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Book Review: Nation of Cowards by Jeff Snyder

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An easy and enlightening read, Jeff Snyder's Nation of Cowards is a collection of essays on the ethics of gun control. Impeccably written with calm reasoning and logic, Snyder doesn't enter into the legal fray, whether from a perspective of the U.S. Constitution, local ordinances or state laws. He stays away from what's legal and deliberately wades deeply into what's right and wrong.

In doing so, Snyder simply addresses the morality of gun control. He examines how laws effect the law-abiding, and points out with great clarity the right and wrong of these laws. He also challenges the fundamental beliefs that many of us hold today — beliefs about the role of the individual as well as the role of government when it comes to self-defense and defense of others.

With a keen sense of rational thought, Snyder poses questions that will cause most readers to re-evaluate their own position on gun control, no matter what side of the issue they were on before reading the book. For example, in the case of individuals who expect law enforcement to protect them from violent criminals, Snyder asks us to consider just how motivated law enforcement will be to risk their life to help someone who values their life so little as to make no effort to defend it themselves.

It's thought provoking points like these that Snyder skillfully uncovers for his readers. He then guides them through an examination of our system of beliefs, based largely on current law and popular politics, that often flies in the face of common sense about what's right and what's wrong.

In the end, his collection of essays challenges the reader to determine whether they have the courage to be free and let others be free, or whether they like many others have slipped into the mainstream of America and have become part of our nation of cowards.

If there is only one book about gun control on the shelf of your library, this eye opener by Jeff Snyder should be the one you own.

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About Clair Schwan