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The Blue Tent Sky: How the Left's War on Guns Cost Me My Son and My Freedom Hardcover – October 2, 2014
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"I read the book in one setting. Stupendous achievement. Searing. Infuriating. Uplifting. All at once. Brian Aitken has written a searing memoir about his experiences inside a legal system that has lost its moral compass. That he can write about his ordeal with such dignity and even humor is a testament to Brian's courage, his integrity, and his compassion. Read this book." - Clark Neily III, Institute for Justice
"In The Blue Tent Sky, Brian Aitken, with grace rather than bitterness, exposes the evils a scorned woman can inflict upon a good man and how a biased court system will work in her favor. A shocking exposé of cruelty and corruption." - Suzanne Venker, author of The War on Men
"A chilling exposé of the legal system gone berserk." - American Rifleman
"A solid, clearly written memoir that will make readers more thoughtful about gun legislation." - Publishers Weekly
"Brian Aitken's memoirs show the dark side of a liberal desire to make the world safer." - Reason Magazine
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Aitken makes the controversial decision from the outset to name names, one that might make readers (especially those who don't so much care for guns) wary of his partiality. And he's not partial--he was a victim of injustice. But he's amazingly evenhanded, not vengeful at all, and able to overcome what would be, for me, all-encompassing anger, and channel his energies into creating something positive to get the word out about his experiences and, hopefully, help him to once again be with his son. Which in many ways is what this story is all about.
And let's be clear about that: while guns, and their divisive nature, were the excuse by which the state locked Aitken up and trampled on his rights, including his most basic rights of due process, they were only an excuse. The broken "justice" system, the broken jury trial system, and the broken relationships between the parties that interact therein are the real story here. Aitken had already lost significant faith in the system before he was even arrested, having experienced the jerkaround that is family court. This isn't the most literary book ever written, but it's an important story of prosecutorial and judicial overreach, of the railroading of a law-abiding professional (not just some broke kid from the wrong side of the tracks), and, perhaps most unbelievably, of a man who managed to take all the negatives and turn them into something good, something he could channel for a new life for himself and his family.
Aitken's story deserves to be known, and I feel fortunate that he had the courage--and the moral fortitude--to tell it so publicly and at such length.
There are two I think are most important.
First: Never answer any questions or consent to any searches by law enforcement personnel. Even when you are 100% innocent, these people are hunting for any and every reason to lock you in a cage and steal your property under the color of "law." Obviously, this is more of a factor in states like New Jersey, New York, and California.
Second: If you find yourself on a jury, and find that a judge or prosecutor is keeping information from you that would allow you to make a fully-informed decision, you cannot, in good conscience, find the defendant guilty. There is almost always information being withheld from you which would prove well-beyond-reasonable doubt, but these "people" (if they can even be called that) are much more concerned with their conviction rates or personal vendettas than actually keeping society safe from dangerous individuals. It doesn't matter if absolutely everything the judge has allowed you to see demands you find someone guilty; if you know you're being kept in the dark, you can still vote your conscience. And you absolutely should.
The only reason I gave this book four stars is some of the explanations of things such as prison habits/rules etc aren't explained when it first appears, but later on after you've already wondered what they meant.