This was my first book on guns. It is an attempt to lay out the basic arguments both for and against guns without making judgements about either side. Many readers of this topic find my approach objectonable – they want a book that will strengthen their opinions, no matter whether their opinions align with reality or not.
This is my favorite book because it combines my love of guns with my love of wilderness and conservation. But what it really does is explain how and why the current gun culture has its roots in many different circumstances, some of which connect to the wilderness exploration and settlement, some of which do not.
This was the first book in which I begin to find myself unable to reconcile what I know about guns with the strategies to reduce gun violence promoted by gun-control groups. The argument made in this book is that gun violence cannot be understood by trying to keep guns out of the ‘wrong hands’ for the simple reason that we do not have any real idea how to figure out whether anyone’s hands are ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’
The 4th book is a direct comparison between the arguments made on both sides about what I call the ‘social utility’ of guns. Are guns a good thing to have around the house, or are they too much of a risk? I try to look at both arguments as honestly as possible, and also discuss how the two advocacy communities and organizations differ from each other in terms of strategies and failures versus success.
This was a tough book to write because it is a very detailed and not-too-pretty examination of how and why the ATF has done such a miserable job regulating gun commerce. I would kike to think that much of what the pro-gun camp says about the ATF isn’t true. I have to admit that anyone who believes that this agency is making a positive impact on gun violence is simply and totally wrong.
Having gone after the ATF in the previous volume, I thought it only fair to write a book exposing the pro-gun arguments about the armed citizen for what these arguments really are. And what the argument for walking around with a gun boils down to is a silly attempt to make every adult male feel that he is right back to being a teenager with some kind of fantasy about how powerful he is with a gun.
Here’s the book that has sold the most copies so far. One of the reviewers of this book called me a ‘flaming liberal’ which happens to be true. That being said, I still felt it necessary to look at this event from the perspective of how the Federal Government totally mismanaged the post-event response, throwing all their arbitrary power at a gun dealer because they had (and still have no) strategy to deal with horrific tragedies like Sandy Hook.
I decided to write something of a memoir about my life in the gun business because so much of what I know is based on personal experiences over the last 60-odd years. And much of this knowledge just doesn’t support the arguments about gun violence that I hear from either side. Which doesn’t make me all that popular with either side. Oh well.
I try to keep my writing style as informal and easy as I can, but I also have some academic pretenses about my work and for that reason have published eight very academic papers on SSRN. These papers are all available in this volume, several have been updated and all are heavily documented with reference to many other studies in the field.
When I first started writing (and talking) about the gun issue, I discovered that many of the most passionate and ardent advocates on both sides of the issue didn’t know very much about guns. They knew the statistics on how many people were injured by guns every year or how many people protected themselves with a gun. But they didn’t have any practical knowledge about how guns are designed, how they work and what you can and cannot do when you pick up a gun. This is a brief and concise attempt to fill that gap.