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Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy

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Overview

“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 ...

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Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy

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Overview

“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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A]n outstanding survey recommended for any college-level or public library strong in social and legal issues."

“Of all the people who work for gun control organizations, Henigan is probably the most influential thinker. It was he who cooked up the batch of 1998-99 lawsuits by anti-gun mayors and trial lawyers against firearm manufacturers, wholesalers, stores, and trade associations. Ultimately, the suits failed to cripple the firearm industry, but they came close. Henigan is much more prescient than some of the other ‘intellectuals’ at gun control organizations in recognizing when a particular position has become untenable and needs to be abandoned. . . . Lethal Logic, although not an official book of the Brady Campaign, presents what will likely be the key talking points for gun control advocates and their media allies in the coming months and years.”

"Anyone interested in the intersection of culture, psychology, and commerce can find valuable lessons in Lethal Logic. . . Henigan's insights into the marketing genius of the firearm industry are truly eye-opening. . . . Whatever your views on guns, their relationship to crime, and the meaning of the Second Amendment, Lethal Logic has something important to teach: A consistent, passionate message cultivates customer loyalty."

"Henigan effectively disarms the gun lobby's arguments, fighting back with equal doses of common sense and uncommon insight. Lethal Logic will make it much tougher for spineless politicians in both parties to hide behind the NRA's superficial slogans and rationality-defying spin. A must-read for every American who longs to bring sanity to our nation's gun laws."

"No one knows more about our epidemic of gun violence and no one can state the case for sanity better than Dennis Henigan, who eviscerates the Orwellian myths through which the NRA justifies so much death. Henigan exposes how the gun lobby controlled one political party and intimidated the other. Lethal Logic is a bracing look at some very hard truths."

“Dennis Henigan has long been one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the gun violence issue. In Lethal Logic, he has given us a clear roadmap toward destruction of the ‘any gun, any time, any place’ arguments of the gun lobby. This book will save lives.”

"Dennis Henigan has set out an insightful examination of the NRA's impact on the nation's gun debate. Lethal Logic offers a clear and thoughtful explanation of the methods and tactics used by the NRA to block common-sense gun laws and their effect on the political process."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597973564
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue 1

1 "Guns Don't Kill People. People Kill People." 13

2 "When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns." 37

3 "But What You Really Want ... " 75

4 "An Armed Society Is a Polite Society." 105

5 "We Don't Need New Gun Laws. We Need to Enforce the Laws We Have." 139

6 "Is Budweiser Responsible for Drunk Drivers?" 159

7 "From My Cold, Dead Hands ... " 189

Epilogue: From Lethal Logic to Sensible Solutions 211

Notes 219

Selected Bibliography 249

Index 261

About the Author 267

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2010

    I was looking for fresh information but got stale platitudes.

    I was hoping that Mr. Henigan would have a new and interesting take on the gun issue, but this work could have been put together by an intern Googling old Brady Campaign press releases. He consistently ignores superb academic work on gun laws and safety done by a number of prominent criminologists and economists as well as the CDC in order to rehash the tired old idea that somehow more gun control will provide more safety. He uses cherry-picked and often distorted statistics to 'prove' his case, while sidestepping the actual question and ignoring or dismissing any contrary data.

    A good example of this is his gun suicide argument. He 'debunks' arguments that gun availability does not affect overall suicide by stating that 92% of attempted gun suicides are completed, which sounds horrifying until you realize that he never addressed the actual question at all. If he had bothered to look at the research, there are a number of unbiased studies which show that availability of firearms may change suicide methods, but it does not affect overall suicide rates.

    Overall I would have to say that this book is a severe disappointment, coming as it does from an esteemed public interest lawyer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    so i assume this man lives in a castle where no harm comes to hi

    so i assume this man lives in a castle where no harm comes to him and he therefore thinks since he doesnt need a gun to protect his family, no one does.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    ALTAR

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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