Recent letters to the editor have discussed the importance of individual gun ownership, including assault-style weapons, as an antidote to government power. Reference has been made to Hitler's gun confiscation.
How is it that Hitler came to power in the first place? It was through, among other activities, the use of paramilitary organizations such as the Freikorps and SA (Storm Troopers). From Alan Bullock's "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny": "The Freikorps were the training schools for the political murder and terrorism which disfigured German life up to 1924, and again after 1929." When the police president of Munich was asked about political murder gangs in Bavaria, he replied: "Yes, but not enough of them."
In town hall meetings when our elected representatives were discussing the Affordable Care Act some people carrying weapons came to disrupt reasonable discussion of issues. Was this democracy at work or the work of those who, like many Germans after World War I, were so fearful of the future that they were willing to use violence to get their way?
The mask has been pulled away from much of the pro-gun movement when we hear statements about the need for guns to protect ourselves from the government. Some of these statements are coming from elected officials themselves, no less! That is un-American -- this is the work of frightened bullies. If we are to maintain our democracy, we must insist on the rule of law and the use of the ballot box. A nation awash in military-style weapons is in danger of losing its democracy.