Nazi Controversies at New York Gun Shows Are a Reminder of the Events’ Extremist Elements
Farther upstate in Saratoga, a gun show organizer was forced to pull an exhibit of a desk, chair, valet stand, and hat owned by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler following outrage from a local synagogue.
The ties between parts of the gun world and right-wing extremists are well documented:
- Timothy McVeigh, an anti-government radical with white supremacist sympathies who committed the Oklahoma City bombing, had been a habitue of gun shows throughout the west.
- The late Matt Vanderboegh, who had been a member of militias for decades and founded the Three Percenter “patriot” group, wrote about how important gun shows were to his movement.
- The sovereign citizens who murdered two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers in 2010 had bought weapons at a gun show just before their confrontation with the law.
- A review of the white supremacist group National Vanguard’s website shows members discussing the need to “racialize” the “gun right,” and applauding outreach efforts at gun shows.
In 2009, the respected gun violence researcher Garen Wintemute authored a report on gun shows. In his visits to 78 shows in 19 states, Wintemute was disturbed by the prevalence of white supremacist propaganda: