The Revolutionary War and an oppressive monarchist government are ancient history in the average American’s mind. That’s kind of too bad, though, because it has warped people’s minds as to why the Founding Fathers thought it so important to bear arms. In Control: Exposing the Truth about Guns by Glenn Beck (ISBN: 978-1-4767-3987-8), the arguments typically trotted out by those who oppose guns (they would say they just support so-called gun control, but that’s just putting a fancy name on one thing so people think one is going on about something else) are dealt with one by one with logic and facts. In fairness, the anti-gun crowd claims to be using logic and facts, too, but the book’s careful look at various studies puts most of the anti-gun arguments to shame. The gun massacres that make headlines are shown to be the anomalies that they truly are, for example, especially since Beck gives page after page of example debunking the idea that gun massacres are an American phenomenon and that they’ve never been stopped by a level-headed gun owner. Beck also talks a lot about our culture of violence and debunks a lot of the patently false and simply misinformed ideas regarding violence in video games. In the end, though, he focuses on the real point of it all. The examples, studies, facts, statistics, and even a few opinions all point to the idea that the Founders were men who loved liberty. They regarded liberty with such high respect that they were willing to die for it. They knew that only liberty provided the basis for the pursuit of happiness. When we allow the state to control the choices we make, including choices about firearms, we are surrendering our liberty, making it harder for us to enjoy the blessings of liberty.
I am usually somewhat leery of these types of books because they’re written by big-name conservatives writing for a conservative audience. They are sometimes peppered with references to the mental shortcomings of liberals or other knocks that make little sense (as a self-described conservative, I think the leaders of the liberal movement are anything but dumb). This book had blessedly few of those, although there were a couple times I was exasperated by an inappropriate jab at the Left. I was very impressed with the research and sound analysis presented in the book based on study after peer-reviewed study on everything having to do with the gun debate. I especially liked how Beck examined the very studies often cited by gun-control advocates because Beck didn’t take them out of context or go for the soundbite quote. That is probably considered boring by some and is why it doesn’t make the talking head shows or YouTube, but it’s informative and allows the reader to make a more well-informed decision. There was only one section in the book out of at least a score that had me scratching my head at the end. All in all, the argumentation was strong, and that’s good because the writing suffered from an attempt to keep it from being too dry. I say be dry and make a stronger point based purely on logic and not at all on wit, which really isn’t an argument at all, although it, sadly, works all to well. If you want to be well informed regarding what gun control really does and does not do and why it is so unhealthy for our nation (and, really, for people anywhere in this world), this book is probably worth your time.
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