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America’s Never-Ending Reckoning With Gun Violence

The articles Pocket readers have turned to over the years to try to make sense of mass shootings.

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Another day, another devastating spasm of gun violence in America. If you look back through what Pocket readers have saved and read in the aftermath of such tragedies, you’ll find that while names and places change, and motives may differ, one variable is always constant: guns.

These are some of the key articles that Pocket readers have turned to in recent years to try to make some kind of sense of the scourge of gun violence in America. It’s a grim record, because there have been so, so many words written, and yet so little has changed. But there are reasons to see the faintest glimmers of hope in this reading list. One thing we’ve observed at Pocket is that often when people sit down to read something—not to post something to their feed, but actually read something—they are looking for answers. We can see from these stories that people want to understand why things are the way they are. They want to learn about possible solutions. They want to know how they can change things. So many people see what’s happening and they refuse to look away. That may not always feel like much in a world that can feel so broken, but it’s something to hold onto.

Our Moloch

Garry Wills
The New York Review of Books

We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily.

The Bullet in My Arm

Elaina Plott
The Atlantic

I grew up in a gun-loving town in Alabama. My grandfather’s store sells firearms. But only after I was shot did I begin to understand America’s complicated relationship with guns.

The Story of a Gun

Molly Osberg

Two summers ago, Allen Ivanov purchased a rifle and slapped a limited-edition Supreme sticker on the side. He would later tell police that he bought it to target shoot. But it was also, he admitted to detectives, a “symbol of power.”

How Often Do People Use Guns In Self-Defense?

Samantha Raphelson

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It's a common refrain touted by gun rights advocates, who argue that using guns in self-defense can help save lives. But what is the actual number of defensive gun uses?