These may seem like modern phenomena, but to start this story, we have to go back in time–all the way to 1688 and the Glorious Revolution.
Honestly, I think the most unfortunate thing about Hana Bajramovic’s Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Gun Rights is that a biased mind will not be able to read it without their biases taking over. In truth, I am not entirely immune to that fact, either. It’s hard to look at facts of any kind and not want to make them work in favor of your beliefs. And, by virtue of even Bajramovic’s own bias, certain pieces that were included are definitely left-leaning.
That said, this book is more factual than left leaning. Yes, the author has an opinion and expresses it, but that doesn’t make the facts and figures untrue. The majority of this book is literally just laying out the facts as they are. Occasionally, commentaries crop up, but most of are quotes from important public figures in the history of gun law. And with several quotes coming from the conversation of school shootings, it’s hardly surprising that those favor common sense gun laws.
So, there’s a bias to the book. I won’t deny that. But I think it’s important to recognize that right-leaning anger about that bias is stronger not because the book is not factual, but rather because certain quotes and pieces of gun history don’t align with their desires. Quite frankly, however, certain pieces of gun history don’t align with left desires, either.
It is unquestionable that any book about gun laws and rights is going to be subject to political bias. That is true in the simple fact that the history of gun laws involves many differing views. To fully report on such a subject, both views will have to be discussed. And in this book, they are. For the most part, that is done in fact-based reporting.
The Author’s Opinion
Yes, the author’s opinion comes up. In a book like this, it’s hard to expect that it wouldn’t. What I think is particularly telling about this is the fact that the author spends the majority of the book simply reporting on facts, quoting research and public figures. She gives facts and figures on court cases and on gun law history throughout the course of the entire book.
And, at the end, she includes her opinion. The last thing she leaves her readers with is where she thinks the gun right debate should go. It is here, I think, that she loses a lot of the right-leaning audience. In truth, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I agree with a lot of it. On the other, I don’t know how useful that was. But, then again, it depends on who the author is trying to reach.
There’s also a lot of emotion involved in the conversation of school shootings. It’s difficult to have a right-leaning opinion that protects schools when the research is against you. Many would try to have us believe that putting more guns in schools would provide a safer environment, but I have yet to see any logical argument that holds up such claims.
In light of that alone, I’m wouldn’t be surprised if the point is missed in favor of personal refusal to accept research that doesn’t align with their views. It’s unfortunate, but true.
Overall, I’d say this was a well researched compilation of the history of gun rights and law. I genuinely do feel that I learned a lot from it. Occasionally, I found myself angry and frustrated. Sometimes I had to check my own opinions on the matter and change them based on the evidence presented.
I recognize fully that the author does have an opinion on the subject and she makes that clear after the facts have been presented. This will likely infuriate many right-leaning readers, which I understand. I hope any frustration stemming from the anger doesn’t result in unresearched disavowing of what facts were presented.
It’s one thing to read the book, recognize and acknowledge what information is straight factual data and still disagree with the final conclusion the author reaches in regards to gun rights and law. It’s another thing entirely to condemn the whole book and the presented facts because you don’t like that the author disagrees with you and included such in a very small portion of the book.
Suzie Althens did a fantastic job narrating the audiobook. I really enjoyed listening to the book, particularly when I was doing chores and housework. This is an incredibly heavy and deep topic. On several occasions I even found myself needing to rewind to ensure I understood everything.
I do feel that the audiobook does miss out on the graphs and pictorial data that is presented in the novel, though. I wish there were a way to account for that loss with the differing formats. Fortunately, I had the ability to cross check the two, but I don’t think everyone else will.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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