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Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea Paperback – April 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0472033706 ISBN-10: 0472033700

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472033700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472033706
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,466,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joshua Horwitz received a law degree from George Washington University and is currently a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. He has spent nearly two decades working on gun violence prevention issues. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. Casey Anderson holds a law degree from Georgetown University and is currently a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C. He has served in senior staff positions with the U.S. Congress, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Americans for Gun Safety. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
Pure agenda based drivel in this book.
Bryan Spears
This book gives an account of guns' role in the American Revolution, post-Civil War reconstruction, and the rise of the Nazis in Germany.
Jack
The sad thing is that this book can be found in a land fill near you.
Noodler's Pen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jack on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book gives an account of guns' role in the American Revolution, post-Civil War reconstruction, and the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Fascinating stuff. I never thought about guns in historical terms. I bet few people on both sides of the debate read up on history very much. But if they did they'd see a lot of fallacies in the pro-gun logic. The book's basic point is this: Tyrannical movements and governments, given the violence they are willing and able to inflict, can't be stopped (without simply replacing one tyrant with another) by mere citizen gun-owners, yet weapons in the hands of "citizens" have often been turned against a nation, resulting in tyranny by the insurrectionists themselves, or just anarchy. This is not to say guns don't have a use for self-defense, but the book shows how guns preventing tyranny is just a bunch of bonk.

I think the measure of this book's power might be the number of negative reader reviews it gets. The more pro-gun people who criticize it, the better it must be doing!
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37 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Bill Seward on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Amazing that anyone would believe its overall message, that is. The authors ignore or revise over 200 years of history to suit their purposes, add in misleading, inaccurate and discredited statistics, and miraculously reach a conclusion that, given their personal affiliations, might appear to be predestined. This book is little more than a hit piece on a Constitutionally acknowledged right that they disagree with.

[...]
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful By bigcuz on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book hoping to find new ideas to challenge my (admittedly very strong) pro-gun beliefs. I enjoy seeing what other people have to say on the subject, especially when they are saying things I disagree with. The best (perhaps the only) way to hone your ideas and beliefs is to challenge them. Unfortunately Mr. Horwitz's book mostly rehashes old arguments and where he does try presenting 'new' ideas usually they are historically dubious or else they merely address straw men that he throws up.

Overall this book was a disappointment.
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24 of 42 people found the following review helpful By AK Luis on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book will be loved by the anti-gun crowd and hated by the pro-gun crowd. That is the general nature of books of this type. To be fair, I have a stong opinion on this subject, and am less that unbiased. However, It is not a proper scholarly work, and cites multiple sources that have been discredited in academia. I would hope someone would attempt to challenge my believes using this book, as it would be easy to deflect the criticisms with facts. Truth be told, you can make any argument sound good by picking facts. This book didn't even bother with picking solid facts.

I am not supposed to link in this review, so for a source I will give you the following citation: JIAFM, 2007 - 29(4); ISSN: 0971-0973

Women who employ:
-Non-forceful verbal resistance strategies (i.e. pleading) were associated with completion of the raped in 96% of instances.
-Forceful verbal resistance (i.e. screaming) was associated with completion of rape in 45-55% of instances.
-Attempted flight was associated with completion of the rape in 15% of instances. (Only a fraction of women were even in a postion to consider flight, i.e. not thrown to the ground).
-Forceful physical resistance was associated with completed rape in 14% of instances.
-Weapons use in forceful physical resistance(knives/guns)were associated with completed rape in <1% of instances.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Kelly on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors description of the history of guns usage in the U.S. and the context of the Second Amendment is worth the price of the book.

Understanding the ideology behind the Insurrectionist Idea helps to make sense of recent events that otherwise are hard to understand, such as the strident opposition by some to the ban on automatic weapons, guns that go far beyond what anyone needs for personal protection. The wearing of guns to some of the anti-health care rallies last summer is another example of something that only makes sense when the ideology behind the behavior is made evident.

One of the most interesting and unsettling parts of the book is the description of the demise of Smith and Wesson and the American Shooting Sports Council, as a result of actions taken by the NRA. The treatment of Jim Zumbo, a long-time writer for hunting publications, who dared to speak up and not to follow the NRA's othrodoxy, shows the basic anti-democratic strain in the Insurrectionist Ideology. This element should be of particular concern to anyone interested in living in a democratic, pluralistic society.

The book is a significant contribution to the public debate on this important issue.
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11 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in history or political science, particularly as it relates to government and armed citizenry. Its history of guns in America and elsewhere is unbiased and fascinating, and the arguments on the dangers of guns cogent. It is especially relevant now, with the controversy over the right to, and the use of, guns by civilians. I strongly recommend it unless you have already made up your mind that there should be no limits on guns, and even then you might find the history informative.
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