In Defense of the Second Amendment, by Larry Correia: A Review

by Charles Curley
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

In Defense of the Second Amendment, by Larry Correia. Regnery, 2023, 224 pages

The name Larry Correia may ring a bell for Libertarian Enterprise readers. He has written fiction since 2008. He started with Monster Hunter, a self-published novel that later got a contract from Baen Books. He has since become a New York Times best selling author, and a finalist for the John Campbell award.

He also originated the Sad Puppies campaign, an effort to turn the Hugos away from their politically correct drift.

Yeah, guns and science fiction. TLE readers should appreciate that combination.

First off, this is not a scholarly exercise, nor does it break much new ground in the gun control arena. If you want scholarly language, look elsewhere, to, say, Don Kates, Stephen Halbrook, or David Kopel: in places this book is more of a rant than a treatise. So if you enjoy the snark of L. Neil Smith or H. L. Mencken, you’ll like this book. None the less, it has 12 pages of end notes and five pages of index. (But, oddly enough, no table of contents.)

Correia says so: “This book isn’t intended for policy wonks and pundits. I’m not an academic. I’m not a statistician. I’m a writer who knows a lot about guns.” (p. 23) And he’s tired of hearing the same tired old stuff trotted out again and again in any discussion about gun control. This book is his reply. “I won’t lie, I’d like this book to give ammo to the people on my side of the debate. To those of you who are on the fence, undecided, I want to help you understand more about how crime and gun control laws actually work.” (p. 23)

Chapter One is entitled Guns and Vultures. The vultures are the people who feed on every tragedy, trying to fit it into their agenda of more gun control and more dependence on the state. The people who heed Rahm Emmanuel’s famous dictum: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” The people who wring their hands and say, we have to do something! even when the something has been tried before and found wanting, or even found impossible.

Much of the book is devoted to refuting the anti-gun arguments. I trust I needn’t outline those to TLE readers.

Starting in chapter six, “Good Guys with Guns”, things get more upbeat: things that pro-gun activists can do to bring the battle to the opposition. Consistent with libertarian principles (although Correia isn’t a libertarian), he starts with the individual. His advice here is to “Get armed. Get trained. Get Involved.” He covers some general advice on each of these themes.

There is a section on the law and the use of deadly force. It necessarily vague and general, but a good starting point for your own research on the laws of your home state. It summarizes three key concepts you should use should you ever be faced with the necessity of deciding whether to use lethal force. Learn those concepts now, before you need them.

A key concept throughout the book is that the Second Amendment (and, with it, self defense) is for everyone. Yeah, including anti-gunners. Correia mentions the Pink Pistols (“Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber”) and Operation Blazing Sword.

As Correia says, “Politics are downstream of culture. As the institutions set the messages, they are repeated through the masses.” (p. 162) Exactly so. Which is why culture is so important. Hence my emphasis on the Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword. Hence the novels of L. Neil Smith, H. Beam Piper, Jerry Pournelle, and a host of others. Maybe that includes the novels of Larry Correia; I don’t know, I’ve never read one. Hence the necessity of alternate institutions, to bypass the establishment while it is busy self-destructing in the name of wokery. Hence the necessity of getting your kids out of the government schools.

Mind you, I have my disagreements. I do not see Gun Owners of America in his list of organizations to join. In the legal section, I would add that you are responsible for where your bullets go, so make sure if you must use your gun that they don’t go into the neighbor’s Mercedes Benz. I would add that you should also read and take to heart James Duane’s You have the Right to Remain Innocent. And similar nitpicks. But these are errors of omission, not errors of commission. You can only put so much into a book. Never mind.

This is an excellent book. If you are serious about civil rights, you should have a copy and read it carefully. Reading will help you sharpen your own views on gun control even, nay, especially, where you disagree with the author.

In Defense of the Second Amendment, by Larry Correia. Regnery, 2023, 224 pages


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