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The gun control debate is often obscured by strong emotions and unproven assumptions. According to conventional wisdom accidents with handguns account for a significant number of deaths among children, gun owners endanger themselves more than they ward off potential criminal assailants, and there is a widespread legal consensus that the Second Amendment does not support the individual right to bear arms. All of these assumptions, and many others, say researchers Gary Kleck and Don Kates, are contradicted by the weight of criminological and legal evidence. Hoping to disentangle myth from reality, the authors summarize the results and policy implications of recent state-of-the-art research on guns and violence in accessible, nontechnical language. Among the topics addressed are media bias in coverage of gun issues, the distorting effects that a covert prohibitionist agenda has on the debate over more moderate measures for reducing gun violence, the frequency and effectiveness of the defensive use of guns, and a close analysis of the Second Amendment. This well-argued and scrupulously researched volume is essential for any full understanding of the complex gun issue.