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Leesa Ross did not expect to write a book. Neither did she expect the tragedy that her family endured, a horrific and sudden death that led her to write At Close Range. Her debut memoir is the story of what happened after her son Jon died in a freak gun accident at a party. Ross unsparingly shares the complexities of grief as it ripples through the generations of her family, then chronicles how the loss of Jon has sparked a new life for her as a prominent advocate for gun safety. Before the accident, Ross never had a motivation to consider the role that guns played in her life. Now, she revisits ways in which guns became a part of everyday life for her three sons and their friends.
Purchase: Texas Tech University Press
Let’s start with the cover of this book. Fortunately I was provided with a hard copy. With this cover, it made all the difference. The detailed locks creating a handgun drew my eyes and my brain quickly followed with curiosity. Here is a message for the reader even before they crack the cover.
Growing up in a home where guns were present and where gun safety was taught early and often, I am comfortable around guns. (No I did not grow up in Texas!) My dad taught my brother and me from a young age what was and was not appropriate behavior near guns. With this background, I was curious to see where the author’s viewpoint would be on the subject.
This is a detailed and heart-tugging story that, as a mother, I could identify with on so many levels. The author’s angst and endless variety of feelings were mostly ones I could imagine myself feeling or asking the same questions.
While I do not agree with all of the author’s perspectives, I do respect her way of dealing with the horrific episode in her family’s life. I too feel like I do not align with the majority of the pro- or anti-gun organizations and felt comradery as the author tried to find her place after the death of her son.
Leesa Ross walks the reader through about a year in her life after her son dies. She also spends a bit of time giving us background on the family, events and specifically the life of her son Jon. This is not an easy or simple read, but it definitely is a different aspect than I have read in books of similar events. I would highly suggest keeping an open mind and considering this author’s viewpoint. She makes a lot of logical sense on an idea that could help parents prepare their children for a world where guns are part of the norm for many people.
Leesa Ross is a debut author who’s transformed a tragedy into a mission for safety. After losing a son to a shooting accident, she formed Lock Arms for Life, an educational organization teaching gun safety. A Texas mother of three, she leads Lock Arms, sits on the board of Texas Gun Sense, and belongs to the NRA.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FIVE WINNERS each get a hardcover copy of At Close Range.
US Only. Ends midnight, CST, 2/26/21
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