Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race.

AuthorKnox, Allison G.S.

Carlson, Jennifer. Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020, 181 pages.

The last two decades in the United States have seen a heartbreakingly high number of mass shootings, issues with police brutality, and numerous politically charged questions about how to revisit gun policy to protect Americans given the United States' current violent climate. These political questions have forced lawmakers to confront one of the oldest rights Americans have and, in many instances, gun policies are caught in a catch-22. Jennifer Carlson's book, Policing the Second Amendment researches these policy issues and pulls together a powerful discussion about gun politics, gun policy, gun violence and law enforcement (p. 16). Policing the Second Amendment highlights these issues at the forefront of American politics through discussing the relationships between numerous actors. In short, "this book traces gun militarism and gun populism across three states with similar politics of crime and punishment by dissimilar politics of guns" (p. 23). The book argues that "an armed society need not necessarily be a 'polite society'" as gun rights advocates claim, but it is most certainly a "policed society." For far too long, Americans have argued about gun politics and the politics of the police as if they are separate debates. They are not and we insist on their separation at our own peril" (p. 23).

Gun control, as a political issue, is very much on the minds of Americans in the wake of so many shootings and issues of police brutality. At the core of the issue is the Constitutional right for Americans to have the Right to Bear Arms. While shootings continue to soar in the United States, many Americans call for more restrictive gun control measures while other Americans consider themselves to be Constitutionalists and do not want more restrictive gun control measures. Lawmakers often work to filter through all of this to figure out the best stance and the best way to create policy to help the American people with the issues of so many mass shootings and violence associated with guns.

Jennifer Carlson filters through all these discussions and carefully selects a few political issues to research and understand from a social science perspective. Carlson explains that she "focuses on three actors that broker the relationship between the politics of guns and the politics of the police," (p. 16)...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT