Purchase: Texas Tech University Press
I was easily lost in Ross telling the story of her son, Jon, dying from a freak accident with a gun. Reading her experience, how it affected her marriage and herself as a mother, was hard to read, but so important to do so. Her writing flowed for me, which made it a bit easier to keep going with it. I've always been a bit sensitive to the "gun topic" (I don't like them), and it has only grown since the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019 (I live in El Paso). This is, by no means, a comparison to someone who has lost a loved one, but thoughts of that day linger in the back of my mind consistently.
What I ended up liking and appreciating from At Close Range was Ross' ability to make the case for SAFETY. It isn't about limiting people but about teaching them how they can have what they want or need while also being safe. Or even better...being able to be in the presence of a gun, and how to safely be around it. Ultimately that's what I got from this book, and as someone who is, honestly, very scared of people owning guns, it gives me some solace to know that there are people out there who are willing to emphasize how important safety is. I especially thought how wonderful it was that gun safety was being thought of with older age groups and not just the younger set. My take away from this book is that, like most things in life, our lessons do not stop at childhood. We continue to grow and therefore, we continue to experience. Because of this - we need to continue to learn. Ross gives us this perspective from her very painful experience.
Ultimately, however you feel about guns and gun safety, this is definitely a book to pick up. If you're a parent, or someone who has younger ones in their life, read this book and discuss it with your kids and teens. This book opens up that opportunity, and we should definitely take advantage.