The purpose of this essay is to provide a foundation for understanding the "Great American Gun
War," and to consider the next steps that could be taken in the search for an effective gun-control
policy. We begin with a review of the more-or-less uncontroversial facts about trends in gun
ownership and use, and the reasons why Americans are inclined to arm themselves. A discussion
follows of the more contentious issues, whether and how guns influence levels or seriousness of
crime. We then identify the important values at stake in adopting any gun-control policy, and go
on to describe the existing policies and the mechanisms by which they and other such measures
have their effect. Finally, we make recommendations about promising next steps.
Moore, Mark H., Phil Cook, and Anthony Braga. "Gun Control." KSG Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP01-033, December 2000.