This title examines types of gun violence in America and presents historical, cultural, legal, and political perspectives on the issue.
The first chapter in this brief overview of a complex topic examines mass shootings as a uniquely American problem and how, in comparison to other industrialized nations, the United States is an outlier with disproportionate levels of other types of gun violence. In the second chapter, Steffens (Thinking Critically, 2018, etc.) discusses the reasons behind disparate gun laws on the state level and the resulting obstacles to creating or strengthening national gun laws. The latter subject is the focus of the third chapter, which goes into such issues as background checks, buyback programs, private sale loopholes, raising age limits, and organized opposition to such regulations by the National Rifle Association. The fourth and final chapter examines arguments made by gun advocates that arming more people is the best solution to curbing gun violence. Steffens cites numerous statistics and research findings and dutifully presents pro and con positions. Much of the content is culled from news media reports. The text, though accessible and informative, is uninspiring and not particularly engaging.