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Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea

3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0472033706
ISBN-10: 0472033700
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joshua Horwitz is the cofounder and publisher of Living Planet Books in Washington, DC, which specializes in books by thought leaders in science, medicine, and psychology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472033700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472033706
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,261,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." - Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

If Thomas Jefferson is correct in ascribing the right to secure for themselves and the resulting right and duty to exercise the right of revolution - then we are left to deduce that it is an extension of the unalienable rights of men (mankind).
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Format: Paperback
This book gives an account of guns' role in the American Revolution, post-Civil War reconstruction, and the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Fascinating stuff. I never thought about guns in historical terms. I bet few people on both sides of the debate read up on history very much. But if they did they'd see a lot of fallacies in the pro-gun logic. The book's basic point is this: Tyrannical movements and governments, given the violence they are willing and able to inflict, can't be stopped (without simply replacing one tyrant with another) by mere citizen gun-owners, yet weapons in the hands of "citizens" have often been turned against a nation, resulting in tyranny by the insurrectionists themselves, or just anarchy. This is not to say guns don't have a use for self-defense, but the book shows how guns preventing tyranny is just a bunch of bonk.

I think the measure of this book's power might be the number of negative reader reviews it gets. The more pro-gun people who criticize it, the better it must be doing!
4 Comments 24 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book will be loved by the anti-gun crowd and hated by the pro-gun crowd. That is the general nature of books of this type. To be fair, I have a stong opinion on this subject, and am less that unbiased. However, It is not a proper scholarly work, and cites multiple sources that have been discredited in academia. I would hope someone would attempt to challenge my believes using this book, as it would be easy to deflect the criticisms with facts. Truth be told, you can make any argument sound good by picking facts. This book didn't even bother with picking solid facts.

I am not supposed to link in this review, so for a source I will give you the following citation: JIAFM, 2007 - 29(4); ISSN: 0971-0973

Women who employ:
-Non-forceful verbal resistance strategies (i.e. pleading) were associated with completion of the raped in 96% of instances.
-Forceful verbal resistance (i.e. screaming) was associated with completion of rape in 45-55% of instances.
-Attempted flight was associated with completion of the rape in 15% of instances. (Only a fraction of women were even in a postion to consider flight, i.e. not thrown to the ground).
-Forceful physical resistance was associated with completed rape in 14% of instances.
-Weapons use in forceful physical resistance(knives/guns)were associated with completed rape in <1% of instances.
Comment 28 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors description of the history of guns usage in the U.S. and the context of the Second Amendment is worth the price of the book.

Understanding the ideology behind the Insurrectionist Idea helps to make sense of recent events that otherwise are hard to understand, such as the strident opposition by some to the ban on automatic weapons, guns that go far beyond what anyone needs for personal protection. The wearing of guns to some of the anti-health care rallies last summer is another example of something that only makes sense when the ideology behind the behavior is made evident.

One of the most interesting and unsettling parts of the book is the description of the demise of Smith and Wesson and the American Shooting Sports Council, as a result of actions taken by the NRA. The treatment of Jim Zumbo, a long-time writer for hunting publications, who dared to speak up and not to follow the NRA's othrodoxy, shows the basic anti-democratic strain in the Insurrectionist Ideology. This element should be of particular concern to anyone interested in living in a democratic, pluralistic society.

The book is a significant contribution to the public debate on this important issue.
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