America As A Gun Culture

Senator Joseph Tydings of Maryland, appealing in the summer of 1968 for an effective gun-control law, lamented: “It is just tragic that in all of Western civilization the United States is the one country with an insane gun policy.” In one respect this was an understatement: Western or otherwise, the United States is the only modern industrial urban nation that persists in maintaining a gun culture. It is the only industrial nation in which the possession of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is lawfully prevalent among large numbers of its population.