His latest book arrived on Tuesday on my Kindle and I read it into the wee hours last night. I’m not finished with it but I thought I’d pass on some initial reactions to it in case you’re thinking of getting a copy.
Beck cranks these out on a regular basis using the skills, abilities and experience of others. I think that’s a good strategy, but sometimes he has too many cooks in the kitchen. For this effort he has enlisted the services of a number of highly qualified cooks, including Dave Grossman, Stephen Halbrook, David Kopel, John Lott and Jacob Sullum. Each of these brings to the kitchen table a vast background of experience in the area of gun rights and no doubt some of these names are already familiar to you.
But they bring so much to the table that Beck often has trouble sorting and sifting and winnowing the information. He wants to “tell it all” and tries, in my opinion, to do too much.
He starts with quotes made by infamous “controllers” whose names are also familiar: Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Charles Schumer, Peter King, Depak Chopra, Piers Morgan, Michael Bloomberg, Rachel Maddow and others, and then attempts to demolish each of them. While he does a good job in his demolition work, I wondered how effective he is with an audience that is already likely favorable to his point of view. I picture this confrontation as a boxing match between a lightweight unskilled polemicist versus a heavyweight skilled pugilist but the media only shows the lightweight while ignoring altogether the pugilist. When the lightweight gets in a blow or two, the media blows it up out of all proportion, making it appear as if the lightweight is actually winning the fight. Beck’s efforts to focus on the pugilist fails because his audience is so small compared to the media’s.
Beck talks statistics which is the forte of Kopel and Lott. But the controllers don’t care. Beck talks about half-truths that the controllers use, but they don’t care. He uses history to remind his readers that governments kill their citizens when they are allowed to, but the controllers don’t care. Beck talks about murder rates in areas with little gun control versus areas where gun control is nearly complete, but the controllers don’t care. Beck talks about all the incidents where disasters were avoided due to the presence of a gun, but the controllers don’t care.
Beck talks about the lack of evidence that limits on magazines reduced violence. The controllers don’t care. He exposes the controllers’ hypocrisy and inconsistency. They don’t care. He talks about the silliness of calling a rifle all tricked out to look mean and nasty an “assault rifle” even though it isn’t. They don’t care.
He often belittles the controllers’ arguments, sometimes using invective that is less than winsome. They don’t care.
As I finish reading his book I might have more to say. What I’m hoping to find is that Beck finally realizes, and expresses, that this is a battle for total control of individual citizens worldwide leading inevitably to a global dictatorship, and that bringing up superior arguments and history and facts and shame and guilt as tools supposedly to turn these controllers into supporters is doomed to failure.
If I find that in his book, I’ll be sure to let you know.