The ease of access and lack of safety standards has made the United States one of the most "gun violent" countries in the world. It is particularly tragic that suicide has not been a part of the suicide debate despite the fact that 55% of completed suicides are carried out with firearms. The political leadership of the nation has facilitated suicide and homicide even as the public health and medical communities have geared up to reduce intentional violence. Politicians have avoided offending a powerful gun lobby by hiding behind a mythical individual "right" to guns.
They have played out this deceit even though the US Supreme Court has made it clear that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution has no significant limiting impact on efforts by government to control (and even ban) firearms. Two Supreme Court decisions defining the meaning of the Second Amendment have made it clear that there is no Constitutional right to possess firearms.
This is what passes for scholarship in the colleges of this country. I will grant you that this book was written in 2006, two years before Heller, but even using the figures available at the time show that 52% of suicides were by firearm, not 55%. Also, I would like to know which two cases the author speaks of. The only case I know of is Miller, and that case certainly did not say that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right.
UPDATE 6/6/2011: I contacted the professor and complained about the text. The professor agreed, and told that he would begin looking for another textbook.