The Beginning of the “Assault Weapon” Issue and Lies About Machine Gun
In the mid-1980s, gun control groups invented the slang term “assault weapon”and applied it to certain semi-automatic firearms which, though designed for civilian use, look like modern fully-automatic assault rifles used by the military.15
In 1988, handgun ban activist Josh Sugarmann, then of the New Right Watch (watching the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” before Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., coined the expression), now of the Violence Policy Center (funded by the Joyce Foundation, of which the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, Sen. Barack Obama, was a director from 1998-2001), recommended that gun control groups campaign against “assault weapons” to bolster their long-standing efforts to ban handguns,16 and that they try to trick the public into believing that “assault weapons” were fully-automatic machine guns designed for the military, because of the way the guns look:
“[A]ssault weapons . . . will . . . strengthen the handgun restriction lobby . . . . [H]andgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. . . . Assault weapons . . . 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. . . . Efforts to restrict assault weapons are more likely to succeed than those to restrict handguns.”17
To bolster the lie, CBS, NBC, CNN and network affiliates deliberately ran videos of fully-automatic firearms (machine guns) during reports on semi-automatic “assault weapons.”18 The Violence Policy Center uses machine gun photos to spruce up its “assault weapon” propaganda.19
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