5 Short Books To Educate Yourself On The Issue Of Gun Control Before March For Our Lives

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This Saturday, March 24, in hundreds of cities across America, students and their allies are taking to the streets to advocate for nationwide gun control reform. Before you pick up a protest sign and join the courageous teenagers leading the charge, check out one of these short but important books about gun violence in America to help prepare you for the March For Our Lives.

Over the course of a few hours on the morning of Sept. 6, 1949, Howard Unruh killed 13 people and wounded three others in what would become known as his "Walk of Death" and the first in a long and painful list of mass shootings in the United States. Two decades later in 1966, a sniper at the University of Texas claimed the lives of 17 people before police shot and killed him. In the years since that now infamous school shooting in Austin, 1,077 people have been killed in public mass shootings, according to The Washington Post. Countless other lives, including 223 black Americans shot and killed by police in 2017 alone, have been lost to gun violence in the U.S. in the last century.

For the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who witnessed 17 peers and teachers lose their lives during a school shooting in February, enough is finally enough. This Saturday, teen activists are saying #NeverAgain as they descend on Washington, D.C., and cities all across the country, and in other places around the world, during a nationwide rally for gun control.

Whether you're marching in Washington on Saturday, joining a local protest, or just trying to better understand the gun debate, here are five short but powerful books about gun violence in America you can finish this weekend.

'Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives' by Gary Younge

Paperback Page Count: 304

According to Another Day in the Death of America, seven children and teenagers are shot and killed every day in the United States. In this heartbreaking book, Gary Younge details the remarkable lives lost on one of those days. Gut-wrenching and utterly moving, this book will put a human face on this all to often dehumanizing debate.

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'The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know' by Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss

Hardcover Page Count: 296

In this short and straightforward "What Everyone Needs to Know" book, authors Philip J. cook and Kristin A. Gross break down the most essential components to the gun debate in America. Written in a question-and-answer format, this handy research and data-based guide walks readers through everything from the evolution of gun ownership and the history of the regulation of firearms to the connection between gun violence and mental illness and whether or not more guns can make people safer. If you want to truly understand from all sides, consider The Gun Debate essential reading.

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'Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment' by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Paperback Page Count: 236

In her eye-opening and heavily researched book, historian and educator Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explores the rich and often disturbing history of guns and gun laws in America, from the first colonizers to the present-day NRA. Powerful and persuasive, Loaded will tell you everything you've always wanted to know about gun culture in this country, and may even inspire you to think of new ways to change it.

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'Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense' by Caroline Light

Hardcover Page Count: 240

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump was one of many voices calling on American schools to arm teachers, but it is far from the first time the suggestion has been made. In Stand Your Ground, author Caroline Light explores the United State's history of gun self-defense and explains the many ways in which it has empowered the most privileged people to be able to harm and kill the country's most vulnerable populations. If you want to know what to say to people who think more guns are the solution, the answer is in this book.

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'Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence' edited by Brian Clements, Alexandra Teague, and Dean Rader

Paperback Page Count: 284

If you're looking for a slogan for your protest sign, a rally cry for your march, or just some good old fashioned inspiration for your activism this weekend, make sure you pick up a copy of Bullets into Bells. A remarkable collection of poems and prose from the likes of Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Samaria Rice, and Senator Christopher Murphy, this book may be small, but it's call to end American gun violence is mighty.

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