Gun Violence: Fighting for Our Lives and Our Rights by Matt Doeden. October 1, 2019. Twenty-First Century Books, 112 p. ISBN: 9781541555549. Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 1080.
In early 2018, teen-led March for Our lives events across the United States protested gun violence, demanded change to save lives, and registered voters toward that end. This authoritative exploration of guns, gun violence, and gun control explores the Second Amendment, the history of guns and gun laws in the United States, legal restrictions to gun ownership, and the devastation of mass shootings. Through an objective look at individual versus collective rights, readers will be able to offer well-informed answers to questions such as should young people own assault rifles? What about terrorists and the mentally ill? Read the book to make an informed argument and support your point of view.
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Violence, including discussion of mass shootings
Booklist (September 1, 2019 (Vol. 116, No. 1))
Grades 9-12. Accounts of gun violence, particularly in the U.S., are too often news headlines these days, and in their wake come polarized debates over gun control. This is especially true of mass shootings that number children and young adults among their victims. While examining escalating gun violence and mass shootings, Doeden presents a balanced approach to the debates concerning gun control and differing interpretations of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. He offers the perspectives and arguments from one side and immediately follows with the other, raising tough questions on both fronts. This structure effectively allows readers to consider the merits of the pro and con arguments. After giving the historical background of the Second Amendment, Doeden integrates dates and statistics into accounts of shootings from Columbine to 2018. Captioned color photographs, maps, diagrams, and special features provide enhancements (and breaks) in the text. Back matter offers a multitude of resources: a time line, chapter-by-chapter source notes, bibliography, and further information that includes books, films, and websites. A timely resource for young adults.
Kirkus Reviews (August 1, 2019)
This compact introduction confronts head-on the highly controversial issue of gun ownership in the United States. Examining how gun ownership became a way of life in the Colonies, which in turn paved the way for the Second Amendment, this volume presents both the historical context for and contemporary concerns surrounding gun ownership. As gun technology became more compact and sophisticated, and automatic weapons became standard issue for organized crime, it became clear that some control was needed. However, legislative attempts in the 1930s and ’60s failed to stop gun violence. Subsequent years saw the rise of powerful gun lobbies such as the National Rifle Association and legislation that further protected the rights of individuals to use firearms for self-defense. Single-page features describe specific mass shootings as well as the murder of Trayvon Martin. The author reviews statistics to analyze the impact of gun legislation on civilian safety, among other subjects. One tremendous oversight in a guide focusing heavily on current events is the lack of mention of public outcry around police shootings of black and Indigenous people or the Black Lives Matter movement. Stock photographs predominantly portray white mourners and victims of gun violence, while a photo illustrating gun sales without background checks features a black customer, possibly sending an unintended message to readers A detailed analysis of America’s gun culture that unfortunately omits important context around racial bias. (timeline, glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, further information, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 13-18)
About the Author
Matt Doeden was born in southern Minnesota and lived parts of his childhood in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Madison, Minnesota. He studied journalism at Mankato State University, where he worked at the college newspaper for three years. In his senior year, he served as the paper’s Sports Editor, which put him in charge of the entire sports section, the sports writers, and the photographers. He covered mostly college sports, but also the Minnesota Vikings, who held training camp at MSU.
His work allowed him to meet and interview people like Dennis Green, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, and more. Matt went on to work as a sports writer for the Mankato paper, and then he got a job as an editor with a small children’s publisher called Capstone Press, and in 2003 he decided to start his own business as a freelance writer and editor.
Since then, Matt has written and edited hundreds of books. Lots of them are on high-interest topics like cars, sports, and airplanes. He also writes and edits on geography, science, and even math.
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