Schools, theatres and malls used to be safe havens. Marathons were triumphal, not tragic. Today, public life is risky. Citizens are on edge, either calling for gun control or purchasing personal weapons of self-defense. In this timely book, prominent US and international authors examine gun violence in public life. They offer the latest data and analysis on topics such as comparative gun homicide rates, the efficacy of gun control, risks associated with gun ownership, concealed-carry data and policy, media and gaming violence, gender and guns, and school shootings. New insights are developed from a comparative case study of Canada, a country in which gun ownership is common but with a much lower rate of gun violence. Neither demonising nor mythologising guns, the contributors provide evidence-based analyses that shed light on policy directions and personal conduct.
"The thrust of the book, which emphasizes school and spree killings, is to look beyond gun control legislation, because "we have to change 'everything' radically" to reduce gun violence…The chapters about the lack of gun control in response to massacres go well beyond the usual discussion of lobbying to explore the deep meaning of gun ownership in the US…Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
“A timely book, Gun Violence and Public Life is distinctive because it examines sociological correlates and civic consequences of gun violence in the culture and society at large instead of dwelling on single horrific incidents…[It] contributes to a broad substantive national conversation about men who open fire, politicians who demonize or deify weapons, the rise of culture of greater incivility, a public who understands little about its obligation as citizens, and a perpetual politics of division. The authors do not shy away from inconvenient truths, but begin the process of learning from them.”
“A savvy and realistic book about the distinctive U.S. gun-shooter-rampage problem. Scholars here probe beyond superficial news coverage of recent mass shootings to examine their foundations in gender (masculine), racial (white), age (young), mental health (depressed), and culture (militaristic), giving attention also to gun-accessibility.”
—Joe Feagin, Texas A&M University, Co-author of Latinos Facing Racism
“Gun Violence and Public Life is an essential resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social roots of gun-related violence. Contributors to the volume examine causes that are too often overlooked: class, race, militarism, and masculinity. Any hope of solving the problem of gun violence depends on having the conversations that this book so usefully informs and urgently demands that we undertake.”
—Michael Schwalbe, author of Manhood Acts: Gender and the Practices of Domination
“Ben Agger and Tim Luke have compiled a diverse set of essays addressing critically from different perspectives one of America’s most serious and controversial problems. Engaging American gun violence historically, legally, comparatively, and conceptually, the collection does not cheerlead for gun control or gun rights, but explores the topics soberly and incisively and provides resources to enrich national discourse about them.”
—Robert J. Antonio, The University of Kansas