In his new book, 'A Perfect Union', the candidate wrote: "Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance".

In an interview with CNN he was asked: "Just to clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?"

Mr Carson replied: "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I'm telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first."

'Inaccurate'

Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said: "Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control but the notion that Hitler's gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany's Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the power of the Nazi German state."

Irish Independent

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