“History has shown us that the first thing a government does when it wants total control over its people is to disarm them. President Reagan once stated, ‘If we lose freedom here, there is nowhere else to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.’” So read a tweet on March 22 from the Michigan Republican Party.
Quoting the former president and opposing gun control are red-meat issues for a conservative social-media account. But the photo of rings that the Nazis confiscated from Jewish victims—along with the caption “Before they collected all these wedding rings … They collected all the guns.”—sparked outrage, including from conservatives.
Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Jewish Coalition, called the tweet “absolutely inappropriate and offensive.” He said it should be taken down immediately.
Another Twitter user, who stated that he is Jewish and worked for the Michigan Republican Party, said: “I’m so disgusted and furious beyond words that this horrible trivialization of the Holocaust is being normalized by my state party.”
“Whether you are opposed to gun control or support it, this tweet should be called out as extremely offensive,” wrote Joel Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District in New York state. “The Holocaust should never be used as a political weapon, and such false analogies are insulting to both the victims and survivors of the Nazi genocide. Shame on you.”
Jewish comedian Eli Lebowicz added: “Not enough oofs in the world for this one.”
More than four hours later, the tweet remained live.