Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America

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9781565845671: Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America

The gun industry is the last unregulated manufacturer of a consumer product in America. This book argues that the rise in gun violence is due to increased lethality. It shows how, since the 1970s, the gun industry has fought declining profits by increasing the killing power of its weapons.

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Review:

Author Tom Diaz makes no bones about his animus toward guns: he wants to regulate the U.S. firearms industry to death--literally. Guns are responsible for about 36,000 deaths each year in the United States (more than half are suicides), and so Diaz views them as a public health hazard requiring a massive government intervention. Making a Killing is hardly a dispassionate treatment; Diaz himself is a political activist (and a former Congressional aide). He suggests adopting strategies used against cigarette makers and admires the success antismoking zealots have experienced in their crusade. Much of his treatment focuses on the business of gun making, especially its lightness of regulation and what he considers to be its obsessive secrecy ("The firearms industry is a business so secret that it makes the tobacco industry look like a model of transparency"). He is also appalled that manufacturers make profits from these products and mortified that several leading firearms producers are foreign-owned (is he equally alarmed about who makes most of America's VCRs?). Making a Killing probably won't bring any new soldiers into the antigun camp, but for those already there it is a ready source of information and outrage. --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Tom Diaz is a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a not-for-prot, educational foundation working to stem the tide of rearms violence engulng our nation.

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