A provocative history that reveals how guns - not abortion, race, or religion - are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight promises to be a seminal work in its examination of America's four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In the tradition of Gideon's Trumpet, Adam Winkler uses the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital, as a springboard for a groundbreaking historical narrative.
From the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to the origins of the Klan, ironically as a gun control organization, the debate over guns has always generated controversy. Whether examining the Black Panthers' role in provoking the modern gun rights movement or Ronald Reagan's efforts to curtail gun ownership, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun rights advocates and gun control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.
The narrator was a bit annoying. His voice was overly serious and the way he pronounces 'white' ("h-white") was distracting.
The book is framed around the DC vs Heller decision and is best read as a history of why that decision turned out the way it did. The steps of that case through the courts structures the book. I expected something more synoptic and was a bit disappointed by this focus.
My biggest gripe with the book is the author's strident assertions about what is and is not possible in the gun debate. He says, for instance, that America will always have guns and so no project of mass confiscation of guns is possible. This point is puerile, however, since much of the debate is about what kind of guns are appropriate. His point is actively unhelpful in thinking this question through.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Finding unbiased information about guns in the US is hard, because it seems like everyone has an ideological agenda. The description of this book made it sound like the author, a constitutional law professor, would be conducting an objective look at the history of the law and 2nd Amendment in the US. This is actually a tiny portion of the first two hours of the book; most of the time is dedicated towards ridiculing gun control and gun control activists. He seems to hold the latter in contempt, claiming rampant dishonesty in the way they use violence statistics to support gun control. An honest man would admit that both sides do the same thing.
I wasn't actually interested in arguments for or against gun control, but that's what the author seems to focus on. I'm returning the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Anybody who wants to be informed on the "gun" rights conversation that is taking place in this nation, should read this book for a historical perspective.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book has my absolute recommendation. It is an excellent historical and modern depiction of the gun rights debate. If you are like most Americans, you will find yourself favoring one side of the debate over the other, often heavily. Don't worry Adam Winkler doesn't pull his punches, both sides get their fair share of heat, and regardless of where you fall on the debate, he will probably make you question your beliefs on the issue. If you are looking for a book that supports your polarized view of the argument go read Tom Diaz or Jon Lott Jr. If you want a book that will likely bring clarity and unity to your opinions, I would highly recommend Gunfight by Adam Winkler.
This book is great. The author’s position is very moderate. He does a great job of presenting the history of firearms regulations from the colonies to the Wild West. He also presents a history of the NRA from its inception.
This book relates history of gun rights as well as gun control. How society views and events and have shaped law, and social norms is illustrated in a neutral perspective to relay facts as they are backed by research and documentation.
The book is fantastic - lots of historical context and a balanced perspective.
The reader, however, sounds like he spent too much time doing movie trailer voiceovers and it really started to grate after a bit. Luckily the excellent material overcomes the somewhat frustrating presentation.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
The description of the book could have been honest.
What was most disappointing about Adam Winkler’s story?
It turned out to be propaganda. Too bad, I was looking forward to a balanced "neutral" view. Alas, neutral is very subjective.
Would you be willing to try another one of John McLain’s performances?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
Buyer beware. It doesn't matter which side of the debate you are on, even if you don't have a side, this on is Not neutral as advertised.
2 of 13 people found this review helpful
As an Irish national i have always struggled to understand the American relationship with guns. It always seemed unclear to me whether it as a small vocal few who support guns for all or a silent majority who are happy to keep the status quo.
The author purports to be objective in his analysis of the two sides, however the book definitely seems skewed to the pro-gun side. I don't think any American could be totally objective on such a divisive topic.
This is still an interesting insight into the debate and the issues caused by the sheer number of guns in America. Some of the authors arguments against controls being put on assault rifles are less than convincing from my point of view, but the opinion that many of the gun controls proposed would be ineffectual due to the sheer number of firearms available makes sense after listening to this book.
I guess America either has to accept the gun deaths and massacres that seem to inevitably accompany firearms for all, or ban all guns except for very select cases. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. I'm just thankful i don't live in such a fearful society.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful