Under Fire

Under Fire

The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control

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328 pages, 6 x 9
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“An excellent piece of reporting …strongly argued…Davidson is a thoughtful social critic who leads us carefully through a complicated, interesting, and very American bit of history.”—Los Angeles Times

“An insightful, behind-the-scenes look at a powerful special interest group that has managed to prevent enactment of sensible gun laws for the last century …this book is a must.”—Sarah Brady, Handgun Control, Inc.

"A graduate course in real-world politics …a fascinating study of the practical applications of political power.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Dispassionately balancing anecdote and fact . . .Under Fire is must reading…What Under Fire does best is provide an inside-the-office, fly-on-the-wall view of an organization operating in a vacuum, seemingly deaf to the deadly gunfire that echoes outside its walls. No hatchet job, Under Fire lets the NRA shoot itself in the foot.”—Washington Post Book World

Under Fire is disturbing, depressing, well written, and carefully researched…The book will open your eyes.”—Field and Stream

“Fascinating, comprehensive, and enlightening …Davidson skillfully dramatizes …the internal power struggle within the NRA.”—Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“A useful, detailed account of legislative battles over gun control during the past fifteen years …an informative, readable report.”—New York Times Book Review

“By situating the NRA within the wider social and political environment within which it functions, Davidson is able to transform what would otherwise be merely another case study of a successful interest group into an informative and penetrating analysis of the policymaking process at the national level.”—Arkansas Review

Originally published in 1993, Under Fire was widely hailed as the first objective examination of the NRA and its efforts to defeat gun control legislation. Now in this expanded edition, Osha Gray Davidson shows how the NRA's extremism has cost the organization both political power and popular support. He offers a well-reasoned and workable approach to gun control, one that will find many supporters even among the NRA membership.

Table of contents: 

Part 1: The Rise of the NRA
1. The Stockton Lesson
2. The Early Years
3. One of the Great Religions of the World
Part 2: Cracks in the Empire
4. The Bullett and the Badge
5. A War in the Streets
6. Holding Actions
7. Enemies Within and Without
Part 3: Gun Wars
8. Drums Along the Potomac
9.First Blood
10. Palace Coup
11. Operation St. Joseph
12. The Last Battle
200,000 Bodies: The Battle Continues
Selected Bibliography