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gun control works
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1943 began under grim circumstances, and would not end any better. Over 300,000 Polish Jews had been penned up in the Warsaw Ghetto for nearly three years, and disease had already taken a deadly toll. Worse, the Germans had come the previous summer and deported several thousand of the Jews. They were never seen again.

Leaders of the ghetto community had been meeting since the first of the 1942 deportations. Initially they decided not to resist, believing that the Nazis were only transporting their people to labor camps. Not until September did they learn the truth about the extermination campaign. At last, the Polish Jews decided it was time to fight back.

They got their chance in January, when the Germans attempted another deportation. While Jewish families hid in their homes, the Jewish Combat Organization (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, or ŻOB) met the Nazis in battle. They were armed only with the few handguns smuggled into the ghetto, and homemade explosives. But they fought ferociously enough to make the Germans withdraw, and hold them at bay for at least three months afterward. When the Germans attacked again in April, they had to struggle for four days to strike down the Polish and Jewish Resistance flags flying on a rooftop. It was a fierce battle, the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust, but the Resistance simply did not have the weapons to overcome the enemy. Combatants were killed or scattered, and the Jewish civilians shipped to a concentration camp. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a doomed, but heroic, effort. Imagine what they could have done with real guns, and not trapped in a stone-walled ghetto.