The Night of Broken Glass
June 15, 2022
On the night of November 9, 1938, Nazi para-military units stormed into the Jewish sections of German cities, kicked down doors, smashed windows, burned down buildings, and eventually rounded up 30,000 Jewish men and sent them off to concentration camps. This night was the first step in Adolf Hitler’s final solution which resulted in over 6 million Jewish people slaughtered in concentration camps. It was called The Night of Broken Glass because the following morning the streets of these cities were littered in broken glass from the many store and house windows that had been shattered the night before.
This atrocity was allowed to happen because in March 1938, the Nazis passed gun control laws which gave them the power to confiscate guns from the Jewish people, leaving them extremely vulnerable to this type of attack. The Nazis stormed the Jewish sections of the cities under the pretext of confiscating any remaining guns. Everyone who lived through that night, knew the Nazis were absolutely wrong, but they had no way of fighting back, they had no way of defending themselves because they had no guns. The government had disarmed the Jews strictly for the purpose of exerting their power like they did that night. This level of imbalance of power should never be allowed to be established in any country because when it is, massive atrocities usually follow.
All of the mass murders committed by governments in the last 100+ years have occurred after the government had disarmed its citizens. In 1911, the Turkish government imposed gun restrictions on its people, and then ethnically cleansed over one and a half million Armenian Christians. In 1929, the Soviet Union took guns from the Russian people, and Stalin's government eventually used the people’s vulnerability to kill 20 million citizens. In 1935, the National Chinese government implemented extreme gun restrictions, and Mao Zedong use that power to arrest and kill over 50 million political dissidents. In the 1970’s, Uganda’s government killed over 300,000 Christians after instituting gun control laws. In 1956, gun restriction laws were passed in Cambodia, and Pol Pot used that power to arrest and kill two million Cambodians between 1976-78. In 1994, Rwanda disarmed the Tutsi people and subsequently murdered 800,000 Tutsis. The Uyghurs dying in concentration and forced labor camps in present day China, are not allowed to possess firearms
Totalitarians understand the need to create an imbalance of power over the people through gun control to execute their authoritarian plans. Adolph Hitler said, “to conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” Mao Zedong said, “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” They understand that the most effective way to impose their will on the people and to stifle dissent is through deadly force.
The goal of our Constitution was to limit the power of government over the people so nothing like that would happen in this country. Our Bill of Rights is filled with the clause, “Congress shall make no law”, “Congress shall make no law”, “Congress shall make no law” to limit government power. Our Constitution was written by people who just won a war, freeing themselves from the autocratic rule of King George of England, so only makes sense that our Constitution would be anti-authoritarian. All of those amendments were an act by the people to limit the power of government to prevent the rise of an autocrat. But ever since our Constitution was ratified, the government has been using any crisis to push against these restrictions to usurp more power.
Our Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” And every gun control bill is a challenge by the politicians against this right of the people.
The framers of the Constitution, understood that it was necessary for the government to field a standing army to protect the country, so in an effort to limit the power of the government over the people, they guaranteed the right of every citizen to possess and own firearms. They knew there would be extreme imbalance of power in favor of the government if only the government was allowed to have guns, and that would directly contradict the rest of the Constitution which was written to limit the power of government.
On Monday, the US Senate passed a gun control bill highlighted by funding for states to implement Red Flag laws. The politicians who voted for this legislation will argue that limiting gun ownership of the American people is done to keep the citizens safe. This is coming from the same group of people who said defunding the police would reduce crime. How did that work out? Violent crime up 40% in the major cities who defunded the police. This assault on our Constitution is coming directly after the President and his administration instituted a Disinformation Governance Board, designed to restrict free speech, especially speech of those with whom they disagree. All of the countries that have committed mass atrocities on their citizens had restricted gun ownership and limited free speech. And the United States government is doing both.
All these restrictions will be exploited for political purposes. Red flag laws are a green light for gun confiscation of political opponents. It is not only what you do, but the things you say that could trigger the red flag against you. It only follows that the people in power will deem the words of their political opponents as a threat which could trigger a red flag and gun confiscation based on political affiliation. We have been told over and over again that “words are violence”, and its usually the words of those they disagree with that they deem “violent”. Certain people have claimed that words like “meritocracy” and “all lives matter” are forms of violence. So, if words are violence, then people exercising their first amendment right, espousing their honestly held political beliefs could trigger a red flag which will result in a confiscation of their guns.
Politicians have a tendency to abuse the power given to them against their political opponents. This is evident with the January 6th investigation. The Capital rioters are being treated much worse than any of the BLM rioters. There are people who have been sentenced to 4 years in prison for trespassing at the Capital on January 6th, yet some BLM rioters who set police cars on fire have had their charges dropped. We will see this politicized application of the law with red flag laws. The FBI has labeled parents who speak out at school board meetings as domestic terrorists which would trigger the red flag laws. So, people who object to their children being taught a far-left curriculum like Critical Race Theory or Radical Gender Theory will not be allowed to protect their homes and family with guns.
Look at what is happening north of our border. In February, Justin Trudeau used emergency powers implemented to stop terrorists, to shut down free-speech and take over personal bank accounts of Canadian truck drivers who were protesting against his policies. Now, Trudeau is taking weapons out of the citizens hands. He said, “You can’t use a gun for self-protection in Canada. It’s not a right that you have.” How soon will it be that he will exploit these laws against political opponents like he did in February against the Freedom Truckers?
All of this new power will be exercised primarily on a partisan basis. Hunter Biden lied on his federal gun background check, which is a felony, and he is yet to be prosecuted. If you or I had done that, we would be sitting in jail right now. At least 23 pro-life organizations have been vandalized following a leak of the draft Supreme Court abortion decision, and no one is Washington, DC has mentioned it. And Justice Brett Kavanaugh was recently the target of an assassination attempt, and the media and Washington has completely ignored it.
Attempting to assassinate a Supreme Court Justice is more of a threat to our democracy than the riot at the Capital but we are spending over a year investigating that riot but can’t spend ten minutes on the assassination attempt of a Supreme Court Justice. Justice Kavanaugh came closer to death than any politician at the Capital did on January 6th, yet very little is being done to protect Federal Judges. If abortion clinics were attacked and vandalized or a liberal a Supreme Court Justice was the target of an assassination, we would be mired in public hearings over those things for the next year.
I’m not calling any politician a Nazi or Hitler, I merely warning that policies like disarming the population and shutting down free speech creates the environment for future politicians to abuse that power and act like totalitarians. 20 to 30 years from now, some extremist wacko from either side of the political spectrum who becomes President could decide to use the imbalance of power that is being created today to commit atrocities against the American people. You may say that this is a slippery slope argument, but there are too many examples of countries that have already slid down that slippery slope into mass human atrocities to dismiss this dire warning. Fidelity to our Constitution keeps totalitarianism in check, while violating our Constitution grooms our politicians’ totalitarian tendencies. There have been far too many instances in our recent history where our politicians have willfully violated our Constitution for their own political purposes. And each time they do so, they are potentially setting the stage for another night of broken glass.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.