Sugarmann Has Seen Better Days

Joe Huffman frequently reminds us of quotes from the gun banners in the 1990s, and this quote from Sugarmann, speaking of gun control merely being a half-mesaure, is telling. Joe comments:

Sugarmann, goes through regulatory proposals such as licensing, registration, expanding background checks at gun shows and stopping the import of high-capacity magazines. He then concludes a complete ban is the only rational conclusion.

I grudgingly admire Sugarmann for his genius in regards to “assault weapons” and his honesty in saying the endgame must be, always has been, and always will be a complete ban.

Sugarmann was, at one time, quite an intellectual force in the movement to ban guns. Violence Policy Center has never really minced words about the fact that it believes a ban is the only way to go, with anything less being just a stepping stone. Ultimately, and perhaps ironically, his honesty about the end-game is part of what contributed to the downfall of the movement. As genius as his pushing of the assault weapons issue was, as an incremental step along the way toward broader gun controls or gun bans, it was a bridge too far for many gun owners, and ultimately greatly contributed to the demise of his cause.

I’ve often found myself agreeing with Sugarmann on the ineffectiveness of half-measures proposed by many gun control advocates. But Sugarmann thinks you can ban guns, which as we’ve been pointing out, is being rendered a joke of an idea by advancing technology, and the emergence of international smuggling. It will be interesting to see how VPC and Brady fare in the post-Heller world. I think most of the gun control movement that was spawned out of the 70s, in the wake of the Gun Control Act, is fast coming to a close. It will be replaced by new groups like MAIG, who are going to be mostly focused on defending gun regulations in the few states controlled by their large cities. Grand dreams of prohibition are over.

5 thoughts on “Sugarmann Has Seen Better Days”

  1. It is NOT sad to see VPC fading into ignominy. Their Facebook page is an indication of this with only 261 ‘likes’ and at least one is a gunnie following them close.
    Brady Campaign Facebook page has 14,938 ‘likes’, and CSGV has 3,443 ‘likes’.
    The NRA’s main Facebook page has 1,228,050 ‘likes.’ Gun Owners of America Facebook page has 58,920 ‘likes’ and SAF goes to 7,442 ‘likes.’

    We are winning!

  2. One is only so much of a genius when his claim to fame is cooking up big lies.

    Probably never cracked a history book, as those goons never fair well in the long run…

  3. Years ago I had the opportunity to ask Sugarmann which gun control measure was his greatest priority. He said that was no secret: It was giving a federal agency the power to regulate gun “safety.”

    That makes sense, of course. Instead of that unprogressive process of votes by elected representatives answerable to the people, gun bans and other restrictions could be put in place by bureaucratic fiat.

  4. “But Sugarmann thinks you can ban guns, which as we’ve been pointing out, is being rendered a joke of an idea by advancing technology, and the emergence of international smuggling.”

    Those are insignificant obstacles compared to the hundreds of millions of guns and millions of die hard gun owners in this country.

  5. I wouldn’t be so quick to credit Sugarmann with coining the phrase “assault rifle”. Way back in the early and mid 1980s when I regularly bought glossy gun magazines the term was used quite frequently to describe then available rifles such as the Galil, the H&K G91, the SIG AMT and Colt’s AR 15. The only exception was the NRA’s American Rifleman who tended to avoid any language suggestive of violence. Before he latched on to “assault rifles”, I believe Sugarmann was using the phrase “Rambo guns”, which was used in the title of a New York Times Op-Ed piece by Sugarman in the Summer of 1988

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