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Gun-related violence is an issue that grips most American communities. The authors in this book debate whether gun violence is a serious problem, what measures can reduce violent incidents, the constitutionality of gun control, and whether guns are the best tool for self defense.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Is Gun Violence a Serious Problem?
Overview: The Extent of Gun Violence by Linda Schmittroth
Firearms are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in America. Men between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four are most affected by gun violence.
Yes: Gun Violence Is a Serious Problem
Gun Violence Is a Serious Economic and Public Health Problem
by the Firearm Injury Center at Penn
Firearms-related violence in America results in thousands of deaths and injuries each year. U.S. taxpayers pay for approximately half of the treatment costs for gun injuries, wounds that often have devastating physical and psychological effects on the victims.
Youth Gun Violence Is a Serious Problem
by Kathleen Reich, Patti L. Culross, and Richard E. Behrman
The United States has higher rates of gun-related youth fatalities and injuries than all other industrialized nations combined. Youth gun violence causes enormous economic and psychological costs to American society.
Gun Violence Is a Global Problem
by Philip Alpers
Approximately a half million people worldwide die each year due to gun violence; nations in Africa and Latin America are particularly affected.
No: Gun Violence Is Not a Serious Problem
Gun Violence Is Not a Public Health Crisis
by Miguel A. Faria Jr.
The pro-gun control medical establishment uses faulty research to convince people that gun violence constitutes a serious health crisis in the United States. In fact, guns help prevent death and injuries when used in self-defense.
The Media Exaggerate the Problem of Youth Gun Violence
by Mike Males
Although minors commit a small percentage of gun-related murders, journalists decry the threat of youth gun violence while largely ignoring massacres by middle-aged perpetrators.
The Media Ignore Incidences Where Firearms Are Used to Save Lives
by Bernard Goldberg
Mainstream journalists are quick to report stories on gun-related deaths but ignore incidences where guns are used to prevent crimes. These liberal reporters are more interested in promoting their antigun agenda than in reporting the facts.
Chapter 2: Can Government Measures Reduce Gun Violence?
Yes: Government Measures Can Reduce Gun Violence Gun Control Reduces Violent Crime
by Bill Clinton
Gun control legislation has been proven to reduce firearms-related violence. Congress should not allow gun control critics to prevent the pas-sage of additional gun control legislation.
Lawsuits Against the Gun Industry Will Help Reduce Violence
by David C. Anderson
Cities seeking to reduce gun violence are now suing gun manufacturers and dealers. These lawsuits, which argue that guns are inherently dangerous, have been successful in making gun makers responsible for the dam-age their products cause.
Requiring That Handguns Be Made to Recognize Authorized Users Can Reduce Gun Violence
by John D. Cohen
One way to reduce gun violence is by requiring that guns be manufactured so that they cannot be used by anyone other than their legal owners.
No: Government Measures Cannot Reduce Gun Violence
Gun Control Does Not Reduce Gun Violence
by Edmund E McGarrell
Since nearly all gun violence is committed by lawbreakers, passing more laws restricting gun usage is unlikely to reduce gun violence.
Gun Control Does Not Reduce Youth Gun Violence
by Timothy Brezina and James D. Wright
Gun control laws do not lessen youth violence because they do not pre-vent adolescents from acquiring guns illegally. Moreover, such laws do not address the factors that lead to youth violence, such as poverty and family disintegration.
Lawsuits Against the Gun Industry Are Baseless
by Robert A. Levy
Gun makers should not be held liable for gun violence when their products perform precisely as they were designed to.
Handguns Cannot Be Made to Recognize Authorized Users
by Massad Ayoob
"Smart guns," or guns that can only be fired by authorized users, will not reduce gun violence. Gun makers have yet to develop a workable smart gun.
Chapter 3: Is Gun Control Constitutional?
Overview: The Second Amendment and Gun Control
by Deborah Homsher
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution contains complex phrasing and has produced considerable debate for more than two centuries.
Yes: Gun Control Is Constitutional
The Second Amendment Allows for Gun Control Regulations
by Charles L. Blek Jr.
Several rulings by the Supreme Court uphold the claim that gun control legislation does not infringe on the Second Amendment.
The Founding Fathers and Supreme Court Do Not Support the Individual Right to Bear Arms
by the Violence Policy Center
Writings by eighteenth-century politicians and Supreme Court decisions indicate that individuals do not have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Giving Individuals the Right to Bear Arms Has a Negative Effect on Society
by Robin West
The eagerness of American society to protect the constitutional rights of gun owners has created a nation where people live in fear of one another.
No: Gun Control Is Not Constitutional
Some Gun Control Regulations Are Unconstitutional
by Nelson Lund
The court system needs to scrutinize federal gun control laws in order to ensure that they do not limit the Second Amendment right to self-defense.
The Supreme Court Supports the Individual Right to Bear Arms
by Dave Kopel
Throughout its history the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment as giving individual Americans the right to keep and own guns.
The Founding Fathers Supported the Right of Individuals to Own Guns
by Gary Lantz
The men who led the American colonies in their struggle for independence believed that the right to own guns helps to guard liberty.
Chapter 4: Is Gun Ownership an Effective Means of Self-Defense?
Yes: Gun Ownership Is an Effective Means of Self-Defense
Allowing Private Citizens to Carry Guns Reduces Crime and Protects Gun Owners
by Patrick Mullins
The best way to prevent violent crimes is by allowing Americans to carry concealed weapons; few of the people who legally carry guns present a threat to society.
Gun Ownership Helps Protect Women
by Richard W. Stevens, Hugo Teufel III, and Matthew Y. Biscan
Women cannot rely on police to protect them from brutal attacks. Learning how to carry and use defensive firearms will enable women to protect themselves.
Keeping a Gun in the Home for Self-Defense Is Not Dangerous
by Gary Kleck and Don B. Kates
Gun accidents among young children are virtually nonexistent, and there is no evidence that unauthorized gun use leads to significant numbers of homicides.
No: Gun Ownership Is Not an Effective Means of Self-Defense
Allowing Private Citizens to Carry Guns Will Not Reduce Crime or Protect Gun Owners
by the Economist
The incidence of gun crimes have either risen or remained unchanged after the passage of concealed-weapons laws. Clearly, guns do not protect those who carry them or stop violent crimes.
Gun Ownership Endangers Women
by Josh Sugarmann
Women who keep guns in their homes are far more likely to be killed than to successfully defend themselves against attacks.
Keeping a Gun in the Home for Self-Defense Endangers Children
by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March
Children who live in or visit homes where guns are kept loaded and accessible are at risk of homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.