Josh Sugarmann

Josh Sugarmann

Josh Sugarmann is the executive director and founder of the Violence Policy Center [ (VPC)] . Prior to founding the VPC, Sugarmann was a press officer in the national office of Amnesty International USA and was the communications director for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.

He is known for taking the position that gun violence should be approached as a broadbased public health issue as opposed to solely a crime issue and that firearms should be held to the same health and safety standards as other consumer products. This is detailed in the 1994 publication "Cease Fire: A Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Firearms Violence, which he co-authored. Noting that only two consumer products sold in America are not regulated for health and safety--guns and tobacco--he argues that firearms should be regulated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sugarmann writes frequently on gun violence issues, including two books. The first, "National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower & Fear", an expose of the National Rifle Association, was published in 1992 by National Press Books. The second, "Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns",was published in 2000 by The New Press and details the arguments in support of banning private handgun possession in the United States.

Some credit Sugarmann for coining the term "assault weapon", which is derived from the designation Sturmgewehr 44 (literally meaning "storm rifle" but most often translated as "assault rifle"), a style of rifle conceptualized in Nazi Germany during World War II. Sugarmann uses the term because he argues that a semi-automatic rifle is capable of rapid fire that makes it almost as lethal as a fully automatic firearm such as assault rifles. The impression that Sugarmann originated the term may stem from a 1988 study he authored, "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America", which was the first study to look at semiautomatic assault weapons. However, variations on the term were in use in the gun press before Sugarmann's 1988 study. []

In spite of his anti-gun activism, Josh Sugarmann is a licensed firearm dealer and current holder of a Federal Firearms License (License Number: 1-54-XXX-XX-XX-00725; Expires: 03/01/2011) which is registered at the Violence Policy Center headquarters in Washington D.C. [cite web
title= The quintessence of hypocrisy?
accessdate= 2008-02-11
author= David Hardy
date= 2008-02-11
work= Of Arms and the Law
] (cf. ATF's FFLeZCheck web site).


"On television news, anchors refer to the school shootings as “unavoidable,” as if such mass shootings are the bastard children born of hurricanes and snowstorms."

-Josh Sugarmann, "Schoolgirls Executed In Their Own Classroom: America Shrugs, [] " October, 2006

"Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."

-Josh Sugarmann, "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America", 1988

"One tenet of the National Rifle Association's faith has always been that handgun controls do little to stop criminals from obtaining handguns. For once, the NRA is right and America's leading handgun control organization is wrong. Criminals don't buy guns in gun stores. That's why they're criminals. But it isn't criminals who are killing most of the 20,000 to 22,000 people who die from handguns each year. We are." "

-Josh Sugarmann, "The NRA is Right: But We Still Need to Ban Handguns," "The Washington Monthly", June 1987.


External links

* [ A Collection of Josh Sugarmann's blogs on the Huffington Post ]

* [ "The Price of Freedom: More Bodies"]

* [ "The Brady Bill won't break the sick hold guns have on America. It's time for tougher measures."]

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