Monday, July 6, 2015

Do Guns Make Us Free - Firmin DeBrabander

My review of Firmin DeBrabander's Do Guns Make Us Free first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am posting it today with their permission. It's a lot of food for thought. Hope you enjoy...

First line: "We thought Sandy Hook would change things."

Gun rights organizations in the United States insist that the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, is "the 'teeth in the Bill of Rights,' providing the force that protects and preserves all other rights." Firmin DeBrabander begs to differ. In Do Guns Make Us Free, he takes a philosophical approach and delves into the justification offered by groups such as the National Rifle Association to make a strong case for why guns do not, in fact, make Americans free.

Citing philosophers--many the NRA uses to support their causes--such as John Locke, Machiavelli and Thomas Jefferson, DeBrabander illustrates logic flaws expressed in the gun rights movement. His dissection of their writings and beliefs is presented in an easily accessible manner, which emphasizes how the proliferation of firearms threatens democracy and oppresses its citizens. He adds statistics and studies to counter arguments such as guns are the equalizer between the sexes and laws such as Stand Your Ground provide deterrence to crime. He then goes on to assert these actions and policies encourage the environments for which they purport people need guns.

DeBrabander also points out that the underlying issues of crime must be addressed; removal and strict regulations of firearms alone will not solve the problem.

Clearly in favor of stronger gun regulations, DeBrabander's examination of the whole issue is fastidious and well supported with a plethora of reliable sources. While a volatile issue, with any luck Do Guns Make Us Free will spark people's First Amendment right and vital dialogue will result.

Do Guns Make Us Free is available in hardcover from Yale University Press (9780300208931).

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