(AP) -- In the months since the Newtown, Conn. school massacre, gun rights supporters have repeatedly compared U.S. gun control efforts to Nazi restrictions on firearms, arguing that limiting weapons ownership could leave Americans defenseless against homegrown tyrants.
But experts say that argument distorts a complex and contrary history. In reality, Hitler loosened tight gun laws in Germany, scholars say, even as he barred Jews from owning weapons and moved to confiscate them.
Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population with few guns before the Nazis took control, historians say. While it doesn't fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, Hitler's firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews' very tenuous odds of survival.