A popular chart making the rounds on social media claims that gun control is the prelude to genocide. It lists Russia, Nazi Germany, Guatemala, Cambodia, Uganda, Turkey and China as examples. The warning is that any gun control laws are a red flag:
Gun control=government is planning to kill mass quantities of its citizens.
Charts appeal to critical thinkers, they look so tidy and scientific. Here is a particularly good one, with dates and relevant gun control laws. However, there are several flaws in this premise. The most glaring is the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. This fallacy asserts that because a thing happened after an event, it is strongly correlated to the event.
Let’s say you are eating a Snickers while walking in the backyard and a big tree limb falls on you. Did eating Snickers cause the tree limb to fall on you? Does walking in the backyard cause tree limbs to fall on you? Do unnoticed, long-term forces (the tree slowly rotting) cause tree limbs to fall on you? Which factors, or combination of factors, caused this accident? We want to know to avoid falling tree limbs in the future. We want to know what caused mass murders to avoid mass murders in the future.
Does gun control lead to genocide? Have any countries enacted gun control laws and NOT killed its citizens? What would that chart look like?
First: Guatemala, Cambodia, China and Uganda do not belong on the chart. People were too poor in these countries to own significant quantities of firearms. Cambodia and Uganda were ruled by bats**t crazy tyrants; Pol Pot and Idi Amin. Pol had a screwy religious-sounding idea of returning the nation to its pure, golden age. Idi was a psychopathic thug, the only one in the list above who personally killed people in horrible ways, apparently just for fun.
China’s “genocide” was not deliberate; Chinese are inordinately fond of other Chinese and do want them want them wiped out (the definition of genocide.) The numbers who died in the famine were not due to genocidal policies; they were due to piss-poor policies, and bullets are ineffective against those.
Turkey’s genocide of the Armenians was at least partially deliberate and they did disarm them first, though the Armenians likely did not have a lot of guns. Turkey was afraid the Armenians would side with the enemy in their war with Russia and soon, their war with the Allies.
This was similar to the US rounding up and detaining in concentration camps Japanese-Americans during WWII, with the notable exception that the Turks made no effort to keep the Armenians alive as they “relocated” them on the long march through the desert.
Most Russians were not armed to start with, unless pitchforks count; when the Bolsheviks took over, the country was 90% poor peasants. That other 10%, however, were not only armed, many were veterans of WWI and loathed the minority Bolsheviks.
A terrible Civil War ensued. I say “terrible,” but when has a Civil War ever been civil? The Bolsheviks had real enemies and it killed them wantonly. Then it killed non-enemies, just in case. Then it turned on itself and killed loyal party members.
The much-publicized Ukrainian genocide under Stalin was not so much an effort to kill off Ukrainians, as a push to export grain and if a lot of Ukrainians starved as a result, who cares? Human life was insignificant to Stalin.
That leaves Nazi Germany, who considered Jews “internal enemies;” a great danger during war time. Were the Jews an internal enemy? Were the Roma people? The homosexuals? The leftists? They were also locked up and killed. In fact, designation as an “internal enemy” would be a more reliable red flag on the path to genocide than gun control laws.
Designating internal enemies correlates to every deliberate mass slaughter and since a considerable public relations campaign precedes it, most of the population (incredibly!) thinks it is just fine!
Because they will stab you in the back! Never trust those Armenians, Cambodian intellectuals, bourgeoisie, Jews, Roma, Leftists, kulaks…
I have owned guns; most farmers have guns. But do we think guns will save us from the most powerful military the world has ever seen? Governments rule by monopolizing force, they have the force to maintain order, which is something we want them to do. Otherwise society descends into feuding Warlord-istans (see Iraq and Libya.)
So keep your guns as a psychological security blanket, but watch out for:
- Widespread devaluation of human life.
- Piss-poor policies leading (quickly or gradually) to deaths.
- Designated “internal enemies.”
Question that “internal enemy” story, question their socially accepted treatment. Can they be summarily executed? Can they be indefinitely locked up without trial? Can they be tortured with impunity?
Watch out for designating internal enemies-because you might be on that list one day-and if the propaganda has done its job right, the rest of the citizens will not give a flip what happens to you.