Guns in the U.S.

Collection by Kate Davey (7 items)

Despite limited funding for gun research in the US, university presses have put out a small stack of scholarly books examining various aspects of gun violence.

Includes the following tags:

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Private Guns, Public Health
by David Hemenway
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"In this small book David Hemenway has produced a masterwork. He has dissected the various aspects of the gun violence epidemic in the United States into its component parts and considered them separately. He has produced a scientifically based analysis of the data and indeed the microdata of the over 30,000 deaths and 75,000 injuries which occur each year. Consideration and adoption of the policy lessons he recommends would strengthen the Constitutional protections that all of our citizens have to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
-Richard F. Corlin, Past President, American Medical Association

"This lucid and penetrating study is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the tragedy of gun violence in America and-even more important-what we can do to stop it. David Hemenway cuts through the cant and rhetoric in a way that no fair-minded person can dismiss, and no sane society can afford to ignore."
-Richard North Patterson, novelist

"The rate of gun-related homicide, suicide, and accidental injury has reached epidemic proportions in American society. Diagnosing and treating the gun violence epidemic demands the development of public health solutions in conjunction with legislative and law enforcement strategies."
-Kweisi Mfume, President and CEO of NAACP

"In scholarly, sober analytic assessments, including rigorous critiques of NRA-popularized pseudoscience, David Hemenway constructs a convincing case that firearm availability is a critical and proximal cause of unparalleled carnage. By formulating such violence as a public health issue, he proposes workable policies analogous to ones that reduced injuries from tobacco, alcohol, and automobiles."
-Jerome P. Kassirer, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, New England Journal of Medicine, and Distinguished Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

"As a former District Attorney and Attorney General, I know the urgency of providing safe homes, schools and neighborhoods for all. This remarkable tour-de-force is a powerful study of one promising solution: a data-rich, eminently readable demonstration of why we should treat gun violence as an American epidemic."
-Scott Harshbarger, Former Attorney General of Massachusetts, President and CEO of Common Cause


On an average day in the United States, guns are used to kill almost eighty people, and to wound nearly three hundred more. If any other consumer product had this sort of disastrous effect, the public outcry would be deafening; yet when it comes to guns such facts are accepted as a natural consequence of supposedly high American rates of violence.

Private Guns, Public Health explodes that myth and many more, revealing the advantages of treating gun violence as a consumer safety and public health problem. David Hemenway fair-mindedly and authoritatively demonstrates how a public-health approach-which emphasizes prevention over punishment, and which has been so successful in reducing the rates of injury and death from infectious disease, car accidents, and tobacco consumption-can be applied to gun violence.

Hemenway uncovers the complex connections between guns and self-defense, gun violence and schools, gun prevalence and homicide, and more. Finally, he outlines a policy course that would significantly reduce gun-related injury and death.

With its bold new public-health approach to guns, Private Guns, Public Health marks a shift in our understanding of guns that will-finally-point us toward a solution.


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Language of the Gun
by Bernard E. Harcourt
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Legal and public policies concerning youth gun violence tend to rely heavily on crime reports, survey data, and statistical methods. Rarely is attention given to the young voices belonging to those who carry high-powered semiautomatic handguns. In Language of the Gun, Bernard E. Harcourt recounts in-depth interviews with youths detained at an all-malecorrectional facility, exploring how they talk about guns and what meanings they ascribe to them in a broader attempt to understand some of the assumptions implicit in current handgun policies. In the process, Harcourt redraws the relationships among empirical research, law, and public policy.

Home to over 150 repeat offenders ranging in age from twelve to seventeen, the Catalina Mountain School is made up of a particular stratum of boys—those who have committed the most offenses but will still be released upon reaching adulthood. In an effort to understand the symbolic and emotional language of guns and gun carrying, Harcourt interviewed dozens of these incarcerated Catalina boys. What do these youths see in guns? What draws them to handguns? Why do some of them carry and others not? For Harcourt, their often surprising answers unveil many of the presuppositions that influence our laws and policies.
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Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea
by Joshua Horwitz and Casey Anderson
University of Michigan Press, 2009
The NRA steadfastly maintains that the 30,000 gun-related deaths and 300,000 assaults with firearms in the United States every year are a small price to pay to guarantee freedom. As former NRA President Charlton Heston put it, "freedom isn't free."



And when gun enthusiasts talk about Constitutional liberties guaranteed by the Second Amendment, they are referring to freedom in a general sense, but they also have something more specific in mind---freedom from government oppression. They argue that the only way to keep federal authority in check is to arm individual citizens who can, if necessary, defend themselves from an aggressive government.



In the past decade, this view of the proper relationship between government and individual rights and the insistence on a role for private violence in a democracy has been co-opted by the conservative movement. As a result, it has spread beyond extreme "militia" groups to influence state and national policy.



In Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea, Josh Horwitz and Casey Anderson reveal that the proponents of this view base their argument on a deliberate misreading of history. The Insurrectionist myth has been forged by twisting the facts of the American Revolution and the founding of the United States, the denial of civil rights to African-Americans after the Civil War, and the rise of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. Here, Horwitz and Anderson set the record straight. Then, challenging the proposition that more guns equal more freedom, they expose Insurrectionism---not government oppression---as the true threat to freedom in the U.S. today.



Joshua Horwitz received a law degree from George Washington University and is currently a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. He has spent nearly two decades working on gun violence prevention issues. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.



Casey Anderson holds a law degree from Georgetown University and is currently a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C. He has served in senior staff positions with the U.S. Congress, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Americans for Gun Safety. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face
by Robert H Churchill
University of Michigan Press, 2009
“ To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face addresses an area— the relationship of American political violence to American ideology— that is of growing importance and that is commanding an ever increasing audience, and it does so in a way like nothing else in the field.”
— David Williams, Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington



 



After the bombings of Oklahoma City in 1995, most Americans were shocked to discover that tens of thousands of their fellow citizens had banded together in homegrown militias. Within the next few years, numerous studies and media reports appeared revealing the unseen world of the American militia movement, a loose alliance of groups with widely divergent views. Not surprisingly, it was the movement’ s most extreme voices that attracted the lion's share of attention.



In reality, Robert Churchill writes, the militia movement was neither as irrational nor as new as it was portrayed in the press. Churchill uses three case studies to illustrate the origin of some of the core values of the modern militia movement: Fries’ Rebellion in Pennsylvania at the end of the 18th century, the Sons of Liberty Conspiracy in Civil War– era Indiana and Illinois, and the Black Legion in Michigan and Ohio during the Depression. Building on extensive interviews with militia members, the author places the contemporary militia movement in the context of these earlier insurrectionary movements which, animated by a libertarian interpretation of the American Revolution, used force to resist the authority of the federal government.



 

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Under Fire
by Osha Gray Davidson
University of Iowa Press, 1998
Originally published in 1993, Under Fire was widely hailed as the first objective examination of the NRA and its efforts to defeat gun control legislation. Now in this expanded edition, Osha Gray Davidson shows how the NRA's extremism has cost the organization both political power and popular support. He offers a well-reasoned and workable approach to gun control, one that will find many supporters even among the NRA membership.
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The Militia and the Right to Arms, or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent
by H. Richard Uviller and William G. Merkel
series edited by Neal Devins and Mark A. Graber
Duke University Press, 2002
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
—Amendment II, United States Constitution

The Second Amendment is regularly invoked by opponents of gun control, but H. Richard Uviller and William G. Merkel argue the amendment has nothing to contribute to debates over private access to firearms. In The Militia and the Right to Arms, or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent, Uviller and Merkel show how postratification history has sapped the Second Amendment of its meaning. Starting with a detailed examination of the political principles of the founders, the authors build the case that the amendment's second clause (declaring the right to bear arms) depends entirely on the premise set out in the amendment's first clause (stating that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state). The authors demonstrate that the militia envisioned by the framers of the Bill of Rights in 1789 has long since disappeared from the American scene, leaving no lineal descendants. The constitutional right to bear arms, Uviller and Merkel conclude, has evaporated along with the universal militia of the eighteenth century.

Using records from the founding era, Uviller and Merkel explain that the Second Amendment was motivated by a deep fear of standing armies. To guard against the debilitating effects of militarism, and against the ultimate danger of a would-be Caesar at the head of a great professional army, the founders sought to guarantee the existence of well-trained, self-armed, locally commanded citizen militia, in which service was compulsory. By its very existence, this militia would obviate the need for a large and dangerous regular army. But as Uviller and Merkel describe the gradual rise of the United States Army and the National Guard over the last two hundred years, they highlight the nation's abandonment of the militia ideal so dear to the framers. The authors discuss issues of constitutional interpretation in light of radically changed social circumstances and contrast their position with the arguments of a diverse group of constitutional scholars including Sanford Levinson, Carl Bogus, William Van Alstyne, and Akhil Reed Amar.  

Espousing a centrist position in the polarized arena of Second Amendment interpretation, this book will appeal to those wanting to know more about the amendment's relevance to the issue of gun control, as well as to those interested in the constitutional and political context of America's military history.

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Suing the Gun Industry
edited by Timothy D. Lytton
University of Michigan Press, 2005
"Mass tort litigation against the gun industry, with its practical weaknesses, successes, and goals, provides the framework for this collection of thoughtful essays by leading social scientists, lawyers, and academics. . . . These informed analyses reveal the complexities that make the debate so difficult to resolve. . . . Suing the Gun Industry masterfully reveals the many details contributing to the intractability of the gun debate."
-New York Law Journal

"Second Amendment advocate or gun-control fanatic, all Americans who care about freedom need to read Suing the Gun Industry."
-Bob Barr, Member of Congress, 1995-2003, and Twenty-First Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy, American Conservative Union

"The source for anyone interested in a balanced analysis of the lawsuits against the gun industry."
-David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy & Director, Harvard Injury Control Research Center Harvard School of Public Health Health Policy and Management Department, author of Private Guns, Public Health

"Highly readable, comprehensive, well-balanced. It contains everything you need to know, and on all sides, about the wave of lawsuits against U.S. gun manufacturers."
-James B. Jacobs, Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and author of Can Gun Control Work?

"In Suing the Gun Industry, Timothy Lytton has assembled some of the leading scholars and advocates, both pro and con, to analyze this fascinating effort to circumvent the well-known political obstacles to more effective gun control. This fine book offers a briefing on both the substance and the legal process of this wave of lawsuits, together with a better understanding of the future prospects for this type of litigation vis-à -vis other industries."
-Philip J. Cook, Duke University

"An interesting collection, generally representing the center of the gun-control debate, with considerable variation in focus, objectivity, and political realism."
-Paul Blackman, retired pro-gun criminologist and advocate

Gun litigation deserves a closer look amid the lessons learned from decades of legal action against the makers of asbestos, Agent Orange, silicone breast implants, and tobacco products, among others.

Suing the Gun Industry collects the diverse and often conflicting opinions of an outstanding cast of specialists in law, public health, public policy, and criminology and distills them into a complete picture of the intricacies of gun litigation and its repercussions for gun control.

Using multiple perspectives, Suing the Gun Industry scrutinizes legal action against the gun industry. Such a broad approach highlights the role of this litigation within two larger controversies: one over government efforts to reduce gun violence, and the other over the use of mass torts to regulate unpopular industries.

Readers will find Suing the Gun Industry a timely and accessible picture of these complex and controversial issues.


Contributors:
Tom Baker
Donald Braman
Brannon P. Denning
Tom Diaz
Howard M. Erichson
Thomas O. Farrish
Shannon Frattaroli
John Gastil
Dan M. Kahan
Don B. Kates
Timothy D. Lytton
Julie Samia Mair
Richard A. Nagareda
Peter H. Schuck
Stephen D. Sugarman
Stephen Teret
Wendy Wagner
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