Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Featured eBooks: Gun control

American gun culture: Collectors, shows, and the story of the gun. This book focuses on the value that gun owners place on their guns and the possibility that different guns mean different things to their owners. The book explores the symbolic meaning of guns, and the ways in which the meaning assigned to guns influences gun ownership and use. Some of the more interesting findings center around conversations with gun collectors and enthusiasts about a series of interaction rituals; rituals pertaining to being a gun owner, a gun user, and possibly even the gun as an object of near-worship. Gun owners also recognize a unique stigma, and respond through a complex series of stigma management techniques.







Gun crusaders: The NRA's culture war. This book provides a fascinating inside look at how the four-million member National Rifle Association and its committed members come to see each and every gun control threat as a step down the path towards gun confiscation, and eventually socialism. Enlivened by a rich analysis of NRA materials, meetings, leader speeches, and unique in-depth interviews with NRA members, Gun Crusaders focuses on how the NRA constructs and perceives threats to gun rights as one more attack in a broad liberal cultural war. Scott Melzer shows that the NRA promotes a nostalgic vision of frontier masculinity, whereby gun rights defenders are seen as patriots and freedom fighters, defending not the freedom of religion, but the religion of individual rights and freedoms.

Gun policy in the United States and Canada: The impact of mass murders and assassinations on gun control. The shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 was one of the worst mass murders in the U.S., but it did not lead to any new federal gun control policy. In contrast, following a similar event in Montreal in 1989, Canada created new comprehensive gun policy. Such different outcomes are the focus of this survey, which sets out to explore the gun policymaking process in the U.S. and Canada in the aftermath of major events. It explores the many factors that lead to the drastically different reactions of the federal governments in each state if the aftermath of a mass shooting or assassination. To do so, it examines such elements as institutional arrangements, interest groups pressures (NRA, e.g.), and the party in power, studying the impact of such key events as the assassinations of J.F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Georgina Leimonis and shootings that occurred at Columbine, Stockton, and Vernon.

More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws. On its initial publication in 1998, this book drew both lavish praise and heated criticism. More than a decade later, it continues to play a key role in ongoing arguments over gun-control laws: despite all the attacks by gun-control advocates, no one has ever been able to refute Lott’s simple, startling conclusion that more guns mean less crime. Relying on the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever conducted on crime statistics and right-to-carry laws, the book directly challenges common perceptions about the relationship of guns, crime, and violence. For this third edition, the author draws on an additional ten years of data—including provocative analysis of the effects of gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C—that brings the book fully up to date and further bolsters its central contention.

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