Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy

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Potomac Books, Inc., Jun 30, 2009 - Political Science - 282 pages
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“Guns don't kill people; people kill people.”

“When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

“An armed society is a polite society.”

Who hasn't heard these engaging assertions, time and time again? Burned into the national consciousness by years of targeted, disciplined messaging by the National Rifle Association and others, they are just a few of the bumper-sticker slogans that have defined the gun control debate in America. Long ridiculed by gun control advocates, they are the first words that come to mind for most Americans when the gun issue is discussed.

This is the first book both to acknowledge the profound and deadly impact of the gun lobby's bumper-sticker logic on the gun control debate and to systematically expose the misguided thinking at the core of the pro-gun slogans. Indeed, the author contends that the gun lobby's remarkable success in blocking passage of lifesaving gun laws is the result, in large part, of its relentless and effective use of these simple and resonant messages. Their persuasive power has been a largely ignored influence on the current politics of gun control, in which the gun lobby wields unprecedented power in the Republican Party, while many Democratic Party leaders see the policy benefits of stronger gun laws as not worth the political risk of standing up to the NRA. The book contends that the current political stalemate over guns will never be broken until the pro-gun slogans are exposed as the cleverly disguised fallacies that they are.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pomo58 - LibraryThing

In debunking the many myths prevalent in the contemporary gun debates Dennis A. Henigan makes far more good points than bad. And unlike some bloated commentary, he does not simply create more bumper ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DoctorDebt - LibraryThing

Dennis Henigan spends the majority of "Guns Don't Kill People" picking apart the most common anti gun control sound-bites. The book takes a logical, reasoned approach to debunking gun control myths ... Read full review


1 Guns Dont Kill People People Kill People
2 When Guns Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Guns
3 But What You Really Want
4 An Armed Society Is a Polite Society
5 We Dont Need New Gun Laws We Need to Enforce the Laws We Have
6 Is Budweiser Responsible for Drunk Drivers?
7 From My Cold Dead Hands
From Lethal Logic to Sensible Solutions
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About the Author

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About the author (2009)

Dennis A. Henigan is the Vice President for Law and Policy at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Founder of its Legal Action Project. For twenty years, he has been a leading advocate for stronger gun laws, appearing dozens of times on national television shows, including 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Nightline, Larry King Live, and Dateline NBC. Henigan coauthored Guns and the Constitution: The Myth of Second Amendment Protection for Firearms in America (Aletheia Press, 1995).

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