Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is getting hit by accusations that a 2013 pro-Second Amendment post of his that demonized Adolf Hitler was in bad taste.
The flood of progressive outrage over the social media post isn’t so much about Hitler as it is about the idea that a prominent sports and cultural figure would openly support gun rights.
The Instagram post shows an ominous black-and-white image of Adolf Hitler with the alleged 1933 quote, “To conquer a nation, first disarm it’s [sic] citizens.”
“This is why I will always stay strapped! #thetruth,” Martinez remarked.
“I posted it,” Martinez said, as quoted by the New York Post. “I love my country. I love this country. I stand by the Constitution and I stand by the Second Amendment, and it’s something that I take pride in. It’s something that I’ll back up.”
While commentators object to the use of this difficult-to-source Hitler quote, it must be noted that such quotes are translated from German, and documented quotes of the dictator exist to back up the gist of the Instagram post.
A Hitler quote that is parallel to the thrust of the post is provided by scholar Stephen P. Halbrook, author of “Gun Control in the Third Reich,” in an article in the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing,” the dictator is recorded as having said in “Hitler’s Secret Conversations.”
While some Americans may bridle at the implication that any leader might come to power and suddenly disarm the population, Germany’s history, as well as that of Martinez’s home nation of Cuba, is worth recalling on this.
Gun control in Germany didn’t begin with Hitler; it began with the liberal Weimar Republic in 1931. Germany mandated the registration of firearms that year, an American Thinker article pointed out. After Hitler rose to power, he drew on the gun control records to implement a seizure of firearms from those whom he called the “subject race” of Jews. At least 6 million Jews were killed in the subsequent Holocaust.
The Red Sox right-fielder, who has a league-best .337 batting average and 110 RBIs, also knows tyranny firsthand. The Cuban-American’s family fled his native land to escape the oppressive Castro regime.
“As most of you guys know, I’m Cuban-American, and most of my family was run out of Cuba because of a brutal dictator,” he told reporters, as the Providence Journal pointed out. “It’s terrible. It’s one of those things where I’ll never get to meet some of my family because of it.”
This point may get lost in the conversation among some Americans about gun control and disarmament: It has happened elsewhere and not always with benign consequences.
An article at the National Institutes of Health, “America, Guns, and Freedom,” recounts Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s disarming his political opposition and the populace at large.
“Fidel Castro defused the situation and neutralized the defiance of the RD [Revolutionary Directorate]. Shortly thereafter, Castro commenced his long-term campaign to disarm not only his confreres in the Revolutionary Directorate who had not joined him, but also, in due time, all Cubans,” author Miguel Faria Jr. writes.
J.D. Martinez isn’t backing down — and Red Sox management is advising its players to defend themselves if questioned about past social media posts.
In 2013, Cuban-born exile Manuel Martinez summed up the perils of taking gun control measures lightly. His warning to Americans was blunt, as Mediaite reported.
“If we tangle with the Second Amendment, we are open the same way that Cuba was open for Communism, [along with] China, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Venezuela, on and on,” Martinez said.
“Gun control does not protect anybody — does not protect the citizens, does not protect the people,” he continued. “The only reason for gun control is for the government to protect [itself from] the citizens, so that the government can … manipulate the people and subjugate them. That’s what happened in Cuba,” he added.
Activists are increasing targeting certain athletes and entertainers who stray from pre-approved left-wing narratives. But J.D. Martinez isn’t backing down — and Red Sox management is advising its players to defend themselves if questioned about past social media posts.
“Where we’re at right now, people are gonna start searching tweets from 10 years ago,” first-year manager Alex Cora said, as the Post reported. “I think players control their Twitter handles and Instagram and, if it’s there, people are probably going to find it and then they have to be responsible enough to explain why they did it.”
Martinez responded to the sudden controversy over the five-year-old Instagram post.
“Boston. That’s how it got out. I don’t know,” he said. “It’s been up there for a while, and it’s the new hot thing to do now — dig and try to find something to make people look bad, I guess.”
See Red Sox manager discuss the controversy in the video below.