“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people! Really?”

I published what follows in June 2014, and while I don’t like regurgitating, I think that after the Charlestown killings it is even more relevant now. The thought of a father giving a 21 year old a .45 calibre handgun for a birthday present is incomprehensible to me. That said, I don’t live in the US.

“I was looking for one of James Patterson’s trashy but entertaining novels when I accidentally bought “Balance of Power” by Richard North Patterson.

Richard, unlike James, is a superb wordsmith and “Balance of Power” was one of the best novels that I have ever read and if it were possible I would’ve rated it higher than five stars.

It is a story about Washington, politics, the second amendment, blackmail and the gun lobby. The president’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law and six year old niece plus three innocent bystanders are murdered by the sister-in-law’s estranged husband – with a semi-automatic, a forty shot magazine with bullets designed to tear their victims apart. The weapons were purchased from an unlicensed trader at a gun show and a background check was not carried out.

This firearm was too inaccurate to be used by the army and it was useless for hunting which left it with only one other purpose – to kill humans.

If anything this book is more relevant today than when it was published in 2003. It is hard to put down but at 800 pages it’s not a one night read.

Bill Clinton wrote on the front cover, “Richard North Patterson has a keen eye for how Washington really works…A must read for anyone interested in the gun debate.”

I’m staggered that this book is only averaging three stars and I guess there are many who disagree with the author’s anti-gun stance. I commend the author on this very fine novel.

As a result of poor average I scanned the one star reviews and what follows typifies them:

Political claptrap

I picked this book at random from the library shelf and it only took me 30 pages to realize this was some liberal, gun-hating author’s attempt at political commentary. It is to fiction what NPR is to news – completely biased. I’m tempted to renew it, just to keep it off the library shelf for as long as possible. Oh well, at least it’s in the Fiction aisle, where it belongs.”

In my opinion, the review above is as incomprehensible as the father buying his son a .45 calibre handgun for his birthday.