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Josh Sugarmann
A native of Newtown, Connecticut, Josh Sugarmann is the executive director of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a national 501(c)(3) tax-exempt national educational foundation working to reduce violence in America ( he founded in 1988. He is the author of two books, National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower & Fear and Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns. His articles and op-eds have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, The Nation, and Washington Monthly.

Entries by Josh Sugarmann

NRA Board Member Joins Gunmaker Sturm, Ruger's Board

(6) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 3:25 PM

Few still doubt that today's National Rifle Association is nothing less than a trade association for the firearms industry.

But for those who do, its Report of the Secretary (listing board members who did any business with the NRA within a year in excess of $2,000) distributed at its "Annual...

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Guns Are Rarely Used in Self-Defense

(236) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 4:50 PM

"If you are fearful, arm yourself."

That was Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader's advice to Ohio residents in the wake of a series of "execution"-style killings that left eight members of a family dead at four different homes in Southern Ohio last week. Attorney General Mike DeWine described the shootings...

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The Gun Violence Epidemic Impacts Black Americans the Most

(8) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 10:53 AM

Earlier this month, men armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle and a 40-caliber handgun ambushed a backyard cookout in a community near Pittsburgh. The shooters killed five people as well as a woman's unborn child. A mother lost three adult children and two nieces in the attack. An agent with...

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Why Does the Gun Lobby Encourage Small Children to Handle Guns?

(244) Comments | Posted March 11, 2016 | 12:33 PM

With depressing regularity, it keeps happening. A child, sometimes as young as a toddler, gets hold of a firearm (usually owned by a parent or other family member) and unintentionally pulls the trigger with horrific results.

The most recent high-profile incident occurred this week in Florida, when a four-year-old...

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Ten Gun Industry and NRA Quotes About Selling Guns for Children

(5) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 2:16 PM


As household gun ownership in the United States steadily declines, the firearms industry and gun lobby are targeting children as young as grade-school age as the next generation of customers.

In a new study by...

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Gun Deaths Now Outpace Motor Vehicle Deaths in 21 States

(156) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 10:49 AM

When President Obama took part in the recent CNN town hall on gun violence in America, he noted, "There's nothing else in our lives that we purchase where we don't try to make it a little safer if we can." It's a fact that in the United States,...

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The Case for Banning Assault Weapons

(401) Comments | Posted December 9, 2015 | 9:53 AM


In his December 6 address from the Oval Office, President Obama rightly called for action to "make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons, like the ones that were used in San Bernardino."

Assault weapons, like the two...

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Gun Violence Is Killing California's Youth: Here Are the Facts You Should Know

(23) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 12:48 PM

What's the second leading cause of death for California youth and young adults ages 10 to 24? Sadly, the answer is homicide -- nearly always committed with a gun.

Every year, in California alone, hundreds of young lives are cut short by homicide with a firearm. The organization I...

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The Gun Violence We Aren't Talking About: Murder-Suicides

(23) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 9:26 AM


It's a horrific, yet sadly very common scenario.

A murderer (nearly always a man) picks up a weapon (almost always a gun) and takes the lives of others -- usually family members or intimate partners -- before taking his own...

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President Obama Is Right: States With Strict Gun Laws Have Fewer Gun Deaths

(162) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 5:34 PM

Last night, in response to America's latest horrific mass shooting, this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, President Obama pointed out that stricter gun laws save lives, a fact that is indisputable when gun death rates are compared by state. "We know that states with the...

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Gun Violence Kills More Than 3,000 Hispanics Per Year, New Study Finds

(9) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 10:33 AM

One of the sad realities of gun violence in America is that some groups of people bear the brunt of this epidemic more than others. One of these groups is Hispanics. New research by my organization, the Violence Policy Center, finds that fatal gun violence has a disproportionate...

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Glock Pistol Used in Church Massacre a Favorite of Mass Shooters

(6) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 2:19 PM

The Glock pistol reportedly used by alleged South Carolina mass killer Dylann Roof stands as a stark example of the gun industry's marketing of increased lethality. Since the mid-1980s, increased firepower and capacity have defined the products of the gun industry -- of both U.S. and foreign manufacture.

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Fewer and Fewer Americans Own Guns

(304) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 1:48 PM

Household gun ownership in America is on a steady, long-term decline.

That's according to data from the latest edition of the General Social Survey (GSS), which is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

My organization, the Violence Policy Center,...

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As NRA Meeting Opens in Nashville, Gun Deaths Surpass Vehicle Deaths in Tennessee

(476) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 5:32 PM


Another year, another NRA annual meeting, which each spring comes with its own set of questions teetering from the merely absurd to the truly grotesque.

Will the NRA reveal the findings of its "ethics investigation" into whether right-wing stalwart and NRA...

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The Battle Over the Armor-Piercing AR-15 Bullet Is a Problem of the Gun Industry's Own Making

(32) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 2:04 PM

The gun lobby and its supporters on Capitol Hill are in full-blown Armageddon mode in the wake of a proposal by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ban the availability of a type of ammunition originally designed for use in AR-15 assault rifles...

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Black Americans Are Four Times More Likely to Be Victims of Homicide

(16) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 11:22 AM

Gun violence in America is a public health epidemic. And while this epidemic affects everyone, it has a disproportionate impact on black Americans -- men and women, teens and adults.

My organization, the Violence Policy Center, educates the public about this epidemic through our annual report, Black Homicide Victimization in...

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Behind Closed Doors in Vegas, Militarized Gun Industry Sells, Sells, Sells

(115) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 10:13 AM

Last week, a man was arrested in Ohio for an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to attack the U.S. Capitol with gunfire and pipe bombs. According to the government's criminal complaint, to prepare for the attack Christopher Cornell bought two AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifles manufactured by the...

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Five Reasons the NRA Is Losing, Two Years After Newtown

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:13 AM

Two years ago this Sunday, 20 children and six educators were brutally gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut, the town where I grew up. Our nation rightfully has not been able to forget that day. Nor have we stopped fighting for effective policies that would dramatically reduce gun death and injury.

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Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis for Black Women

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 12:46 PM

It is a sad and unfortunate fact that the gun violence epidemic -- which kills tens of thousands of Americans every year -- has a disproportionate impact on the black community. This is true not only for men, but for black women as well.

I lead a gun violence...

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For California Youth, Most Murder Victims Killed With Guns

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 10:27 AM

Homicide is the second-leading cause of death for Californians ages 10 to 24. And in a new, comprehensive study, we found that guns are nearly always the weapon of choice to murder California's youth.

Recently, my organization, the Violence Policy Center, released the fourth edition of our annual...

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