- Hardcover: 237 pages
- Publisher: North River Pr (February 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0884270335
- ISBN-13: 978-0884270331
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,194,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out Hardcover – February, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
Two weeks later, I asked for the book back. He said that I could pick it up. I did so, and when I was at his office, I asked him if he had read it. He said that he had skimmed through it. I asked him if he had learned anything. He said "I learned not to write about things that I do not know anything about." I never saw another letter to the editor from him.
The book changed the debate about an armed citizenry. Kates is rather underrated. He is the first that I read that proposed and recruited people to write scholarly articles to law journals to show the support for the second amendment that existed outside the mythology that had been created in "progressive" circles.
While the book is a bit dated now, the arguments are still valid. It is a valuable addition to anyone who wants to understand this issue.
At least for me, these two books marked a sea change in the academic look on guns, gun control, and the beginning of the recognition that there are benefits to guns that must be weighed against the costs in formulating gun policy.
Two things stick out in my mind without me re-reading the book.
One, British firearms researcher Colin Greenwood points out that British gun crime and in particular misuse of handguns was lower before the first major national gun law, the 1920 Firearms Act, and every gun law since then has been accompanied by more gun crime, not less in Britain. When you look at recent British crime stats, the very crime rate that is most likely to be deterred by defensive guns in the home--home invasion robbery or "hot burglary"--is higher in Britain that in the USA.
Two, Kales tells of going to Mississippi as part of the black voter registration campaign in the 1960s. Kates was armed for self-defense; his companion was appalled. Kates had a well-thought-through defensive-only philosophy, but his companion was stridently anti-self-defense and anti-gun. When Kates met the same person later, he had become a radical bomb thrower, but Kates was still a man who prefered non-violence but had a self-defense ethic.
Since a lot of gun control politics is still stuck in the 1960s, this 1979 book is a valid source for understanding the issues of today.