This book covers the two arguments made about guns in the United States today. On the one hand, pro-gun advocates claim that the benefit of gun ownership as protection from crime outweighs the risks of intentional and accidental gun injuries. On the other hand, most gun violence researchers claim that the risks of intentional and accidental gun injuries outweigh the benefits of owning a gun. Based on original surveys of gun owners and non-gun owners, primary data from medical and law-enforcement sources, summaries of noted research from both perspectives and personal experiences culled from more than 50 years in the gun business, this book explains why gun control advocates and gun rights advocates are unable to find common ground to develop regulatory policies acceptable to both sides.
The Introduction and Chapter One define gun violence in numeric and demographic terms – where gun violence occurs, who are the perpetrators and the victims, and the accuracy of the data is the numerical data used by both sides to support their solutions to the problem. Chapter Two compares gun violence in the United States to gun violence in other countries and challenges the usual argument connecting our rate of gun violence to the high per capita rate of gun ownership. Chapter Three covers the development of the regulatory system, particularly the Gun Control Act of 1968, and discusses the results of a regulatory philosophy that seeks to control the behavior of gun owners rather than the design of guns, the latter being typical of every other developed country. Chapter Four compares gun control strategies of the gun rights and gun control movements, and Chapter Five looks at strategies to control gun violence committed by unlawful gun owners. Chapter Six analyzes the activities of the regulatory agency and the ATF, and Chapter Seven looks at how the gun making industry operates in ways that create both regulatory opportunities and difficulties. Chapter Eight is a discussion about the 2nd Amendment, in particular how both liberal and conservative explanations about the meaning of the amendment misread its most important point. Chapter Nine and the Conclusion are based on national surveys conducted for this book that highlight the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners regarding proper regulations, control of violence and gun risk.
This book is not an attempt at advocacy. It presents a comprehensive summary of relevant research and analysis of new data to give a comprehensive view of gun violence so that advocates on both sides can be better informed about the issues which need to be addressed. (Nova)