From the list on new or surprising on American guns and gun culture.
Who am I?
I got interested in American guns and gun culture through the backdoor. I’d never owned a gun, participated in gun control politics, or thought too much about guns at all. Guns might not have interested me—but ghosts did. I was beguiled by the haunting legend of the Winchester rifle heiress Sarah Winchester, who believed in the late 1800s that she was being tormented by the ghosts of all those killed by Winchester rifles. As I scoured the archives for rare glimpses of Sarah, however, it dawned on me that I was surrounded by boxes and boxes of largely unexplored sources about a much larger story, and secretive mystery: that of the gun industry itself.
Pamela's book list on new or surprising on American guns and gun culture
Why did Pamela love this book?
I admire this book for its measured erudition on a topic (guns) that the author feels is the most formative cultural chasm in the US. Winkler, a renowned legal scholar, uses the 2008 Supreme Court Heller decision that enshrined the second amendment as an individual right to bear arms as the touchstone for a riveting and more wide-ranging investigation of the history of gun rights as well as gun control laws. Winkler finds historical precedents for the concept of an individual right (if not a mandate, in some cases) to bear arms.
However, what I found most surprising is Winkler’s account of the equally sturdy and deeply-rooted history of gun control and regulation. This revises the popular wisdom that gun control, essentially, has no history—that the US was a land of unfettered gun-toting and gun-owning that was only later thwarted by modern, liberal gun restrictions. On the contrary, by the…