Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics, and Symbolism of Gun Control

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2000 - Law - 257 pages
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Starting with Columbine, school shootings have brought the issue of gun control to the forefront of the American consciousness. Why it won't rise to the top of the political agenda is an important part of the story that Will Vizzard tells. Drawing on Congressional hearings, interviews, thirty years of research, and personal experience as a special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the author takes a step back from both advocates and opponents of gun control to survey the U.S. gun landscape. What he finds there is a scene dominated by policy and public opinion extremism as well as a powerful combination of history and symbolism that impede the resolution of this conflict. Neither a call for gun prohibition nor a diatribe against gun control, this book is intended for those with a particular interest in firearms as well as serious students of public policy and criminal justice. In addition to covering a century of gun control policy, the author addresses such current issues as assault weapons, right-to-carry and concealed-carry laws, school shootings, and recent elections. Unlike its several counterparts, SHOTS IN THE DARK sheds light on a balanced and pragmatic approach to gun control legislation.
  

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Shots in the dark: the policy, politics, and symbolism of gun control

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Vizzard (criminal justice, California State Univ., Sacramento), formerly of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is no stranger to the controversial topic of gun control. His well-written ... Read full review

Contents

FRAMING THE ISSUE
3
CRIME CULTURE AND MARKETS
12
CONTROL STRATEGIES AND THE LAW
36
INTEREST GROUPS AND PUBLIC ATTITUDES
59
THE EVOLVING POLITICS OF GUN CONTROL
73
EARLY HISTORY
87
THE GUN CONTROL ACT OF 1968
93
A BUREAUCRACY UNPREPARED
106
BRADY AND BEYOND
133
WHAT COULD BE DONE AND WHY IT WONT BE
153
GUN CONTROL AND THE POLICY PROCESS
172
BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE
181
NOTES
185
BIBLIOGRAPHY
235
INDEX
249
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
257

REACTION
120

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About the author (2000)

William J. Vizzard is associate professor of criminal justice at California State University, Sacramento, and a former agent, supervisor, and Special Agent in Charge in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

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