Skip to comments.Col. Denman’s Luger (On inheriting a war hero’s captured gun.)
Posted on 12/10/2004 2:25:59 AM PST by nickcarraway
BEVERLY HILLS -- A few days ago, a package arrived in the mail from the widow of my late father-in-law, Colonel Dale Denman, Jr., of Heber Springs, Arkansas. I opened it and there was a leather holster and inside it, a German Luger pistol. My father-in-law had taken it from a captured German officer in early 1945 and kept it for almost sixty years. He had left his wife instructions that I was to get it.
You've probably seen ones like it in movies. They look deadly. The Germans made a lot of them to give as a standard sidearm to officers in World War II. I wonder what this pistol did. Kill totally innocent Jews? Lead a charge against British or American soldiers? I just know that after a fierce firefight near the Czech border, it was captured by my father-in-law, along with its keeper.
Now, I have it next to my bed in a drawer along with many letters from Col. Denman.
I know there are a lot of these Lugers around. You can buy them at antique gun shops and gun shows. But this one is special to me. Here is what it says:
My brave father-in-law, representative of tens of millions of American men and women who have gone off to fight for freedom, fought against cruel, tenacious enemies. They often lost their lives in so doing. They prevailed and I get to live in spectacular freedom, glorious, bright freedom, every day because men like Col. Denman were as brave as they were.
I have relatives and friends who get out of bed every morning and do an hour of exercise to keep them fit. I don't do that. My exercise is that I get out of bed and hit my knees and thank God for waking up in America, where I live in peace and freedom, no Gestapo chasing me, no KGB putting me in the Gulag, no Hamas blowing me up. All thanks to men like Col. Denman and the heroism he showed capturing this Luger.
That exercise does not keep me thin, most assuredly. But it does set me up for my day by putting me into an attitude of gratitude for the men and women who wore the uniform and still wear the uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere. My wife is not giving me any presents this holiday season and I am only giving her one. Instead, we are sending gifts to the American fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan to show we're thinking of them. This Luger reminds me it's the least we can do.
Careful Ben, If you live in Beverly Hills and now have a handgun you might get to meet some of California's own gestapo. Make sure you have "your papers" in order.
Unless a firearm was made prior to 1898 or the recipient holds a Federal Firearms license, I believe it is illegal for him to receive it by mail. I hope Mr. Stein doesn't have the ATF kicking his door in because of this.
My thoughts exactly as I read this. It would seem Mr. Stein has served notice on the American people and that this is a de facto 'registration' via affidavit....may it be so for all who uphold the Constitution and Amendments! Better yet would be the presumption that people have an inviolable right to own guns, privately, without such registration....2nd & other Amdts. of course.
The USPS shipping issue is another matter. Mixed feelings on that in this day of gangs and terrorism. But Mr. Stein must not be made an example of! We must watch this matter....
There is a notable exception for precisely this case in the firearms laws. A weapon which has been inherited may be transferred directly to the beneficiary. UPS has little clue as to what the law actually is, it's their policies (UPS's) that cause all the confusion, the law is actually very clear.
Most people are even unaware that you may transfer (ship) a long gun to another indivudual within your own state without an FFL. The caveat is of course that you have no state laws that prevent it. Most states do not.
You do need to get some assurance from the transferee that he/she is not legally prohibited from owning/possesing firearms, but that's it. It's much like a face to face sale in your own state (in state's that allow it).
Long arms, can be shipped through the USPS... most folks don't know that either (nor do many USPS employees).
All of this informatin is available on the ATF's website for anyone who wishes to look for it.
You'd be surprised at how many licensed dealers do not know the regulations!!
After all: "They look deadly."
Won't do any good to have it 'de-milled'.
My guess is they will ignore it just as they ignore the thousands of folks who cross over our borders illegally.
I think it was George Orwell who said"People Sleep Peacefully In Their Beds Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready To Do Violence On Their Behalf".Thank GOD ALMIGHTY for our"ROUGH MEN"!!!!!
The sheep dogs stand ready to take on the wolves to protect the sheep.
He was in the 208th Engineers combat battalion and they were the first American troops sent into Berlin after the Russians captured it.
Daddy had a bunch of children of his own and began feeding two really cute German kids (Fritz and Ingrid). One day he asked the boy, if he could get him a luger. The kid took off running and in about an hour brought him a bag which contained a luger and holster.
When Daddy got to the disembarkation center, the Colonel in charge had left word to the people that he wanted a Luger. Daddy was directed to him but refused the $200. He later sold it to my Cousin for $50 with the understanding that he could buy it back. Still thinking about contacting him to get it back.
Isn't that ironic... and very sad.
Well, Stein is still the MAN!
Too bad. The Dem Gestapo is already on their way to Ben's house to confiscate the Luger and charge Stein for having it.
Hi guys, did you see this? I think one of our favorite personalities (Ben Stein) has a problem with the California DOJ Firearms Division. Being as he is a conservative in Beverly Hills I suspect he is a target. Regards, RKV
Just hold that sentiment until the ATF get on your case, Ben.
Mr Stein needs to be a little careful here or he will loose what means so much to him, no - not the gun. His freedom.
He is a conservative Republican although not as conservative as myself.
The last couple of times I have heard him talk, it seemed as if he might be getting more so.