The Archer family has been ripped apart by the same issues threatening America today: irreconcilably different views on God, guns, family values ... the essence of what it means to be an American. Forced to confront their differences and demons, will family be enough?

"At Last, the Great American Novel!"

"Steve Entertains and moves with his words ... captures the beauty of the Colorado Rockies ..."

"I give Off Road ... the Captain of a Crew of One seal of approval and recommend it without reservation"

Third Power gives his recommendation

Not just for men - a woman's point of view.

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Guns in America

If you read my blog, you'll discover how I changed from a political centrist who accepted that "gun-control is inevitable and GOOD" to a 2nd amendment advocate.

While the subject of an armed citizenry is absolutely a subject on which intelligent people can disagree (and often do), to me the bottom line against any gun control scheme or law is simple: when people who have money and don't care about the law want something, they get it. i.e. the U.S. war on drugs, which has done nothing to stop drugs from being available to those who have money don't care about the law.

But the difference between drug control laws and gun control laws is:

  • Recreational drugs have virtually no positive value, and destroy many lives, so drug laws can be said to accomplish something worthwhile by at least keeping drugs away from people who care about the law.
  • But gun ownership does have a proven value to society, both in self defense for individuals and as the final balance against a government turned tyrannical (which is unthinkable now, but who's to say what the country will be like in 30 years?).

So civilian gun ownership is positive and highly restrictive gun control laws have little positive value, whereas recreational drug use is a negative and anti-drug laws at least keep a percentage of the population away from drugs.

Of course there are many more elements to the debate, such as what kinds of limits on gun ownership are worthwhile, as even I don't support for a total suspension of all gun laws (such as existed in many parts of the country prior to 1934 when you could buy a machine gun at a hardware store without even showing ID), 

Read my novel and see if it changes your mind, whatever your current position. For more details on my views on guns, read my blog. One of my best known posts on guns is this one, on Christians and gun ownership.


Chapter Ten (excerpt):

I focused on the gun in my hands, the most foreign piece of metal I’d ever touched. I flipped it over a few times to get a feel for it. It looked robust, but rough around the edges. Definitely not the most finely crafted mechanism I’d ever held. It was lighter than I thought it would be.

Gary knelt beside me and held out a shiny box magazine with a fat bullet sticking through the top. He raised his voice louder than he should have to break the uncomfortable silence. “You ready to load her up, brother? Ready to cut loose?”

“Yeah,” my voice was weak. I tried again. “Hell yeah! Let’s do this thing!”

Gary showed me how to eject the empty magazine and put the new one in. Then he took it back out and showed me how to make the gun fire or keep it from firing. I manipulated the slide a few times without bullets to get a feel for it. The gun fit well in my hand, much better than the BB guns and video arcade guns I’d played with over the years. Of course, every American boy with a TV believes he’s an expert on guns, so it’s no wonder it felt natural.

There was no more putting it off. Gary gave me a nod, so I slapped the magazine in place with the heel of my hand, then pulled the top slide back and released it to put a bullet in the chamber.

As I stood up Dad began to slap his thighs in an impromptu drum roll and rasped. “Ladies and Gentlemen … it’s Paully Oakley Archer.” I gave him a look, but he chuckled and slapped harder.

My heart beat faster. For the first time in my life I was holding a loaded gun. A gun that had killed somebody. A gun that had saved a life. My hand shook and it was hard to keep the sights lined up on the now tiny upper target.

“Control your breathing,” Gary warned, “breathe out, hold your breath just a little bit, then squeeze the trigger.”

My finger moved to the trigger, a thin line of cold steel against my ultra sensitive skin. But I couldn’t bring myself to pull it back. I chided myself again that this was just a piece of hundred year old technology. But it was not technology I was accustomed to. I steadied my hands and through force of will began to tighten my grip.

*BANG!*

The explosion caught me off guard. The gun jammed back into my palm and flipped up as I flinched from the flash and noise. It took much less pull on the trigger to set it off than I thought. When I focused on the targets again the “release” target was rocking back and the other two were dropping down into position. Holy crap I hit it!

 

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