Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Beginning with the present and working its way backwards, this standalone nonfiction text focuses on gun violence and mass shootings. For context, the book opens with the high school shooting in Parkland, FL, after which students became the new voice for policy changes to shift the conversation from the killers to the guns. Then, pulling away from that example, Steffens focuses on the national firearms debate by discussing the founding of the country, wartime, and contemporary statistics on gun ownership and gun violence. Readers learn about the National Rifle Association, Supreme Court decisions, and comparative data with other countries to center the discussion by providing fair coverage of the debate on guns while spotlighting the devastating effects of gun crime in the United States. The strength of the text is the discussion on gun violence, not details related to specific mass shootings. The lengthy back matter will be of service to students looking to learn more, as this single volume just scratches the surface. VERDICT A timely introduction to the epidemic of gun violence.-Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
This title examines types of gun violence in America and presents historical, cultural, legal, and political perspectives on the issue. The first chapter in this brief overview of a complex topic examines mass shootings as a uniquely American problem and how, in comparison to other industrialized nations, the United States is an outlier with disproportionate levels of other types of gun violence. In the second chapter, Steffens (Thinking Critically, 2018, etc.) discusses the reasons behind disparate gun laws on the state level and the resulting obstacles to creating or strengthening national gun laws. The latter subject is the focus of the third chapter, which goes into such issues as background checks, buyback programs, private sale loopholes, raising age limits, and organized opposition to such regulations by the National Rifle Association. The fourth and final chapter examines arguments made by gun advocates that arming more people is the best solution to curbing gun violence. Steffens cites numerous statistics and research findings and dutifully presents pro and con positions. Much of the content is culled from news media reports. The text, though accessible and informative, is uninspiring and not particularly engaging. (Nonfiction. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.