When associate publisher Tom Hallock first suggested that Beacon publish a myth-busting book about gun control, we knew we had to move quickly. The urgency of this issue put the new book on a sped-up schedule. While discussing the idea with other staff members, it seemed everyone could rattle off countless gun “myths” that pop up time and again in conversations about the epidemic of gun violence in the US. I set about researching books covering gun policy and came across Dennis Henigan’s Lethal Logic.
What struck me most about Lethal Logic was how much and how little had changed. At the time of its original publication in 2009, Columbine was still the deadliest school shooting in US history. Our president had not yet wept with the parents and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary. In the intervening seven years, the United States has seen twenty-one mass shootings and countless acts of gun violence in elementary schools, on military bases, in churches, nightclubs, and as President Obama noted, “on the streets of Chicago every day.” Helene Atwan, our director, and I had a phone call with Henigan about updating and revising his book for our myth series with a new title, “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People” And Other Myths About Guns and Gun Control. He was more than willing to work with us on the new edition and appreciative to see new life brought to his book.
This month, the Orlando Pulse shooting left forty-nine innocent people dead and another fifty-three injured. Senate Democrats launched a fifteen-hour filibuster, and House Democrats held a sit-in in an effort to effect some movement gun control. Public outcry against gun violence and mass killings demands new legislation. Now, more than ever, we felt it was important to make this resource available to the public as quickly as possible. We worked to move up the publication date to June 28 for the ebook edition and July 26 for the print edition.
Turning this book around from acquisition to publication in less than five months was a huge team effort which involved almost everyone at the press, from our director to our editorial intern, our production and marketing teams going all out, and the author, who dedicated nights and weekends to meet a very tight deadline. We hope lawmakers, activists, lobbyists, and the general public will use the book as a tool to bring clarity to the continuous stalemate of the gun control debate.
About the Author
Amanda Beiner is the assistant to Beacon Press director Helene Atwan.