A few years ago, I was working at a small gun store in Texas. An older gentleman wearing faded jeans, a tucked navy blue polo shirt, gold-framed glasses, and a hat that read WWII Vet (with ribbons and markings I did not recognize) was rolled into the store by a woman (who I assume was his daughter). On the gentleman’s lap was a beat-up and faded olive drab, soft, long gun case and another one, but for a pistol. Understand, this was nothing new because we would get numerous men and some women from the greatest generation looking to offload firearms to pay for medical bills. So, I did not give him a second glance.
As the WWII Vet rolled up to the counter to sell his two guns, a co-worker unzipped the long gun case and pulled out a near-pristine M1 Garand. It was a beautiful gun, in perfect working order, and it even had a gold Marine Corps emblem rooted in the stock. But I’ve shot the M1, so again, I didn’t give it a second thought. My co-worker proceeded to unzip the pistol case, and that is when my eyes became the size of a 40mm. Out came a Walther P38 in near-perfect condition, save a small crack in the back of the grip. After ensuring the Walther was clear, my co-worker handed it to me and told me to look closer. There, on the side of the gun, I found myself staring into the eyes of hate. The Reichsadler or the Nazi Eagle was emblazoned on the side of the Walther. I knew at that moment I had to have it.
Before anyone starts scolding me on how horrible of a person I am, the date stamped on the firearm is AC G 44. That means the gun was manufactured in June of 1944 and most probably not used in the Holocaust portion of the war. With the Allied forces invading on June 6th, this pistol was most likely sent to the front to some officer to fight the Americans.
That said, here is why I felt a need to purchase it, despite it being a Nazi gun. My son asked me one day to take him shooting at the range. While there, we got to talking about the Second Amendment. I explained to him that the Second Amendment was written into our constitution to ensure that we, Americans, can defend ourselves against a tyrannical government. My 10-year-old, an avid reader and a bit of a history nut, asked what that meant. I explained to him that an authoritarian government takes away all the freedoms people might enjoy where they live.
I went on to explain that Hitler was a tyrant who took away Jews’ guns and then proceeded to murder six million of us. “The Jews couldn’t fight back?” he asked. “Well, some did. But many did not have a chance and were killed.”
Purchasing a Walther P.38 with the Nazi symbol is the purest form of revenge. It is also, in my opinion, the perfect educational tool to ensure freedom. What do I mean by that? I explained to my son after buying it that the only thing that separates a free people from a tyrannical government is the firearms that a civilian population owns.
“What happened to Hitler and the Nazis?” I asked him. “They lost to the Americans,” he answered. “Is the gun still here? Are the Jews still here?”
“Yes,” he said.
And that is my exact point. The Jews and the Guns are still here. The thousand-year Reich is not! A gun in the hands of a good people can determine the difference in a situation. The difference between freedom and tyranny. The difference between life and death.
Having a stamp of hatred on a firearm does not make the gun bad. Even without a swastika, the firearm is still not evil. The weapon, being good or bad, is determined by one thing. Is the holder good or bad? Like Shane once said, “A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it.” If I knew for sure that my Walther did, in fact, murder Jews, I would sell it. But the truth is that it remains uncertain. My Walther P.38 was used by a regime that ended up costing the lives of millions of my brethren as well as millions more. The fact that my gun has Nazi insignia is a stark reminder that a firearm can be used for good or bad. Say what you will about a Jew owning a Nazi gun, but at the end of the day, sometimes you need to pick up your enemies’ sword and use it against them.