Guns Down

How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns

Twenty years after Columbine, a leading gun control activist offers a radical argument for the gun control movement our country desperately needs

“#InOurLifeTime we will fight for and alongside victims of gun violence, and we will prevail.” —Emma González, Parkland student activist

Ninety-six people die from guns in America every single day. Twelve thousand Americans are murdered each year. The United States has more mass shootings, gun suicides, and nonfatal gun injuries than any other industrialized country in the world. Gun-safety advocates have tried to solve these problems with incremental changes such as background checks and banning assault style military weapons. They have fallen short. In order to significantly and permanently reduce gun deaths the United States needs a bold new approach: a drastic reduction of the 390 million guns already in circulation and a new movement dedicated to a future with fewer guns.

In Guns Down, Igor Volsky tells the story of how he took on the NRA just by using his Twitter account, describes how he found common ground with gun enthusiasts after spending two days shooting guns in the desert, and lays out a blueprint for how citizens can push their governments to reduce the number of guns in circulation and make firearms significantly harder to get. An aggressive licensing and registration initiative, federal and state buybacks of millions of guns, and tighter regulation of the gun industry, the gun lobby, and gun sellers will build safer communities for all. Volsky outlines a New Second Amendment Compact developed with policy experts from across the political spectrum, including bold reforms that have succeeded in reducing gun violence worldwide, and offers a road map for achieving transformative change to increase safety in our communities.


“Anyone who wants to help build safe American communities must read this book.”
—Alyssa Milano, actress and producer
“Igor Volsky sets out a long-term vision for the gun violence prevention movement—a country with fewer guns. That’s a goal that all political candidates—especially progressives—should take seriously, especially as the clout and political power of the NRA continues to shrink.”
—John Podesta, White House Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton
“There is a national consensus, growing stronger daily, that our Declaration’s ‘inalienable right to life’ supersedes the criminal use of firearms for violence. American author Igor Volsky presents a smart, thoughtful, commonsense plan to reduce gun violence by the simple expedient of reducing guns available for criminals. We are on the verge of stopping our worship of guns as idols, of valuing them even above human life—the very first human right.”
—Donna Brazile, political strategist and author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics
“America has reached a crossroads in the gun safety movement, and Igor Volsky is fighting on the front lines. The groundbreaking strategies he proposes in Guns Down—from exposing the NRA’s perversion of our Constitution to setting out a new Second Amendment pact—combine a deep understanding of our history with a series of innovative progressive reforms. This brilliant book will let us transform our public outrage into powerful political change, and no one is better at turning information into action than Volsky.”
—Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress
“Finally a voice—not of mere reason or common sense—but a basic, radical embrace of the fact that we DO need to take away guns. And we need to shape a new ideology, not placate or follow or change by piecemeal the gun lobby’s broken litany of the past. We need more voices, like Igor Volsky’s, who dare to voice the truth: we have too many guns.”
—Alan Cumming, actor and humanitarian
“This book is the wake-up call America needs. Guns Down is an unapologetic, bold, evidence-based call for radical change. Appeasements and baby steps will not end the gun violence epidemic that has gripped our country. The plan, in this book, will.”
—Debra Messing, actor
“We can make our communities safer, save lives, and respect the Second Amendment. This book is about public safety.”
—Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Second District of Illinois

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