• Gunfight

  • The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America
  • By: Adam Winkler
  • Narrated by: John McLain
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A provocative history that reveals how guns - not abortion, race, or religion - are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight promises to be a seminal work in its examination of America's four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In the tradition of Gideon's Trumpet, Adam Winkler uses the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital, as a springboard for a groundbreaking historical narrative.

From the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to the origins of the Klan, ironically as a gun control organization, the debate over guns has always generated controversy. Whether examining the Black Panthers' role in provoking the modern gun rights movement or Ronald Reagan's efforts to curtail gun ownership, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun rights advocates and gun control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.

©2011 Adam Winkler (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Gunfight

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, well researched and thought provoking.

This book has my absolute recommendation. It is an excellent historical and modern depiction of the gun rights debate. If you are like most Americans, you will find yourself favoring one side of the debate over the other, often heavily. Don't worry Adam Winkler doesn't pull his punches, both sides get their fair share of heat, and regardless of where you fall on the debate, he will probably make you question your beliefs on the issue. If you are looking for a book that supports your polarized view of the argument go read Tom Diaz or Jon Lott Jr. If you want a book that will likely bring clarity and unity to your opinions, I would highly recommend Gunfight by Adam Winkler.

5 people found this helpful

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Very Informative

This book is great. The author’s position is very moderate. He does a great job of presenting the history of firearms regulations from the colonies to the Wild West. He also presents a history of the NRA from its inception.

4 people found this helpful

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Good Historical Information; Bad Faith Arguments

First off, this book offers an excellent look at gun control laws and legislation throughout history with facinating insight on the intent of and arguments surrounding the 2nd amendment. However, Winkler often equates gun rights activists with gun control activists and couldn't be more wrong. His claim that control activists wish to ban all guns ludicrous and detracts from his arguments. Winkler engages in a few more bad faith arguments throughout the book, ram rodding his views on the issues in between thoughtful narrative about legislative history. Ultimately this book is a great starting point and a must read primer for anyone interested in the history of gun legislation in America. However whenever he tries to insert his own views, something he does too frequently, it's best to tune him out.

3 people found this helpful

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Very informative, but hard to follow at times.

Lots of back and forth time changes, and so detailed that it was hard to keep track of what was going on. Still very good listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Learned a lot

Book provided a very thorough and fair account of gun possession and rights in the USA. As somebody who is in favor of more gun control measures to reduce violence and the suicide rate, it was very helpful to read a book that presents all sides of the issue. I learned a lot. It is very well written.

1 person found this helpful

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left+right=center

This book gives agruments from the left and right to produce a balanced conclusion. A chapter may have you feeling upset because it's only highlighting argument from one side, but the author then proceeds too highlight the counter argument in the following chapter. The author also goes into great detail about the history of gun control and the history of guns in America. A very good book and definitely worth the listen!

1 person found this helpful

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Annoying narrator, interesting history

The narrator was a bit annoying. His voice was overly serious and the way he pronounces 'white' ("h-white") was distracting.

The book is framed around the DC vs Heller decision and is best read as a history of why that decision turned out the way it did. The steps of that case through the courts structures the book. I expected something more synoptic and was a bit disappointed by this focus.

My biggest gripe with the book is the author's strident assertions about what is and is not possible in the gun debate. He says, for instance, that America will always have guns and so no project of mass confiscation of guns is possible. This point is puerile, however, since much of the debate is about what kind of guns are appropriate. His point is actively unhelpful in thinking this question through.

5 people found this helpful

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Insightful, thorough, and informative book

I found this book to be very insightful. Talk is cheap and there are so many claims by both the left and the right on the history of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights in America. This book provided an excellent walk through the history of the SCOTUS's opinions on the 2nd Amendment, as well as a deeper understanding of the cultural use of firearms through our history. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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Needs a performance fix

A speaking voice can be lovely and easy to listen to. This reader has a very nice voice. But, when the intonation lands at the same lovely tone at the end of each and every sentence as it does in this recording, listening becomes a chore that becomes tedious.
Please, rerecord this book and reserve the descending intonation for the end of a paragraph or thought.

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Good not Great

Good historical perspective of the 2nd Amendment, but went too far away from the core case, or cases that have molded the courts views on the 2A.