A Lesson For Americans From The Armenian Genocide – Don’t Give Up Your Guns

Armenian GenocideThe Armenian-American culture inside California is very prevalent – especially in Southern California – and plays a large societal role. Other Americans enjoy our foods, appreciate our heavily religious culture, and benefit from our competitive businesses. Over the years, Americans of Armenian descent have also made many political achievements.

George Deukmejian, former Republican Governor of California, was of Armenian-American descent, as was Kenneth L. Khachigian, the chief speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Armenian-Americans hold their cultural values to a high standard – and it’s important to point out that our culture still stands strong over the course of thousands of years because of our cultural conservatism.

There are many modern day controversial issues about which Armenian-Americans have a strong viewpoint. One of these issues is the constant war on our Second Amendment. Our Armenian ancestors learned the importance of firearm ownership and self-defense the hard way.

After the start of World War I, the Ottoman Empire made Armenian citizens turn in their weapons. Armenians were told that they needed to turn in their weapons in order to help fight the war. Being loyal to their government, a majority of them did as told. A move they would soon regret.

On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Empire rounded up all the writers, educators, politicians, musicians and other important figures that the Armenians looked up to. In one night, 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals of Constantinople were arrested, were never to be seen again. The Armenians soon realized what was actually happening – the Ottoman Empire was performing a systematic extermination of their Christian Armenian citizens.

In July of 1915 the Ottoman forces reached the mountain on which my great grandparents live, in one of six villages on the Musa Dagh mountain, located in modern day Turkey, on the shore of the Mediterranean sea. The villagers, who were already aware of the previous Turkish atrocities, gathered their necessities and made their way to the top of the mountain. For 53 days, from July to September of 1915, 250 Armenian Warriors  armed with their privately owned firearms, protected 4,000 Armenian civilians from an army of about 20,000 Ottoman soldiers.

While it is unknown exactly how many casualties the Armenians suffered, the Ottomans suffered heavy losses. In September of 1915, Allied warships under the command of Louis Dartige du Fournet spotted the Armenian survivors and were aware of the atrocities that were taking place. The French and British ships evacuated around 4,200 men, women and children, my great grandparents among them. They moved to Damascus, Syria, then to Erevan, Armenia, where both my father and I were born, and then, blessedly, to America.

Although the Second Amendment may be a big part of the culture for generations of Americans, that sacred right is a part of my history as well and it is part of the values I try to uphold every day. The reason is pretty simple – if my great grandparents had given up their guns to the government, I would not be here today.

I know my Jewish-American colleagues will empathize with me when I say that I will not make the same mistake some of countrymen did of turning in their weapons.  Everyday I am grateful and proud that my great-grandparents took a stand against their oppressors, and fought for their lives. After all, their slogan was “Freedom or Death,” not all that different than America’s “Don’t Tread On Me.”

So I implore my fellow Americans to learn the hard lessons of the Armenian genocide. In order to defend your birthrights and your families, you must defend the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

God rest the souls of the 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered. We can’t bring them back, but we can honor their memories by honoring our Constitution.

David Ter-Petrosyan is a college student in Glendale, CA – and a delegate to the California Republican Party


  1. Bill Saracino says

    Should be must reading for our gun-confiscators….and hopefully will be passed around by us pro-2nd Amendment folks.

    • “must reading for our gun-confiscators…”

      They don’t care about the author’s — or yours, mine, and a few hundred million others’ rights to own the guns. In fact, they want to do exactly the same thing as every other gun confiscating tyrant has done.

  2. Dave In LA says

    Excellent article.
    Thank you.

  3. Nicolas Tavitian says

    What is the idea here? That Americans in general risk genocide at the hands of the US government? Or that Armenians do? Is that comparison between the war-time late Ottoman Empire and the US really relevant?

    • Trent Puckett says

      The idea is that in country after country, disarmament has been followed by oppression of the disarmed.

      1911 – Turkey disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
      1929 – Russia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.
      1935 – China disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.
      1938 – Germany disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 16 million Jews.
      1956 – Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.
      1964 – Guatamala disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
      1970 – Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.

      Now our government is telling us that we, too, need to be disarmed. History tells us this is cause for concern.

    • Wallace Dunn says

      @Nicolas Tavitian you are either naive or choose to be incredibly ignorant of history.

    • From my understanding, the idea is to preserve the culture. But the comment by Trent is very helpful too.

  4. It’s hard to believe that these atrocities happened in history but we know they did and I think some choose to ignore it. The second amendment gives us the right to protect ourselves and our families whether it’s the government or invading governments. Excellent read I wish more people would read it and try to understand what the second amendment gives us the people.


  6. Mark Haltom says

    Thank you for sharing, I will share it myself, as George said;
    ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905).

  7. Nicholas,

    The idea here is that we should learn from the mistakes of others. Like Trent Puckett said, the disarming of citizens allows the government to do whatever they want, because the people have no means of fighting back. Nobody is implying that Americans will suffer the fate that the Armenians did, but it is safer to be doubtful than it is to be naive.

Speak Your Mind