The Public Interest

The great American gun war

B. Bruce-Briggs

Fall 1976

For over a decade there has been a powerful and vocal push for stricter government regulation of the private possession and use of firearms in the United States-for “gun control.” The reader cannot help being aware of the vigorous, often vociferous debate on this issue. Indeed, judging from the amount of energy devoted to the gun issue-Congress has spent more time on the subject than on all other crime-related measures combined-one might conclude that gun control is the key to the crime problem. Yet it is startling to note that no policy research worthy of the name has been done on the issue of gun control. The few attempts at serious work are of marginal competence at best, and tainted by obvious bias. Indeed, the guncontrol debate has been conducted at a level of propaganda more appropriate to social warfare than to democratic discourse. 

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