Gun Rights Group Criticized for Using Holocaust Pictures to Attack Rabbi Backing Gun Control Legislation

A round sits next a a 30-round magazine and an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range in Orem, Utah. George Frey/Getty Images

A gun control organization levied criticism against a pro-gun group for suggesting that the Holocaust would not have happened if people had been armed.

Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF) previously posted images of the Holocaust in response to an attempted ballot measure to ban certain firearms and magazines with more than a 10-round capacity. OFF, whose website says it is "Oregon's only no compromise gun rights organization," took aim at Rabbi Michael Cahana in its comments.

An ammunition round sits next a a 30-round magazine and an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range in Orem, Utah. George Frey/Getty Images

The Rabbi was a chief petitioner of the bill, which will not be on the 2018 ballot after facing legal challenges. The proposal also generated public criticism.

"This page is dedicated to "Rabbi" Michael Cahana, a Jewish Rabbi and chief petitioner for IP43, a ballot measure that would confiscate the firearms and ammo feeding devices owned by law abiding Oregonians," the OFF post says.

"If Cahana and his fellow travelers had their way, anyone who owns a modern firearm will face 10 years in prison. Cahana wants the state to have a monopoly on force. Apparently they no longer teach history in Yeshiva. So here's to you rabbi, we've seen this before," the page continues, before posting images from the Holocaust.

When asked whether viewers should infer that the Holocaust could have been prevented if people had guns, OFF director Kevin Starrett responded, "Good grief, how long do you think Kristallnacht would have gone on if people were shooting back? This is really not all that complicated."

"We criticized a rabbi who was demanding that his people (and everyone else) be disarmed, turning over to the state a total monopoly on power and reminding people what happens when this is done," Starrett told Newsweek.

Ceasefire Oregon, which says it "works to prevent gun violence by advocating reasonable, effective gun laws," criticized OFF.

"Jews were not targeted during World War II because they were unarmed, but because scapegoating and hatred were sanctioned by community leaders and the government," executive director Penny Okamoto told Newsweek. "The specious argument that guns would have prevented anti-Semitic acts merely perpetuates a myth that guns are an answer to evil. People need to call out evil when they see evil."

Cahana also rebuked the statements. "As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I believe I know far more about the reality of the Shoah than these purveyors of hate," he told The Oregonian. "To suggest that the Holocaust could have been averted if more people had guns is an insult to the memory of the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazi regime."

After The Oregonian article was published, OFF reiterated its criticism. "Here it is. The idiocy of the left and the Oregonian, who would clearly rather watch an entire race of people be gassed and shot than allow them to protect themselves is astonishing," the organization wrote on Facebook .