TITLE: Responding to the Crisis of Firearm Violence in the United States
SOURCE: JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(9):740. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1292.
AUTHOR: Garen J. Wintemute, MD, MPH
(1) Gun violence in the US is a public health problem: More than 30 000 people are purposely shot to death each year—more than 300 000 since the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001. Rates of firearm-related violent crime have increased 26% since 2008.
(2) More research and researchers are needed: The government has abandoned its commitment to understanding the problem and devising evidence-based solutions. There’s almost no funding for firearm violence research, and there are almost no researchers. There are no more than a dozen active, experienced investigators in the United States have focused their careers primarily on firearm violence. Only 2 are physicians. Only 1 has evaluated the effectiveness of an assault weapons ban. No CDC researcher has done more than occasional work in this field in 15 years.
(3) Motor vehicle connection: In the 1960s, the nation recognized a fast-growing crisis related to motor vehicle traffic fatalities. We created an agency, led by internist-epidemiologist William Haddon, MD, to launch an aggressive research effort and recommend and implement evidence-based interventions. The motor vehicle industry waged what the Supreme Court called the “regulatory equivalent of war” against airbags, one of the most important of those interventions. On airbags and other matters, the industry lost; the public’s health and safety won
TITLE: Was the National Rifle Association Started to Drive Out the KKK? (2013)
AUTHOR: Warren Throckmorton
NOTES: Debunks claims that NRA started to help Southern Blacks vs. KKK. Was actually started by Northern military officers to address poor marksmanship
TITLE: How The Gun Industry Funnels Tens Of Millions Of Dollars To The NRA (2013)
SOURCE: Business Insider
AUTHOR(S): Walter Hickey
TITLE: So you think you know the Second Amendment (2012)
SOURCE: The New Yorker
AUTHOR: Jeffrey Toobin
WEB STATS: http://nyr.kr/YeFpsS+
(1) The Second Amendment is not only a matter of law, but a matter of politics. Conservatives put originalism aside to alter a long-held legal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. (2) The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical. (3) Courts have found that the 1st part, the “militia clause,” trumps the 2nd part, the “bear arms” clause. As a result, the 2nd Amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms; it did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon. This changed after a post-coup d’état-NRA came into the picture in 1977. A novel interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was then sought, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. An uphill battle was fought and, eventually, won, but not without brute political force. It wasn’t until the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Supreme Court fully embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment.
TITLE: The Freedom of an Armed Society (2012)
SOURCE: New York Times
AUTHOR: Firmin Debrabander
NOTES: Uses logic to rebut NRA argument that ‘an armed society is a polite society.’ Some personal anecdotes, post-Newtown. Also rebuts idea that armed populace protects against despotic government.
TITLE: The gun control that works: no guns (2012)
SOURCE: The Economist
NOTES: Having few guns does mean that few people get shot. In 2008-2009, there were 39 fatal injuries from crimes involving firearms in England and Wales, with a population about one sixth the size of America’s. In America, there were 12,000 gun-related homicides in 2008.
TITLE: The shrinking gun control caucus (2012)
AUTHORS: Seung Min Kim, Robin Bravender, & Tarini Parti
NOTES (Much has changed in public opinion since this article, nonetheless…): NRA wields considerable clout in the nation’s capital. They spent $695,000 so far this year and about $2.6 million last year to lobby Capitol Hill.
TITLE: Firearms & community feelings of safety (1995)
SOURCE: The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (JCLC), 86(1), pp. 121-132.
AUTHOR(S): David Hemenway, Sara J. Solnick and Deborah R. Azrael
FINDINGS: By a margin of more than 3:1, citizens feel less safe, not safer, as others in their community acquire guns
TITLE: I am the NRA: an analysis of a national random sample of gun owners (1993)
SOURCE: Violence & Victims, 8(4), pp. 367-385
AUTHOR(S): Weil DS, Hemenway D.
FINDINGS: NRA members support many regulatory proposals… (1) a majority of both NRA members favored a waiting period for the purchase of a handgun (77%) and mandatory registration for handguns (59%).
NOTES: Also see related study, “A response to Kleck (NRA). Violence & Victims “(1993)