Tony Bennett: Gun Control or We Become Nazi Germany

This week, 86-year-old singer Tony Bennett sounded off on gun control. “I just believe that assault weapons – they were invented for war. They shouldn’t be on our streets here.” This, in and of itself, would be no surprise; virtually everyone in Hollywood is anti-gun control. But then Bennett went off the rails:

This is the kind of [turn] that happened to the great country of Germany, where the Nazis came over, created tragic things, and they had to be told off. And if we continue this kind of violence and accept it in our country, the rest of the world is going to take care of us in a very bad way. We should learn that we’re the greatest country because we’re all different nationalities, different religions, and we should show the rest of the world how to behave.

This is obviously faulty history. The Nazis didn’t rise to power thanks to an armed population. They secured their power at least in part thanks to a disarmed population. The Weimar government passed gun registration and licensing for all guns in 1928. And the Nazis were the purveyors of mass violence, not the result of it.

Bennett should know better than this. After all, he served in the infantry; he was drafted in November 1944, and was a replacement in the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, serving in France and Germany. He served in battle, including house-to-house fighting in Germany; he was there for the liberation of the Landsberg concentration camp.

But Bennett became a pacifist after the war, writing, “The main thing I got out of my military experience was the realization that I am completely opposed to war. Every war is insane, no matter where it is or what it’s about. Fighting is the lowest form of human behavior.” Now, America thanks Bennett for his service. But this is an infantile representation of the way the world works. Civilized people abhor war. But uncivilized people often use that abhorrence to push their barbarity, counting on civilized people to shy away from conflict.

Nonetheless, that simplistic  take on good and evil surprisingly characterizes many in the Greatest Generation who were too anxious to accommodate  children who were flower power advocates in the 1960s. Henry Fonda, who enlisted in the Navy during World War II because he didn’t “want to be in a fake war in a studio,” gave way to Jane Fonda, who would travel to Vietnam to do photo ops with the Viet Cong.

Now that Panglossian attitude toward war and peace  has infused the gun control debate. The notion that America is great because of her diversity,as Tony Bennett seems to say, not because of the freedoms guaranteed to each American by God – freedoms protected by the citizenry itself – is a vision of the universe that cannot stand the test of time. Diversity rests on rule of law. And rule of law rests on rights. And rights rest on the American people’s ability to protect their lives, liberties, and pursuit of happiness.

Some people just don’t get it. The Jimmy Stewarts and John Waynes of the world are gone. In their place, we have the world according to Tony Bennett.

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  • Mary Sue

    Bennett has permanent PTSD.

    • DebbieOhio912

      Oh dear, and all this time I thought he was just another bloviating liberal.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Turning the truth upside its head is what happens when ones ideology is ones core. Instead of ferreting out the truth, via realistic assessments, the left becomes mired in their "religion".

    As to Hollyweird, what else can one expect, but the proof, as is said, is in the pudding. This is one issue whereby patriots are willing to go to mat over – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/02/americans-the

    There is no middle ground on ones Constitutional right to bear arms. Either you possess it, or it will be taken away. You can't be half pregnant.

    Btw, Nazi Germany collected guns too. Something to cogitate over.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • tmeece

      Aren't Mr. Bennet's glasses tinted yellow like a shooters glasses?

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      Last December 29th was the 122nd anniversary of the battle of Wounded Knee. At the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the U.S.government conducted the first mass gun confiscation in American history, and it resulted in the shameful and unconscionable murders of nearly 300 Sioux Indians; roughly half of whom were women and children. These murders occurred AFTER the Sioux had turned in their guns. In their zeal to take the Sioux guns away, a number of 7th cavalry troopers were hit, and killed, by friendly fire. if anyone believes that the 2nd Amendment was intended for anything other than allowing Americans to defend themselves; just remember Wounded Knee!

  • espersemper

    Nazis don’t believe in God.
    The “in God we trust” arguement is still valid.
    God given rights are undeniable!
    Let the left prove God does not exist then! Bennet’s comment are
    Not only an infantile propagation of blasphemous treason but this repettition of falsehoods are once again
    Part of the agenda (Alinsky-Mussollini) that is killing our pseudo educated population!

  • AnOrdinaryMan

    BIG mistake in the first paragraph: "…virtually everyone in Hollywood is anti-gun control." Shouldn't that be pro-gun control? Or just anti-gun?

  • Danny Caplan

    So fighting is the lowest form of human behaviour? Isn't refusing to fight while innocent people are being slaughtered a much lower form of human behaviour? What would a Jew at Auschwitz have given for an assault weapon? What about Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, who rose up and fought the Nazis–were they exhibiting the lowest form of human behaviour?

    There is a very important distinction to be made here: The Left blames tragedies like the Newtown massacre on weapons; Conservatives blame such tragedies on the assailant's evil behaviour and poor values. Conservatives know that evil people will always have weapons, and therefore they want good people to have weapons. The only thing gun control will accomplish, will be to embolden violent criminals.

    • overthrow.com

      Jews are special.

      • BS77

        Overthrow is a special type of moron

    • tagalog

      Don't forget the Jews of Treblinka, who managed to get hold of some grenades and pistols and then used them to revolt and managed to damage one of the ovens. Of course they were all slaughtered to a man.

  • ALHL

    Tony Bennett made a huge slip of the tongue when he made the comment, "…gun control or we will become Nazi Germany," Rather doubt Bennett ever knew all of the facts when he participated during WWII or else he would not have ever embarrassed himself like that. Wonder if he actually saw any action?

  • sononthe_beach

    I'm no spring chicken, but at 85 yrs a man is more of a croaker than a singer. Plus, the older we get the more sentimental we are likely to become. Bennett has reached that stage in life such that it would be best if he stayed out of the limelight and concentrated on his memoirs; or else he will end up a pathetic figure of the sort that Jimmy Carter has become.

  • Asher

    You don't know the half of it Mr. Bennett or the atrocities people went through under Hitler…You have lived a pampered life with freedom because of the constitution, 2nd amendment, and brave military…Some day the reality of a dictatorship will sink in.

  • guest

    gun control, or we remain able to defend ourselves from our government.. And this is our first hostile to us islamic government. But its busy arming the muslims.

  • Charles Wenzel

    Most people have inconsistent and uninformed opinions which are the flotsam and jetsam of everyday 'background noise' i.e. chatter. Bennett's 'blessing and curse' is that he has celebrity i.e. fame. In our devolving culture's celebration of entertainers [eye and ear 'ticklers'] even their trash [that which can be discarded and not missed] is considered of value. However, sooner or later all such rubbish ends up on the dump site of history.
    So the difference between 'the village idiot' and 'the court jester' is that the former 'idiot' goes uncelebrated while the latter one is celebrated in public for amusement.

  • tagalog

    Tony, you were alive at the time, you should know this: it was the entry of the United States into the Second World War that rang the death knell for the Nazis and Japanese imperialism. If it hadn't been for us, the world would have been half-Nazi, half part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. So think a little bit before you start running your mouth.

  • Wess

    Just another example of how these "entertainers" put their extremities in their mouths and up their posteriors. They've had to concentrate so hard on taking that call by their agent on where to be that day that they lose any perspective on real life. Let's face it…AC/DC's Angus Young might be able to play a delirious guitar while doin' the Curly spin on the stage floor, but chances are he can't balance a checkbook. Remember Sammy Davis and Red Fox? They all died broke and blamed their "handlers". These people are specialists…and their specialty "ain't" current events or cogent thinking…or even getting in out of the rain.

  • It's sad

    Tony lost his brains in San Francisco, a long time ago.

  • BS77

    Hey Tony Bennett is an old, old guy. Give him a break. Perhaps he is slightly demented. Like most celebrities, Tony should stick to singing, acting, or entertainment…He is not a philosopher or a historian.

    • Mary Sue

      He must have gotten VERY early onset dementia then.

    • NAHALKIDES

      If he chooses to spout nonsense, he has to take the consequences.

  • Alex Kovnat

    I remember back in the mid-1970's, a Hollywood starlet proclaimed, " …. Mr. Secretary (of transportation), my friends and I are too young to die. You've got to order airbags on all cars"

    Today people like that starlet, including not-so-young entertainers like Tony Bennett, are proclaiming that we've got to outlaw "assault rifles".

    It always occurred to me that nobody ever asked any high ranking automotive engineer working for Ford, GM or Chrysler how to act the lead role in Gone With The Wind, The Godfather, The Sound of Music nor any other movie. Yet everybody thinks that an actor or actress is somehow entitled more than you or me, to tell GM, Ford and Chrysler how to design cars. Regarding guns: Nobody asks members of the law enforcement profession, who in many cases support the right of law abiding citizens to possess firearms for self-defense, how to sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Yet all to many people believe that Tony B. has more expertise than the rest of us regarding what forms of firearms we should be allowed to have.

  • tagalog

    He said that the reason is that we were bombing them, and they asked us to stop, that's why 9/11 happened. Evidently we ignored their alleged requests.

    I guess I need some refreshing on my recollection. What bombing were we doing on the nations where al-Qaeda arose? When did they ask us to stop?

    I know that we were doing some firing on AAA batteries in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was ignoring the U.N.'s no-fly order during the 90s. But if that was what Tony Bennett was talking about, how come those airplanes on 9/11 weren't aimed at the U.N. Building and not the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and (presumably) the White House or some other government building in Washington, D.C.?

    When he says he became a pacifist when he saw his first dead German, I can understand that. That makes sense. Lots of warriors had the same response when they saw what war does. But the other is a bit baffling to me.

  • tagalog

    Tony Bennett says assault weapons have no business on the street. Well, they aren't seen much on the street, handguns are the most common firearm on the streets. "Assault weapons" are rarely seen in street shootings.

    The "assault weapon" thing is a red herring. First of all, the most reliable definitions of "assault weapons" says they're designed for full-auto fire. Very few firearms circulating on the street are full-auto weapons. Nearly all are semi-auto. But the POLITICAL definition of "assault weapons" includes semi-auto firearms, and probably pistols. It's the semi-automatic firearms and pistols that the politicians are interested in prohibiting.

  • Gee

    Okay Mr. Bennett can sing far better than I. I have yet to figure out why anybody listen to entertainers as spokenmen for anybody but themselves. It’s not like brains are required for singing.

    • Stephen_Brady

      It's not like brains are required for singing.

      Try singing a two-and-a-half hour opera in a language other than your own, from memory, remembering blocking, and acting at the same time. :)

    • Jim_C

      Not today, with producers and autotune doing all the work.

      But real singing is no different than playing an instrument: both take discipline and intelligence.

  • Rick_in_VA

    Two points:
    1: Jane Fonda wasn't with the Viet Cong in North Vietnam. She was with their regular troops.
    2: Ann Coulter told Barbara Streisand to "Shut up and sing". I think that applies very well here as well.

  • Brett

    Personally, I would save snorting Xanax until after I talked to the press, but that's just me. I have this unreasonable and obnoxious desire to be coherent around other humans.

  • tagalog

    Also, the Viet Cong were in SOUTH Vietnam.

    It would have sort of ruined the secret guerilla nature of the V.C. for them to have posed for photographs with Jane Fonda.

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  • Misfit

    This type of comments are very common among celebrities. Remember that when Whitney Houston died (as a result of drugs) Tony made statements stating that "drugs should be legalized" totally having no understanding of what took place with Houston. This past summer I attended a "Pink Floyds" concert at Yankee Stadium and in the middle of one of the songs, a large screen came out images of American troops killing Iraquis in Felluya during the war Irag war meanwhile the group (Pink Floyd) were signing "Bring them home mother" and then on the next song, there were 3 large images of Stalin,
    George Bush and Mao together and compared as "the greatest mass killers in History!" But what was most troublesome for me, was that most of the crowd around me, were giving their approval of this.

  • Bamber2116

    Tony Bennett should check his history. , I think Hilter banned guns in Germany , took them away from the people,then what happened!

  • Bright Knight

    What a brain-dead Libtard! It's the other way around. Gun control AND (not or) we become Nazi Germany

  • JacksonPearson

    Obviously, Tony Bennett didn't just fall off the turnip truck, he was a driver. "shall not be infringed"
    I wonder what other parts of the Bill of Rights the left would like to infringe upon?

  • FrontpgSubsc

    Quite an article!!! It tells you A LOT. The '50s were, clearly, the 'halcyon days' for this country! Tony Bennett
    speaks through all those years to today! He was (for all intensive purposes) part of that crowd back then.
    It's EXTREMELY INTERESTING what he says!!!

  • NAHALKIDES

    Some of the comments here suggest Bennett may be senile. I suspect he's just plain dumb, as evidenced by his early pacifism. In any case, his agent or his friends should tell him to just shut up about politics – every time he opens his mouth, he says something stupid and diminishes his reputation.