So here is an Israeli weapons company, Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), announcing a ten-fold increase in ammunition sales to the US of $66 million, a third of it geared to the civilian market. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. IWI, the manufacturers of the most famous submachine gun in the world, the Uzi, recently opened a manufacturing plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://iwi.us
What IWI is producing and selling is chilling: powerful military weapons that have been “civilianized” so that they can be used by police and civilians. The Uzi, for example, has been made into a large pistol, so the next time you’re stopped by your local police (or if you’re black or poor, shot at by your local police), they could be pulling from their holsters Uzi machine gun pistols.
Besides supplying weapons and ammo to the US army, IWI is targeting two American populations. First, the police. It is encouraging the militarization of US police by producing a range of semi-automatic rifles, machine guns and other “hybrid” military/police weapons, and using local police to lobby in their departments — and Congress –for IWI weaponry.
Second, IWI targets the huge American civilian market (Americans, about 4% of the world’s population, own 250 million small arms, about 40% of the world’s total). In fact, on the IWI US website is an icon urging Americans to support the gun lobby. So IWI produces the X95 combined carbine, assault rifle and submachine gun. Why a carbine component? Would you use an X95 to hunt deer? Because assault rifles and submachine guns are (marginally) harder to purchase across the counter; being a normal carbine removes that difficulty. $1200 at your local gun shop (or maybe Walmart’s) will buy you one.