About six months ago, I was working at a small gun store in Texas. An older gentleman wearing faded jeans, a tucked-in navy blue polo shirt, gold-framed glasses, and a hat that read “WWII Vet” (with ribbons and marking I did not recognize) was rolled into the store in his wheelchair. On this gentleman’s lap was a faded olive drab soft long gun case and another case, but for a pistol. At first, I did not give him a second glance.
As the veteran rolled up to the counter to sell two of his guns, a co-worker unzipped the long gun case and pulled out a nearly pristine M1 Garand. It was a beautiful gun, in perfect working condition, and it even had a gold U.S. Marine Corps emblem rooted to the stock. My co-worker then proceeded to unzip the pistol case — and that is when my eyes lit up. Out came a Walther P38 in nearly perfect condition, save for 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 symbol, was emblazoned on the side of the Walther.
I knew at that moment that I had to have it.
To be clear, the date stamped on the firearm is “AC G 44.” That means that this gun was manufactured in June of 1944 and was most likely not used as part of the Holocaust. With the Allies landing in Normandy on June 6 of that year, this pistol was most likely sent to a frontline Third Reich officer to fight the Allies.
But here is why I felt a need to purchase this 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 make sure that we, as Americans, have the ability to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government. My 10-year-old, who is an avid reader and a bit of a history nut, asked what that meant. I explained to him that a tyrannical government takes away all the freedoms that people might enjoy in the place 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,” I responded.
For me, purchasing a Walther P38 with the Nazi insignia is the purest form of revenge. It is also the perfect educational tool to help ensure freedom. I explained to my son after buying the weapon that the only thing that ultimately separates a free people from a tyrannical government is the private arsenal that a civilian population owns.
“What happened to Hitler and the Nazis?” I asked my son. “They lost to the Americans,” he answered. “Is the gun still here? Are the Jews still here?” I asked back. “Yes,” he responded.
Indeed, the Jews and the guns are still here. The Third Reich is not! A gun in the hands of a good person 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. The gun itself is not inherently bad. Whether the gun is good or bad is determined by one thing: Whether the holder is good or bad. My Walther P38 was used by a regime that ended up costing the lives of millions of my Jewish brethren, as well as millions more innocent lives. The fact that I am an observant Jew and my gun has Nazi insignia is a stark reminder that a gun can be used for good or bad.
Sometimes you need to pick up your enemy’s sword and use it against him.
Yehuda Remer is an author of numerous children’s books on Second Amendment education and the founder of The Pew Pew Jew brand (from which this piece is borrowed). You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @thepewpewjew.
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