A GREAT deal has happened in the realm of gun control since the writing of the first edition of this book. A spate of schoolyard massacres has riveted the nation's attention to the connections between guns, violence, and children. Self-styled militia and other extremist groups have attracted ever more attention with their intricate, if bizarre, constitutional theories and occasional acts of terrorism. Heightened internal squabbling within the National Rifle Association was mollified by the election of Charlton Heston to head the nation's most prominent gun organization. Scholarly writings on the Second Amendment have multiplied. More states have passed laws legalizing the carrying of concealed weapons. In short, the tornado of gun politics continues to spin across the American political landscape.
The preparation of this second edition gave me the opportunity not only to update these and other elements of the gun control story, but also to apply much that I have learned from the many reviews, comments, and suggestions made by a host of thoughtful people. I thank all those who took the time and trouble to comment on the first edition. For their particular contributions to this second edition, I wish to thank Tom Pasquarello and Deb Dintino of SUNY Cortland and Katharine Miller of Chatham House. Even before the initial publication of this book, Chatham House's late publisher Ed Artinian suggested a second edition. Ed combined two traits infrequently found in his, or my, profession. He was a hard-nosed businessman with an unerring sense for what would fly in the highly competitive and erratic publishing world; at the same time, he valued the scholarly enterprise, and he both knew, and cared about, political science. Above and beyond that, Ed was a nononsense kind of guy, and I miss him very much.