Most public debate and discussion about guns in U.S. society is rarely guided by research—not surprising, as most individuals have a personal opinion on this highly inflammatory topic based on their upbringing or personal experiences. Additionally, most research about gun use in America is confusing and contradictory, making it difficult for citizens to gain much from their attempts to investigate the topic objectively.
This book offers concise, understandable coverage of all aspects of the issue, including incidence of gun violence; gun control; gun rights; government regulation, legislation, and court decisions; gun organizations (for gun control and for gun rights); gun enthusiast subcultures—for example, hunters, target shooters, and collectors; and U.S. attitudes toward guns. Many of the covered topics are placed in historical and cross-cultural perspective.
The new edition of Gun Control in the United States: A Reference Handbook enables the reader to navigate and interpret the research to become sufficiently educated on any specific aspect of the gun issue to make an informed decision—for example, whether to support stricter or more lenient gun control; whether to become a gun owner; whether to support a particular political party or candidate; or whether to develop or to refine a particular philosophy regarding guns. Other aspects of the contemporary gun debate that are addressed include whether the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right will withstand future challenges, whether the strong gun regulations used in Europe would be effective and applicable in reducing gun violence in the United States, and whether the diversity explosion created by the high rate of immigration from countries where guns are strictly controlled will soon change the politics of the U.S. gun control debate.
- Provides a balanced view of the contemporary gun debate in the United States, explaining the positions of both gun rights proponents and advocates of stricter gun control without demonizing either
- Draws on a vast array of research in criminology, history, law, medicine, politics, and social science to provide one of the most comprehensive single-source references on gun issues
- Presents current and historical data on U.S. gun violence—including homicides, suicides, and accidental shoots—and places these numbers against international statistics on gun violence, thereby providing the context to enable readers to reach their own opinion on the gun debate