Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. VernickMay 15, 2013
Reducing Gun Violence in America
Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis
Johns Hopkins University Press 2013
We've all heard the saying that when arguing we should 'disagree without being disagreeable' but, when it comes to guns, we often find ourselves disagreeing without actually disagreeing. Most Americans believe in some kinds of gun control. Most Americans recognize the 'right to bear arms'. Most agree that expanded background checks can be useful in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous or irresponsible people. Considering that there is so much agreement on basic policy, what the gun debate desperately needs is sober clear-headed analysis. "Reducing Gun Violence in America" edited by Daniel Webster contributes greatly to this need. Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick's Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) brings together experts on public health and public policy and makes the case for a variety of reforms ranging from expanded background checks to greater support of federal agencies like the ATF. It dissects gun violence in its many manifestations (homicides, accidental deaths, suicides) and explores the relationship between these tragedies and public health more broadly. It also examines technology to reduce gun violence like 'personalized handguns' as well as international gun control initiatives in countries like Brazil, the UK, and Australia. Daniel Webster was kind enough to speak with us. I hope you enjoy.