Republican Rep. and National Rifle Association (NRA) Board member Don Young said at a gun control debate if Holocaust Jews were armed, they would not have been put into ovens, in a video titled “Guns for Teachers,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Young emphasized his staunch support for the Second Amendment while responding to Democratic congressional candidate Dimitri Shein’s question regarding the safety of schoolchildren.
“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia, because their citizens weren’t armed. How many Jews were put into the ovens because they were unarmed?” Young inquired. The Republican congressman received approximately $250,000 from NRA funding, according to a 2017 The New York Times report.
Shein uploaded the video to YouTube Feb. 23 and wrote in the description: “Don Young screams to arm Alaska’s teaches and says Holocaust would not have happened if Jewish people had guns.”
Young’s press secretary, Marty McCollough, later clarified the comments of the congressman, CNN reported.
“He was referencing the fact that when Hitler confiscated firearms from Jewish Germans, those communities were less able to defend themselves,” McCollough said.
“He was not implying that an armed Jewish population would have been able to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust,” McCullough added.
Young started his term as Alaska’s only representative in 1973. He is serving his 23rd term in Congress.