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Weapons have been a source of political and legal debate for centuries. Aristotle considered the possession of arms a fundamental source of political power and wrote that tyrants "mistrust the people and deprive them of their arms." Today ownership of weapons -- whether handguns or military-grade assault weapons -- poses more acute legal problems than ever before. In this volume, the editors' introduction traces the history of gun control in the United States, arguing that until the 1980s courts upheld reasonable gun control measures. The contributors confront urgent questions, among them the usefulness of history as a guide in ongoing struggles over gun regulation, the changing meaning of the Second Amendment, the perspective of law enforcement on guns and gun control law, and individual and relational perspectives on gun rights.
Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction * Winner of the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice Based on the acclaimed series--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--an intimate account of the devastating effects of gun violence on our nation's children, and a call to action for a new way forward
An urgent look at the relationship between guns, the police, and race The United States is steeped in guns, gun violence--and gun debates. As arguments rage on, one issue has largely been overlooked--Americans who support gun control turn to the police as enforcers of their preferred policies, but the police themselves disproportionately support gun rights over gun control. Yet who do the police believe should get gun access? When do they pursue aggressive enforcement of gun laws? And what part does race play in all of this?
"To understand public opinion and political behavior, researchers typically sort people by self-identified groupings such as party identification, race, gender, education and income. This book advances gun owners as a new classification. It demonstrates a "gun gap", which captures the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners, and shows how this gap improves conventional models of political behavior. The gun gap in fact represents an important explanation for voter choice, voter turnout, perceptions of personal and public safety, preferences for gun control policies, and support for the death penalty. ......The gun gap thus affords a new and compelling vantage point to evaluate modern mass politics"