Cover

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Half Title, Accolades, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotation

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface to the New Edition

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pp. xi-xxiv

In the past decade much has occurred in the United States with respect to gun violence prevention. In this new preface I discuss what I see as some of the more important events since the publication of Private Guns, Public Health in 2004, with a focus on research findings. ...

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Preface to the 2004 Edition

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pp. xxv-xxviii

When I was growing up in the 1950s, cars did not have seat belts, shatterproof windows, collapsible steering columns, or air bags. In high school, when schoolmates of mine died in automobile accidents, people said they were driving too fast or too carelessly. Perhaps this was no surprise, it was thought, for, after all, they were teenagers. ...

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Chapter 1. Guns and American Society

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pp. 1-7

On an average day during the 1990s in the United States, firearms were used to kill more than ninety people and to wound about three hundred more. Each day guns were also used in the commission of about three thousand crimes. The U.S. rates of death and injury due to firearms and the rate of crimes committed with firearms are far higher than those of any other industrialized country, ...

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Chapter 2. The Public Health Approach

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pp. 8-26

During most of the twentieth century, gun assaults were seen almost exclusively as a criminal justice problem, gun suicides as a mental health problem, and unintentional gunshot wounds as a safety issue. Since the mid-1980s, it has become increasingly recognized that the most promising approach to reduce firearm injury is to emphasize prevention, ...

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Chapter 3. Gun-Related Injury and Death

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pp. 27-63

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention divides injury deaths into accidents (unintentional injuries), suicides, and homicides. This chapter discusses the extent to which firearms contribute to deaths in each of these categories, including scientific evidence regarding the problem, and examines gun use in robberies, assaults, and other crimes. ...

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Chapter 4. Self-Defense Use of Guns

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pp. 64-78

The previous chapters highlighted some of the costs guns impose on society. But guns also provide some safety benefits. Guns may be used to thwart criminal acts, and awareness of their presence may deter individuals from attempting to commit crimes. But how common is self-defense gun use, and how much benefit do guns really provide for our society? ...

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Chapter 5. Location

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pp. 79-106

Gun use can occur in various locations, including at home, at school, and on the street and in other public venues. This chapter examines guns in these three settings, starting with the home. The first section describes empirical evidence on the actual and psychological risks and benefits of having a gun in the home, the way Americans store their guns at home, ...

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Chapter 6. Demography

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pp. 107-129

One criterion by which a country may be judged is how it protects its children. By that criterion, the United States is doing very badly with regard to firearms. Each day during the 1990s, firearms killed an average of two children between ages zero and fourteen in the United States. Firearm injuries are not a major killer of children zero to four but rank ...

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Chapter 7. Supply

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pp. 130-151

In a gun’s life span, four main opportunities exist for legal interventions or regulations to be imposed: (1) the time of manufacture; (2) the time of sale; (3) the period of possession or carrying; and (4) the period of use (Baker, Teret, and Dietz 1980). A comprehensive policy approach to reducing gun injuries includes sensible regulations concerning all four of these periods, ...

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Chapter 8. Policy Background

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pp. 152-176

Prescribing reasonable and feasible firearm policies for the United States requires understanding the context in which American firearms policy is set. The starting point for any discussion of this topic must be the U.S. Constitution—specifically, the Second Amendment, which is sometimes claimed to limit possible policy alternatives. ...

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Chapter 9. Policy Lessons

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pp. 177-208

The public health approach is optimistic, flexible, and pragmatic and has succeeded in many areas. It emphasizes the wide array of policies that can be used to improve the nation’s health. By contrast, gun advocates sometimes appear pessimistic, inflexible, and doctrinaire, seemingly unable to visualize more than a narrow range of punitive policy alternatives. ...

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Chapter 10. Policy Actions

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pp. 209-223

There are a wide variety of reasonable, feasible policies that could reduce the firearms injury problem in the United States. To explore such policies, it is first necessary to understand the history of federal firearms laws in the United States, and this chapter begins with a brief description of these laws. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 224-226

The United States has more guns in civilian hands than any other industrialized nation. We have far more handguns per capita, and a gun is easily obtainable by virtually anyone who wants one. Our crime and violence rates are comparable to other developed countries; what distinguishes the United States is our rate of lethal violence, most of which involves guns. ...

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Afterword (2006)

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pp. 227-260

Private Guns, Public Health was completed in the fall of 2003. Over the next two years, the scientific literature reaffirmed the conclusions of the book. What follows is a brief summary of some of the more important findings from the recent literature through the end of 2005. ...

Appendix A. Methodology

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pp. 261-286

Appendix B. Famous Civilians Shot in the United States

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pp. 287-288

Bibliography

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pp. 289-340

Name Index

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pp. 341-350

Place Index

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pp. 351-354

General Index

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pp. 355-366