Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture and the Law, Revised Edition

Gregg Lee Carter, Editor


ABC-CLIO, 130 Cremona Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93116

800.368.6868 for orders


Cloth. 1,096 continuous pages in a 3 volume set.


ISBN Number:  978-0-313-38670-1



--American Library Association's Booklist Editors' Choice: Reference Sources, 2012

The outrage over the recent Colorado movie-theater tragedy and the controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin serve as reminders that although the pro- and anti-gun-control camps are diametrically opposed in their views on the issue, gun violence and attempts to limit it continue to be major issues in America and sources for much concern. A revision to the highly acclaimed 2003 edition, Guns in American Society has reentered the debate over guns in U.S. society, remaining above the partisan vitriol in an effort to educate users attempting to make informed decisions. Carter and a team of 102 scholarly contributors have scanned the legal, political, and social landscape over the previous nine years, adding an extensive chronology and more than 100 new entries that cover a variety of topics that include both the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and the 2011 Tucson, Arizona, shootings. Ranging in scope from AK-47 to Zip guns, individual entries encompass a wide variety of topics, the majority of which concern important personages (James S. Brady, Diane Feinstein, and Joseph P. Tartaro); notable court cases (Beecham v. United States, Nunn v. State of Georgia, and United States v. Cruikshank); as well as entries for general terms, including Crime and gun use, Japan gun laws, Open carry laws, and Trigger locks. Examples of other entries include Assault weapons, Columbine High School tragedy, Firearm dealers, Police shootings, and Ruby Ridge. Each entry includes see also terms for cross-referencing and a number of secondary sources for further research. The final volume concludes with an annotated list of key federal and state gun laws; listings and contact information for relevant national, state, and federal organizations “concerned with the role of guns in contemporary American society,” such as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Rifle Association, and the National Center for Injury Prevention; and an expansive annotated bibliography. A combination of solid scholarship, relevant subject matter, and efficient cross-referencing makes this set a must-have for public and high-school libraries supporting this perennial research topic. Highly recommended.


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