Aaron may not have known what a meme was, but he created an indelible one. We just added our own sticker version to the store, and as far as we’re concerned, the more this meme gets around, the better.
But it’s the comments on the Instagram page that are notable — and chilling.
The poster repeatedly has to defend himself against accusations of everything from plain bad taste to absurd overstatement.
One comment in particular, from sierraechotangohotel (Seth), a self-identified proud American Jew, reminds us of the famous dictum that the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. He writes, in part:
Just remember there is in no way shape or format any iota of comparison of the current state of firearms laws to the holocaust! I am a proud Jewish American and I just don’t understand what makes you think these two subjects are in any way comparable. If we lived in Venezuela where they are currently crushing firearms and making its citizens register it’s ammunition, I might understand then but we live in the greatest country this world has to offer!
You’ve got to wonder, don’t you, how many people in early 20th-century Germany, including Jews, thought their own country was the “greatest the world has to offer.” After all, it was a grand center of civilization and had been for centuries. It was the land of Goethe and Beethoven and Schiller. Of Schopenhauer and Kant and E.T.A. Hoffman and entire hordes of Bachs. Men of the mind. Men of the arts. Thriving in Germany’s orderly civil society.
What could possibly go wrong?
Except we all know what did go wrong — and how quickly.
(“Gun control” was an integral part of what enabled things to go bad. That and … that big Egyptian river.)
Still, Seth has a point. Nobody’s crushing firearms in America. Yet. Or at least it’s not being done widely. No one — well, hardly anyone — plans to register ammunition. Not here in the greatest country this world has to offer.
But what about Venezuela? They’re busily crushing guns there, terrified of violence in the streets. Never mind that most criminals in that desperate country are buying their firearms from equally desperate or simply corrupt police. Never mind that the problem isn’t so much guns as an economy in ruins beyond anything we prosperous first-worlders can imagine.
Venezuela was once the most prosperous — one could say the greatest — country in South America. It’s got some of the world’s biggest oil reserves. It had a long, noble tradition. So how long did it take for Venezuela to go from greatness to such hell that people can’t even buy toilet paper? Seventeen years. From the ascension of Hugo Chavez, who vigorously began implementing utopian Socialist plans in 1999 (to the applause of the world’s celebrities) to the muddle of his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro. Seventeen little years.
Slightly less time than it took Hitler to go from demonization to destruction of Germany’s Jews. Slightly longer than it took for Germany to go from pre-WWI prosperity to hyperinflation to the Holocaust to bombed-out ruins.
Still, we’ve got nothing to worry about, right? As Seth says, there’s not a thing to be concerned about until the firearms are being crushed en masse and ammo being actively registered.
And by that impeccable logic, the Jews in Germany were perfectly sensible to stay put and stay happy until the boxcars started rumbling down the tracks.
Get those stickers here. Share them with friends.