The ongoing push to legislate universal background checks for gun purchases has parallels to policies of the Third Reich, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said Wednesday in an exchange first caught by Media Matters.
A woman called in to Huckabee's radio show Wednesday to claim that Americans are not historically informed as to what caused Germany's slide into Nazism.
"It was a democracy, then turned into a dictatorship by everyone having to register their guns and then they went door to door and collected them," the caller said.
Huckabee emphatically agreed with the caller's comparison. "When you bring that up you get people who get crazy on us," he said. "And they’ll start saying, 'Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.' And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth."
Huckabee's comments come amid the debate in Washington over federal gun control legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently introduced a bill, supported by President Barack Obama, that put universal background checks at its core.
Although a sizable majority of Americans support requiring background checks for gun purchases, Republicans in Congress have criticized the proposal and attempted to portray the provision as an attack on liberty.
On Wednesday, Huckabee went on to amplify their claims. "In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets," he said. "Gosh, I hope it doesn’t come to that."
During a speech on Wednesday in Colorado addressing the gun control debate, Obama targeted lawmakers who have said they oppose background checks.
"Find out where your member of Congress stands," he said. "If they’re not part of the 90 percent [who support universal background checks], ask them, why not? Why wouldn’t you want to make it more difficult for a dangerous criminal to get his or her hands on a gun?"