Ohio Congressional candidate Samuel Wuerzelbacher, also-known-as “Joe the Plumber,” issued a controversial YouToube video Monday linking the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide to gun control.
"In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated. In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1938 to 1945, 6 million Jews and 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated," Wuerzelbacher says in the video as he shoots at apples on a target range.
"I love America," he closes with a smile.
“I’m just stating the fact that history is very important — people need to understand what happened. Different countries around the world have tried to disarm their citizens, and then have tried to exterminate their own now-unarmed citizens,” Wurzelbacher told POLITICO, citing Turkey, Russia and Germany as examples.
Wurzelbacher told the news source that he has no sympathy for those who might be offended by his message.
“If people are looking to be offended by this video, they are probably serving a political agenda. Unfortunately there are a lot of whiners out there,” the Ohio Republican said in an interview. “The Second Amendment essentially allows us Americans to make sure that we keep our rights. It’s very important to make sure we sustain it.”
The controversial video, posted Monday and first reported on by the New York Observer, drew a quick rebuke from the National Jewish Democratic Coalition.
"Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances," said NJDC head David A. Harris. "For Ohio Republican House candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher to imply that these innocent lives were taken because of gun control laws is simply beyond the pale. Wurzelbacher — who is just the latest in a long line of Republicans who seem to think it is acceptable to use the Holocaust for political gain — must apologize and remove this offensive video immediately."
Wuerzelbacher, a Tea Party favorite who became somewhat of a celebrity during the 2008 presidential campaign for questioning then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on taxes, is running against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) in a heavily Democratic district in northern Ohio. Kaptur’s opponent in 2010, Rich Iott, gained national attention for having participated in Nazi reenactments, The Hill reported.