Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns by Josh Sugarmann.
Josh Sugarmann, founder of the anti-gun Violence Policy Center, argues that handguns cannot be anything other than a force for evil, and that nothing less than a nationwide ban will undo that evil. Hardly a new argument, but the appearance of John Lott's hugely popular More Guns, Less Crime a few years ago made the restatement of the anti-gun case urgently necessary. On its face, the argument is absurd, ignoring the fact that 99 percent of handguns will never be used for a criminal act, and that many will be used to deter crime. And the case against handguns gets weaker by the moment: Michael Bellesiles, whom Sugarmann cites as an authority, whose book, Arming America, stands exposed as a fraud, and the Second Amendment is increasingly understood to invoke an individual rather than collective right. Accidental deaths and injuries from handguns continue to drop. U.S. cities with handgun bans in effect (Chicago and D.C.) vie annually for the title of murder capital. Anti-handgun lawsuits are being thrown out, and 44 states have now passed right-to-carry laws. Those states aren't experiencing a rise in handgun crime, but England-where handguns were banned in 1997—is seeing a spectacular increase. So buy this book. Then take it to the nearest range and put it out of its misery.
—Daniel C. Palm
Azusa Pacific University
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This article appeared in the Fall 2002 issue of the Claremont Review of Books