Even before the recent Newtown, CT massacre, gun violence and gun control has preoccupied public officals and legislators at all levels of government as well as powerful special interest groups for years. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know tours the issues that Americans debate when they talk about guns. The volume includes information on gun control pertaining to U.S. history, jurisprudence, cultural beliefs, political agendas, epidemiologcal data, criminology, law and regulation, and policy effectivness. Throughout, economist Philip J. Cook and political scientist Kristin Goss illustrate for readers which questions and issues are contentious and on which there is something approaching consensus. They answer basic questions like: Where do people acquire guns? Is gun violence rising or falling? Who is at risk for being shot? How much does gun violence cost? And tackle tougher ones such as: Do video games and the media contribute to gun violence? Why is the gun control movement relatively weak? Is it better to enforce the laws we have or enact new ones? The answers to these questions will help the general reader to make sense of the volley of ideologically driven statistics and slogans that characterize our national conversation on firearms. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a clear view of the highly polarizing topic of gun control.