Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
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Hartford, WI 53027

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Book Review


John Longenecker, Jr.
Author House Publishers, 2004
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“Second Amendment enthusiasts aren’t wild about guns, we’re wild about Liberty.” Thus begins Section II of John Longenecker’s first book, The Battle We Fight. Straight talk is Longenecker’s style throughout the book, and it succeeds well to convey his message of liberty, common sense, and the vital importance of the right to keep and bear arms.

Gun ownership, and the right to carry firearms, are not about hobby shooting or exuding macho prowess. Longenecker explains that firearms ownership and carrying have to do with the private right and duty to protect yourself and your family – and – the right and duty to protect the community by deterring and stopping violent crime.

A most creative argument appears in the extended section in the book that explains how the right to keep and bear arms is similar to “Citizen CPR,” i.e., cardio-pulmonary resuscitation as performed by laymen (instead of emergency medical technicians like Longenecker himself). In this section the book develops the concept of Citizen CPR as it was initially begun and then refined with experience.

Longenecker reminds readers that the idea of laymen administering CPR was initially viewed as foolhardy and dangerous. How could the public become sufficiently trained? Laymen will do more harm than good, leave it to the professionals! We don’t want unlicensed, untrained people practicing medicine! What mechanisms would exist to keep a layman trained well enough to be helpful in a rare emergency?

These are exactly the same sorts of objections that we face when we propose that private citizens could and should be trained to provide personal and community defense using firearms: how can they be trained, leave it to the professional police, citizens don’t understand the criminal laws, and citizens can’t stay skillful enough with guns to be safe and effective as defenders. As one of the early professional emergency medical technicians (EMTs), Longenecker addresses these issues and turns them around to validate the concept of private armed defense. For this powerful argument alone, The Battle We Fight is very much worth reading.

As a society we have come to accept and applaud private citizens’ administering CPR to people who need it. Longenecker urges society to likewise accept and applaud private citizens’ providing personal and community defense.

Much of the book examines the reasons why the American Left operates the way that it does, and how the Leftist mindset infects government policies. If you consider yourself on the Right, then you may appreciate Longenecker’s thoughts, arguments, examples, and references. If you consider yourself a “liberal” or on the Left, then you really should read this book to better understand your fellow American. You might find that Americans have more in common, as viewed through Longenecker’s lens, than the political labels might otherwise suggest.

John Longenecker has achieved what many people only wished they could do: he has written a book that expresses an analysis of the problems, a vision of the moral guidance and the practical realities, and some clearly-written and thoughtful solutions. The Battle We Fight in that way represents a triumph of the rights to freedom of speech and press (as guaranteed by the First Amendment).

I am personally gratified that Longenecker was able to employ some of the information from my book, Dial 911 and Die, to bolster his argument for private defense. The Battle We Fight takes some of that information and adds some other insights and observations to build some new ideas – and that helps the overall movement toward reclaiming liberty in America.

Longenecker is a regular guy, a family man, who invested the time and effort to collect data and thoughts and present his views in a way that anyone can understand. To get these special insights from an author who speaks for many decent, patriotic Americans, read The Battle We Fight.

Reviewed by Richard Stevens, Editor, The Bill of Rights Sentinel

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