Read the following 3 short editorials and complete the following activities to help you understand the how to review your resources when writing a literature review. EDITORIALS: GUN CONTROL AND VIRGINIAEditorial #1: Getting Rid of Gun ControlVirginia finally is poised to repeal its unusual law that prohibits law-abiding citizens from buying more than one gun per month. It’sabout time, because the red tape has not had the desired effect in lowering crime. There is no academic research by criminologists oreconomists that shows that one-gun-a-month regulations reduce crime in either the states that pass them or their neighbors. The lawshave merely inconvenienced honest Americans who want to buy guns.Besides Virginia, only Maryland, California and New Jersey still have these laws. South Carolina was thefirst state to adopt the restrictions in 1976 but repealed the limit in 2004. New Jersey has had the law on the books for less than twomonths now.Contrary to the nanny-state notion that gun control is good, gun limitations are actually harmful. The book“The Bias Against Guns” shows that one-gun-a-month rules significantly reduce the number of gun shows, becausethey reduce the number of sales that can occur. For the same reason, it’s likely the regulation reduces the number of gun dealers. Thereduction in legal sources to buy guns can raise the cost of law-abiding citizens buying guns relative to criminals, and thus disarmgood people relative to criminals. The book “More Guns, Less Crime,” the only peer- reviewed research on one-gun-a-monthrestrictions, from the University of Chicago Press, shows the laws either haveno effect or a detrimental effect on violent crime.The Brady Campaign claims that Virginia’s one-gun-a-month law reduced the number of crime guns traced to Virginia dealers, but itprovides no link to crime rates, which is ultimately the bottom line. If people around the nation’s capital should understand anything, itis how hard it is to keep criminals from getting guns. The District of Columbia banned handguns entirely, and murder rates still soared.Criminals got a hold of guns despite the law, because by nature they don’t care about breaking laws, and they can’t buy guns legallyanyway. The question ought to be focused onwhom these laws prevent from getting guns, and the evidence is that law-abiding citizens are the ones who are stopped. One-gun-a-month rules are similar to gun bans and waiting periods, which tend to disarm victims relative to criminals,and therefore, increase crime. If possible, it’s a good idea to keep guns from criminals, but laws that make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get guns relative to criminals cause more harm than good. In the case of the right to keep and bear arms, safetyand freedom go together.—Washington Times, February 19, 2010Editorial #2: Firearms Still Easily AvailableThree years have passed since the massacre at Virginia Tech that took the lives of 32 innocent people, including mysister Reema. I look back over the past 1,097 days since my sister died and wonder how it is still legal for criminals and people withserious mental illness to buy guns without passing a background check.Reema was killed because of a gap in Virginia’s gun background check system that allowed a mentally illman to buy weapons. Even though a court determined that he was mentally ill and therefore prohibited from purchasing andpossessing guns, his record of mental illness was not in the background check system.Thankfully, following recommendations of the Virginia Tech review panel, action was taken at the state andfederal level to help get missing mental health and criminal records into the background check system. The number of mental healthrecords submitted to the federal instant background check system has tripled from 298,571 (as of Dec.31, 2006) prior to the Virginia Tech massacre to 932,559 (as of March 31, 2010).Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end there. Criminals, the mentally ill, and even terrorists are still able to purchase firearms from gunshows with no background check whatsoever. Federal law requires every licensed gun dealer to conduct criminal background checkson all purchasers. But dealers without licenses are selling guns at gun shows without these checks.According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), 30 percent of guns in federalillegal trafficking investigations are connected to gun shows. This Gun Show Loophole is exploited by criminals and those who knowthey cannot pass a background check.Last May, I went to a gun show in Richmond to see for myself. I bought 10 guns in less than one hour. No background check. Noidentification. No questions asked. It was as easy as buying a bag of chips at a grocery store; simple cash and carry. Luckily, I’m not acriminal.What’s clear is that anyone, even criminals, can go to any gun show and buy an unlimited number of guns, without undergoing abackground check. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. And there’s nothing to stop them from doing it over and over again.Three years have passed and the Gun Show Loophole still remains intact. The solution is simple: Congress should pass legislation torequire background checks for all sales at gun shows. Sen. Jim Webb and Sen. Mark Warner, the families of the Virginia Tech victimsand survivors are counting on your leadership. Closing the loophole will not affect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gunowners. But it will help ensure that guns do not end up in the hands of people who, because they are a danger to society, have lost theright to own them.In May 2009 my father and I, and several other Virginia Tech family members, met with Sen. Webb to askfor his support for legislation to close the Gun Show Loophole. What impressed us was how seriously he took the issue and hispromise to work in Congress to fix this problem.It has been almost 11 months since that meeting, three years since the tragedy at Virginia Tech, and no action has been taken to movethis lifesaving legislation forward. I hope that all Virginians will stand with the families of the Virginia Tech victims and survivors incalling on Sens. Webb and Warner to get behind this effort.Closing the Gun Show Loophole won’t bring my sister Reema back, or any of the other victims of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.But it would save an untold number of innocent lives. It’s been three years. The time to act isnow. Sen. Webb and Sen. Warner, what are you waiting for?—Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 20, 2010Editorial #3: Virginia Handgun Law: Don’t Reopen the Pipeline of GunsSeventeen years ago, pressured by its neighbors to stem the flow of guns into the Northeast, Virginia enacted a bipartisan bill thatlimited the purchase of handguns to one every 30 days. Virtually overnight, experts say, the “Iron Pipeline” slowed and the number ofguns used in crimes in New Jersey and traced to Virginia fell sharply.But now a Virginia legislator wants to turn his state back into one of New Jersey’s leading arsenals. A bill proposed by L. ScottLingamfelter, a Republican, has cleared the House of Delegates, with mostly Republican support, and is headed for the state Senate,which is controlled by Democrats. There the bill’s chances are uncertain, but if it passes, Gov. Bob McDonnell intends to sign it.Virginia’s gun-running days could be back again.Lingamfelter, a retired Army colonel, insists Virginians’ Second Amendment rights are being restricted. The current law “rationsconstitutional rights,” he says; “It hasn’t reduced crime. It has reduced commerce.”Lingamfelter says the National Instant Check System, which wasn’t around in 1993, can keep felons from purchasingguns. Maybe, but many of the guns that end up in New Jersey are purchased by “straw buyers” — people with validVirginia drivers licenses who act as purchasing agents for a fee.New Jersey officials — from U.S. senators to police chiefs — are wondering what Virginia lawmakers are thinking. In a gun-traffickingstudy of 2008, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that, even with the reduced flow, Virginia stillranked third among outside states providing guns used in New Jersey crimes. Repealing Virginia’s firearm law will mean hundredsmore guns on New Jersey streets each year, many married to a violent, criminal intent. To argue that the law is an onerous burden onlaw-abiding gun buyers is silly. Virginians can buy 12 guns a year. How many do they need?—Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), February 22, 2010You complete – LITERATURE REVIEW WORKSHEET Forum Part 1: GUN CONTROL AND VIRGINIA1) List the strengths and weaknesses of Editorial #1.2) Please do the same for Editorial #2.3) And please do the same for Editorial #3.You complete – LITERATURE REVIEW WORKSHEET Forum Part #2: GUN CONTROL AND VIRGINIA1) To your mind, which of the three articles was the most persuasive? Why?2) Which of the three articles was the least persuasive? Why?3) Are there any important issues regarding gun control that are not covered by these three pieces, but that you would write about ifyou were addressing this topic?General information for your Literature Review- Helpful Questions to Ask about Individual ArticlesDoes the article have a clear thesis statement? Is that thesis supported by a well organized argument that uses convincing evidence?What strategies or methodologies does the author use in the article?Was the article published in a respected academic journal? (Undergraduates should ask their instructor to identify the leading journalsin the field. Databases like JSTOR tend to carry only journals with good scholarly reputations.)Is the author someone who seems reliable? Might the author have some sort of agenda or ideological motivation that might affect theway the argument is presented? (A Google search can be useful.)How recently was the article published? In rapidly changing fields, research can become dated quickly, so it is generally preferable touse articles published within the past five years or so. (In some cases, the instructor may tell students to use older articles with newerones to trace how ideas and debates have changed over time.)What original contribution does the article make to the discussion about the topic?Tips on Organizing a Literature ReviewA successful literature review should have three parts that break down in the following way:A. INTRODUCTION1. Defines and identifies the topic and establishes the reason for the literature review.2. Points to general trends in what has been published about the topic.3. Explains the criteria used in analyzing and comparing articles.B. BODY OF THE REVIEW1.Groups articles into thematic clusters, or subtopics. Clusters may be grouped together chronologically, thematically, ormethodologically (see below for more on this).2. Proceeds in a logical order from cluster to cluster.3.Emphasizes the main findings or arguments of the articles in the student’s own words. Keeps quotations from sources to an absolute minimum.B. CONCLUSION1.Summarizes the major themes that emerged in the review and identifies areas of controversy in the literature.2.Pinpoints strengths and weaknesses among the articles (innovative methods used, gaps in research, problems with theoretical frameworks, etc.).3.Concludes by formulating questions that need further research within the topic, and provides some insight into the relationship between that topic and the larger field of study or discipline.Creating Clusters or SubtopicsChronological Groupings: With this method, you can group material according to when it was published or the time period thematerial addresses. For example, for a literature review about post-1965 immigration to New York City, you might group the material that addresses the 1960s and 1970s in one section, and the1980s and 1990s in another. This method works well in essays that trace the evolution of a certain theme or idea over time, but can be less coherent in other contexts.Thematic Groupings: In this approach, sections might be organized around particular subthemes within the essay’s topic. For thepost-1965 immigration essay mentioned above, you might organize separate sections on literature dealing with different ethnic groups: Asians, Eastern Europeans, Mexicans, etc.Methodological Groupings:A methodological approach differs from the two above in that it does not focus so much on the content, but the “methods” of the researcher or writer. In the above example, authors who interpret demographic data from the census mightbe put in one group, while another group might be formed around work that uses ethnographic approaches.

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