The Last Gun

How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It

The nationally renowned gun control advocate’s startling analysis of the state of play, including the path to a safer future

“[A] blistering takedown of the gun business and politics.”
The Boston Globe

Tom Diaz’s The Last Gun was first published in hardcover shortly after the tragic Newtown massacre. Major media outlets, including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Democracy Now!, NPR, and CNBC, rushed to contact Diaz, the widely respected gun control advocate, for his views on what Americans could do to bring an end to this epidemic of gun violence. As he told them, America is by far the most armed nation in the world, and it has the deaths to show for it: by some estimates, more than thirty thousand in 2013 alone. In this “readable and topical” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) book, the former gun enthusiast and ex-member of the National Rifle Association lays out a lucid, incisive account of how we got here and what we can do to prevent future massacres.

Marshaling a range of stunning evidence and case studies, The Last Gun is essential reading for understanding how we can finally rid America’s streets, schools, and homes of gun violence—and, with effective gun control measures stalled in Congress, it remains as timely as ever.


“To understand what needs to be done to end America’s sickening, preventable epidemic of gun violence, read this book. Fast-paced and absorbing, The Last Gun reads like a political thriller. But it’s also a definitive, fascinating exploration of solutions to a problem—literally the arming of America by a mercenary gun industry—that every parent and every citizen has reason to fear, regardless of where you live or how much money you earn. Diaz, a Washington insider, has written a brave and important book—and, coming on the heels of the massacre of twenty elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut, none too soon. If there’s one book you want to read about the gun issue, this is it.”
—Ellen Freudenheim, MPH, co-founder and director, Silent March, the “shoes” campaign against gun violence
“Tom Diaz is one of the most insightful observers of the gun industry and the larger gun debate in America today because he lets his evidence do the talking. He writes with a point of view, but that viewpoint is powerfully shaped by the prodigious evidence he brings to bear regarding how the gun industry markets its products and how that marketing perpetuates some of the cartoonish stereotypes that typify the gun debate. As Diaz’s riveting and revealing analysis shows, the gun industry’s own marketing strategies reveal that their interest has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and everything to do with selling more guns.”
—Robert J. Spitzer, author of The Politics of Gun Control
“Diaz knows his subject inside and out and, like the prophets of old, hurls his arguments from the mountaintop with terrible precision. . . . America has allowed itself to become a grand bazaar in fearsome military-grade weaponry, which the governing class is only now—more than a decade after 9/11—beginning to acknowledge as a major domestic security threat. The Last Gun lays out the blood-soaked cost of such folly and the urgent need for corrective action.”
—Andrew Gumbel, journalist and author of Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed—And Why It Still Matters
“Diaz once again reveals what the firearms-industrial complex doesn’t want the public to know, while refusing to spare politicians and the media for their complicity in the cover-up. . . . This book should be required reading for policy makers at every level and for every American fed up with the massacre of thirty thousand people a year.”
—Andrew Fios, attorney general, Public Safety Division, Washington, D.C.
“In his eminently readable style, mixing science and anecdote, Tom Diaz shows how our leaders have created gun policies that are good for the gun industry but horrific for our nation. He also describes ‘solutions worthy of the name.’ What a timely book!”
—David Hemenway, professor of health policy, Harvard School of Public Health, and director, Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center
“Tom Diaz writes with authority about the ongoing danger of Americans’ obsessions with guns. The Last Gun combines riveting anecdotes of firearm violence with evidence on availability and risk of personal arsenals. Diaz offers rational approaches to thwart the epidemic of these weapons of mass destruction.”
—Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, Distinguished Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine, and editor-in-chief emeritus, THe New England Journal of Medicine
“Diaz is a relentless investigator and a compelling writer. . . . His inferences are carefully drawn and very well supported, and their implications are clear. . . . Anyone who wants to help prevent firearm-related violence, in the United States and elsewhere, should read this excellent book.”
—Garen Wintemute, MD, professor, UC Davis School of Medicine, and director, Violence Prevention Research Program
“Through a gripping narrative that combines plenty of factual data with compelling storytelling, Diaz makes the convincing case that the gun industry is knowingly trading American lives for profits. . . . Never one to pull his punches, he methodically identifies the gun industry’s enablers, including politicians, lobbyists, and members of the media. After the tragedy of Newtown, if you are going to read one book to understand the current political fight in Washington, this is it.”
—Joshua Horwitz, executive director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

News and Reviews

NPR's Fresh Air

Terry Gross interviews Tom Diaz about assault weapons and The Last Gun on Fresh Air

The Washington Post

Author Tom Diaz writes about the national response to terrorism versus gun violence in an op-ed for The Washington Post

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe reviews The Last Gun

Books by Tom Diaz

Making a Killing
The Business Of Guns in America

Tom Diaz

Goodreads Reviews