The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy

Random. Jun. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781984854575. $28. SOC SCI
Senator Murphy (D-Conn.) discusses the roots of violence in humans and, more specifically, gun violence in the United States. He cites comparative statistics that show the difference in how other developed nations handle firearms and the historical roots that differentiate those countries’ practices from the United States. He’s angered at the rate of mass shootings, which have been increasing for several decades, and also looks at the less publicized individual deaths and injuries from suicides and accidents. Much of Murphy’s discussion concerns various political responses to gun violence and the effects of laws, regulations, and lobbying. The senator is known for his involvement in gun control after Sandy Hook and Parkland; he supports the Second Amendment, but advocates for some level of national regulation. The author’s conversational style manages to make a mountain of statistics readable, and brings the emotions of survivors far closer to the reader than media accounts. Murphy also addresses the cultural, economic, and racial reasons for America’s history of gun ownership and suggests how the many causes of gun violence can be mitigated.
VERDICT An important work on a relevant subject that will draw in anyone interested in social reform.

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