A Well Regulated Militia: The Battle Over Gun Conrol Hardcover – Mar 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Weir's analysis of gun control is objective and well documented. After tracing the history of militias-private citizens with arms who made themselves available to government in times of crisis-he argues that the continuing contest in the U.S. is predominantly an emotional one, with phony statistics presented by pro-gun and anti-gun advocates alike. But while the National Rifle Association and its allies are able to deluge legislators with letters and telegrams, they often come off sounding paranoid; the Handgun Control Inc. faction, on the other hand-Weir is a member of both groups-adopts a tone of reasonableness and so wins the public-relations battle. Weir's nation-by-nation and state-by-state survey, however, suggests that there is little correlation between gun ownership or gun control laws and murder rates. Crimes involving guns, he argues, are infrequent in stable societies where there is a fairly equitable distribution of wealth and "a reasonable opportunity to advance socially and economically." Weir's message is that the propaganda of both the pro- and the anti-gun advocates can be ignored if we concentrate on building a more equitable society. He is the author of In the Shadow of the Dope Fiend.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Rely on former journalist Weir to take a controversial subject and make it more so. In the Shadow of the Dope Fiend (1995) tore apart the War on Drugs, tracing the distorted public policy and brutal but money-gushing black market that decades of criminalization have produced. Here, he jumps into the cross fire of the gun control debate, challenging the arguments of "anti-gunners" and "gunners" alike and arguing that the issue constitutes "snake oil" and "Band-Aids," a diversion from the "radical surgery" --changes in tax laws, welfare and other social services, housing policy, etc.--needed to give the poorest Americans a stake in society. A member of both Handgun Control, Inc., and the National Rifle Association, Weir will anger both with his pointed critiques of the surveys and statistics they wield. He takes a hard look at militias: the history of such forces in the U.S. and their use in other nations, particularly Switzerland. In the end, he insists, gun availability can't explain American violence; social and economic tension and inequality do. Mary Carroll
Top Customer Reviews
Page 13 explains why the American militia differed from the English: all the men would be armed, and they elected their officers. Indian wars went on for 400 years, and there were wars with the French, Spanish, and Dutch empires. Hunting game was part of everyday life in America; game belonged to everyone. As noted in Aristotrle's 'Politics', armed citizens led to popular government in the colonies.
The Second Amendment, like the English Bill of Rights, rejected the idea of a collective right in favor of an individual right (p.32). Whenever the right of the people to keep and bear arms is prohibited, liberty is on the brink of destruction.
The book discusses many topics. Page 107 exposes the subtle lies put into the "Brady II" bill. By requiring a minimum weight for a pistol, and then restricting the number of cartridges in a magazine, it would outlaw almost all handguns. Page 111 tells how the Morton Grove Ill. ban on handguns originated as a way to keep out competition to an existing store! Page 118 tells how crime sky-rocketed after passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act. Guns are more common than swimming pools, but more drown in swimming pools than die in gun accidents (p.120).
"The Politics of Scaring the Public" (p.Read more ›
The book is nicely organized and is easy to read without being simplistic. It assumes a certain basic understanding of statistics, at least a middle-school level. Sources of quotes and numbers are well documented.
Whether you favor or oppose gun control in America you need to read this book. The well documented numbers and historical background data will be useful to all. and their easy availability in one text is sure to bring a bit of sanity to what has been an insane battle of lies and exageration for too many years.
Most recent customer reviews
Mr Weir, while doing great work on the research end, has seemingly decided to use this important debate as yet another forum to advance socialist causes. Read morePublished on March 23 2001 by BOB HUGHES
This is the one best book on the subject! It covers the historical and philosophical backgrounds to the subject, and provides information that you find in newspapers.Published on May 3 2000
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