Ed Driscoll

The Ominous Parallels

Well, maybe Rifkin’s partially right: Europe’s vision of the future won’t be coming to America as a whole, just the bluest of the enclaves in the Blue States. Which makes sense–as Jonah Goldberg wrote a few months ago, “the ideas, assumptions and prejudices held by the statistically typical Democratic voter, according to [a recent] Pew study, are quite simply, European”.

In a post titled, “Kristallnacht and Arms Control“, Dave Kopel writes:

Today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the infamous anti-Jewish pogram in Nazi Germany. In Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews (Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law), Stephen Halbrook details how Kristallnacht was the culmination of years of Nazi success in disarming their opponents by using the “moderate” gun licensing and registration laws which had been enacted by the Weimar Republic. During the Kristallnacht pogram, new regulations were introduced which totally forbade Jews to possess firearms, edged or pointed weapons, and blunt weapons. A magazine article by Halbrook, Registration: The Nazi Paradigm, examines Nazi gun control polices both in Germany and in conquered nations.

Among the items voted on in the elections yesterday? “San Francisco Voters Approve Handgun Ban“.

San Francisco already has a European-style birth dearth; why not add a disarmed general populace to the mix? (If I was a gay San Franciscan, I’d be particularly incensed by the passage of this measure.)

And while Charles Bronson may have passed away, if I was a filmmaker looking to revive the Death Wish franchise, I know which city I’d set the next movie in.

Update: John Lott looks at what he calls “a silver lining in a gun ban“:

Ultimately, though, the vote didn’t mean much of anything. As San Francisco’s Mayor, Gavin Newsom, a strong supporter of gun control, said, the ban “clearly will be thrown out [in court]… It’s really just a public opinion poll at the end of the day.” State law prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting such a ban, and an even weaker law requiring handgun registration that was enacted by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors in 1982 was thrown out by the California state supreme court.

The silver lining was how forcefully many organizations such as the police came out against the gun ban. Besides discussing the increases in murder occurring in Washington, D.C. after it instituted a handgun ban, the officers stated: “When we disarm honest, law-abiding citizens, we contribute to empowering criminals and endangering society-at-large.” They directly acknowledged how important it was for people to be able to defend themselves with a handgun when the police couldn’t be there.

It would be nice if San Francisco could avoid the increases in violent crime rates experienced by Washington, D.C. and Chicago after their handgun bans.

But Bill O’Reilly probably said it best recently on the Fox News Channel when he noted: “Once I saw what happened in Hurricane Katrina, I said every American household should have a firearm. If there’s a tremendous earthquake in San Francisco and looting, you don’t want your family protected? You don’t want a firearm in your house? You’re living in the world of Oz.”

It is one thing for a group such as the Pink Pistols, a gay-rights group that advocates people being able to defend themselves, to make these claims, but it’s a broader group talking about the importance of people being able to defend themselves and their loved ones these days. The fact that so many people discuss and debate how a gun ban can lead to more crime itself reflects how much the debate has been changing.

Meanwhile, speaking of the European-style of the city, Stanley Kurtz asks, “Has San Francisco seceded from the United States?”

Don’t tempt them.