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article imageJewish group calls for NRA lobbyist resignation after Nazi remark

By Megan Hamilton     Jul 30, 2014 in Politics
Silverdale - Remarks made by a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association comparing gun control to Nazi Germany has enraged Washington's Jewish community and members are asking for his resignation.
Leaders in Washington's Jewish community have called on NRA lobbyist Brian Judy to resign after he made comments comparing efforts to tighten gun control regulations to the policies of Nazi Germany.
Judy, a senior state NRA lobbyist based in California, made the remark while meeting with opponents of I-594, a proposed Washington state law that would require anyone purchasing a gun to undergo background checks prior to buying guns from a store, gun show, or online, according to Reuters.
"Any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think, 'are you serious?'" he said in comments that were recorded last week at a gathering in Silverdale, Washington, and posted to YouTube. "Do you not remember what happened? And why did that happen? Because they registered their guns and then they (the Nazis) took them."'
Judy's main target was Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, whose family has contributed $500,000 to I-594. The initiative, which will be on November's ballot, was launched by Seattle's Jewish community, per SeattlePi.com.
In a recent article, in which he advocated a higher minimum wage, Hanauer wrote that his family were pillow makers in Germany who escaped Hitler's regime and found safe harbor in the US.
"Now, he (Hanauer) has put a half-a-million dollars toward this policy, the same policy that led his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis," Judy said at the July 23 meeting, per SeattlePi.com. "It's like...How stupid can they — you know? Now, he's funding, he's put half-a-million dollars toward this policy, the same policy that led to his people getting run out of Germany by the Nazis."
In Seattle, Jewish leaders have called for Judy's resignation and slammed his remarks that suggested that the Holocaust could have been avoided if Jews had been armed.
"It is deeply offensive for anyone to suggest that Jewish supporters of gun violence prevention have 'forgotten' the history of our people," the Jewish Federation for Greater Seattle said in a statement. "To repeat the out-of-touch falsehood linking gun violence prevention to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is not only an ignorant distortion but is exceedingly dangerous," the statement said.
In 2006, a gunman fired on the offices of the community organization in a rampage that killed one person and injured five others, reports Think Progress.
"Eight years ago, the Jewish Federation was the target of a violent attack by an individual harboring dangerous falsehoods about Jews — falsehoods that continue to exist on the fringes of our society," the Federation said, per SeattlePi.com. "It is deeply offensive for anyone to suggest that Jewish supporters of gun violence prevention have 'forgotten' the history of our people."
Cheryl Stumbo, badly wounded in the attack, now works for the 1-594 group Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, notes that Washington needs "everyone working together" to make communities safer."
"Fringe ideas like Mr. Judy's are part of the problem," she said, per SeattlePi.com.
Another problem is that Judy didn't get his facts straight.
Gun control had actually been reversed during the holocaust. Hitler signed a law in 1938 that reversed Germany's strict gun laws, and completely deregulated the sale of rifles, shotguns and ammunition for most Germans, Think Progress reports. He also lowered the legal gun ownership age from 20 to 18 and gave members of the Nazi party complete exemption from gun regulations.
In the months following the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown Connecticut, Congress has stonewalled efforts by President Barack Obama to restrict sales of certain types of guns and require tighter background checks at the national level, per Reuters.
Washington is one of several states that have pursued tighter gun control laws in the aftermath of the shootings.
Neither Judy or the NRA have responded to requests for comment via telephone or email, Reuters reports.
More about National rifle association, Background checks, initiative 594, think progress, seattlepicom
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