Book Description

Thom Hartmann, the most popular progressive radio host in America and a New York Times bestselling author, looks at the real history of guns in America and what we can do to limit both their lethal impact and the power of the gun lobby.

Taking his typically in-depth, historically informed view, Thom Hartmann examines the brutal role guns have played in American history, from the genocide of the Native Americans to the enforcement of slavery (Slave Patrols are in fact the Second Amendment's “well-regulated militias”) and the racist post–Civil War social order. He shows how the NRA and conservative Supreme Court justices used specious logic to invent a virtually unlimited individual right to own guns, which has enabled the ever-growing number of mass shootings in the United States. But Hartmann also identifies a handful of powerful, commonsense solutions that would break the power of the gun lobby and restore the understanding of the Second Amendment that the Framers of the Constitution intended. This is the kind of brief, brilliant analysis for which Hartmann is justly renowned.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Preface
  8. Introduction: The Social Cost of Guns
  9. 1. The Unholy Alliance of Racism, Genocide, and Guns
  10. 2. The Sanitized History of America
  11. 3. The Roots of American Gun Culture in the “Discovery” of America
  12. 4. From Columbus to Jamestown
  13. 5. From Genocide to Slavery
  14. 6. Early Hints toward the Second Amendment
  15. 7. Gun Culture’s Ebb and Flow
  16. 8. How Slavery Laid the Foundation of the Second Amendment
  17. 9. Gun Culture Enshrined: The Second Amendment
  18. 10. A Constitutional Rorschach Ploy: Limits on Slavery?
  19. 11. How Europe’s History of Mercenaries and Military Coups Shaped the Second Amendment
  20. 12. How Fears of Abolition Shaped the Second Amendment
  21. 13. The Myth of the Well-Armed Cowboy
  22. 14. The Gunshot That Ended Reconstruction
  23. 15. The Failure of Reconstruction and the Rise of the Klan
  24. 16. Racists Turn Open Carry into the New White Hood
  25. 17. Copwatching and Its Connection to Gun Control
  26. 18. One Sunny August Day in Texas
  27. 19. 1966: A Turning Point in America’s Gun Culture
  28. 20. Guns, Militarism, and the War on Drugs
  29. 21. Heller: Reinterpreting the Second Amendment
  30. 22. Political Corruption Underwrites America’s Gun-Control Nightmare
  31. 23. Gun-Control Activists Are Confronting Only the Tip of the Iceberg
  32. 24. Neoliberalism Drives Inequality; Inequality Drives Mass Murder
  33. 25. Weapons of War on America’s Streets
  34. 26. Semiautomatic Weapons
  35. 27. What America Learned from Cars—and How to Apply It to Guns
  36. 28. Gun Manufacturing in the 21st Century: 3-D Printing
  37. 29. Well-Regulated Smart Guns Are Here
  38. 30. Addressing Racism to Reduce Gun Violence
  39. 31. Learning from Other Nations
  40. Notes
  41. Acknowledgments
  42. Index
  43. About the Author