History Lesson

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I don't think you unerstand, daniel. This is a history lesson, and it's meant for YOU. You need to learn from this man's ineffable wisdom!

Not much of a lesson if the "facts" are untrue. Worse still if that untruth is widely known among those who oppose us, as it certainly is, and if that untruth is thrown back at us, as it certainly has been. Rehashing such obviously false and widely debunked history isn't wisdom.

There's a lesson for you;)

I'm tryin' to keep it in the road, jfh...but I tend to get a little prickly whenever I hear or read somethin' that suggests supporting or even accepting a gun-grab action...no matter how insignifigant.

I can understand that you'd get prickly if that was what I said, but it isn't even close. I don't support what happened here, far from it. The important point you've missed though is that the so-called "facts" about what happened here as set out in the OP are blatantly false. Worse, they've been debunked repeatedly over the roughly ten years since this particular chain letter hit the net, and thrown back at us by our opponents either with derision or as examples of intellectual dishonesty. Our case is not helped by this rubbish continuing to have any currency.

The much more powerful and effective argument, one which has slowly been gaining traction, is that the whole buyback, ten years on, can be seen to have been an enormous waste of time and money, which targeted the wrong thing (the tool) and the wrong people (LAFOs) and has in fact achieved precisely nthing as a means of reducing the incidence of crimes - especially homicide.

They're never satisfied with just a little, and won't stop until they get'em all...because it's not about gun control. It's about control...period...and they don't care if it takes 20 years or 50 or a hundred. Ours had been an ongoing battle for over 40 years. If we'd rolled over and allowed it to go on without a fight...we'd be in the same shape as Britain is now...or worse.

If our Australian friends believe that what's happened there is the end of it...they could live to regret their acceptance of the status quo, as an ever-increasingly empowered Parlaiment enacts bans on toys and articles of clothing in order to create a safe haven.

You're preaching to the choir here mate. The fact remains though that neither our battles nor yours are assisted by demonstrably spurious "facts".

Oh by the way mate, we are hardly gun-free you know. Two points you've apparently missed, both of which stick in the craw of the anti-gun mob. First, the 600,000-odd guns handed in represented as little as 20% of the number of firearms of the banned types which should have been handed in. Some millions of guns just "disappeared".

Second, there was more than 100% replacement of the guns handed in with new guns, and there are now significantly more legally owned guns here (let alone "off licence") than at the time of the buyback. It isn't as if people have meekly accepted this stuff.
Daniel, it appears to me that your disagreement with this entire "lesson" is based solely in a dated, and probably inaccurate, description of the impact of the Australian gun-control schemes. Is that an accurate representation of your position?

Other than the inherent issues in generalizations--i.e., rounding off to the nearest million--the other facts about goverment edict and gun control effects are not in dispute, right?

If you do NOT accept those other generalizations, then please state what you consider the problems to be.

Finally, how would you state the "facts" about the impact of the Austrailian laws. Be specific, and do more than suggest it has been re-hashed before.

Let's get this information all together in one spot, and updated; maybe we can put the canards to bed and start circulating a new one that is accurate.

Jim H.
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Correction: Most of them weren't "dissidents" in any meaningful way. Most of them never opposed the government. The vast majority died during Stalin's purges which had little or no connection to actual opposition to the regime. Prison and death sentences were handed out in a manner most resembling a parking ticket quota in a large city. Punishments were largely random and intended to terrorize the remainder of the populace as well as provide slave labor for the economy.

The purges were a statistical exercise, NOT one of guilt and innocence.
OK, I'll use this post for revisions

for a V.0.9 statement: Changes in text will be in bold , and note that I have put them in chronological order.


A Little Gun History Lesson

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million citizens, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated


Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million 'educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It occurs to me that we have other possible examples--Mexico, France, Russia (post USSR), etc., etc. Any other trenchant figures?

Edit: The three links that horsesense published here are invaluable for rewriting this statement.

Jim H.
There are sufficient reasons to be skeptical about gun control without helping the numbers.

It's never a good sign when your stuff shows up on Snopes:

Tuner, I'm usually with you 100% but, well ... I still am but when it comes to creative stats, we shouldn't underestimate our adversaries. If we engage in post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies or "bait and switch" numbers we should expect to get called on it much like we'll call them on similar tactics.

There were zero, or close enough to zero it would count as such, defensive gun uses in Australia pre-ban, to suggest that a ban would increase crime due to a reduction in something that was already zero is absurd. And, trust me on this, when I'm debating the gun control skeptic side on international fora, the mis-steps in the "Ed Chenel" email are routinely tossed in my face.

The fact that it's ten years old and states "it's been twelve months..." doesn't help.

The 300% spike omitting the source numbers (7 and 21) doesn't help - first, the 21 is arguable; second, Los Angeles would love to have either number - they're too small to be statistically significant and the one year proved to be an anomoly in any event - forgivable if the numbers were 1 year old, not so much with 9 years of subsequent numbers to check.

Worst of all, portions of the Australia rhetoric remind me of Mayor Fenty - the guy that claimed the ban was working because homicides went down. Our side had to point out that the RATE went up - D.C. had a decline in population. Note that this page starts off with a historical decline in the rate of violent crime then introduces absolute numbers showing an increase without adjusting to "rates". That's just plain sloppy.

The facts are on our side. I submit that they don't need "help" from creative stats, breathless press releases or emails that refuse to die.

There's nothing wrong with pointing out that Australia's gun legislation has failed to reduce violent crime - that can be proven all day long. If we push it to assert that the Australian ban resulted in a surge of shootings and violent crime it doesn't jive with history and will blow up in our face. England and Wales are another matter and I'm watching that with great interest.

The facts are on our side. Any assertion in a pro-gun fact sheet will be scrutinized, by an international audience, in the same manner that we use on VPC "reports". I behooves us to keep our house in order.

I'm only addressing the Oz portion of the OP. It's the one that causes me the most agita though.
Daniel, it appears to me that your disagreement with this entire "lesson" is based solely in a dated, and probably inaccurate, description of the impact of the Australian gun-control schemes. Is that an accurate representation of your position?

Deanimator, looks like you and I crossed in the digital ether.

I wasn't intending to answer for our buddy down under. I'll be interested to see if his remarks are close to what I've been having trouble with. The Oz example needn't be abandoned IMHO, just needs a little housekeeping.

Edited to add: At the very least, I would like to see the tripling in Victoria homicides being reported as "300%" go far, far away. When something triples it goes up 200%.
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I have seen much higher credible estimates on some of the numbers cited.
Most of those numbers or just what is easily verified, "safe" estimates etc Many of the atrocities were commited in secret or in places keeping poor records or motivated to destroy those records.
So long as I'm in a question-asking mood, I've got another. And, admittedly, another unsolicited piece of advice for the emailers in our midst.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated

The numbers associated with the Jewish holocaust are typically in the 6 million range. Total of around 9 to 11 million including all other groups. However, I believe the second largest group was prisoners of war running perhaps 3.5 million. Tragic numbers but I'd hesitate to include battlefield executions and subsequent POW exterminations as "attributable to gun control".

The film "Innocents Betrayed" floats a number of 170 million, JPFO's "Death by Gun Control" has a high range of 90 million.

The OP is 56 million.

I wasn't particularly comfortable with some of Innocents Betrayed numbers as it clearly included the Soviet famines and attaching these to gun control was a stretch. It would appear the source for the OP may have adjusted for that but the German numbers are difficult to duplicate.

They shouldn't be.

If we're to call these things "history" it is incumbent upon us to not pull the numbers from betwixt our cheeks. I'll grant the Soviet and Chinese numbers will be difficult to pin down. In general, the numbers should be "footnotable" without invoking gross speculation.

I would submit that, should the numbers wind up at, say, 25 million for the 20th century of actual "rounded up and exterminated" nobody would quibble that they fell short of Innocents Betrayed's 170 million. Accuracy and verifiability should take precedence over sheer bulk.

Frankly, the "170 million" reminds me, with no small degree of discomfort, of somebody else's claim of "13 children a day". I would like our side's numbers to be unassailable and I believe they can be - without losing impact.

Anecdotes on the Warsaw Ghetto and the Night of the Broken Glass are effective. Guatemala, Cambodia, Rwanda and Uganda are, I've found, very effective. People my age (and Fuff's, presumably) remember Pol Pot.

For those that might be inclined to believe that gun control saves lives, showing them that it may well have cost 7 million in Germany has, I submit, the same impact that 13 or 20 million would have and is considerably easier to prove quickly and easily. The raw numbers are less important than the impact that such numbers even exist, to those that have never considered them.

So why not make them as accurate as possible? Of course, if anyone has a source for the 13 million rounded up, I'll be delighted to be proven wrong. But let's don't put the Russian army in the catagory of "disarmed citizens".

IMHO, etc.

Edit: just noticed something else - Germany did not establish gun control in 1938. At least the stuff that I've got on the night of the broken glass notes that the Weimar Republic instituted registration before 1932 (1928 per this). It would be nice to foist the whole thing off on the Nazis but I don't think it will stand up to scrutiny. (Weimar notes from a work by Stephen P. Halbrook.)
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Those figures are sobering.
It may very well back up the claims that the 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history.
The large scale conflicts were driven by social and political movements in each respective region and country. Others by long simmering tribal animosities. Really, would an armed citizenry had really made a difference? Along with being armed is the willingness to defend oneself.
Those places had long histories of "deference of power" by their populations. The people do not see themselves as the power; they look to being led. They prefer being told what to do and what to think. Mother Russia, the Fatherland; we must serve our God-like emperor; the whole is more important than the individual. The state will do the thinking for you.

I have little doubt that the leaders of every movement thought they were doing the right thing. That is the really frightening part. They thought they would build their utopia. In a way it is idealism run-amok and gone awry. The USA on the other hand was built on foundations of the practical.

Freedom can be a scary thing.

America is different. Let us pray it stays that way.
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They're sobering to the extent that they're believed and believable.

If we're actually doing revisions, we should probably change this
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated
to this
Germany established gun control in 1928 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 6 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated

We could likely justify a somewhat higher number than 6 million but anything north of 7.5 will carry needless skepticism. Not much, if anything, is lost with the six million - a number most people have memorized anyway.

The email had a date and a number associated with Germany. All but two of these were verifiably correct. I haven't poked into the other numbers but if one stands out as suspect, all the others will suffer credibility loss.

Certainly not an issue if the object of the exercise is simply to preach to the choir. If we actually expect to reach those outside the community it probably needs a major overhaul. The Oz stuff should be jettisoned in its entirety.

As an aside I would note that a search of THR by the keyword "Chenel" will produce 14 results dating from January of 2003 through April of 2008. This is probably what wrapped Daniel around the axle - it was BS then and it's BS now. It refuses to die. It hurts our cause.

I'll be much happier when people learn to treat the forward button like a trigger. Keep your finger off unless you know what you're doing.

Nearly any email that exhorts the reader to "forward to all your friends" almost invariably doesn't deserve to be - treat it like emails about free meals at Cracker Barrel or free money from Microsoft. The "delete" button is our friend. Even if all the numbers apart from Germany are spot on, the questionable claims of quotes from the Japanese admiralty and demonstrably false stuff about Oz means that no one will take it seriously anyway.

The smell from the bogus parts rubs off on the good parts.
the sad thing about government banning weapons is that once they cross the line they cannot undo the propaganda they have spread against it. that would be admitting that the government was wrong...which would be contrary to the govern...err the peoples best interests.
1911Turner, Daniel used a shotgun in his statement (unless you took 5 minutes to read each and every word, and few of us DO) essentially hammering the thread's initial post. Only later on did we see Daniel was specifically discussing Australia.

Suggestion to Dan: Use a rifle and not a shotgun when you need to split hairs, rather than blast an entire post (which -was- historically correct, btw).
Hawk has offered some good observations, I think, about the nature of advocational e-mail.

Personally, I consider the best avocational e-mails--which I minimally pass along--to be those that are grounded in facts, and facts are only what is stated.

I let the structure of the writing move the argument forward. One can always attempt to derail the a priori hypostheses of a comment by what are essentially quibbles (a linquistic / logical term, not a value judgement about what 'size' is important--or make an ad hominem argument as rebuttal.

I also don't particularly worry about the implications of less-than-flawless analysis, and the never-ending argument of correlation and causation.

The point is, Using this kind of e-mail as the starting point, we can construct one that is factually accurate--including elements for an Australian / Canadian / whatever state as we wish.

Any one still interested?

Jim H.
Any one still interested?

I'm in. The German entry was really close. I don't have a "head start" on vetting the others though.

I've never been able to find anything verifying the Yamamoto quote and it looks like it needs to go away.

The email in the OP suffers from being a tossed salad of the Oz/Chenel email, what I assume to be an interpretation of JPFO's Death by Gun Control and garnished with an unsourced Yamamoto quote.

It probably can't be saved in its current catch-all form but one focusing strictly on the atrocities of the 20th century might have some potential.

I appreciate your views on the correlation / causation thing but it's a big deal once the email crosses our borders into places where handgun DGUs are unknown.

There are some lesser known facts that might be compelling if presented right.

Few know that the Australians replaced the "bought back" firearms to an extent I can't quite pin down. There's a pdf on STI's site of a NZ/Oz magazine noting that STI's Trojan in .38 Super complies with the new regs and is being purchased with .gov compensation funds.

That's not nearly as much fun as how they financed the enterprise - they raided the Medicare System. Linky It's great fun to roll that intellectual grenade into a room of grabbers - given the amount a similar adventure would cost here, I've actually had a few lose interest in copying their example. I'll count on Daniel to set me straight if I've misread the thing.

There's plenty of meaty stuff on the waste and pointlessness of the Oz adventure without bringing up bogus stats. But I don't see it sharing space with democides - just dilutes the whole thing.

I'll run through Innocents Betrayed again in the next several days and see if I can pick up on any hard sources.

I nominate jfh as project coordinator. :)
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

That's the other way around. The Nationalist government established gun control to disarm political dissidents (Communists). 20 million died in a Civil War and the Nationalist's were overthrown.
Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, also died in China's Cultural Revoltion and other missteps after the communists took over in 1949.
The cultural revolution and the great famine was in the 1960s. 1948-1952 was the Chinese Civil War.
I'll try to post a response made on another forum that zeroed in on a few cases that I thought was particularly well done. I'd post a link but all you'd get would be a registration screen.

It was a post in response to a typical "guns are bad, ban 'em all, they make dead bodies" sort of thing.

The guy that wrote it was only 20 at the time and didn't live to see 22. Dang, he was good, though. RIP Stiletto One.
OK, here goes. My Stiletto One memorial from '06:

Rohannan: You want dead people? I've got lots of dead people.


Bodies littering a church in Rwanda. Total body count: around 8e5. It stopped when armed Tutsis from neighboring countries managed to invade Rwanda and put a stop to the massacre.


Skulls retrieved from some mass grave, somewhere in Cambodia. Left behind by the Khmer Rouge. Body count: around 2e6. People still disappear all the time in Cambodia, including what few charity workers are brave or stupid (or suicidal) enough to go there.


A corpse haul from the mass graves at Srebrenica. Body count: only 8373. Then again, the 1991 census indicated about 36,700 residents in the municipality. Think about what it means for a community to lose over 20% of itself. Never mind what it would mean to go through that mess with the UN "protecting" force. By the way, look at the Wiki article for Srebrenica itself. It's curious how little up-to-date information there is for a town of historical interest. I like how the present population stat is a question mark.

Oh, the larger war over Bosnia-Herzegovina claimed 2e5, but maybe as much as half of those were actually combat losses (and by combat losses, I mean irregulars fighting off an army using old SKSes, Mausers, and maybe a few scrounged machine guns and assault rifles), so that's OK. Murderous ____s. There's no such thing as a legitimate defensive action, right? Anyway, they really shouldn't have send Milosevic to tribunal, since I doubt he ever actually did any killing on his own. Communicating orders doesn't matter, since the only thing that actually matters is the guns involved. People are irrelevant, it's all about the instruments of death and human suffering.

I didn't bother to list the WWII and pre-WWII massacres, but bear in mind that the Holocaust's count was 6e6, Stalin's pet famines claimed 7e6, 1.5e6 Armenians were slaughtered in Turkey, and the Imperial Japanese murdered around 3e5 (small change, I guess) in Nanking.

Consider, for a moment, that the blood-soaked, bullet-riddled streets of the US, at their current rate of legal "homicide", would take

Common denominators?
>Systemic or systematic disarmament of the victim populaces.
>Cutting off of communications and possibility of outside assistance.
Global apathy.
>Disregard to contempt for any international forces who politely ask the killers to stop.

What then? How would you propose to close Pandora's Box? Guns are already out there. You can't get them away from the bad people, because they already have them and they have no reason to give them up—so are you going to take them away from the victims, because "guns are bad" and any reduction in armament is inherently good and a worthy end in itself, with no social context necessary?

____, machetes were the weapon of choice in Rwanda, and the horror stories out of Cambodia suggest that by the time they finally shoot you in the back of your head, you will be begging for the bullet. Ditto Nanking; it's called the "Rape" of Nanking for a reason. Holocaust, guns accounted for a (lucky) miniscule fraction of the ones who died in concentration camps. Stalin's forced famines literally starved millions to death, they didn't need guns for that (although I suppose the State asserted its power with the threat of using its guns on the populace...), Mao's Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward mostly killed by starvation...I could go on and on.

Dead children indeed. We might have one of the highest murder rates of any first-world nation, but when you can honestly say "I have no use for the police", you have it lucky in the grand scheme of things.


(Can you tell this stuff gets me kind of annoyed?)
Last edited by Stiletto One : December 21, 2006 at 11:18 AM.

Now, that has impact. And, so far as I know, no numbers were tortured in the process.
During W.W.II the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED !
I don't think it was ever in the Japanese mind to invade the United States of America. It just wasn't in their interest or within their logistical capability.

The whole point of the Pearl Harbor attack was to deal a devastating blow to the U.S. Pacific Fleet so that it would be incapable of challenging Japanese control of the Far East. The Japanese war planners thought if they destroyed the U.S. Pacific Fleet the Americans would just call it a 'bad day' and sue for peace.

The Japanese miscalculated our ability to rebound from a terrible attack with the three undamaged aircraft carriers. They also miscalculated our industrial capacity to build a massive Pacific Fleet while still putting our priorities to the defeat of Germany.

Admiral Yamamoto understood what the Japanese were getting into by attacking the United States, but no one in the Japanese war machine would listen to him.

If the 2nd Ammendment were ever abolished, revoked, what have you,,, The very act of doing so would be considered an act of war against "We The People" in my eyes...

Our right to liberty and Self Security is a natural right, not to be abolished by any government.
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