Back in May of 2021 I had the opportunity to meet Tyler Yzaguirre at a DC Project fundraiser. Yzaguirre is the founder and president of the Second Amendment Institute. A couple of months ago Yzaguirre had sent me a message showing product information for his soon to be released book, Gun Rights 101: Firing Back Against Gun Control’s Biggest Lies. I had extended to him my congratulations, as well as offered to read and review his work. Yzaguirre got me a review copy to take a look at and I gave it a read.
The first thing that really drew my attention to the book was the foreword was written by Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West. West set the stage on what Gun Rights 101 is all about.
The history of the successful rise of tyranny, totalitarianism, and despotic rule always begins with a common action, disarming the people.
Our Founding Fathers learned an important lesson from April 19, 1775, Lexington Green. That lesson is, an armed individual is a citizen; an unarmed citizen is a subject.
Hence why the Second Amendment, in those first ten called the individual Bill of Rights, of our Constitution is the right of citizens to keep and
bear arms; a right that shall not be infringed.
Sadly, the totalitarians of the American progressive socialist left seek, like their global comrades, to undermine this right.
That’s why Tyler Yzaguirre’s book, Gun Rights 101, is vital for constitutional, liberty minded Americans. It’s a simple read that arms you with the knowledge to dispel the leftists’ talking points. If we are to preserve this Constitutional Republic for future generations, Tyler’s book enables such.
I recommend you read, study, and prepare yourself to defeat the leftists’ intent to relegate you being a subject.
My next thought about the book was that it’s great to have so many myths piled into one collection. All too often we’re fed these “gottya” one line bumper sticker logic notions that are supposed to stop us dead in our tracks. Gun Rights 101 collects many of them as well as delivers appropriate and succinct responses to many of the common misconceptions about firearms and our Second Amendment right.
Following the section on myths and misconceptions comes a rundown of a few Supreme Court decisions that are important for people to be acquainted with. The cases Yzaguirre covers in the book are: DC v Heller, McDonald v Chicago, and Caetano v Massachusetts. The summaries of the cases are broken up into a couple of easy to digest sections starting with “bullet points”. For example, on Caetano :
Justices Alito and Thomas wrote concurring opinions to the Per Curium opinion
- The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts defied the Heller decision in each of their reasons.
- The Second Amendment applies, prima facie to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence for ratification.
- The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry weapons typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.
- A weapon may not be banned unless it’s both dangerous and unusual.
Following the “bullet points” section, there’s a history portion, as well as a breakdown of the opinion. The coverage on these cases serve as a good introduction on what they were all about as well as what they mean. The remainder of the text is made up of the Bill of Rights, State Provisions in their constitutions protecting arms, a list of the national gun rights organizations, and a list of the gun-grabbing groups that are out there.
I had a chance to chat with Yzaguirre for a good while about his book. I told him what I liked about the book, who I thought it was good for, and expressed to him any misgivings.
I had emphasized that the book is a great introduction for people that are new to the gun rights game/the Second Amendment. There’s a good deal of introductory information that many who are new to the fight might find useful. I also told him that pointing out the Supreme Court cases that he included was important. There are quite a few patriots that are new to firearms who do need to be exposed to these pivotal cases that further enshrine our rights.
As noted, this is a good beginner level book on the Second Amendment. Brand new gun owners or those that are recently interested in gun rights/the Second Amendment would benefit most from the work, but people that are more well versed on the subject of our fundamental rights, the Second Amendment, litigation and court cases, etc. are probably going to find the book underwhelming.
In fact, as I bluntly told Yzaguirre, as someone that has dedicated years to studying everything and anything Second Amendment related, if I’d paid the list price of $17.76 for the book, I would have been pissed at what I got in return.
So be advised; Gun Rights 101 is exactly what the title claims to be, a 101 level book. I did learn a few things while reading the book, which added to my knowledge base, but not $17.76 worth of information. The book clocks in at around 109 pages, putting it on the smaller size. The font size in sections of the book is akin to what a “large print” edition of a book would look like and I personally found distracting/acting to take up space.
When I asked Yzaguirre about the book and the inception of it he had the following to say to me about it:
I wrote Gun Rights 101 with the hope to empower new and current gun owners with powerful Second Amendment facts to dismantle gun grab lies. I intended Gun Rights 101 to be a useful reference guide; the definitive source for gun rights facts. And I hope others see it as just that too.
All in, Gun Rights 101 does as promised. It gives the reader an elemental glimpse of several concepts, myths, facts, and important pieces of litigation to be versed in. I would not hesitate to suggest this to a brand new gun owner or to gifting copies to a neophyte. I also would find the book to be a good text to give to that special someone in your life that you may have that embraces anti-freedom view points. Gun Rights 101 certainly would give a gun-grabber something to chew on and consider (noting groups such as Moms Demand Action openly rely on emotional responses and urge their supporters to stay away from facts, outlined in their propaganda training material – so I’m told *wink wink).
I think Yzaguirre’s freshman work gives plenty to ponder for those who are truly new to the issue, but I’d personally like to see what he could come up with if he was writing for an audience already well-versed in the 2A movement.