The Global Gun Epidemic: From Saturday Night Specials to AK-47s

By Wendy Cukier; Victor W. Sidel | Go to book overview

Foreword

As I write this, I am in my favorite place in the whole world, the living room of my house. Out one side of the room is the Atlantic Ocean, and out the other side tranquil Silver Lake. I am on the Delmarva Peninsula, a broad spit of land surrounded by water—the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Chesapeake Bay on the other.

I cherish this place to a great extent because of the serenity it gives me and my husband, Jim. That's funny. Thirty years ago, we went to great lengths, he and I, to avoid serenity. Our lives were great adventures. We were in campaign politics, which is a world of frenzied activity and high stress.

Jim rose to the top tier of his professional world. If you're a press secretary, the top job in the trade is to speak for the president of the United States. I was, and still am, extremely proud of him, and I know how proud Jim was to serve.

They call press secretaries “flaks” behind the scenes, because you're expected to “take the flak” for the boss. In war, “taking flak” means being shot at. And in 1981, Jim literally did take flak for the boss. He was shot, along with President Ronald Reagan, by a lunatic who shouldn't have been allowed to buy a gun.

Jim lived, but his recovery was long and hard and incomplete. He'll be in a wheelchair forever, and he's in pain frequently. How we got from there to here—writing an introduction to a book about guns—is a long story. You are welcome to buy my book to hear it, but this is about another book, so pardon me if I just say we became activists against gun violence, were deeply honored to become somewhat successful as activists, and amused to become somewhat famous in the bargain. I honestly believe we remain pretty humble, however, and rightfully so: There is so much more work to be done in our chosen cause, and instead of making progress on reducing

-xi-

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The Global Gun Epidemic: From Saturday Night Specials to AK-47s
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • 1: Guns: A Global Perspective 1
  • 2: The Firearm Epidemic 12
  • 3: More Guns Equal More Deaths 47
  • 4: The Global Gun Trade 68
  • 5: Globalization and Gun Running 88
  • 6: [Gun Culture] and the Demand for Firearms 109
  • 7: The Regulation of Firearms 131
  • 8: National Approaches to Regulation 171
  • 9: Global Action 206
  • Conclusion 241
  • Notes 243
  • Selected Resources 291
  • Index 299
  • About the Authors 311
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