The German Democratic Republic or East Germany was ruled by the Communist Party with an iron hand until things began to break apart with glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall. To enforce the will of the Party was the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit aka the Stasi.
The longest tenured head of the Stasi was Erich Mielke who ran the state police from 1957 until 1989.
His network of 85,000 full-time domestic spies and 170,000 ‘voluntary’ informers kept tabs on millions of people. So many people collaborated with the Stasi that when the records were opened, it was discovered that in every public building, at least one of its members kept the Stasi informed about everything that happened within it.
In a move aimed at emulating Erich Mielke and the Stasi, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is now trying to build a network of spies in that New Jersey city to turn in their neighbors who have guns.
I guess it comes as no surprise that a mayor intent on emulating one of the worst features of the Stasi has won the 2009 Sarah Brady Visionary Award from the Brady Center.