The Mitzvah, by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith. Copyright 1999. Paperback. 245 pages.
Winter in Chicago. Two men share a cab. One a 75 year old Jew. One a 55 year old Catholic Priest. Albert Mendelsohn, diamond merchant sees a mushroom-shaped birthmark on the wrist of John Greenwood, Monsignor of the Church of St. Gabriel Possenti of Isola. Both men notice that their Irish cabbie packs a revolver in a shoulder rig between his heavy turtleneck sweater and his leather jacket. Albert is warmed by the thought that decent men go about armed, as well as thugs. Father Greenwood is angered and depressed over what a Catholic cabbie carrying a revolver says about the state of society. This novel is the story of that Catholic Priest as he confronts both the meaning of guns and the meaning of the birthmark on his wrist and the relationship of each to his life.
Father Greenwood is confronted by the very real possibility that his birthmark proves he was born a Jew, and adopted by his European, Catholic parents as an infant. The novel follows Father Greenwood as he deals with both guns and the circumstances of his birth. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but this novel is satisfying on many levels, not the least of which is how one man comes to appreciate history, as it applies to Jews, Catholics, and guns. Give it a read. It should make you think. And what finer compliment can be paid to a book.
Nation of Cowards: Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control, by Jeff Snyder. Copyright 2001. Paperback. 174 pages.
The Seven Myths of Gun Control: Reclaiming the Truth about Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment, by Richard Poe. Copyright 2001. Hardback. 290 pages.
Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns, by J. Neil Schulman. Copyright 1994, 1999. Paperback. 318 pages.
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