The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know® (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780190073459

Philip J. Cook; Kristin A. Goss
328 ページ
140 x 210 mm
What Everyone Needs to Know



  • Distills a complex and polarizing issue into a concise and easily understood examination of the most important questions in the debate over guns and gun policy
  • Approaches this hot-button topic from a balanced, evidence-based perspective

New to this Edition:

  • Substantial revisions throughout to keep the statistics; analysis of current events; and new court cases, policies and legislation up-to-date
  • New topics for questions include: Home production of guns, Arming teachers, Effect of guns on domestic violence, Impact of gun violence on quality of life, Psychological trauma from exposure to gun violence, State preemption laws, Smart guns, Police investigation of gun violence, Shootings by the police, The effect of concealed weapons on crime rates, The effects of violence on-screen and in entertainment on real world violence, The exposure to gun violence and its influence on mental health, The ability of authorities to disarm people who aren't allowed to have a gun
  • Substantive changes to questions about politics, advocacy organizations, public opinion, Second Amendment litigation, and other issues that have been transformed by prominent mass shootings and the recent volatile politics
  • Significant revision to the chapter on the gun control movement to capture its growth, diversification, and strategic changes over the last five years, as well as the effects of mass shootings such as Parkland on mobilization and lawmaking
  • Changes to the final policy chapter to reflect the pragmatic turn in gun-related policymaking to reflect passage of laws that have received bi-partisan support and are tailored to high-risk individuals

No topic is more polarizing than guns and gun control. From a gun culture that took root early in American history to the mass shootings that repeatedly bring the public discussion of gun control to a fever pitch, the topic has preoccupied citizens, public officials, and special interest groups for decades.
In this thoroughly revised second edition of The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know® noted economist Philip J. Cook and political scientist Kristin A. Goss delve into the issues that Americans debate when they talk about guns. With a balanced and broad-ranging approach, the authors thoroughly cover the latest research, data, and developments on gun ownership, gun violence, the firearms industry, and the regulation of firearms. The authors also tackle sensitive issues such as the impact of gun violence on quality of life, the influence of exposure to gun violence on mental health, home production of guns, arming teachers, the effect of concealed weapons on crime rates, and the ability of authorities to disarm people who aren't allowed to have a gun. No discussion of guns in the U.S. would be complete without consideration of the history, culture, and politics that drive the passion behind the debate. Cook and Goss deftly explore the origins of the American gun culture and the makeup of both the gun rights and gun control movements.
Written in question-and-answer format, this updated edition brings the debate up-to-date for the current political climate under Trump and will help readers make sense of the 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 issues surrounding guns and gun policy in America.


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


Philip J. Cook is ITT/Terry Sanford Professor Emeritus of Public Policy Studies, Economics, and Sociology at Duke University. He is the co-author (with Jens Ludwig) of Gun Violence: The Real Costs.
Kristin A. Goss is Kevin D. Gorter Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. She is the author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America.

"The Gun Debate is written in an admirably neutral tone. Summarizing results from hundreds of studies, the book makes a hugely positive contribution toward sensitive and sensible evidence-based evaluation of what has worked, and what hasn't, in gun control - and why. The language is straightforward English, not econ-speak or reams of tables and statistics. There is something for everyone to take away from this book." --Stone Garden Economics

"Too many debates about public policy in the US suffer from the absence of accurate information, careful reasoning, and objective research. This superb book not only supplies all that for firearm regulation at the national, state, and local levels but also serves as a sterling model for other policy topics." -CHOICE

"WOW! + rated. Just the facts from all points of view." -The Lone Star Book Review

"Cook and Goss, public policy professors at Duke University, provide a fantastic overview of the major issues. Although they tend to favor stricter regulation, their book is balanced--and frank about what both sides get wrong." -The Washington Post