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n 1996 the shooting and killing of 16 young children in a Dunblane primary school provoked wide reaching parliamentary reform to British gun laws. Within months virtually all privately owned handguns had been outlawed. Gun Culture or Gun Control? presents the first substantial analysis of the social and political reactions to events in Dunblane and also examines many of the wider issues relating to gun control in the United Kingdom.
Rigorously comparative throughout, Peter Squires provides a non-partisan exploration of the differences between attitudes to firearms and their control in Britain and in the United States. Amongst the topics the author considers are:
* the social history of firearms on both sides of the atlantic
* the differing policy directions adopted in Britain and the USA
* media coverage of the gun question
* firearms and policing
* the future of the gun in society.
1. Introduction: Why guns? 2. The Spectre of the Gun: Historical and cultural perspectives 3. The Making of the American 'Gun Culture' 4. Discovery and Construction: Media coverage of the 'gun question' 5. Tragedy, Aftermath and Politics 6. Taking Stock of the Gun Control Arguments 7. Conclusion: Culture and ricochets