September 20, 2006
Gun-related Violence from a Global Public Health Perspective
The Global Gun Epidemic
From Saturday Night Specials to AK-47s
by Wendy Cukier and Victor W. Sidel
Publisher: Praeger Security International
Publication Date: 12/30/2005
List Price: $49.95
Description: Just as guns know no borders, gun violence has become a global epidemic, killing hundreds of thousands of people each year and injuring many more. The toll is staggering. Experts estimate that there are 35,000 annual gun-related deaths in Brazil, 10,000 in South Africa, 20,000 in Colombia, and 30,000 in the United States. While guns kill or maim great numbers of people in war zones, two thirds of small arms are in the possession of civilians. Although guns do not in and of themselves "cause" violence, they increase its lethality and fuel "cultures of violence." This book documents the global gun trade, its threat to public health, and efforts to remedy the situation.
Virtually every illegal gun begins as a legal gun. With the globalization of trade in licit products has come the globalization of the illegal trade in guns. For example, weapons originating in the United States fuel violence in Canada, Latin America, and as far away as Japan. And unregulated ownership of guns fuels crime. Because weapons tend to flow from unregulated areas to regulated areas, international cooperation is critical, but global efforts have been hampered by major arms producers and gun lobbies such as the National Rifle Association. Since 1998 there has been an emerging global movement to control the illicit trade and misuse in guns, and many countries have moved to strengthen their gun laws in an effort to combat this global epidemic.
And for the origins of gun control in the United States, see:
List Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (August 1, 2006)
Description: Americans are deeply divided over the Second Amendment. Some passionately assert that the Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns. Others, that it does no more than protect the right of states to maintain militias. Now, in the first and only comprehensive history of this bitter controversy, Saul Cornell proves conclusively that both sides are wrong.
Cornell, a leading constitutional historian, shows that the Founders understood the right to bear arms as neither an individual nor a collective right, but as a civic right--an obligation citizens owed to the state to arm themselves so that they could participate in a well regulated militia. He shows how the modern "collective right" view of the Second Amendment, the one federal courts have accepted for over a hundred years, owes more to the Anti-Federalists than the Founders. Likewise, the modern "individual right" view emerged only in the nineteenth century. The modern debate, Cornell reveals, has its roots in the nineteenth century, during America's first and now largely forgotten gun violence crisis, when the earliest gun control laws were passed and the first cases on the right to bear arms came before the courts. Equally important, he describes how the gun control battle took on a new urgency during Reconstruction, when Republicans and Democrats clashed over the meaning of the right to bear arms and its connection to the Fourteenth Amendment. When the Democrats defeated the Republicans, it elevated the "collective rights" theory to preeminence and set the terms for constitutional debate over this issue for the next century.
A Well-Regulated Militia not only restores the lost meaning of the original Second Amendment, but it provides a clear historical road map that charts how we have arrived at our current impasse over guns. For anyone interested in understanding the great American gun debate, this is a must
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The U.S. Supreme Court has again decided it wants nothing to do with the debate over exactly whose right to "keep and bear arms" is protected by the U.S. Constitution. From your About Guide.
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