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on December 19, 2012
Ignore the clearly biased reviews of the pro gun crowd. Tom Diaz cogently defends his position with facts and figures.

If you want to understand why an organization of mostly reasonable hunters and other responsible gun owners (The NRA) fights basic, common sense regulations supported by 80% of the people, follow the money.
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on January 22, 2015
Tom Diaz's book is a brutal eye-opener. As a former target shooter, and former NRA member, I never really bought the extreme pro-gun position that firearms should be essentially unregulated. But what I didn't know about the gun industry and its backers and how they operate would have filled several large books. Diaz's book shocked me into harsh reality. It is crammed with data, statistics, and analysis that should appall and horrify any reasonable reader. The gun industry and its apologists (not just the National Rifle Association, but multiple other organizations as well), peddling fear and loathing while flooding the nation with deadly guns that are suitable for neither hunting nor target shooting, disclaims all responsibility for the resulting carnage. How many thousands of lives have been ruined as a result? Diaz cites hundreds of examples -- many as direct quotes from the gun industry's own spokesmen -- as proof that the gun companies' primary motive is to maximize profits, and never mind the deadly toll they take.
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on March 6, 1999
From the comments of other readers here, you might think this book is some kind of predictable rant. In fact, it's solid reporting, soberly presented. It's filled with direct quotes from gun industry executives and gun magazines that prove the writer's points. Sure, the author has a point of view, but he doesn't shove it down your throat. I found it very analytical and persuasive. I hope other people will be more open-minded about the amazing research in this book. It made me see the gun control issue in a new light.
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on May 10, 2016
Highly informative on an issue all Americans should care about.
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on March 28, 2016
Item received as described and when promised. Thanks!
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on September 24, 2000
Tom Diaz's book is a chilling and convincing indictment of the gun industry and the pro-gun press that acts as their mouthpiece. I read it in a single afternoon. "Making a Killing" is a fundamental book for those who think that there are alternatives to concealed weapon (CCW) liberalization and that some industries will do anything to increase their profit margin, even at the expense of public safety. First of all, I thought that Diaz's section explaining the difference in caliber and types of weaponry was very helpful (32-35). Many gun advocates like confusing these definitions, in the public sphere and in legislative committees, to try and discredit those who oppose them. (Note the earlier reader who attempts this tired strategy.) Diaz's explanation of how the semantics of "assault rifle" changed from the early 1980s to the early 1990s was illuminating (126-128).
I was unaware of the ways that gun manufacturers exploit ties to law enforcement agencies. After much lobbying to insure the criminals have access to high-power, compact weapons, they then go to the police to get them to trade in their six-shooters for pistols. Gun manufacturers then buy the old guns and re-sell them, where they often wind-up in the wrong hands (146-148). The conclusion is clear: the gun industry intends to make its money by selling to both sides of the domestic arms race that they have largely created. For anyone who ever wondered why the NRA and other groups have advocated the most illogical and ineffective gun laws imaginable, it is because they have an interest ($$) in making sure criminals are armed.
Diaz's analysis of the recent push to liberalize CCW (concealed carry weapon) legislation nationwide confirmed my suspicions. After making sure there were too many guns in our society, they gun industry and their lobbyists tell us we need to arm ourselves from criminals. The also stand to make more $$ by selling CCW accessories and by training classes. The quote by Tanya Metaksa, a high-ranking NRA official, was particularly revealing: "The gun industry should send me a basket of fruit [because] our efforts have created a new market" (168). I often hear that CCW holders are "responsible law-abiders" who will make society safer, but after reading Diaz's descriptions of new buyers with absolutely no knowledge of firearms, and of "slob shooters" drinking beer as they fire their high-power weapons at the range, I'm not reassured (180-183).
Finally, Diaz deserves a lot of credit for his in-depth research of the many gun magazines and the way in which they suck-up to the industry. (And what reasonable person would even want to read such doggerel? ) His random analysis of 175 reviews of new firearms--where there was not a single negative review--was actually funny (55). It seems that someone could cut a bar of soap into the form of gun, put some boot black on it, and it would get an enthusiastic review in the shooting press. Even when readers complain that they want an objective review, gun reviewers respond by saying "it's fun to write a positive, up-beat piece about a product and pure drudgery to write a negative piece" (56). We get the point.
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on November 7, 1999
As a gun owner who has been eagerly looking for someone or some group that advocates a realistic and sensible plan to deal with gun violence, I was incredibly let down by this book. The first thing that needs to be dealt with is the fact that the gun industry is not this incrediby profitable industry. Most American gun companies have been limping along, some of the more notables being pulled from bankruptcy. But beyond this the book is just tired, feeble, and bases its appeal on inflammatory statements. It's really not a surprise, considering Diaz works for the most dishonest interest group outside of big tobacco: The Violence Policy Center. The VPC is nothing more than an organization that seeks to ban guns via radical spin, deception, and outright dishonesty. (An example is the VPC's web sites criticism of scholar John Lott... the criticism focuses purely on other views of Lott's, taken completely out of context, and in no way even attempts to argue his methodology.) Diaz follows all the trends of his employer in this book. Furthermore, Diaz's claim that he is a "reformed gun nut" seem completely implausible; he just makes too many mistakes. There are many excellent scholars on the subjects of guns in this country. David Kopel, John Lott, Gary Kleck, and Don B. Kates all have more serious, mature, scientific and responsible presentations than this dishonest screed. If anything, this book is a superb example of why the gun debate in this country is so acrimonious and non-productive. Guns are deadly, yes. But so is stupidity and the establishment of laws that have been shown to be failures. This book is lethal in its stupidity and arrogance and its appeal to emotionalism over sound science.
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on April 21, 1999
There have been a number of books written recently that have remarkable credibility because of the unlikely authors of the books. Who would have thought that the harshest attack on current anti-drug policy, demanding legalization, would come from a Reagan Republican? John Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime, was another highly credible book because it also came from an unlikely source. Diaz's book is disappointing and flawed because his agenda comes across on every page. The book becomes frustrating and painful. I find it interesting that reviewers on this page assume that people who pan this book only do so because they haven't read it. We've read it. But this book brings to mind the saying that a mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open. Many of us who read Diaz's book did so with an open mind, and were disappointed by Diaz's clear bias. This book may be good, but only if you're part of the choir being preached to.
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on April 28, 1999
The author spent a lot of time making the case that the gun industry is just "in it for the money" - this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who lives in a capitalist society. And it isn't a condemnation of guns. Guns are a product and manufacturers try to sell them - just like cars, books, toothpaste, etc.
The authors second "revelation" is that guns are dangerous! (no kidding - they are designed to be that way!)
The author's agenda to eliminate guns is thinly disguised as "increased regulation".
The book does not address the root cause of violence in America. It's not guns - gun violence is a symptom of a larger problem. Banning guns will do nothing. The government has banned illegal narcotics and look how effective that's been...
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on January 27, 1999
This expose of the industry is, of course, simply an anti-gun mouthpiece, but Diaz omits one major issue. Only once in his indefensible asides does he refer to what should be the pride of every American, the Bill of Rights. Calling the Second Amendment a false flag of frontier mentality is only slightly more insulting than calling the gun owners of America--around 30% of the population--a minority who is being indulged by being allowed to own firearms. Diaz seems blissfully unaware that all the talk of the right to bear arms is not right-wing rhetoric but a simple fact of this country. Had the founders meant to say "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed unless irresponsible people misuse them," they would have written it as such.
Criminal use of all weapons should be punished severely, but destroying the rights most central to our nation is hardly the way. Aside from some remarks about reducing the number of Saturday Night Specials, Diaz's book is simply knee-jerk drivel. People who would like to trade their rights for security will find they get neither. For a truly intelligent, thorough study of the effects of guns in America, readers might want to pursue More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott, Jr.
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