Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) took the fearmongering over gun reform to new levels in a Facebook post on Thursday that compared expanding background checks to the Rwandan genocide.
Gun advocates and Republican lawmakers have pushed the idea that requiring background checks at gun shows and online would inevitably create a national gun registry that the government can use to confiscate guns before enacting a dictatorship. While the NRA’s favored comparison has been to Nazi Germany, Duncan invoked a more recent atrocity:
The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others. Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.
Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.
The hysteria over a “national gun registry database” has no basis in current or proposed law, while President Obama has pointed out that the American system of government constrains elected officials from mounting the kind of tyranny the NRA claims they intend. On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden specifically explained, “There is no place in the federal government where you can go, not a single place, and find out everybody who owns a gun.”
Rather, private gun sellers would be required to do a background check at a federally licensed gun dealers, who have been keeping records for decades without any descent into gun confiscation or genocide.
Roughly 800,000 to 1 million people were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide, a systematic effort targeting an ethnic and political minority, the Tutsis. The idea that the Tutsis could have saved themselves if they had fought back against the full force of the government, media and military is just as offensive as, for instance, the gun lobby’s claim that colonial Africans in America could have avoided a century of enslavement if they had been armed.