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Stand Your Ground: A History of America's…

Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair with Lethal…

by Caroline Light

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An important and divided issue in the political sphere is tackled with force by Caroline Light in "Stand Your Ground". Why I didn't rate this book higher is due to the emotional flirts that comes out in the dialogue. Overall though, a good read. It does add curiosity to this issue to which now I will have to look more into. It was definitely an eye opener. ( )
  jamesgwld | Sep 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a terrifying history but a necessary corrective to the dogwhistles and denial surrounding gun use and concepts like sovereign citizenship and vigilante justice today. I did wish the author had looked at the Marissa Alexander case, where a woman of color in a stand-your-ground state was arrested and sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive partner. I think that was a huge missed opportunity in chapter 6. ( )
  theodarling | Aug 3, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Smart, detailed, unlike any history I've read of America. Light shows how intricately the "right" to bear arms is tied to Enlightenment philosophy's ideas of the individual, defined as a property-owning, generally Euro-descended male. She shows how the US, even before its official birth, differed from England over gun rights and generously quotes from and evaluates her sources, dissecting the close connection between gun rights and sexual and racial violence. We need to understand these intertwined phenomena, Light argues, if we want to respond to this country's overwhelming gun culture. ( )
  susanbooks | Jul 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not sure what I was expecting with this book, but it was definitely not something that basically blamed so much of the current status on the "white man, property owner". History is important, but what can be done now? How do we move forward?? Disappointed. ( )
  CharlesSvec | Jul 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was frankly blown away by the history presented here, having been previously unaware of just how closely gun proliferation has been entwined with sexism and racism. The US now has 4 percent of the world's population and between 40 and 50 percent of privately owned guns. There are more guns in the US than people. But those weapons are in the hands of an increasingly small percentage of the US population. Meanwhile, women, non-whites and LGBT are increasingly LESS safe. This is essential reading for anyone wondering how we got here. Highly recommended. ( )
  Carrie.Kilgore | Jun 17, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807064661, Hardcover)

A history of America’s Stand Your Ground gun laws, from Reconstruction to Trayvon Martin

In the aftermath of the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, conservative legislators and school administrators shocked some observers when they proposed armed “public school patrols” to protect children. Yet this kind of “DIY security” activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement. As Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.

Stand Your Ground explores the development of the American right to “self-defense,” and reveals how the “duty to retreat” from threat was transformed into a selective right to kill. In her rigorous genealogy, Light traces white America’s attachment to racialized, lethal self-defense, from the original “castle laws” to the radicalization of the NRA.

A convincing treatise on the United States’ deadly ascension as the world’s first Stand Your Ground nation, Light shows how violent self-defense has been legalized for the most privileged and made the most marginalized more vulnerable.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:22:10 -0500)

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