The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview intended to summarize essential introductory information to help the reader consume the material provided throughout the remainder of the book. First, the authors review the history of firearms across numerous contexts, including military, law enforcement, corrections, civilian, and pop culture. They then outline the available statistics from various sources related to firearm ownership and use in the United States, as well as provide comparisons across states. Next, they set forth important foundational information about firearms. They then address issues related to the public sentiment and attitudes toward firearms, gun control, and related concepts. Finally, they review a wide range of Second Amendment and other firearm-related groups, including gun control, gun violence prevention, and antigun groups.
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