The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know®

ISBN : 9780199338986

Philip J. Cook; Kristin A. Goss
296 Pages
147 x 212 mm
Pub date
Jul 2014
What Everyone Needs to Know
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Even before the recent Newtown, CT massacre, gun violence and gun control has preoccupied public officals and legislators at all levels of government as well as powerful special interest groups for years. Guns in America: What Everyone Needs to Know tours the issues that Americans debate when they talk about guns. The volume includes information on gun control pertaining to U.S. history, jurisprudence, cultural beliefs, political agendas, epidemiologcal data, criminology, law and regulation, and policy effectivness. Throughout, economist Philip J. Cook and political scientist Kristin Goss illustrate for readers which questions and issues are contentious and on which there is something approaching consensus. They answer basic questions like: Where do people acquire guns? Is gun violence rising or falling? Who is at risk for being shot? How much does gun violence cost? And tackle tougher ones such as: Do video games and the media contribute to gun violence? Why is the gun control movement relatively weak? Is it better to enforce the laws we have or enact new ones? The answers to these questions will help the general reader to make sense of the volley of ideologically driven statistics and slogans that characterize our national conversation on firearms. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a clear view of the highly polarizing topic of gun control.


1. America and Its Guns
2. Reasons for Owning a Firearm
3. The Value of Guns for Safety and Protection
4. The Costs of Gun Violence
5. Causes of Gun Violence
6. Manufacture and Marketing of Guns
7. How America Regulates Firearms
8. Effectiveness of Firearms Policy
9. Guns and Gun Control in History
10. Public Opinion and Political Party Positions on Guns
11. The Gun Rights Movement
12. The Gun Control Movement
13. Gun Policy Going Forward

About the author: 

Philip J. Cook is ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics and Sociology at Duke University; author of Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control, (Princeton University Press, 2007), Gun Violence: The Real Costs (Oxford University Press, 2000), Evaluating Gun Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2003), with Charles Clotfelter Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America, (Harvard University Press, 1989), and with Robert H. Frank The Winner-Take-All Society, (The Free Press, 1995). Kristin A Goss is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University; author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006, 2009), and The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women's Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice (forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press)

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