Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide
A Documentary and Reference Guide
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About the author
Robert J. Spitzer is Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, College at Cortland.
Gun control is one of the most enduringly controversial issues in modern American politics. For the first time this book compiles a comprehensive array of documents that explain and illuminate the historical and contemporary context of the modern gun debate. Bringing together over 50 documents from the colonial era to the present, including early colonial laws, founding documents, letters, political debates, federal and state laws, federal and state court cases, and various political documents, this book is an indispensable reference work for those seeking to understand the origins and modern consequences of American gun policy, including the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms. Accompanying commentary and analysis is included to help the reader fully understand the meaning of these documents. Numerous bibliographic sources provide additional resources for interested readers. Ideal for undergraduate and high school students, this collection of primary documents surrounding one of America's oldest controversial issues is a must-have for library shelves.
Contrary to popular impression, gun laws are as old as the country, and reflect the intersection of citizens' personal gun habits and the country's early need to defend itself by citizen militias who were required to arm themselves. The nation's gun policies evolved as its needs and resources changed. Old-style militias gave way to a modern professional American military, and the settling of the American frontier ushered in modern gun laws. In the past century, political assassinations and gun-related mass violence spurred both new gun control efforts and a burgeoning modern gun rights movement. Students will be able to read and analyze primary documents surrounding these events, including the Federalist Papers, early hunting laws, Supreme Court rulings, federal and state regulations, and recent political platform statements. Ideal for undergraduate and high school students, this collection of primary documents surrounding one of America's oldest controversial issues is a must-have for library shelves.
; March 2009
360 pages; ISBN 9780313345678Read online
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Title: Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide
Author: Robert Spitzer
In the press
"The topic of gun control has been covered in several publications: Glenn Utter's The Encyclopedia of Gun Control and Gun Rights (Oryx Pr., 2001) and Gregg Lee Carter's Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law (ABC-CLIO, 2002) are two fairly recent examples. Spitzer (political science, SUNY Cortland), who has published other works on the issue, including The Right To Bear Arms: Rights and Liberties Under The Law (ABC-CLIO, 2001) and The Politics of Gun Control (Chatham House, 1995), has compiled 54 documents arranged into eight broad categories. Each document is followed by an analysis of the significance and meaning of the document regarding gun control. The volume covers constitutional and other government documents, court decisions, acts passed by legislatures, as well as other writings such as the Federalist Papers. BOTTOM LINE There is very little overlap between this work and Greenwood's Gun Control Debate: A Documentary History (1997), edited by Marjolin Bijlefeld, which consists of speeches and editorials as opposed to the preponderance of legal documents in Spitzer's volume. The two volumes are more complementary than duplicative. The added analysis in Spitzer's work also separates it from the earlier effort. Ideal for undergraduates." - Library Journal