An online gun-control movement presents its arguments in book form.
Written under a pseudonym associated with online organizing and offline attention-grabbing, debut author Yerguns makes the book’s tone and intended audience clear from the opening pages: “If someone’s more upset by bad words than by a classroom of first-graders getting blown away by a maniac with an AR-15, they are the problem.” The book is clearly not intended to present a measured argument to Second Amendment purists or National Rifle Association members, but to animate gun control advocates and provide a framework for responding to common arguments advanced by gun proponents. Yerguns encourages advocates to pursue a strategy similar to the fight against drunk driving in the 1980s, holding up Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a model for organizing and lobbying, and places the anti–gun-control movement in historical context with a concise overview of the NRA’s evolution in recent decades. Sound statements (“Just as sexual assault needs to be understood more broadly than a masked Bad Guy jumping out of the bushes, it’s equally ridiculous to think of ‘gun crime’ solely in terms of masked Bad Guys robbing banks”) and statistics are mixed with references to “gunhumpers” and more splenetic fare (“And over the last 20 years, Lott’s book of fairy tales has had the shit debunked out of it”). With font changes, cartoon illustrations, memes, and Facebook screen shots scattered throughout the text, the book often has the appearance of a blog transferred to paper without additional editing. Frequent underlined text, apparently intended as a hyperlink but without the inclusion of the Web address, is of limited value. Yerguns advances entirely reasonable ideas with understandable fire. The book’s lack of polish and unsuitability to the format, however, hampers its effectiveness as a tool of advocacy.
Transfers impassioned gun control arguments from blog post to book, with limited success.