Point Blank

Overview

Winner of the 1993 Michael J. Hindelang award of the American Society of Criminology.

By 1990 there were approximately 200 million guns in private hands in the United States, and around half of American households contained a gun. Over 30,000 people a year are killed with guns in suicides, homicides, and acci­dents, and Americans use guns for defensive purposes over a million times a year. There is little doubt that gun violence and control are issues of vital importance, and ...

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Overview

Winner of the 1993 Michael J. Hindelang award of the American Society of Criminology.

By 1990 there were approximately 200 million guns in private hands in the United States, and around half of American households contained a gun. Over 30,000 people a year are killed with guns in suicides, homicides, and acci­dents, and Americans use guns for defensive purposes over a million times a year. There is little doubt that gun violence and control are issues of vital importance, and they continue to inspire national debate. It is doubtful, however, whether most gun debates are worth listening to. Not surprisingly, such debates generally leave their participants exactly where they began, with their biases intact, and onlookers perplexed.

Written deliberately to counter an atmosphere of hysteria and extremism. Point Blank, now in paperback, offers logi­cal argument supported by empirical information. It con­fronts fundamental questions head-on. On its initial publication in 1993, Point Blank won the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology for the book that "made the most outstanding contribution to criminology." Point Blank reports both original research and assesses existing evidence drawn from a wide variety of academic disciplines, including criminology, sociology, law, and medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Kleck's book is a comprehensive review of the issues and facts regarding gun use and gun control in the US... The book is organized into four sections: issues of gun control and gun ownership, effects of guns on violence, regulating guns, and policy lessons. The text is clearly written, with effective use of tables, and is well referenced. Recommended for libraries developing comprehensive collections in the areas of criminal justice or criminology. Upper-division undergraduates and above.” R. T. Sigler, Choice "Kleck assesses the evidence, adduced with the tools of social science, on the issues of gun control and gun owner­ship—ideology, politics, and propaganda, as well as data on who owns guns, how they acquire them, and why; the effects of guns on violence—self-defense, violent crime, suicide, accidents; regulation—types, public opinion, impact on vio­lence rates; and policy lessons. His findings indicate that guns do contribute to violence, but in complex ways that are not acknowledged by either activists or academics. From the mass of evidence, he draws informed recommendations for a na­tional policy." —Book News, Inc. “This eagerly awaited magnum opus is essential reading and resource material for those interested or engaged in research on issues involving gun-related violence. Kleck’s collected research over the last decade, some of which appears here in one form or another, has touched on and attempted to identify, demystify, and remove ideological biases, of both the conventional left and right, from many of these controversial topics…. This book is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on violence and violent crime… I will refer to it frequently in classes and research… [A] refreshingly fair and persuasive book. It is the definitive work on firearm-related issues in American society. Point Blank is on target.” —Fred Hawley, Social ForcesPoint Blank is easily the most comprehensive work on firearms, violence, and firearms control ever published… [T]he book is also valuable as a reference volume. Containing mountains of statistical data on firearms production, hunting, crime, suicide, accidents, survey items, and the like, in addition to an extraordinary bibliography and literature review, the book is a virtual treasure trove of information for any researcher on the topic… The book flows nicely… [T]he point of view of this work is refreshing, especially in the context of the low-level hack rhetoric that for so long has characterized gun-control “research” by some academicians. Kleck’s research will change the direction and raise the level of discussion.” —Alan Lizotte, Contemporary Sociology “Kleck does the gun control policy debate a great service in demonstrating the complexity of issues that too often are discussed in simplistic ways in the political arena.” —H. Laurence Ross, American Journal of Sociology
Booknews
Kleck (criminology and criminal justice, Florida State U.) assesses the evidence, adduced with the tools of social science, on the issues of gun control and gun ownership--ideology, politics, and propaganda, as well as data on who owns guns, how they acquire them, and why; the effects of guns on violence--self-defense, violent crime, suicide, accidents; regulation--types, public opinion, impact on violence rates; and policy lessons. His findings indicate that guns do contribute to violence, but in complex ways that are not acknowledged by either activists or academics. From the mass of evidence, he draws informed recommendations for a national policy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202307626
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 532
  • Sales rank: 1,461,974
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Kleck is professor of criminology and criminal jus­tice at Florida State University. He is the author of Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control and coauthor, with Don Kates, of The Great American Gun Debate and Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control. His articles have been pub­lished in several journals, including the American Sociologi­cal Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Criminology, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Law & Society Review.

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Table of Contents

1 Ideology, politics, and propaganda 3
2 Ownership and uses of guns 17
3 Searching for "bad" guns : the focus on special gun types 65
4 Guns and self-defense 101
5 Guns and violent crime 153
6 Guns and suicide 223
7 Firearms accidents 269
8 Types of gun regulation 323
9 Public opinion and the bases of support for gun control 359
10 The impact of gun control on violence rates 385
11 Conclusions 429
App. 1 Production-based estimates of the gun stock (chapter 2) 451
App. 2 Survey-based estimates of the gun stock (chapter 2) 455
App. 3 Substitution of long guns for handguns 461
App. 4 Alternate estimates of the number of defensive uses of guns (chapter 4) 467
App. 5 Legal classification and counting of defensive homicides (chapter 4) 469
App. 6 Technical problems in using national crime survey incident files data (chapter 5) 473
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