A conservative news site sparked outrage after drawing a comparison between President Barack Obama’s proposal to stem gun violence in the United States and the totalitarian regimes of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
The homepage of the highly popular Drudge Report used pictures of the dictators to illustrate its opinion of Obama Administration proposals to institute gun control in an effort to prevent mass shootings, similar to that which occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, which resulted in the massacre of 20 first-grade students and seven adults.
The comparison followed Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement on Wednesday that President Barack Obama may attempt to issue an executive order to control the sale of guns.
"The president is going to act. Executive orders, executive action, can be taken," Biden told reporters before meetings with groups representing survivors of mass shootings. "We haven't decided what this is yet, but we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the Cabinet members."
"I'm convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans, and take thousands of people out of harm's way, if we act responsibly," said Biden, adding that legislative action is needed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the largest Jewish human rights organizations in the United States, issued a statement condemning the frequent comparisons to Nazi and fascist regimes saying, “It is very unfortunate that Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin are brought into every domestic debate in the United States.”
“It is outrageous that President Obama or any other U.S. President should be compared to two of history’s greatest tyrants,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center.
“We demean and trivialize the significance of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by Stalin when we do that,” he added.
President Obama vowed last month that a new task force overseen by Biden will provide "concrete proposals" by the end of January to reduce gun violence.
In addition to gun laws, the group is looking at mental health care and what the president has described as a culture that often "glorifies guns and violence."