Guns in America
Examining the Facts
by Donald J. Campbell
August 2021, 251pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7058-3
$65, £49, 57€, A88
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7059-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2017, 39,773 Americans died from gun-related injuries, with about 6 in 10 of those deaths from suicide and another 37% from murder.

This work provides readers with an authoritative resource for understanding the true extent and nature of gun violence in America, examining the veracity of claims and counterclaims about mass shootings, gun laws, and public attitudes about gun control.

This work is part of a series that uses evidence-based documentation to examine the veracity of claims and beliefs about high-profile issues in American culture and politics. Each book in the Contemporary Debates series is intended to puncture rather than perpetuate myths that diminish our understanding of important policies and positions; to provide needed context for misleading statements and claims; and to confirm the factual accuracy of other assertions.

This particular volume examines beliefs, claims, and myths about gun violence, gun laws, and gun rights in the United States. Issues covered in the book include trends in firearm violence, mass shootings, the impact of gun ownership on rates and types of crime, regulations and Supreme Court decisions regarding gun control and the Second Amendment, and the activities and influence of organizations ranging from the National Rifle Association to Everytown for Gun Safety. All of these topics are examined in individualized entries, with objective responses grounded in up-to-date evidence.


  • Easy-to-navigate Q&A format
  • Quantifiable data from respected sources as the foundation for examining every issue
  • Extensive Further Reading sections for each entry providing readers with leads to conduct further research
  • Examinations of claims made by individuals and groups of all political backgrounds and ideologies
Donald J. Campbell is professor emeritus at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he served as professor in the department of behavioral sciences and leadership for sixteen years. He is author of America's Gun Wars: A Cultural History of Gun Control in the United States. Campbell has also taught at schools and universities all around the world, and his work has been published in leading academic journals including Policing and Society, Journal of Strategic and International Studies, and Military Psychology.


"A clear and extensive. . . assessment of the evidence around many of the complex issues in the United States’ long relationship with firearms."—Library Journal, December 1, 2021

Contemporary Debates

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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