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Nation of Cowards: Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1888118087
ISBN-10: 1888118083
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Accurate Press; 1st edition (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888118083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888118087
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Piatek on July 26, 2002
Verified Purchase
Whether or not you like guns, you'll find it hard not to appreciate "Nation of Cowards." It is a collection of essays revolving around the issue of firearms in civic and personal life, but at its heart, it isn't about guns at all - it is about *people*.
Snyder's arguments are compelling: they hinge on several easy-to-swallow propositions.
First, he asserts that we have rights, and first amongst those is our right to life. From that right, he infers a right to self defense, without which the right to life is rendered meaningless. Thus, with a right to self defense, one has the right to posess the means with which to render such defense effective - ergo, the right to own and use a firearm.
Second, he asserts that classical liberal theories of government hinge on the notion of "government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed." Sound familiar? This is the idea of government by consent set forth in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. Snyder argues that consent is meaningless without the ability to object, and to enforce such a negative vote. Thus, firearms allow the citizenry to collectively enforce their will on their subject, and any infringement upon their rights (already established above) to own and use them violates the principle of consensual government.
The arguments hardly stop there - Snyder continues to logically follow the arguments of gun control to their conclusions, thus demonstrating the grounds on which he calls them self-contradictory and immoral.
Amongst other topics, Snyder launches attacks against irresponsibility, instrumentalism (denier of will), and utilitarianism (the destroyer of rights).
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Unlike most books on the subject of gun control, this book is not about whether gun control works (i.e., prevents crime and suicide, reduces the severity of injuries from violent assault, and saves more lives). Nor is it about whether the right to keep and bear arms works (i.e., prevents crime, saves more lives, etc.). Instead, the essays in this book examine the ethics of gun control, and what the gun control debate reveals about our character. Along the way it also examines the nature of modern American law and government, civil disobedience and revolution, and the relationship of freedom and responsibility. You can find copies of the published reviews of the book, as well as commentary by George Will on the title essay, at nationofcowards.net. Thanks for considering the book!
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"Nation of Cowards" is a superb collection of essays on the American condition. This book not only addresses the gun rights issue but also makes you aware how far our country has deviated from our forefathers intent - and why. Every page is a thought-provoking masterpiece of insight. While the author sometimes resorts to long sentence structures, if read conversationally, they make imminently good old-fashioned common sense. This should be required reading in every institute of learning across the land. The writers of the Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay would be proud to call Jeff Snyder one of their own. Highest recommendation!
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Jeff Snyder's "Nation of Cowards" breaks new ground in the gun control debate. While there have been several fine works exploring aspects such as the historical origins of the Second Amendment, or on the ineffectiveness of gun control laws, "Nation of Cowards" makes the case against gun control from an entirely fresh perspective - ethics.
Snyder makes a persuasive argument that self-defense is a personal responsibility, and that those who rely on the state (or its paid agents) for protection are shirking their ethical duty. Gun control laws are therefore impediments to ethical action by preventing people from utilizing the most effective means of self-defense.
"Nation of Cowards" is a must read for those who have an interest in the gun control debate. But be warned: Reading "Nation of Cowards" may force you to think, and to reconsider the way you look at yourself, government, the law, and their interrelationships.
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More than a collection of essays on gun control, J. Snyder's "Nation of Cowards" dares one to examine the current condition of our society. He exposes some uncomfortable truths, including the willingness of some of the citizenry of our great country to simply let others take responsibility for their safety and welfare in general. If the reader is willing (and able) to think logically, without emotion, about Mr. Snyder's comments, he cannot remain aloof about his own responsibilities.
The essays are clearly written, well thought out, and concise. I highly recommend this book to everyone who truly considers themselves a Citizen of the U.S.A.
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This brilliant book offers a new perspective on freedom and responsibility. Although gun-control laws are used as a recurrent symbol of the erosion of our liberty they are incidental in the authors main point in that statistics and "studies" of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of gun- control laws are irrelevant. Should I feel compelled to explain to the government or to any other entity the reasons why I exercise my personal freedoms and whether or not they are for the "greater good" of society? Snyder challenges the reader to examine the "BIG " picture on the attacks on our personal freedoms and warns against obsessing over statistics to justify them. I highly recommend this book.
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