The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning calling for the resignation of a gun lobbyist who reportedly made remarks linking gun control to the Holocaust.
The remarks surfaced Monday on the liberal blog Horsesass.org.
An audio clip (seati.ms/1nPMWez) plays over a still photo of a gathering and purportedly features National Rifle Association lobbyist Brian Judy talking about Jews who support gun control.
The remarks were reportedly made last week at a gathering in Silverdale opposing I-594, a measure on the ballot this fall that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
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In the recording, a speaker references Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur who has contributed more than $300,000 to an independent-expenditure group supporting I-594.
Hanauer, who is Jewish, wrote recently in Politico about how his family fled Nazi Germany. The speaker on the recording references Hanauer’s piece:
“Now [Hanauer is] funding, he’s put half a million dollars, toward this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis. You know, it’s staggering to me, it’s just, you can’t make this stuff up. That these people, it’s like any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think, ‘are you serious? Do you not remember what happened?’ And why did that happen? Because they registered guns and then they took them.”
“Why did you have to flee to this country in the first place?” the speaker continues. “Hello! Is anybody home here?”
Judy did not return calls or emails seeking comment; The Seattle Times has been unable to independently authenticate the audio recording.
As the audio clip ping-ponged around the community, the reaction was swift.
“It was ludicrous; to link closing a loophole and making the law apply equally in all situations to the Holocaust is beyond offensive,” said Keith Dvorchik, president of the Jewish Federation, Monday evening.
Dvorchik said Tuesday’s news conference to call for Judy’s resignation will be at the Jewish Federation’s headquarters in Seattle.
Hanauer said the remarks weren’t surprising.
“Obviously, if your business is selling lots and lots of guns, you need people to be afraid,” he wrote in an email.
Cheryl Stombo, a sponsor of I-594 and one of the five wounded in the Jewish Federation shooting, also condemned the remarks; so did two Seattle state lawmakers, Sen. David Frockt and Rep. Reuven Carlyle.
Meanwhile, gun-rights supporters kept quiet.
Neither the National Rifle Association nor Washingtonians Opposed to I-594, an independent-expenditure group, returned calls or emails Monday. Philip Watson, who works for another independent-expenditure group opposing I-594, did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Joseph O’Sullivan: 206-464-2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.