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November 8, 2014 / Cheri

Episode 94 – Bev Prescott Talks about Blowback

You’re in for a treat! We were joined by one of our own, Barbell host and author, Bev Prescott. We had a fantastic discussion about her brand new novel, Blowback. We also talked about the next two projects that Bev’s working on AND we got a little insider info from her publisher, who was in the audience.

If you’re interested in winning one of two signed paperbacks of Blowback, leave a comment below sharing something regarding gun control, ways we as a community can help to reduce gun violence, or how gun violence has affected you, personally. Or just say hi and let us know that you enjoyed the show and if anything in particular touched you. All comments posted on or before December 5th will be eligible to win.

You can purchase a copy or download a sample of Blowback by clicking here.

 

 

18 Comments

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  1. amy barr / Nov 9 2014 5:48 am

    Good show again Cocktail Hour. As for the gun control issue, I really cannot express much on it, I have friends that have permits and enjoy going to the range and hunting. I myself don’t own a gun, but have been raised in an area were most people hunt and have guns.

  2. bevprescott / Nov 9 2014 9:45 am

    Hi Amy, thanks for watching the show and commenting. Here in Maine, many of my closest friends are gun owners. They also believe in responsible gun ownership. I think that’s where a lot of the controversy rests. In the question of what that means. It’s a tough subject. Thanks for weighing in. Cheers!

    • Amy / Nov 9 2014 3:14 pm

      Bev, I believe in responsible ownership also, but I do realize that if someone wants a gun that should not have it, they will find a way to get it and I don’t see gun control legislation changing that.

      • bevprescott / Nov 9 2014 3:42 pm

        I agree, Amy, that laws probably won’t stop the most determined people who will stop at nothing to get guns. But, I do think that requiring background checks on all gun sales, including private sales, will go along way toward slowing down access to guns by people like felons and those with serious mental illnesses who shouldnt have them. Thanks again for contributing to the conversation.

      • bevprescott / Dec 12 2014 6:10 am

        Hi Amy, thanks for commenting on the show. Please send me your address at bevprescott@gmail.com so that I can send you a copy of “Blowback.”

  3. Linda / Nov 11 2014 1:44 pm

    Great episode! More books I have to go hunting for as always which is how I found your podcast to begin with =)

    Guns.. what a volatile topic. I don’t think there is anyone that is neutral on the subject. I am a staunch believer in gun rights but I also believe that this right includes a LOT of responsibilities.

    More laws restricting purchases by law abiding people will only lead to MORE crime. While this is not a popular stat is has been proven. Almost all of the ‘mass shootings’ happen in gun free areas; schools, hospitals, etc. Violent gun crimes are usually acted with illegal guns. Child accidental shootings are usually because of improper storage of the firearm.

    Guns are NOT easily purchased by ‘anyone’ via the internet. The gun selling sites force the buying and selling to go through a licensed gun dealers where the already existing laws require background checks. The firearms must be sent to a receiving dealer not the purchaser.

    If you want to stop gun crime, I believe the only effective way is to have very harsh sentences for crimes committed with a gun. Parents need to be held responsible for acts their children do with their guns. An exception to this should be when the ‘child’ is old enough to know how to access the firearm and should be charged as an adult.

    My family has a long history of military service, shooting sport activity, and I owned a military history and firearms store. We encourage all our friends to let us teach them safe gun handing and basic shooting skills so that if they encounter a firearm they can deal with it in a safe manner. The most dangerous gun is in the hands of someone who does not know how to handle them.

    I have been ‘carrying’ for several decades. I have never had to use it but I would if it came down to the safety of my family. In such a case, I don’t think yelling the perpetrator ‘stop, stop, you brute, you brute’ would chase them off. I am thankful that both the federal law and my state laws allow this.

    Whew.. I could go on quite a bit about gun rights, gun stupidity, and the myths about gun violence. If anyone really wants to know more about it I suggest a book ‘More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws’ by John Lott.

    I will step off the box now.. but remember, you asked {wink}

    • bevprescott / Nov 11 2014 4:13 pm

      Hi Linda!

      Thanks for weighing in with your opinion. I appreciate that you were willing to add to the conversation. I agree with you that with such a volatile subject, it is nearly impossible to be neutral. However, because I really hoped to open a level headed dialogue among people from both sides of the debate in writing “Blowback,” I took as much care as I could to write it in a neutral manner leaving politics aside. In fact, the story simply tracks the statistics.

      With respect to gun violence, in my research, I learned a few things that really surprised me. First, the statistics from John’s Hopkins show that on average, 31,000 people die every year in the U.S. from gun violence. 62% of those deaths are suicides. I learned that gun violence isn’t just about good guys and bad guys, it really does also involve questions of public and mental health since that many people kill themselves each year with guns.

      Regarding gun sales, as you know, the Brady Act requires background checks for gun purchases. However, the loophole in the law is that the background checks are only required for commercial sales of guns. Private sales are not covered by the law. The statistics show that 40% of gun sales in the U.S. are private sales. That means an awful lot of guns are passing hands with no background checks at all. Massachusetts and now Washington are among the very few states with laws that do require background checks for all gun sales. My personal opinion is that it would be better to eliminate the loophole and lessen the ease with which people with serious mental illnesses, felony convictions or those who commit domestic violence are able to get their hands on guns. The reason is that while I know there are many responsible gun owners out there, I’m not confident that an armed public is not going to result in more violence. Even trained police officers make mistakes in the heat of the moment and shoot people they probably shouldn’t have. I have even less confidence in the public, generally, to know when and when not to shoot. I’m not talking about the obvious situation like Sandy Hook or the movie theatre shooting in Colorado, I’m talking about the everyday situation.

      As for me personally, I can tell you unequivocally that I would not blink. I would not even need to take a breath before shooting someone who was in the process of attempting to seriously harm or kill someone who I love. That said, I’ve taken steps to dramatically lessen the possibility of ever getting into that situation. I feel much safer sleeping at night with a robust security system. I’m going to know well in advance that someone has broken into my home. That gives me time to take whatever next steps are necessary to protect my family. Plus, the police will be on the way.

      I live in a state with a strong gun culture. I enjoy going to the range and engaging in recreational shooting. I know more people than not in my state who are gun owners. I trust them completely. I even feel safer when they are around. They are not the people who should not have gun. But, there are plenty out there who shouldn’t. I’m only advocating for laws that make access much more difficult for those people. I know the laws won’t stop everyone. But, they will slow things down.

      Finally, I also think that mental health should be part of the discussion. Again, if 62% of the 31,000 who die each year are homicides, we have to talk about that. It’s not something that we can get at with more laws. But, talking about mental health more generally and making it easier and less of a stigma for people with, for example, depression to get help, we might lessen that number. Also, maybe we should talk more openly about these statistics so that those prone to a mental illness like depression might be less inclined to have a gun around.

      I really appreciate that you weighed in. That’s what I had hoped for. We all won’t agree on everything. I hope we can agree to disagree where we have to, but find common ground where we can and try to make progress. By the way, I did read John Lott’s book while doing my research.

      Much thanks, and cheers. Bev

      • bevprescott / Nov 11 2014 4:17 pm

        Oops, I meant to say 62% are suicides, not homicides.

        • Linda / Nov 20 2014 3:04 am

          The suicide numbers you gave were a surprise to me. So much so that I brought up the subject with a few of friends. We meet once a month just to talk about current things but in a way that we all really have to reflect on why we believe whatever it is.. think debate without the structure but where we all try to come up with pro/con for all sides.

          A question was brought up that has stumped me and I am still not able to thoroughly wrap my head around it.

          Excluding minors, knee-jerk reaction to something terrible, and assuming that the person can think clearly/logically and has thought through the circumstances and repercussions; who has the right to keep a person from committing suicide?

          The thought process that brought up the question was quite abstract but included country music, walking dead, the women in Oregon, gun rights, anti-depressants, the middle east, Katrina etc.. so please don’t think of me as some whack job.. I am not, seriously not, advocating the question.. just sharing the questions because it has really made me re-think things.

          • bevprescott / Nov 20 2014 6:14 am

            Hi Linda, I think getting together with friends to talk about important issues and test assumptions is a sign of really smart people who care about making the world a better place. Thanks to you and your friends for being those kinds of people.

            As for suicide, I suspect that it’s a rare circumstance in which a person makes the clear-headed decision to take her own life. I think arriving at that decision is complicated, messy, lonely and driven by, in most cases, an unsettled mind. In fact, statistics show that 90% of suicides are associated with an underlying mental illness. http://www.suicide.org/suicide-causes.html

            Sometimes the illness is organic, sometimes brought on by trauma, or a complex combination of factors.

            Again, I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to think about and weigh in on the subject. It’s complicated and I dont think the collective we should approach it from a dug in perspective. Like you and your friends, I hope the collective we can find ways to re-examine our thinking and try to understand the valuable and legitimate perspectives that come from both sides of the debate. Have a great day and cheers, Bev

          • bevprescott / Dec 12 2014 6:22 am

            Hi Linda, thanks for commenting on the show. Please send me your address at bevprescott@gmail.com so that I can send you a copy of “Blowback.”

  4. Marie Foose / Nov 19 2014 11:01 pm

    Excellent episode! I read Blowback. It was very good. You did throw some curves that I didn’t expect! Your characters do stay with you. I lost someone 27 years ago to a violent incident, although a gun was the one thing not involved. This hits home. I too don’t have a problem with gun ownership, but, I do think we need to do way more to regulate them and removing assault weapons and extended clips. I also think that it should be required that people have to go to a gun safety course before being able to purchase a weapon. Too often we have people owning them and not knowing how to handle let alone fire a gun, who end up hurting or killing themselves or others. I look forward to your future books!

    Also, Thanks Cocktail Hour and Blythe Rippon for my win of the Book, Barring Complications!

    • bevprescott / Nov 20 2014 6:25 am

      Hi Marie, thank you for reading Blowback and commenting on the subject. I completely agree with you about assault weapons and required firearm safety training. In MA, there have been some recent changes to gun laws. One of which is to require that gun safety courses include the topic of suicide prevention. I totally support that training.

      As for assault weapons, statistics show that Americans are not any more violent than people in other developed countries. But, when we are violent, more people get killed because we have so much easy access to deadly weapons like assault type firearms.

      I’m really sorry to hear about the loss in your family . I think those who have been touched by violence have a real life perspective that we should all be mindful of and consider.

      Again, thank you for weighing in. Have a great day and cheers, a Bev

    • bevprescott / Dec 12 2014 6:23 am

      Hi Marie, thanks for commenting on the show. Please send me your address at bevprescott@gmail.com so that I can send you a copy of “Blowback.”

  5. Lisa T. / Dec 4 2014 6:27 pm

    This was a thoughtful discussion, as always, and an interesting episode. Blowback has been on my to-read list for a while. I enjoyed hearing about how you researched the book, Bev, and it’s interesting that you aimed to not take a side on the debate within the book. I also enjoyed the comments about the policy aspects of the issue in the comments here.

    • bevprescott / Dec 5 2014 6:15 am

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for watching the show and stopping by to comment. I really appreciate it, and hope that you find “Blowback” to be worth your time to read.

      Cheers, Bev

  6. bevprescott / Dec 12 2014 6:24 am

    Hi Lisa, thanks for commenting on the show. Please send me your address at bevprescott@gmail.com so that I can send you a copy of “Blowback.”

  7. amy barr / Mar 23 2015 5:49 pm

    Finally took the time and read the book, wow. Great job of bringing the story full circle and showing the reality of each choice the person made.

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