Book Review: Glenn Beck’s “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns”

By:  Bob Adelmann
Book Review: Glenn Beck’s “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns”

Glenn Beck's latest book, Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns, exposes plenty of the myths being promoted by the "controllists" as he calls them, but precious little about the motivations and purposes behind those "controllists." Readers looking for that will have to go elsewhere.

Glenn Beck's latest book, Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns, is a disappointment on many levels. Beck cranks his books out so rapidly that he must utilize the skills and experience of experts to give the book credibility and substance. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be overdone. And Beck overdoes it. The best that can be said about the book is that it is short — just 200 pages. It can be read in less than two hours.

The first half of the book is similar to a recipe book — a Julia Childs for responses to liberal clichés. He has an awful lot of cooks helping him, and he tries to include recipes from everyone in the kitchen. In a word, he tries to do too much. His experts are certainly qualified: There’s Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, lawyer Stephen Halbrook, Professor John Lott, scholar David Kopel, and journalist Jacob Sullum. Each of them brings to Beck’s kitchen table useful and credible perspectives on the issue of gun control. Beck is careful from the beginning to note that gun control is people control, and each of his experts provides valuable insights into responding to various liberal myths promoted by people whom Beck calls “controllists.”

He answers successfully the myths, lies, and propaganda offered by the controllists and their media allies, including “The Second Amendment is about muskets,”, “Gun control works in other countries,” “40 percent of all guns are sold without background checks,” and so forth. For his readers who are likely to be familiar with, and sympathetic to, his responses, the book gets tiresome and sometimes confusing.

The second half of his book, however, is much better. He utilizes the expert on “killology”, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society), who exposes the unsuspecting reader to a new awareness of how video games are turning young people into killers using the same technology the U.S. Army uses to turn its recruits into soldiers. Beck points out that something happened in about 1975:

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