Every once in a while, a nonfiction book comes along that really changes the way I view the world. Senator Chris Murphy's book has done just that by opening my eyes further to the ways that gun violence has damaged the lives of so many and continues to corrode away at our country.
Murphy was a representative for the Sandy Hook community when they experienced the horrifying massacre at the elementary school back in 2012. Seeing the tragedy through someone who was close to the situation put it into even clearer perspective for me. If the government was not willing to pass stricter gun laws after the deaths of first graders, they aren't ever going to. But Murphy's book is an insightful dig into so much more than just the Sandy Hook event. He examines how our country has been shaped by gun violence since the very first Europeans arrived in the US all the way through the invention of the semi-automatic weapon. He looks at how our country struggles with poverty and mental illness (since suicide by gun is such a huge problem). And then at the end of the chapters listing these incredibly depressing statistics, Murphy also leaves the reader feeling hopeful. If people are still inspired to fight the NRA and the GOP in order to get some common sense gun laws passed, then there is a small degree of hope left.
I won't ever look at a school shooting or an act of gun violence the same way after reading this book, and I admire Murphy so much for inserting his own feelings and his own fighting spirit into every page. There is still so much for us to understand about the reasons people are driven to violence, and I appreciated the ability to learn more than I did before.
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