The Story of a Gun
By Erik Larson
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679759270, 304pp.)
Publication Date: January 15, 1995
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This devastating book begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, sixteen-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day's end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another.
In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as "the gun that made the eighties roar." In so doing, he not only illuminates America's gun culture -- its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists -- but also offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearm. The result is a book that can -- and should -- save lives, and that has already become an essential text in the gun-control debate.
"Larson takes us past the absurd myths, past the numbing statistics, and into the face of reality.... Journalism at its highest."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"An artful slice of the story of what may be the greatest shame we as a nation have tried... to hide from ourselves.... Fascinating." -- Chicago Sun-Times