By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
You can spend hours in any university library (as I have) without finding historical evidence of the alleged Hitler gun law. But the Urban Legend Web site (www.urbanlegends.com) has already logged it as a fabrication, usually attributed to a nonexistent April 15, 1935, Berlin newspaper citation of a Hitler speech that has der FĂĽhrer saying, "[F]or the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration." Ken Barnes of the University of Memphis claims no Hitler speech appeared in this paper on this date; nor was this particular speech ever reported. (For my part, I don’t recall Hitler ever bragging that Germany was a "civilized nation.") Needless to say, no civilian gun-registration law was passed under Hitler (although Barnes says the Nazis restricted civilian possession of military weapons in 1938).
So Hitler for Handgun Control looks like just another urban myth — like those alligators thriving in sewers and that Texas department store’s $500 cookie recipe. What’s tragic is that people who gobble up this nonsense forget the evil law that Hitler really did create in 1935: the Second Nuremberg Law, which robbed Jews of all rights and helped cut off social relations between "Jews" and "Germans." According to scholar Alfred Breitbart of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, this was a crucial step in detaching Jews from German society, in order to subject them to isolation, deportation and death.
There were other Nazi laws as well: forbidding Jews to garden, to have pets, to write or act or sing or play music, to practice law or medicine, drive cars, play sports, graduate from school, join the Red Cross, swim or go to the movies.
Nothing about owning guns though. But then, what the NRA types seem hell-bent on forgetting is that Hitler’s real purpose was not to disarm Jews, but to eliminate their status as human beings.
Trusting the Wetlands
It’s now almost five years since the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust formed itself with a list of declared purposes that concluded with "defin[ing] how the community can save this open space and defin[ing] how the land trust hopes to acquire these 1,080 acres."
How do I know this? Well, I was given a copy of the incorporation papers by a fellow fan of Save All the Ballona Wetlands, a self-described "environmental movement." He also discovered that both organizations’ nonprofit tax data is public information. And made me copies of their filings.
Needless to say, there’s fun stuff in these documents. For the moment, let’s confine ourselves to the finances of the grandiosely titled Ballona Wetlands Land Trust, whose papers list its revenues "in order of size" as "Public membership dues, Donations, Foundations [and] Grants." This organization is often referred to by Marcia Hanscom and other opponents of the vast Westside Playa Vista development as the entity that will somehow come up with the money to buy the whole thing out — at a figure Hanscom has optimistically estimated to be between $25 million and $100 million.
The Land Trust’s latest IRS Form 1023 — from July 1996 — said that the trust’s total cash on hand was exactly $180, a little short of the mark. I asked the trust’s Sabina Venskus if more funding had come in since then. She said it had, but declined to say just how much. "We’re in the process of seeking a mixture of grants and [government] funds to acquire the property at fair market value," she said. "So the exact amount of money on hand is irrelevant."
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