Today we hold the Constitution in such high regard that we can hardly imagine how hotly contested its adoption was. In fact, many of the thirteen states saw the fierce debate over the document, and ratification was uncertain. Virginia, the largest and most influential state, approved the Constitution by the barest of margins, only after an epic political battle between James Madison and Patrick Henry. Now Richard Labunski offers a dramatic account of a time when the entire American experiment hung in the balance, only to be saved by the most unlikely of heroes--the diminutive and exceedingly shy Madison.
Taking his typically in-depth, historically informed view, Hartmann examines the brutal role guns have played in American history, from the genocide of the Native Americans to the enforcement of slavery (Slave Patrols are in fact the Second Amendment's “well-regulated militias”) and the racist post–Civil War social order. He shows how the NRA and conservative Supreme Court justices used specious logic to invent a virtually unlimited individual right to own guns, which has enabled the ever-growing number of mass shootings in the United States. But Hartmann also identifies a handful of powerful, commonsense solutions that would break the power of the gun lobby and restore the understanding of the Second Amendment that the Framers of the Constitution intended. This is the kind of brief, brilliant analysis for which Hartmann is justly renowned.
Possibly the most emotionally charged debate taking place in the United States today centers on the Second Amendment of the Constitution and the rights of citizens to bear arms. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, the gun rights movement headed by the National Rifle Association appears more intractable than ever in its fight against gun control laws. The core argument of Second Amendment advocates is that the proliferation of firearms is essential to maintaining freedom in America, providing private citizens with a defense against possible government tyranny, and safeguarding all our other rights. But is this argument valid? Do guns indeed make us free? Firmin DeBrabrander examines claims offered in favor of unchecked gun ownership in this insightful and eye-opening analysis, the first philosophical examination of every aspect of a contentious, uniquely American debate. By exposing the contradictions and misinterpretations prevalent in the case presented by gun rights supporters, this provocative volume concludes that an armed society is not a free society but one that ultimately discourages and, in fact, actively hinders democratic participation.,
Although the rate of gun ownership in U.S. households has declined from an estimated 50 percent in 1970 to approximately 32 percent today, Americans'propensity for carrying concealed firearms has risen sharply in recent years. Today, more than 11 million Americans hold concealed handgun licenses, an increase from 4.5 million in 2007. Yet, despite increasing numbers of firearms and expanding opportunities for gun owners to carry concealed firearms in public places, we know little about the reasons for obtaining a concealed carry permit or what a publicly armed citizenry means for society. Angela Stroud draws on in-depth interviews with permit holders and field observations at licensing courses to understand how social and cultural factors shape the practice of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
Perhaps never before has an objective, evidence-based review of the intersection between gun violence and mental illness been more sorely needed or more timely. Gun Violence and Mental Illness, written by a multidisciplinary roster of authors who are leaders in the fields of mental health, public health, and public policy, is a practical guide to the issues surrounding the relationship between firearms deaths and mental illness. Tragic mass shootings that capture headlines reinforce the mistaken belief that people with mental illness are violent and responsible for much of the gun violence in the United States. This misconception stigmatizes individuals with mental illness and distracts us from the awareness that approximately 65% of all firearm deaths each year are suicides. This book is an apolitical exploration of the misperceptions and realities that attend gun violence and mental illness. The authors frame both pressing social issues as public health problems subject to a variety of interventions on individual and collective levels, including the utilization of a novel perspective: evidence-based interventions focusing on assessments and indicators of dangerousness, with or without indications of mental illness. Reader-friendly, well-structured, and accessible to professional and lay audiences, the book:
Since the early days of film, the representation of masculinity has changed considerably. In the beginning, men instinctively knew right from wrong. They rode to the rescue and saved the day in the nick of time to the admiration and gratitude of society. But over the decades, heroes have evolved from being larger than life and infallible to being cynical, washed-up, unwanted outsiders. Violent content in these films also 'evolved'_from fistfights and gunplay to brutal attacks and nuclear explosions_repeatedly ramping up in frequency, intensity, and graphic depictions.
The Bill of Rights is an extraordinary collection of original documents, carefully introduced and put into context by historian John Patrick, that traces the origins of the Bill of Rights back to England's Magna Carta and its legal traditions through to present-day controversies over freedoms of speech, religion, bearing arms, assembling, and more. Examples of challenges to the Bill of Rights include • The Sedition Act of 1798, which made it illegal to express criticism of the U.S. government • The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II • George W. Bushs Executive Order of November 13, 2001, expanding the government's authority against individuals when terrorism is suspected.
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. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know® delves into the issues that Americans debate when they talk about guns. With a balanced and broad-ranging approach, noted economist Philip J. Cook and political scientist Kristin A. Goss 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 effectiveness of gun control, the connection between mental illness and violent crime, the question of whether more guns make us safer, and ways that video games and the media might contribute to gun violence. 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, the book 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.
Weapons have been a source of political and legal debate for centuries. Aristotle considered the possession of arms a fundamental source of political power and wrote that tyrants mistrust the people and deprive them of their arms.'Today ownership of weapons -- whether handguns or military-grade assault weapons -- poses more acute legal problems than ever before. In this volume, the editor's introduction traces the history of gun control in the United States, arguing that until the 1980s courts upheld reasonable gun control measures. The contributors confront urgent questions, among them the usefulness of history as a guide in ongoing struggles over gun regulation, the changing meaning of the Second Amendment, the perspective of law enforcement on guns and gun control law, and individual and relational perspectives on gun rights.
With expert contributions from the fields of criminology, history, law, medicine, politics, and social science, it gives students, journalists, policymakers, and researchers a foundation for their own investigations, while helping readers of all kinds make decisions as family members, potential gun owners, and voters.