The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle this morning called for the resignation of a National Rifle Association lobbyist who reportedly linked gun control to the Holocaust.
At a news conference at the federation’s Seattle headquarters, President Keith Dvorchik said longtime NRA spokesman Brian Judy should resign for connecting a ballot initiative designed to reduce gun violence to Nazi policies that led to the Holocaust.
Dvorchik also demanded the national office of the NRA “make clear that it rejects his ignorant and unproductive dialogue.”
Judy’s remarks surfaced Monday on the liberal blog Horsesass.org. An audio clip plays over a still photo of a gathering and purportedly features Judy talking about Jews who support gun control.
The remarks were reportedly made last week at a gathering in Silverdale opposing I-594, a measure on the ballot this fall that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
In the recording, a speaker references Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur who has contributed more than $300,000 to an independent-expenditure group supporting I-594. Hanauer, who is Jewish, wrote recently in Politico about how his family fled Nazi Germany. The speaker on the recording references Hanauer’s piece:
“Now [Hanauer is] funding, he’s put half a million dollars, toward this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis. You know, it’s staggering to me, it’s just, you can’t make this stuff up. That these people, it’s like any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think, ‘Are you serious? Do you not remember what happened?’ And why did that happen? Because they registered guns and then they took them.”
“Why did you have to flee to this country in the first place?” the speaker continues. “Hello! Is anybody home here?”
Judy did not return calls or emails Monday seeking comment; The Seattle Times has been unable to independently authenticate the audio recording.
Dvorchik, in calling for Judy’s resignation, said the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has a particular interest in the issue: Eight years ago, a disturbed Muslim man, Naveed Haq, forced his way into the federation’s offices with a handgun, killing one employee and wounding five others.
Dvorchik also demanded that the national office of the NRA disavow Judy’s remarks and the “idiotic, simplistic and simply wrong” idea that the systematic persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany has anything to do with a ballot measure that calls for background checks for gun purchases.
And to question whether the Jews, who lost nearly 6 million people in the ghettos and death camps, don’t “understand history is the most vile rhetorical question that has ever been asked,” Dvorchik said.
Dvorchik was joined by Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, who said Judy’s statements “carry dark, ugly and subtle undertones of anti-Semitism.”