Republican Congressman Thinks Jews Died In Holocaust Because They Had No Guns

A Republican Congressman from Alaska has suggested Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust because they did not own guns.

Donald Young, who is also a member of the NRA's board, made the comment during a conference in Juneau last week in response to a question from Dimitri Shein, the Democrat candidate who plans to run against him.

"How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia," Young said, in comments that were recorded by Shein and released this week, Alaska Public Media reported.

"How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?" he added.

The debate surrounding gun control has reared its head again following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

In the aftermath of the massacre, surviving students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been vocal about the need for politicians to discuss gun control, while some politicians have suggested the answer is arming teachers and school security guards.

Young's comment does not mark the first time a gun rights advocate has mentioned the Holocaust. In 2015, Ben Carson brought up Adolf Hitler during a discussion on the Second Amendment.

"German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler's regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior... Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance," he said during an interview with CNN that prompted a backlash at the time.

"The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed," Carson added.

As well as his statement being factually incorrect, with a total ban on gun ownership imposed in Germany after the end of the First World War, not decades later, and in fact loosened in 1938, Vox reported, putting paid to the bizarre theory that has circulated in conservative media.