Book Review: From My Cold Dead Fingers
By Jim Irvine
Justice Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court ruling in Mack/Printz v United States, June 27, 1997
This is how Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who sued the U.S. Government over the "Brady bill" gun control bill starts his book, From My Cold Dead Fingers. His case, summed up by the quote above is proof that even in this day and age, there is hope that our great country could one day return to the system of government that our Founding Fathers intended.
This is an easy reading book that spends enough time on details to help you understand the totality of the events, yet moves quickly to the next event in a perfect balance of breadth and depth. The first section, "Vigilantes and Victims," strings together a series of stories that help the reader understand the importance of the fight we are involved in. This is not just a fight about guns and who can carry them where, but a fight for our way of life, and for far too many, a fight for their very lives.
Mack details several events which most have heard about, but are likely unfamiliar with any of the particulars. The media in our country are more intent on pushing an agenda than reporting the news. They leave out the details they deem "politically incorrect." Mack's book describes the Bernhard Goetz self-defense shooting on the New York subway and the events involving Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas, and adds details not given attention in most media reports. He also devotes time to explain why our Founding Fathers created the form of government they did. Their concerns about a Federal government that would grow too big, powerful, and oppressive were clearly right on target.
Consider that our Constitution could not be ratified by a majority of the states until ten amendments were added to absolutely secure the most critically important rights. As Mack points out, it was never considered that one of the amendments should read, "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms so long as shotguns are not sawed off and rifles are not automatic and handguns are licensed and 20,000 other restrictions deemed to be necessary by future legislative bodies are obeyed."
The following quote is the type of straight-forward analysis of reality that fills this book. Remember that this is written by a man who made his living as a law enforcement officer who fully understands criminals and guns.
Gun control has never, and will never, curb the violent behavior of criminals and impassioned offenders. Increased violent crime is but a symptom of a fast-spreading social disease not so very different from leprosy and AIDS in producing an inescapable end result – suffering and death. No social disease will ever be cured by Congress banning merchandise or restricting Americans' rights. Imagine the impact on drug addiction if a law were passed imposing high taxes on medical syringes...or the reduced spread of AIDS if HIV-positive individuals were banned from having sex. Gun control, as applied to violence and criminal activity, is equally as ludicrous.
The second section, "Fallacies and Facts," discusses guns and citizens and kids, but also contains the story of Suzanna Gratia Hupp who had to watch helplessly as her parents were murdered in a Luby's Restaurant in Texas because she followed the law. The politicians who wrote that law didn't understand the basic facts about guns and crime. That story is followed by the chapter, "The HCI Lie" which lays bare the true agenda (denied of course) of the anti-gun movement, in their own words. It is a frightening realization of where we are headed if we let the anti-gun side set the agenda.
For anyone remotely interested in the fight to protect and restore our rights, the chapter, "Activism or Passivism" is a must-read. Just as in a battle on the streets, not fighting when attacked will not solve your problem, nor help those who come after you. Only by fighting and winning do we secure our safety, whether the predator is a thug with a gun or a politician with an agenda.
Mack hits the perfect combination of storytelling, statistical evidence, and game plan, told in an honest and entertaining style that makes this an enjoyable read. Whether you are new to this fight or a seasoned veteran, From My Cold Dead Fingers will enlighten both mind and spirit and will make you better able to understand and affect the battle we are engaged in.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman.
Buy From My Cold Dead Fingers in the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Bookstore.