WATCH: Congressman Says Jews Died In Holocaust Because They Didn’t Have Guns by the Forward

WATCH: Congressman Says Jews Died In Holocaust Because They Didn’t Have Guns

A member of Congress argued against gun control last week by arguing that Jews died in the Holocaust because they were unarmed.

Rep. Don Young, a Republican who has represented the entire state of Alaska in Congress since 1973, made his comments at a town hall in Juneau on Thursday.

Dmitri Shein, a Democrat who is running for Young’s seat, asked him what municipalities and the federal government could do to prevent school shootings.

Young replied that he believed teachers should be armed in schools. He then invoked what he saw as lessons from World War II.

“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia, because their citizens weren’t armed,” Young said. “How many Jews were put into the ovens because they were unarmed?”

Invoking the Holocaust — specifically the Nazi regime’s 1938 ban on Jews owning weapons — is a tactic frequently used by of opponents of gun control like the National Rifle Association. The Anti-Defamation League has frequently called out such tactics, with national director Jonathan Greenblatt writing in 2015 that the comparison “is deeply offensive to Jews, Holocaust survivors and those who valiantly fought against Hitler during World War II. It is, in fact, as many historians have previously noted, a distortion of history itself.”

Young, a longtime board member of the NRA, also argued that much of the violence seen in schools in recent years could be tied to violent video games.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

Author

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

Don Young: Jews Died In Shoah Because They Lacked Guns

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

WATCH: Congressman Says Jews Died In Holocaust Because They Didn’t Have Guns

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close