Christmas Book Suggestions

Getting books for Christmas was a tradition in my family. It is not surprising when your Mom was first an English teacher and then a school librarian.

I have compiled a list of books for your perusal. I have read most of the books myself. Those that I haven’t are either too new or are new books from authors I trust and respect.

First up is a new book on handgun hunting by my fellow Polite Society Podcast co-host Kat Ainsworth. I have it on order and am anxious to start reading it. Kat’s work can be found in USCCA Concealed Carry Magazine, Concealed Carry Handguns, Range 365, Pew Pew Tactical, SHOT Business, and Shooting Illustrated.

Another new books worthy of consideration is by Nikki Goeser. Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me details how Tennessee’s legislatively mandated gun free zones allowed a demented stalker to kill her husband. Because Nikki obeyed the law and locked her carry gun in her car, she was left defenseless when this evil person murdered her husband.

Jim Curtis aka Old NFO is a friend, blogger, and novelist. I just finished the finale of his The Grey Man series, The Grey Man – Sunset. It brings to a conclusion the exploits of John Cronin and his family and friends as they fight the drug cartels and other evil doers in west Texas. Cronin is a rancher, a (retired) captain with the Pecos County Sheriff’s Department, an ex-DEA agent, and a Vietnam vet who served on 5th Special Forces A-Teams. He is also known to be a stone-cold killer of those that deserved it. I suggest starting from the beginning of his series and working your way through all of them.

Moving on, my next suggestion is actually a text book by law professors Randy Barnett and Josh Blackman. That said, An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know, is very readable. It starts with the early cases such as Marbury v Madison and works its way forward. Since our common law is built heavily on precedent, knowing how earlier decisions paved the way for later decisions is critical if you want to understand it. The book also comes with a code that allows access to the video series that goes along with the book. Fortunately, unlike most law books, the price of this book isn’t a killer.

Pages: 1 2 3

John Dodson On His New Book

BATFE Senior Agent John Dodson was interviewed about his new book and Operation Fast and Furious on Cam & Company on Monday. It is an interesting interview which touched upon not only Fast and Furious but the culture within BATFE that led to using developmentally disabled individuals as middlemen.

I just picked up a copy of his book The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious at my local Sam’s Club. I am looking forward to reading it between now and the New Year.

I’m glad to see it on the shelves at Sam’s Club because this means both the book and the scandal will get more exposure. I spoke with one of the product demonstrators at Sam’s who noticed the book in my cart. She was shocked when I told her the story behind Fast and Furious as she had never heard anything about it in the news.

It is a good interview and it flows right along. I suggest listening to the whole thing.

What I’m Reading

I read a lot. Just ask the Complementary Spouse when she wants to get my attention!

I tend to have a number of books going at the same time. Currently, I’m reading three books that I hope to review for the blog.

The first is by well known Second Amendment attorney and scholar Stephen Halbrook. The Independent Institute has just published his book “Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and ‘Enemies of the State'”. From the publisher’s blurb:

Based on newly discovered documents from German archives, diaries, and newspapers of the time, Halbrook presents the hidden history—in a readable but well documented, scholarly manner—of how the Third Reich made use of gun control to disarm and repress its enemies and consolidate its power.

The book covers the historical periods of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich leading up to World War II. The book then presents a panorama of pertinent events during World War II regarding the effects of the disarming policies. As Americans’ right to bear arms becomes increasingly challenged, it is a caution to all who debate these issues.

The second book I’m reading is a short book by British publisher Osprey Publishing. They tend to do a lot of military history and weapons-related books. This one is entitled “The Book of Gun Trivia” and it is written by Gordon Rottman. I’ve learned a lot from what I’ve read so far.

The final book is about forward air controllers and their work with the Studies and Observation Group (SOG) in Vietnam. One of the places that my father was stationed in Vietnam was Cam Ranh Bay where he ran a small Army airfield. That is what spurred my interest in this book. Da Nang Diary was originally published in 1991 and is now being republished by Casemate.

Books Brought Back From Houston

While I was in Houston attending the NRA Annual Meeting, I was given a few books by the authors. I will be doing reviews on them as soon as I finish reading them.

The first is by Mike Detty. Mike was an Arizona gun dealer who became intimately involved in an BATFE operation as a confidential informant. That operation was called Operation Wide Receiver and was the predecessor to Operation Fast and Furious. Like Fast and Furious it involved selling firearms to strawmen for the Mexican drug cartels. Also like Operation Fast and Furious, the BATFE lost track of these guns. Mike’s book is entitled Guns Across the Border: How and Why the U.S. Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico: The Inside Story. The book has an introduction and forward by Sharyl Attkisson and David Codrea respectively.

The second books is a short little paperbook by Dave Kopel that is part of the Encounter Broadsides series. It is entitled The Truth About Gun Control. This looks to be one of those books that you’ll buy to hand out to your friends – especially those on the fence about gun control.

The final book is one I stumbled across at the Crimson Trace booth. It is by Richard Mann and discusses handgun training for personal protection. Richard was doing a book signing and handing out free copies so I took one. The book includes material on how to select the best sights and lasers along with how to integrate them into training. The title of this book is Handgun Training for Personal Protection: How to Choose & Use the Best Sights, Lights, Lasers & Ammunition.

Proclaiming Liberty – A Review

Philip Mulivor recently sent me a copy of his book Proclaiming Liberty: What patriots and heroes really said about the right to keep and bear arms for review. It is a book of quotes on the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms by everyone from the Founding Fathers to modern-day bloggers such as Dave Hardy and Marko Kloos. While the quotations are primarily from the pro-rights side, Mulivor does include some quotes from the opposition.

Why a book of quotations?

Mulivor offers three reasons. First, the Internet is rife with either inaccurate or phony gun rights quotations. Because of this, it is important for our side of the debate to have accurate quotes that are properly attributed and sourced. Mulivor notes that his biggest job wasn’t assembling a set of quotes but rather verifying their word-for-word accuracy and vetting their original sources. All of the quotes are fully cited.

Second, the author wants to provide the reader a gateway to “to classic works that promise a genuine understanding of the Second Amendment.” He provides an extensive bibliography at the end of the book.

Finally, and in my opinion the most important, the author  wants to better equip pro-rights people when we engage in debate with the gun prohibitionists.

Quotations are the haiku of political discourse, carrying a disproportionate amount of power for their size. That alone qualifies them as important, if not critical, elements of our gun rights conversation. Their efficacy is especially apparent today, when sound bites designed for arrested attention spans play a key role in shaping public opinion. One can indeed experience the sensation of pulling the pin on a grenade when preparing to quote a Founding Father. 

Proclaiming Liberty is a useful little book and I recommend it highly. You can find it on or through the author’s website It retails for $12.95 and is eligible for free Super Saver shipping on Amazon.

In my emails with the author, he reports that Kindle and Nook versions will be available very soon. I think having these quotations available on your Kindle or Nook equipped smart phone would be very useful when discussing gun rights with those occupying the middle ground in the gun rights debate. By this, I mean those who might be coming out of Gun Culture v.1.0 who are not strongly pro-gun rights but are not gun prohibitionists either.

To comply with the nanny-staters at the FTC, the author sent me a copy of this book for review purposes.

Free Classic Shooting Books

The has a list of classic shooting books that are free to either read online or to download in PDF format. And as they say, free is good:

In today’s economy, Free is good. Here’s a list of older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list, created by German Salazar, includes many classic treatises on marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle.

The list of books includes:

  • The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.
  • Irish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.
  • The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 Pages.
  • Suggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.
  • Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pp.
  • Manual for Rifle Practice: Including Suggestions for Practice at Long Range, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.
  • How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pp.
  • The Gun and its Development, William Wellington Greener, 1907 (8th Ed.) 786 pages.
  • Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.
  • Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Links to more free shooting and marksmanship books can be found here.

H/T Mark Vanderberg