5 Years On: Hitler and Guns Still Reign Supreme

Hitler with gun

It’s now been five years since I began this blog, with the purpose of ferreting out, exposing and correcting myths, misinformation and disinformation in a variety of fields. In many ways, it’s been a productive five years. I’m pleased with the work I’ve done, and of all that I myself have learned in the process. And I’m pleased to see that I have a steadily growing following, and that I have received some wonderful feedback from readers. Equally telling, I’ve received my share of nay-saying and nasty attacks from those whose ideological feathers I’ve ruffled. The readership is not as large as I’d like, but considering that I’ve done next to nothing to promote it (I’m a very busy man, and not very tech savvy), it’s rather impressive.

These investigations have turned out to involve, much more frequently than I ever imagined, debunking the talking points of right-wing extremists. Which inevitably has prompted the accusation that I’m just here to promote a “liberal agenda”. Which is, alas, far from being the looniest thing right-wing extremists have said.

Which brings me to a fact that really bothers me. Out of 162 posts that I have written to date, the most popular by far is the one titled The Myth Of Hitler’s Gun Ban. And when I say by far, I mean really, really by far. More precisely, it receives more than twice as many views as all the others combined.  That’s right: more than twice as many as all the others combined. In one day alone, right after being linked in a commentary by pundit Randi Rhodes, it was viewed more than 23,000 times. It also has elicited about a third of the total comments.

I mentioned all of this to my wife and she said, “Well, maybe reading that post will make people want to read your other posts as well.” But the evidence indicates that this is not the case.  The blog is averaging barely more than one page view per visit. Most people come here to read just one thing. And most of the time, it’s the same one thing.

And it is far from being the best of my articles. Oh, there’s really nothing wrong with it, except that it’s rather cursory. Which is why I wrote two sequels that explore the topic in greater depth. But guess what? Those two posts are no more popular than any of the others. It’s bad enough that people consider this subject of such vital importance — I actually wrote the first post to show that it’s a bullshit question, and really not very important except as a historical footnote. What’s even worse is that so many readers don’t want to know the ifs, ands or buts. They just want a simple answer: did he or didn’t he?

They believe this question is vital because they have been duped into believing it’s vital by a relatively small cadre of gun culture propagandists who keep hammering away at one of their favorite little formulas: (a) Hitler banned guns and (b) therefore, any attempt to regulate guns is superlatively evil. Not only are both premises patently false, they are by no means interdependent, as the propagandists insistently suggest.

The irony is that, far from shunning firearms, Nazis embraced them with a white-hot passion. And it’s hard to imagine that anyone who knows anything about history at all doesn’t realize this. Thus, it’s hard not to suspect that the gun fanatics who conjure up the specter of Der Fuhrer are doing so not out of revulsion, but out of some level of admiration. Not for the man himself, or his policies or evil deeds. But for the way he and his followers fashioned such a powerful and influential movement — aided and abetted by guns.

In any case, there are numerous subjects I’ve written about that deserve far more attention, especially from American readers. There is, for example, the Christian Right’s Nazi-flavored campaign to marginalize gays. (No, “Nazi-flavored” is not an exaggeration.) There’s the way a shamelessly partisan media cartel colluded with Republicans in the hijacking of the 2000 presidential election. Or, if we must talk about guns, there is the way the gun lobby manipulates statistics to make it appear that guns make us safer; and in particular, there’s the frequent naive reliance on bogus “statistics” that grossly inflate the frequency of defensive gun use, giving gun owners a dangerous false sense of security and coincidentally swelling the coffers of gun merchants. Instead, many readers just zero in on a bit of minor marginalia in the history of Twentieth-Century Europe.

But there is a bright spot. I omitted something from the stats I referred to (and one reason I did so is to illustrate how incomplete information can be misleading). The counts do not include visits to the home page, which presumably reflect readers checking out the latest post without actually clicking on it. That count is on average nearly as high as that of the Hitler-gun post; in fact, for the past couple of weeks, it’s actually been considerably higher almost every day. If this continues, it certainly offers some encouragement.

Still, I’m glad that this blog is geared toward those who have a sincere interest in learning the truth. If it had been designed for the edification of the general public, one would have to conclude that it’s been a dismal failure.

11 thoughts on “5 Years On: Hitler and Guns Still Reign Supreme

  1. I’m curious about the apparent machinery of propaganda in the U.S. So-called think tanks are quite obviously fonts of propaganda but there are many other sources ranging from internet trolls to faux grass roots groups to guest “taking heads” for cable news shows. Can you recommend any exposes of these largely unrecognized influences on public opinion?

  2. I think the fact that your first article challenging the Hitler gun regulation myths actually offended many readers who then, may not have followed your additional posts on the same topic. But this is a good sign that you are accomplishing your goal of successfully challenging dogma and propaganda in all forms.

    While its true that too much controversy can be a negative thing, its also likely a positive effect when readers are challenged enough to feel hurt or offended—that means you have dug beneath the surface of your readers awareness, and left an indelible impression on them. Even if not all of them, or most of them, ever change their opinions. The controversy you have stirred up would be even less opinion changing, if no one took offense–that would mean your remarks were merely mundane, ordinary, and non-challenging.

    As some who feels he is interested in telling the truth and exposing liars and incessant spinners,I find your blog one of the most well written and intriguing of any I haves come across on the web. When a blog values these forms of uncensored thoughts, its bound to make a dent in the psyche of all who read it.

    At times I have been puzzled to find that certain of your posts which I find enlightening, have not been commented on by a great number of people, who apparently feel that your subject matter is not so important. But your examination of the Hitler gun control myths really are especially important, since as you have pointed out, no matter what cause of ideological viewpoint dispensed by any politically dogmatic group, you can bet that those who object to your exposes will rapidly dub you and others who agree, as a Nazi-like, or fascist loving, just for challenging their beliefs. After all, what happened in Nazi Germany was so horrible and hideous, that it remains one of the most impressive, (if only for its barbarism), historical events that ever demanded participation in, or resistance of.

    I feel pretty well convinced, that in our American society, we are far from seeing any fascist like takeover of our government which might first begin with a mass confiscation of weapons. And I know that calling others Nazis for whatever they believe, (be it abortions, income equality, voting rights etc. or just the opposite views) this is no excuse to point a finger at others in order to portray them as Nazis. Yet it’s very important to expose some of the misconceptions, lies and disinformation, which are being so freely dispensed by right wing ideologues today. Its not so much that these people are intent on tossing their enemies into concentration camps, or vying for complete control of the world, rather, it’s that so many of them are attempting to set in motion a complete disregard for, and suspicion of, all beliefs which might oppose their own. In regards to those of us who feel compelled to fight such propaganda, I am constantly reminded of the phrase, “All that evil needs in order to prevail, is for good men to do nothing.” So there in lies the value of your post–not in arbitrarily pointing fingers at others, but in placing those assumptions in plain view and on the center stage of your posts. And whether blatant lies come from the left-wing, the right-wing, liberals or conservatives, the real challenge is to become aware of them–no matter what their political or sociological origins. That POP, is what your blog endeavors to do, and I for one am grateful for your persistence, as well as the fact that you are dedicated to examining what is true or false—without reserve!

    Thanks for creating this great blog, and the presenting a philosophically unbound look at the controversies you discuss in it. It’s truly one of the best on the web!

  3. First of all, thanks for a very good blog.

    You’ll find yourself branded as liberal for your dogged insistence on accuracy and exposing propaganda. The incurious will not forgive you.

  4. Pingback: 7 Reasons Why “Gun Control Doesn’t Work” Doesn’t Work | The Propaganda Professor

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