The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment

The Thom Hartmann Hidden History Series
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.4 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Thom Hartmann, the most popular progressive radio host in America and a New York Times best-selling author, looks at the real history of guns in America and what we can do to limit both their lethal impact and the power of the gun lobby.

Taking his typically in-depth, historically-informed view, Thom Hartmann examines the brutal role guns have played in American history, from the genocide of the Native Americans to the enforcement of slavery (Slave Patrols are in fact the Second Amendment’s “well-regulated militias”) and the racist post-Civil War social order. He shows how the NRA and conservative Supreme Court justices used specious logic to invent a virtually unlimited individual right to own guns, which has enabled the ever-growing number of mass shootings in the United States. But Hartmann also identifies a handful of powerful, commonsense solutions that would break the power of the gun lobby and restore the understanding of the Second Amendment that the Framers of the Constitution intended. This is the kind of brief, brilliant analysis for which Hartmann is justly renowned.

©2019 Thom Hartmann (P)2019 Thom Hartmann

What listeners say about The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment

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Deceptive

The gun debate is not so black and white but this book tries to make it seem that easy. It takes the low road to call out all gun owners white nationalists.

8 people found this helpful

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Strong words, weak arguments

This is a truly awful book. Instead of shedding the light of reason on one of the most vital issues facing America today, it spews extreme opinions and unsubstantiated arguments that have no place in a serious conversation. The hyperbolic rhetoric and loose logic that permeate this book can only be described as left wing analogues of the Fox News toolkit. It seems designed to further fan the fires of polarization. What this can possibly achieve, beyond cathartic release for the author, is beyond me. Please note that I say this as someone who believes that the Republican party has been using racism to win elections since Nixon's Southern Strategy, that the second amendment has been perverted to serve the interests of gun manufacturers, and that stricter gun control akin to that in virtually every other country in the world is a no brainer. What I don't believe in is sloppy reasoning and manipulative statements in service of an argument, even one in which I believe. Saying, for example, that all police departments are descended from slave patrols is imprecise, inflammatory and without anything approaching rigorous substantiation. This book is rife with such opinions presented as facts. As such, I believe it harms the cause it seeks to serve. We need measured thinking, not more partisan excess, to tackle an issue as deeply rooted and complex as guns. There are some actual ideas -- on slavery, the war on drugs, Native American genocide, Supreme Court decisions and other aspects of history -- lurking behind all the rhetorical fire bombs. However, as best I can tell, these are from other, more thoughtful, authors such as E.J. Dionne and Michelle Alexander. A reader would be well advised to seek out these primary references and piece together their own understanding of the gun violence issue. Listening to Thom Hartmann, Rush Limbaugh and all the other screaming heads out there won't lead to a sensible point of view.

1 person found this helpful

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Too Biased

It seems to me that the author has had a bad experience from a friend who had a gun and no will to live. This pain has to go somewhere so he blames the gun. I will say I quit reading this book early. Thankfully it was a free credit on Amazon.

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Tons of fallacies

If you are going to write a “history” book, at least get your facts straight

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Incredibly biased

This book is the most biased approach to US history I have read so far.

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The Hidden History of Guns

Outstanding work culminating decades of research and fact finding. He provides a viable roadmap for corrective action.