Book Review: Joyce Lee Malcolm, Guns and Violence: The English Experience
Andrew Jay McClurg
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 46, p. 507, 2004
University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 81
Joyce Lee Malcolm’s Guns and Violence: The English Experience offers both an interesting history of guns and gun laws in England and a policy polemic that attempts to establish, through the English experience, that strict gun laws do not reduce violent crime. As explained in this book review, Malcolm’s book succeeds better as history than as advocacy.
Malcolm took on a big challenge in attempting to trace the history of guns and crime in England from medieval times to the present. She pulled it off admirably, constructing a cohesive survey of importance not only to historians, but to anyone interested in firearms policy.
The weakness of the book lies in Malcolm’s attempt to go one big step further and argue that gun restrictions in England have led to increased crime, rather than, as gun control advocates assert, less crime (or at least, less violent crime).
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Date posted: November 19, 2010 ; Last revised: October 15, 2012