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A Well Regulated Militia: The Battle Over Gun Conrol [Hardcover]

William Weir
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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.

From Booklist

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

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lose Guns, Gain Crime Feb. 26 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book explains why criminals will always have guns; why armed citizens reduce crime, and do not increase murders; and why gun prohibition would increase crime and create major new criminal activity. The history of "gun control" goes back thousands of years, long before guns were invented. Kings and the aristocracy have always tried to limit popular access to weapons in order to oppress the common people. The one exception is arming the people to avoid defeat by a foreign power; afterwards they are quickly disarmed.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fair and thorough April 12 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book provides both a history of the second amendment, the role of the NRA and its relationship to the military and the police, and an excellent background to the various players in the controversy over gun control. If you are extremely pro or anti gun control you may not like this book. You will certainly question your position. It is a rational and calm analysis, and if your position cannot abide this you may find the book disturbing.
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.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The amount of research Mr. Weir has put into this work is truly astounding, especially given the almost mindless parroting heard from both sides of the gun control debate. I am admittedly very much against gun control, but his points about the NRA and other organizations are clear and undeniable.
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.
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