Smoking Guns, Smoking Mirrors: A New Everett Cafe Book Display

| December 7, 2017

171201_Display_219x365Several years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a glass store front in our NYC Yorkville neighborhood still displays the devastating sign in bold black ink, “We will always remember our little angels.” Twenty miniature wax angels in Royal Stewart gowns symbolize the innocent children who lost their lives on that fateful day, December 14th, 2012, while they numbingly remind us of another one: March 13th, 1996 — this time, Dunblane, Scotland, where sixteen primary school children and two teachers also died at the hands of a crazed gunman.

As the list of mass shootings grows — with violent killings in our schools and churches, theaters, night clubs, and malls, we are paralyzed by the haunting inability to stop them — begging the question as to when, and how, we must, and at what cost. Can tighter legal restrictions on guns save lives? Or will gun control laws do nothing to impact violent behaviors? Deceptive or insubstantial, is the argument or explanation — but on which side of the trigger? Even after Charleston, Orlando, and Las Vegas, the U.S. continues to remain divided on the pressing issue of gun control, while the anniversary of Sandy Hook serves as yet another grim reminder.

A study published in Lancet finds that implementing universal background checks for the purchase of firearms or ammunition, and firearm identification internationally, could substantially reduce firearm mortality in the U.S. — almost as much as 50 percent, if federal checks alone are done. More telling, if just thee gun control laws were adopted nation-wide, then deaths from forearms could be reduced by a staggering 90 percent. The Washington Post rebutted with the article, “Why This Gun Control Study Might Be Too Good to Be True“, outlining the reasons why.

Smoking Guns, Smoking Mirrors: Where Do You Stand? presents the complexity of gun control, from the history and interpretation of the second amendment, to the tragedies of killings by shooters in our schools and communities. It urges us to consider what it means to bear arms, and to take a stand on our rights and responsibilities as educators, parents and citizens.

Stuck between the constitutional right to bear arms and need to do what’s right, it’s too late to take back the lives, but perhaps not to ensure a safer future. Commonplace in our schools, lockdown drills may be a necessary part of today’s equation, but they are far from the complete answer. Let’s look in the mirror, heed the smoke, and start addressing the complex problem of mass shootings from a more holistic perspective that begins with law, but embraces education, psychology, and health.

This display is curated by Kaitlin Kehnemuyi, Innovation Fellow, and Jennifer Govan, Senior Librarian, with input from the staff on book titles, and cafe design by Angela Perrone, EdLab Services Associate.

When: December – January

ControlBeck, Glenn; Kevin Balfe, and Hannah Beck. Control: Exposing the Truth about Guns. New York: Threshold Editions, 2013.

Cafe HV7436 .B43 2013




HarderBoyle, T.C. The Harder They Come.  New York: Ecco, Harper Collins, 2016.

Cafe PS3552.O932 H37 2016




Citizen_ProtectorsCarlos, Jennifer. Citizen Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015

Cafe HV8059 .C37 2015



Gun_DebateCook, Philip J. and Kristin A Goss. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cafe HV7436 .C657 2014



MondayCrook, Elizabeth. Monday, Monday. New York: Picador, MacMillan, 2014.

Cafe PS3553.R545 M77 2014




Private_GunsHemenway, David. Private Guns, Public Health. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.

Cafe  RD96.3 .H45 2017




RampageKlarevas, Louis. Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2016.

Cafe HV7436 .K53 2016


Check out the recent book talk, held at the Gottesman Libraries, with Louis Klarevas.


Mother's_ReckonKlebold, Sue and Andrew Solomon. A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of a Tragedy. New York: Broadway Book, 2017.

Cafe LB3013.33.C6 K55 2016




KopelKopel, David. The Truth About Gun Control. Encounter Books, 2013.

Cafe KF3941 .K67 2013





StandLight, Caroline. Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affairs with Lethal Self Defense. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017.

Cafe KF9246 .L54 2017




More_GunsLott, John R.  More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Cafe KF3941 .L68 2010



No_RightLucinda, Roy. No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech.  New York: Three Rivers Press, 2009.

Cafe HV6534.B53 R69 2009




NewtownLysiak, Matthew. Newtown: An American Tragedy. New York: First Gallery Books, Simin and Schuster, 2013.

Cafe LB3013.33.C8 L96 2013




Mass_ShootingsSchildkraut, Jacqueline and H. Jamie Elsass. Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities. New York: Praegar, 2016.

Cafe HV6515 .S35 2016



Guns_Across_AmericaSpitzer, Robert J. Guns Across America: Reconciling Gun Rules and Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Cafe HV7436 .S677 2015




Politics_of_Gun_ControlSpitzer, Robert J. The Politics of Gun Control. 6th ed. New York: Paradigm, 2015.

Cafe HV7436 .S68 2015




2nd_AmendWaldman, Michael. The Second Amendment: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2015.

Cafe KF3941 .W35 2015



Living_with_GunsWhitney, Craig. Living with Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. New York: Public Affairs, c2012.

Cafe KF3941 .W4425 2012



GunFightWinkler, Adam. Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America.  New York: WW Norton & Co., 2013.

Cafe KF3941 .W56 2013




At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.