Jewish group says gun remarks ‘idiotic, simplistic and wrong’
Comments reportedly made by a longtime NRA lobbyist linking the Holocaust and a gun-control ballot measure are offensive, “simplistic and just plain wrong,” says the leader of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has called for the resignation of a National Rifle Association lobbyist who reportedly linked gun control to the Holocaust.
At a news conference Tuesday at the federation’s Seattle headquarters, President Keith Dvorchik said longtime NRA spokesman Brian Judy should resign for reportedly connecting a ballot initiative designed to reduce gun violence to Nazi policies that led to the Holocaust.
Dvorchik also demanded the national office of the NRA “make clear that it rejects his ignorant and unproductive dialogue.”
A report about Judy surfaced Monday on the liberal blog Horsesass.org. An audio clip on the blog plays over a still photo of the meeting and purportedly features Judy talking about Jews who support gun control.
The remarks reportedly were made last week at a gathering in Silverdale in opposition to Initiative 594, a measure on the ballot this fall that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
In the recording, a speaker references Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur who has contributed more than $300,000 to an independent-expenditure group supporting I-594. Hanauer, who is Jewish, wrote recently in Politico about how his family fled Nazi Germany. The speaker on the recording references Hanauer’s piece:
“Now [Hanauer is] funding, he’s put half a million dollars, toward this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis. You know, it’s staggering to me, it’s just, you can’t make this stuff up. That these people, it’s like any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think, ‘Are you serious? Do you not remember what happened?’ And why did that happen? Because they registered guns and then they took them.”
“Why did you have to flee to this country in the first place?” the speaker continues. “Hello! Is anybody home here?”
Judy has not returned several messages and emails requesting a response. A message left for comment at NRA headquarters in Reston, Va., was not returned.
Dvorchik, in calling for Judy’s resignation, said the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has a particular interest in the issue: Eight years ago, a disturbed Muslim man, Naveed Haq, forced his way into the federation’s offices with a handgun, killing one employee and wounding five others.
Dvorchik also demanded that the national office of the NRA disavow Judy’s purported remarks and the “idiotic, simplistic and simply wrong” idea that the systematic persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany has anything to do with a ballot measure that calls for background checks for gun purchases.
The Nazis confiscated weapons from Jews, along with all of their other property, before forcing them into ghettos or shipping them off to slave-labor and extermination camps.
To question whether the Jews, who lost nearly 6 million people in the ghettos and Nazi death camps, don’t “understand history is the most vile rhetorical question that has ever been asked,” Dvorchik said.
Dvorchik was joined by Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, who said Judy’s statements “carry dark, ugly and subtle undertones of anti-Semitism.”
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or firstname.lastname@example.org