Sunday, July 8, 2012

Misquoting Yamamoto

It's fun how the gunloon lives in a world of alternative history.
Perhaps the most often used bogus quote is attributed to Adolf Hitler. Usually, the questionable passage reads as follows:
1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!
Note: This passage sometimes features different punctuation and slight wording changes including a beginning of, ‘For the first time in history, a....’ Various citations include: Adolf Hitler, April 15, 1935, in address to the Reichstag; Adolf Hitler 1935 'Berlin Daily' (Loose English Translation) April 15th, 1935 Page 3 Article 2 by Einleitung Von Eberhard Beckmann -"Abschied vom Hessenland!". "Adolf" is sometimes misspelled as ‘Adolph’ on the Internet.
While the above 'quote' makes a nice T-shirt, there are numerous problems with this alleged statement. (1) It violates the rule of not beginning a sentence with a number. (2) It isn’t phrased in Hitler’s style. (3) Major changes to the German gun laws occurred in 1928 and 1931 (under the Weimar Republic) and in 1938 (under the Nazi’s). No significant changes happened in the gun registration laws in 1935. Furthermore, the changes in 1928 and 1931 were designed to disarm the Nazis and Communists and therefore it is doubtful that Hitler would trumpet the success of any law aimed at his goon squads.
Unfortunately, the major problem is that the first "civilized nation" that required anyone wanting to purchase or own a firearm or ammunition to obtain a firearm certificate was Great Britain with 1920 Firearms Act. Strangely enough, there hasn't been a genocide in the UK.
Likewise, advocates of gun rights often argue that in World War II Japan was deterred from invading the U.S. mainland by a fear of American citizens with guns in their closets. They frequently quote Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto as saying: "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." looked into this quotation and determined that:
this quote is unsubstantiated and almost certainly bogus, even though it has been repeated thousands of times in various Internet postings. There is no record of the commander in chief of Japan’s wartime fleet ever saying it.
According to Wikiquote, the blade of grass quote is one of two incorrectly attribute to Admiral Yamamoto.

1 comment:

  1. Eh, they're not going to let facts get in the way of their violent agenda. Those statements make for good bumperstickers, after all.