National Rifle Association Board member Scott Bach was accused of trivializing the Holocaust last week when he said he couldn’t understand why Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop could support gun control legislation because Fulop's grandparents had survived the Holocaust.
The comments sparked outrage and Fulop, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and other Jewish groups are firing back at the NRA for the "offensive" and "disturbing" remarks.
Fulop supports a measure that would require gun manufactures hoping to do business in Jersey City to take a six-question survey on gun safety when bidding on city contracts. The survey asks about automatic weapons sales and use of their brands in video games. Fulop believes the city should use its purchasing power to hold gun manufacturers accountable.
Bach, head of the NRA-affiliated Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, called for a boycott of Jersey City over the measure.
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"His grandparents were Holocaust survivors according to Wikipedia," Bach said of Fulop in an interview on NRA News on Dec. 11. "So you’ve got to wonder why he is not getting it."
Fulop said the idea that guns would have kept his grandparents out of Nazi concentration camps is "as crazy as it comes."
"Had my grandparents had guns, my grandparents would be dead and I would not be here today," he said.
Jewish groups were outraged at the comparison of gun control advocates and Nazis.
"Invoking the Holocaust and bringing Hitler into this argument is historically inaccurate and offensive to Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community," the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ said in a statement. "Access to guns and the systematic murder of six million Jews have no basis for comparison in the United States or in New Jersey. The Holocaust has no place in this discussion and it is offensive to link this tragedy to such a debate."
"There is absolutely no comparison of the issue of gun control in the U.S. to the genocidal actions of the Nazi regime," said Holocaust survivor and ADL director Abraham H. Foxman.
"Scott Bach's critique of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop's gun control measures undermines and trivializes the historical truth of the Holocaust as a singular event in human history that led to the murder of six million Jews and millions of others," the ADL said in a statement. "That he did so by invoking Mayor Fulop's family history makes it all the more offensive."