NEW YORK (Oct. 21)
The appearance in the Los Angeles area of a series of six wall posters linking a proposed state handgun registration measure to Nazi atrocities committed against Jews in the Holocaust may be the work of a group with ties to the extremist rightwing and virulently anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby organization, according to an official of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in Los Angeles.
The posters have appeared on traffic control boxes on main boulevards in Westminster and Huntington Beach and just last Monday outside the headquarters of Californians Against Street Crime, the group campaigning for passage of the measure known as Proposition 15, which would require state residents to register handguns and restrict future sales in the state.
The black and white posters show photographs of Nazi storm troopers, stacked bodies of victims killed in the concentration camps and Nazi execution victims. One particularly horrifying poster contains a photograph of a Nazi officer with a pistol to the head of an elderly man who is sitting on the edge of a mass grave filled with corpses. The poster declares in bold letters, “Gun Registration Equals Mass Extermination.”
Other posters, for example, show two youths being hanged and the words, “Gun Registration Equals Youth Extermination.” Another poster showing the bodies of death camp victims stacked in a pile, states; “Get On the Bang Wagon… Register Your Guns.” Still another pictures Nazi troops and the phrase, “First Register Their Guns, Then Register the Jews.” The group which is officially campaigning against Proposition 15, Citizens Against the Gun Initiative, has denied any connection with the posters.
IDENTIFIES A GROUP CALLED COBRA
Robert Glasser, assistant regional director for the ADL in Los Angeles, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a telephone interview that the posters contain two small markings that might disclose the identity of the organization that has circulated them.
Glasser said that there are two types of markings in the bottom right hand corner of some of the posters. One type, he said, is a small sized capital letter “A” surrounded by a larger capital letter “G.” He said it was unclear as to what this symbol represents.
But another symbol on other posters has a picture of a small head of a cobra with the mouth forming the letter “C” and then the word “COBRA” Glasser pointed out that this symbol has not been used before, as far as the ADL knows. However, he pointed out that there is an organization called COBRA which is led by a man who has extensive ties to the Liberty Lobby organization.
COBRA is an acronym for Citizens Opposing Bigotry and Racism in America, a Los Altos-based organization headed by Aric Leavitt, Glasser told the JTA. Leavitt, according to Glasser, is listed on the national board of policy for Liberty Lobby, the anti-Semitic hate group headed by Willis Carto.
Glasser also noted that Leavitt is a strong supporter of California State Senator John Schmitz, an ultra-conservative Republican who caused an uproar last year when he said at a legislative hearing that opponents of a measure to outlaw abortion in California appeared to him as “a sea of hard Jewish and (arguably) female faces” and are murderous marauders.” In a letter last May to a local newspaper in the Los Altos area, Leavitt wrote of Jews as “dual loyalists” and “money changers.”
While Glasser noted that the evidence pointing to a COBRA-Liberty Lobby association is circumstantial, he said the Liberty Lobby is known to have linked itself to conservative issues such as gun control, abortion and prayer in public schools.
Glasser also pointed out that the photographs used in the posters are duplications of original photographs and that the printing process for the posters is highly professional. He said the ADL office is trying to trace the original photos and their origin.