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Outgunned: Up Against the NRA--The First Complete Insider Account of the Battle Over Gun Control Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 31, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Brown and attorney Abel make a compelling case against the stranglehold the National Rifle Association exerts over attempts to introduce firearms regulation. With Congress and many state legislatures in the NRA's back pocket, activists ask, what is a reformer to do? According to Wendell Gauthier, the flamboyant Louisiana attorney who played a key role in suing tobacco companies, the plaintiffs' bar serves as a de facto "fourth branch" of government, achieving by litigation what lobbying prevents through legislation. The authors chronicle Gauthier's last crusade (Abel was a partner of the now deceased lawyer) against America's firearms manufacturers. The book describes how policy is shaped in the legislatures and courtrooms of the country, and the picture is unsettling. As portrayed by the authors, the process is characterized by equal doses of cynicism, ego, pragmatism and money. The story begins in New Orleans with the murder of gospel singer Raymond Myles, which spurred Mayor Marc Morial and Gauthier to initiate the first civil action by a municipality against gun manufacturers. Yet this book is ultimately a story of the NRA's profound political influence. Although some subsequent civil suits against guns remain active, most have been dismissed. Furthermore, as the authors recount, a settlement negotiated with gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson by the Clinton administration has been eviscerated by the Bush administration. While hardly a model of journalistic objectivity, the book presents a lively take on how business does, or doesn't, get done in the legislatures of the country.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It is no secret that gun control has been one of the most controversial political issues in the U.S. for the past several decades. What is less well known, however, is the extent of the dirty dealing that is commonly associated with this hot-button issue. Investigative reporter Brown and attorney Abel have chronicled the battle of the group of attorneys suing the gun industry and the NRA for "knowingly manufacturing and marketing lethal machines to criminals." The Castono Gun Litigation Group has initiated more than 33 city-based lawsuits against the powerful gun industry. During the course of this investigative account of these legal battles, the authors expose a wealth of information detailing NRA strong-arm tactics and the suppression of damaging information by the ever-secretive gun industry. This chilling account will add fuel to the already hot nationwide debate about guns. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0743215613
  • ASIN: B0000C7BMZ
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Kevin H. Watson on February 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is typical of a lot of anti-gun attempts at literacy; packed with false claims and sloppy logic. The author has a poor understanding of US firearms law and an even worse knowledge of the facts behind gun politics in America. For example, he claims that the 1994 Crime Bill banned firearms dealers from selling high capacity magazines.
In fact, the law only restricted the importation and new production of such magazines. All high capacity magazines imported or made in the US before 1994 continue to be lawfully sold in America.
This may seem like an odd technicality, but the author is an attorney and should have been able to properly research and understand the law.
There are a number of compelling books that make arguments in support or opposition to firearms ownership, and groups like the NRA, this is not one of them.
If you are rabidly anti-gun and just want to be spoon fed lies that sound good, this is the book for you. If you are pro-gun or perhaps you'd like to know more before forming an opinion, don't waste your time with this lousy book.
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62 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Random Access on March 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The authors of this book have a very strange idea about how things are supposed to work in the United States of America. According to our Constitution there are three branches of government and the people, under the First Amendment, are free to petition those branches as they chose. The NRA is a member-supported organization of gun owners who want to protect their right to keep and bear arms, as specified in the Second Amendment. As such it has a right to lobby and petition in their behalf. Charges that they have "undue influence" are ridiculous. They have exactly as much influence as the members are willing to pay for, just as any anti-gun organization would have. It just happens that there are more people who are willing to speak with their wallets in behalf of their rights than there are people willing to support legislation and litigation that would undermine those rights. The NRA does have one advantage: their position is supported by the Constitution.
The authors posit a new "branch of the government" that is not supported by the Constitution: trial lawyers. This "branch", which has made billions of dollars effectively writing law outside normal channels, now wants to attack the Second Amendment on behalf of the relatively small group of people who think that private citizens aren't bright enough to handle firearms and that they don't need them to protect themselves against criminals. This is despite the fact, as documented by Dr. John Lott, that crime rates are lower in areas where it is easier for private citizens to own guns, and even lower in jurisdictions where they are allowed to carry concealed firearms for self-protection.
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50 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Bob Costa on June 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The authors start out the first chapter by explaining in detail exactly how sleazy and scummy the principal players on the "anti-gun" side are. Most of these lawyers would have to get an integrity transplant just to work their way up to scumballs. They are professional ambulance chasers, in the words of the authors!!
Chapter Two tells us how political opportunists in Chicago tried to blame others for their inability to regulate the most regulated industry in America. Instead of stopping criminal behavior, they merely document it for the evening news, while blaming "profit seeking manufacturers" for not doing a job specifically charged to the Federal and State governments.
The rest of the book is more of the same. Any honest and fair reading will realize that it is mostly a weak-minded liberal whining catharsis, where they even try to blame their failure not on their wrong thinking and philosophy, but on someone else (in this case the NRA).
As much as anything else, this book is a prime example of what is wrong with education in America today. Arguments are weakly presented, poorly thought out, and make no attempt at inciting discussion. Instead, the authors make use of the time-honored methodology of demonizing their critics and name-calling worthy of a six year old child.
Perhaps what we really need is a book about how America is being held hostage by lawyers, who have brought the threat of litigation to a point where innovation is stifled, hiring is inhibited, medical care is about to collapse, and hot coffee is just a memory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd McDaniel on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is poorly written. The precepts it seeks to promote are unrealistic and vague, sort of the 'I just think!' quality which is a sure sign that the person presenting the idea has long ago made up their mind.

One of the hammering points they come to is that Automobiles are far more regulated than guns... they neglect to mention however that even with those regulations, licenses, restrictions we kill each other with the things at a rate of about one hundred to one over guns.
'But those are accidents' a reader might think...
1. not always, automobiles are weapon of choice of a HIGH percentage of murders committed by women!


2. so are a goodly percentage of firearm deaths...

'but that's DIFFERENT!.'

No not really.

As far as the knee-jerking about children getting killed with guns; they fail as most of these things do to cite the faxct that more kids are 'killed' by backyard pools than firearms and no one is advocating removal of those.

The anti-gun nuts are every bit as crazy as the gun nuts as this poorly constructed bit of propaganda demonstrates
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