Adam Ruins Guns

Nov 26 2018

In this episode, Adam takes aim at critics on both sides of the gun debate in America, from assault-weapons bans to racism to the Second Amendment. Here are his sources.


 “… and it was so arbitrary, it allowed for all sorts of loopholes “

Brad Plumer. “Everything you need to know about the assault weapons ban, in one post.” The Washington Post, 17 Dec 2012.

The evidence that it played ANY role in reducing violent crime is completely inconclusive.”

RAND Corporation. “The Effects of Bans on the Sale of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines.” Gun Policy in America, 2018.

“In 2015, shootings with rifles, including “assault rifles,” made up less than 3 percent of America’s gun homicides.

RAND Corporation. “The Effects of Bans on the Sale of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines.” Gun Policy in America, 2018.

“There are an estimated 300 MILLION guns already in circulation.”

Scott Horsley. “Guns In America, By The Numbers.” NPR, 5 Jan 2016.

“they mostly end up getting broken guns people just don’t want anymore”

Kate Masters. “Police Trade Cash For Thousands of Guns Each Year. But Experts Say It Does Little to Stem Violence.” The Trace, 17 Jul 2015.

America has [84] times as many guns as Australia.

University of Sydney. “Australia – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law.”, 2018.

1 million people receive NRA firearms training

NRA. “Firearms Training.” NRAExplore, 2018.

“But more importantly, it’s a social MOVEMENT.

Hahrie Hahn. “Want Gun Control? Learn From the N.R.A.”New York Times, 4 Oct 2017.

“66% of Americans support stronger gun control laws”

Dartunnoro Clark. “Poll: Support for gun control hits record high.” NBC News, 2 Feb 2018.

“According to one estimate, in the last 50 years, about 1,100 people were killed in mass shootings.”

Bonnie Berkowitz,  Denise Lu, and Chris Alcantara. “The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting.” The Washington Post, 29 June 2018 (updated).

“But 93 people die of gun violence every day.”

“Americans in Crisis: Access to Guns Increases Deaths by Suicide.” Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence, 2017.

“Around 60% of America’s gun deaths are from suicide.”

Margot Sanger-Katz. “Gun Deaths Are Mostly Suicides.” The New York Times, 8 Oct 2017.

“Child access prevention laws, certain background checks”

RAND Corporation. “Gun Policy Analysis.” Gun Policy in America, 2018.

“THAT interpretation of the 2nd amendment is actually SUPER recent!”

Jill Lepore. “Battleground America.” The New Yorker, 23 Apr 2012.

“Oh, you mean how at this point in history, 1789, every state has its own part-time conscripted ARMY”

Michael Waldman. “How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment.” Politico Magazine, 19 May 2014.

“That’s unlikely, because at the time, guns were basically USELESS for self-defense!”

Adam Winkler. “Disarming the NRA.” NYR Daily, 5 Oct 2017.

“… revealed that they ONLY used that phrase in a MILITARY context.”

Michael Waldman. The Second Amendment A Biography. Simon & Schuster, 2014.

“For [almost 220] years  the U.S. Supreme  Court declined to rule that the 2nd amendment had anything to do with individual rights.”

John Paul Stevens. “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment.”

 The New York Times, 27 Mar 2018.

“They were genteel, cultured aristocrats, focused on improving Yankee marksmanship.”

Michael Rosenwald. “The NRA once believed in gun control and had a leader who pushed for it.” The Washington Post, 5 Oct 2017.

“I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns!”

Adam Winkler. “Disarming the NRA.” NYR Daily, 5 Oct 2017.

“In 1977, they overthrew the leadership in a dramatic coup known as The Revolt [at] Cincinnati!”

Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham, and Sari Horwitz. “How NRA’s true believers converted a marksmanship group into a mighty gun lobby.” The Washington Post, 12 Jan 2013.

The 2nd Amendment in fact does defend an individual right to bear arms.”

Supreme Court of the United States. District of Columbia et al v. Heller. Decided 26 Jun 2008.

“In the early years of our country, many colonies and states had laws banning gun sales and ownership to Native Americans and free Blacks.”

Charles C.W. Cooke. “Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?” The New York Times, 25 Oct 2014.

“But then state lawmakers blatantly targeted the Black Panthers, drafting a bill to strip all Californians of the right to open- carry”

Nick Wing. “Here’s How The Nation Responded When A Black Militia Group Occupied A Government Building.” HuffPost, 6 Jan 2016.

“Yup! And in 1968, the Federal Gun Act targeted “urban crime” by banning the use of all “cheap” handguns.”

Adam Winkler. “The Secret History of Guns.” The Atlantic, Sep 2011.

“A full analysis found that 91% of the people arrested, were people of color.”

Brad Heath. “Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities.” USA Today, 20 Jul 2014.

“Between ’04 and 2012, 4.4 million people were stopped, but only 1.5% of them had weapons.”

The Editorial Board. “Racial Discrimination in Stop-and-Frisk.” The New York Times, 12 Aug 2013.

“We’re 8 times more likely to be killed by a gun in a city.”

Molly Pahn, Anita Knopov, and Michael Siegel. “Gun violence in the US kills more black people and urban dwellers.” The Conversation, 8 Nov 2017.

“… and black kids are killed at a rate 10 times higher than white kids.”

Emily Weyrauch. “Black Kids Are 10 Times More Likely Than White Kids to Die From Guns, Study Says.” Time, 20 Jun 2017.

“Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to 20 years in prison just for firing warning shots to defend herself against her abusive husband”

Christine Hauser. “Florida Woman Whose ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense Was Rejected Is Released.” The New York Times, 7 Feb 2017.

“Or, look at what happened to Philando Castile.”

Samantha Schmidt. “‘I don’t want you to get shooted,’ girl, 4, begged mother after Philando Castile shooting.” The Washington Post, 22 Jun 2017.

“… and the NRA didn’t come to his defense”

Nick Woltman, “NRA breaks silence on Philando Castile shooting: ‘a terrible tragedy.’” Pioneer Press, 11 Jul 2017.

“We need to be allowed to do more RESEARCH.”

German Lopez. “A new, huge review of gun research has bad news for the NRA.” Vox, 2 Mar 2018.

“We’re blocked from doing effective research at the national level”

Megan Jula. “The Scientist Whose Gun Research Terrified the NRA Explains Why Congress Just Gave Him Hope” Mother Jones, 23 Mar 2018.

For More On This Topic

Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, by Adam Winkler: This book by our Act II expert delves deep into the legal history of the changing interpretations of the second amendment.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander: This landmark book delves deeper into the criminalization of everyday life for black Americans, and gives more context for some issues discussed in Act III.