Under Fire: The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control

Under Fire: The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control

3.0 2
by Osha Gray Davidson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Originally published in 1993, Under Fire was widely hailed as the first objective examination of the NRA and its efforts to defeat gun control legislation. Now in this expanded edition, Osha Gray Davidson shows how the NRA's extremism has cost the organization both political power and popular support. He offers a well-reasoned and workable approach to gun control, one…  See more details below

Overview

Originally published in 1993, Under Fire was widely hailed as the first objective examination of the NRA and its efforts to defeat gun control legislation. Now in this expanded edition, Osha Gray Davidson shows how the NRA's extremism has cost the organization both political power and popular support. He offers a well-reasoned and workable approach to gun control, one that will find many supporters even among the NRA membership.

Editorial Reviews

Field and Stream
Disturbing, depressing, well written, and carefully researched....The book will open your eyes.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Neither an expose nor a polemic, this book bogs down in description while stinting on hard analysis. Davidson ( Broken Heartland: The Rise of America's Rural Ghetto ) intersperses several set pieces--on the 1988 schoolyard massacre in Stockton, Calif., the 1986 congressional debate over the McClure-Volkmer Bill and the workings of a Washington, D.C., emergency room--with a fair-minded history of the National Rifle Association. Davidson looks critically at some of the NRA's broad-brush critics, suggesting that neither side gives ``any credence to the claims of the other.'' He observes that the NRA is ``neither the Evil Empire its foes claim nor the superpatriotic defender of the most cherished American values it claims to be.'' But only in the epilogue does he address important policy questions (such as the role of handguns in self-defense) and sociological analysis (such as of the urban-rural cultural roots of the gun control debate). His conclusion that the epidemic of gun violence must be addressed demands a more rigorous foundation. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This detailed history of that politically powerful and often feared lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), examines the organization's current troubles and its declining influence with elected officials and leadership in the police community. The publisher claims that the book is ``nonpartisan'' but also provides a statement of praise from gun control advocate Sarah Brady. Davison has carefully researched his topic. His book is journalistic in style yet compares favorably with the best on this subject, such as James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi's Armed and Considered Dangerous (Aldine de Gruyter, 1986) and Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins's The Citizen's Guide to Gun Control ( LJ 7/87). Davidson's study brings the debate up to date. Highly recommended for any collection that has either of the aforementioned books.-- John Broderick, Stonehill Coll., North Easton, Mass.
Donna Seaman
The staunch defender of a constitutional right or a rabid special interest group? The NRA has had as many as three million readily mobilized members, and reaction to its clout has never been neutral, but Davidson does a commendable job of presenting the straight facts about the organization's history, mission, methodology, and influence. The NRA was originally formed to institutionalize the teaching of gun-handling skills, but such civic-minded programs were abandoned for the establishment of a powerful gun lobby during the cold war era, particularly under the hard-line leadership of Harlon Bronson Carter in the 1970s and 1980s. The NRA's main claim to fame is its success in gutting every single gun control law brought before Congress. Davidson's gripping blow-by-blow account of the legislative skirmishes over laws governing armor-piercing bullets, Saturday night specials, and assault weapons, as well as resistance to the Brady Bill, runs in enraging counterpoint to his recitation of data about the ever-escalating number of privately owned guns, both legal and illegal, and the 30,000 American lives taken by guns every year. An illuminating and cogent study.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805019049
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/02/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
320

Meet the Author

Osha Gray Davidson has written for many publications, including the New York Times, Nation, New Republic, and Philadelphia Inquirer. He is also the author of Broken Heartland: The Rise of America's Rural Ghetto (IOWA, 1996) and The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >