Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson took to the airwaves again on Thursday to discuss his views on guns. The former neurosurgeon is a believer in the therapeutic powers of heavy artillery in America’s classrooms, for instance. And Carson’s views on gun control, laid out in his book A More Perfect Union, bubbled to the surface again on Thursday during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, where he suggested that the outcome of the Holocaust would have been different if Jews had guns.
Blitzer read aloud a passage of Carson’s book:
German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior. … Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.
The CNN anchor then went on to ask Carson to comment on his claim:
Blitzer: So, just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?
Carson: I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.
Blitzer: Because they had a powerful military machine, as you know, the Nazis.
Carson: I understand that. I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.
“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,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”