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Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns Hardcover – March 1, 2001

2.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"A single consumer product holds our nation hostage: the handgun," notes Sugarmann bluntly at the opening of this book-length editorial in favor of banning handguns in the United States. The author, executive director of the antigun Violence Policy Center, debunks myths about handgun control and makes the strong argument that limited moves toward handgun control, such as licensing and registering, won't stem the tide of violence. The book begins with a brief historical survey that argues (interestingly supporting Michael Bellesiles's argument in Arming America) that handguns did not become widespread in the U.S. until the Civil War, when the introduction of the Colt pistol and westward expansion fueled gun sales and deaths. But most of the book's focus is on present-day issues such as crime and self-defense. Sugarmann emphasizes, for instance, the correlation between the availability of guns and suicide rates. Sugarmann criticizes gun manufacturers and distributors for marketing campaigns that target not only women on the benefits of gun ownership for self-defense (a statistically unfounded argument, he claims) but also minorities (with bluntly racist overtones)--both groups have lower handgun ownership rates than white males. This muckraking book should be required reading for those who want to be better informed--whether they are for or against gun control--though in fact it will probably sell only to antigun advocates. (Mar. 30) Forecast: Both stronger in its antigun position than Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig's Gun Violence (Forecasts, Oct. 30, 2000) and more accessible to the general reader, this book, with its provocative title, could achieve impressive sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sugarmann (National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower, and Fear), executive director of the Violence Policy Center, argues forcefully here that handguns, with or without licenses or safety features, have and will continue to have an extremely dangerous impact on United States, society. While handguns represent only about 32 percent of guns in the United States, they account for most of the gun deaths and injuries. Thousands of suicides, homicides, and accidents each year result from their easy availability, yet the use of handguns in self-defense is rare. Interesting portions of this book deal with suicide, the promotion of gun sales to children and women, and the author's analysis of the impact of more stringent licensing, enforcement, and safety features. Other chapters cover facts and history, the use of handguns in crime and self-defense, handguns and minorities, and handguns in public. The author favors a ban on handguns and offers advice on working toward this goal. While there are many books on gun control (over 400 in OCLC in the past five years), this is a very strong book advocating an uncommon point of view: a complete handgun ban. It is well argued, replete with facts, and carefully presented statistics. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. Mary Jane Brustman, SUNY at Albany Libs.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156584629X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565846296
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,000,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
- Read this book not as a scholarly review of the gun debate, but as a way to study one of the great propagandists of our time. Josh Sugarman is the most influentual force within the gun prohibition movement and has invented some of its most ingenious and effective sound bites.
Before Sugarman, nobody had heard of the term "assault weapon", which has since been used as a powerful club to beat gun rights supporters. Ever since this success, the anti-gun marketing campaign has relied on emotion-laden labels like "hidden guns" and "Saturday night special." The title "All Handguns Are Aimed at You" is a classic example of his emotional fear mongering that is specifically designed to bypass any logical filters in the reader's mind.
Sugarman has chosen to pursue a strictly emotion-based strategy to convince people to ban guns. He either ignores facts or makes them up. The success of this approach has attracted other anti-gun zealots like Bellesiles and Kellerman who have a similar disregard for the truth.
In spite of his tactics, one must admire Sugarman for his straightforward position that handguns must be totally banned. He admits that half-measures like licensing and registration are useless.
Don't buy this book to support the author. Sugarman's Violence Policy Center is lavishly funded by grants from left wing foundations and wealthy limousine liberals who know that they will still have access to guns (or armed bodyguards) when the lower classes have all been stripped of the right to self defense.
Do buy this book to add it to your collection of historical works. Place it on the shelf right beside "Mein Kampf".
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Format: Hardcover
The writing is good, and no doubt the propaganda he is dishing out is effective, especially to those urbanites who live in cities where guns are virtually banned, and therefore the inhabitants are ready-made defenseless victims for the predators in their midst who have no respect for the law and are therefore armed--and consequently, because of their lack of self-protection they are often victimized; and Josh Sugarmann is that rarity, a gun-banner who demonstrates in the first chapter that he has at least a minimal understanding of the mechanics of firearms.
So, we can stipulate that he is glib, probably intelligent, and that he knows full well what he is up to. He quotes two other sources of misinformation--Michael Bellesiles (who has recently been "outed" as a complete fraud with his book, Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture)and the infamous Dr. Arthur L. Kellerman, who came up with the "statistic" that a handgun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a family member or acquaintance than an assailant. A statistic that resulted from a totally discredited "study," and a "statistic" which the nation's leading expert on the subject, Dr. Gary Kleck--a criminologist--described as absolutely ridiculous.
There is no point in arguing with these people and their so-called statistical "evidence," since their main argument is to the emotions, rather than the intellect, and is aimed at an audience of urbanites who, for the most part, have little or no knowledge or experience of their own with firearms.
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By A Customer on April 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I took the time to read this book. It was a waste of time. Mr. Sugermann insists on using Dr. Kellerman's research to prove his point. Dr. Kellerman himself has debunked his own research and stated that it is flawed yet people like Mr. Sugarman insist on using known flawed data to advance their agenda. This book does not belong in the non fiction catagory. It belongs in Fantasy and Fiction.
This book is geared towards the emotional and irrational mindset. It uses propaganda techniques to the fullest. If you insist on reading this book, do so with great trepidation and access to the FBI statistics website. The FBI crime statistics website will debunk much of the claims in this book. Your ... would be better spent on comic books rather than this poorly contrived work of fantasy.
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By A Customer on August 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a book to 'prove' what you already insist is true against guns, then buy this book. If, OTOH, you're looking for a objective discussion on gun control then keep looking, cause you ain't gonna find it here.
Josh Sugermann clearly had the opinion that guns are bad FIRST, and then engineered proof to support his view afterwards-
-He quotes from the NEJM study that claims gun owners are more likely to shoot themselves than any attacker. This is a much discredited study (even by other NEJM researchers), and NOONE has ever been able to confirm these findings. Sugermann passes it off to us as fact anyway.
-He ignores alternative reasons for crime. Two drug dealers have a shootout over drug territory. The police will declare this as a drug crime, but Sugermann insists this is a gun crime, without debate. He's literally twisting the facts to give his case more weight.
-Likewise with his using suicide statistics. Suicide is a mental health issue, not a gun issue. Not all people committing suicide use guns, and not all gun buyers commit suicide.
-I won't even discuss his use of emotional anecdotes. Every propagandist that ever lived used such stories to "prove" how bad something is. Remember Josef Goebbels?
-After England passed THEIR handgun ban, crime skyrocketed there 40%. Despite all of Sugermanns statistics and research, it's a real world application of a ban that ultimately proves him wrong.
A flawed study at best, outright propaganda at worst. He CAN put two words together though so I gave him two stars.
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