BOOKS
Gun Violence and Mass Shootings
80p. further reading. index. notes. photos. ReferencePoint. Oct. 2018. Tr $29.95. ISBN 9781682825150; ebk. ISBN 9781682825167.
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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.

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