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The Politics of Gun Control 3rd Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568029054
ISBN-10: 1568029055
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although someone is murdered in the U.S. every 21 minutes, and in more than 50% of the cases by handguns, Americans cling to the gun culture with a tenacity that transcends all reason. Clearly, primordial meanings are at work here, a symbolism as profound as it is irrational. Spitzer discusses the various dimensions of the controversy with a rare balance and maturity. The author first analyzes the Second Amendment, drawing out its legal interpretations (an ``armed militia'' is not quite the same as drug dealers with AK-47s). He then examines the consequences of guns to the nation, from injury to accidents, homicide to suicide; the political battle between the NRA and Handgun Control Inc.; and the history of policy making, culminating in the assault weapons ban and the Brady bill. Spitzer ends the book by suggesting a new public policy based on an international model, one that includes nonproliferation of new weapons and arms control for those that already exist, but whether this form of regulation would work is a moot point. It is not so much the hunting ethos that keeps guns in 70 million American homes but the cultural mythology that champions self-reliance and a frontier ethic.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

[Offers] a formula that might move the gun debate off dead center. --E. J. Dionne, Jr., The Washington Post (4/21/99)

The Politics of Gun Control does an excellent job of introducing undergraduates to the policy area in a way that engages them and facilitates the development of their critical and analytical abilities. Robert J. Spitzer admirably covers all of the key matters pertaining to gun control. The book provides a theoretical framework, the necessary discussion of the Second Amendment, a thorough analysis of the problem of guns and gun control, good treatment of the politics of gun control (political parties, interest groups, citizens), and some nice case studies. The book's scholarship is sturdy and does not reflect any appreciable bias. I believe that this is the best text on policy making in a particular area currently in print. --Patrick Pierce, Saint Mary's College

The Spitzer book was the first book I assigned for my junior-level public policy course. It worked just as I had planned because it was a real-life, exciting, controversial example upon which we could build an understanding of the policy process. Spitzer engages the students with the controversy but continuously puts the emphasis on policy issues like the Second Amendment, the gun and antigun lobbies, the complexities of the federal system, and the evolution of a national policy. --Janet Frantz, University of Louisiana at Lafayette --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Cq Pr; 3 edition (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568029055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568029054
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,850,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Not concerned with the efficacy..." of gun control laws. That about sums up The Politics of Gun Control. Dr. Spitzer started out to write a book exploring the policy resolution ramifications of gun control, but along the way he got sucked into arguments for the pro and con of gun control, and ended up delivering a weak polemic for stricter gun control laws.
Dr. Spitzer's original question intrigued me greatly. How, in a civilized society, does one develop a rational and moral course of action when so many competing interests are so stridently opposed to each other? What are the proper roles of the courts, of the federal government (both legislative and executive branches), of local government, and of advocacy groups, in determining the proper direction for government policy? Sadly, after posing these questions, The Politics of Gun Control fails to deliver, beyond the superfluous finale that the gun control dilemma can be resolved by treating gun control similarly to international arms control. (Suffice it to say I was unconvinced.)
Alternatively, as pro-control literature, The Politics of Gun Control fails utterly. Unlike Dr. Kleck's Targeting Guns, The Politics of Gun Control offers little insight into the methodologies of the studies cited, why one may be better than another, and offers virtually no explanation of the plausible mechanisms that underlie quoted study's results.
For other examples of the failings inherent in The Politics of Gun Control, consider the following:
- Many of the significant citations are taken from newspapers and magazines. While this may be acceptable for anecdotal recollections, it is not sufficient for scientific analysis.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be very informative, a read that is broken down easily for a reader 17 or 18 years of age and older should have to actually be tested on with other instructional reading or video, audibly materials that are decided on as a whole certification before anyone is able to purchase or aquire any type of HANDGUNS ONLY.
For anything other than a handgun other material should be decided into that factor. .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tends to be too technical for all but policy wounks. Otherwise
Good
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Format: Paperback
Spitzer offers a very readable scholarly treatment of this crucial public policy issue. He does a very thorough job of analyzing the problem of gun violence in America and makes clear and reasonable arguments about appropriate public policy responses. This is a must read for anyone interested in the issue.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book on a passing curiosity. I quickly regretted my decision. This book is a deluge of antigun lies, pseudoscience, and propaganda. In one memorable occasion, his numbers say that guns are used to stop more bad things than are used to cause bad things, and he immediately concludes, no more than a dozen lines away, that guns have no benefit for society. To say that this thing uses science and objective reasoning is an outrage. This book is nothing but propaganda that libels guns and slanders anyone who disagrees with the author's extremist antigun views.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book because I was required to in College. It is painfully, obvious that it was written from a predetermined conclusion. The history of the NRA is especially vicious. The author chastises the NRA at several points for the NRA early support by Government by subsidies, use of Nat'l parks to train WWII soldiers how to shoot, etc. The author essential argument that anyone that has ever received support from Gov't has duty not to ever to oppose the government in anything. In the beginning he points out that this book he will not examine gun control polices in foreign countries, yet on several instances he cites them (Canada for instance) to make his point, but nevertheless totally neglects gun control failures such as England and Austrailia (See London Times 1/16/2000 for details on this) . He quickly glosses over concealed weapon laws citing statistics showimng their failure, when a number of policy studies have concluded the opposite that Concealed weapon laws do in fact reduce crime. If you want one-sided reading of gun control this is your best bet.
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