Across America, the firepower in the hands of gun owners of varying stripes is increasing dramatically. The reason: assault weapons. Drug traffickers are finding that assault weapons—in addition to ‘standard issue’ handguns—provide the extra firepower necessary to fight police and competing dealers. Right-wing paramilitary extremists, in their ongoing battle against the “Zionist Occupational Government,” have made these easily purchased firearms their gun of choice. And rank and file gun aficionados—jaded with handguns, shotguns, and hunting rifles—are moving up to the television glamour and movie sex appeal of assault weapons. The growing market for these weapons—coupled with a general rising interest in the non-sporting use of firearms—has generated an industry of publications, catalogs, accessories, training camps, and combat schools dedicated to meeting its needs.
Introduction to Assault Weapons and Accessories in America
[See also this quote from the same report that contains this infamous quote about deliberately taking advantage of “The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons” to push through bans on “assault weapons”.
I find it interesting that Sugarmann doesn’t talk about actual, measurable crime rates. He conjures up potentialities but not actual victims. This sort of tactic is no more valid than the sort of talk that came about when slave holders wanted to scare people about the problems that might occur from freeing their slaves.
Sugarmann might as well be talking about the hazards of people of color using the same water fountains as whites, black children in the same swimming pool as white children, and interracial marriages. He just doesn’t like it that people have guns even though he can’t show the actual harm and he certainly doesn’t want to talk about any potential benefits.
This 1988 paper is a classic and I can easily see it being a centerpiece in the evidence to be used at his trial.—Joe]