Jason Howerton reports:
PK comments: This is as good a place as any to thank the real-world friend who got me a copy of Glenn Beck's Control. John Lott's help with the book shows...I never would have thought I'd sit down and read a whole 200-page book about guns, in view of my previous knowledge consisting mainly of (1) "Always handle guns as if they're loaded" and (2) "Any person who takes me out shooting can be sure he or she won't have the lowest score in the group," but here I am, doing just that.
Control is basically a reference book for defenders of the Second Amendment. Not many Beck-style wisecracks, although there are some; mostly it's just data, organized by the anti-gun cliches the data can be used to refute. Nevertheless some stories in this book, including one I remember reading fifteen years ago, may make you cry. Even if you've read or heard them before.
If you read Control you will have an even more vivid mental picture than you got from (as I recall) Arianna Huffington's How to Overthrow the Government...the Mississippi school shooting that didn't reach "massacre" proportions. Drugged-out high school boy steals rifle (by killing the owner with a knife), goes to high school, fires several times, sees all the kids playing dead. Does not take time to notice that only nine have actually been hit. (Two of the nine died.) Meanwhile, down the street at the junior high school, the vice-principal hears shots, goes out to parking lot, removes own pistol from own vehicle. High school boy leaves high school, drives to junior high school. There, Vice-Principal Joel Myrick greets him with the question "Why are you shooting at my kids?"--holding the pistol to the boy's car window. Boy becomes nervous and huddles in car until removed by police.
Beautiful story. We need more people like that.
And this is also as good a place as any to mention that, if you're going to get seriously into guns, not just as museum pieces but as loaded weapons you carry around for protection, you had better be as brave as Mr. Ortiz, or Vice-Principal Myrick. If you're not ready to put yourself in the way of a homicidal maniac with a gun, keep practicing, but keep your guns and ammunition in separate places and out of sight.
This web site distrusts efforts to formalize policies about who should and shouldn't be carrying loaded weapons, because there's no way a policy could get access to the right information. It's a question of skill (which can be formally assessed) and character (which cannot). This web site sincerely hopes that all our readers have the right sort of character. If you don't, or if you don't have adequate skills, please save our burdened economy an extra expense and disarm yourselves.