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Bethel’s Byrd’s Books Holds Event to Promote Controversial Topic Regarding ‘Moms Demand Action’ Gun-Control & Anti-NRA Activist’s Book, But Has No Plans for Gun-Rights Supporters Events

Report by Paula Antolini, September 17, 2019, 9:47AM EDT

An already sold-out event that required reservations, is planned by a local Bethel bookstore Byrd’s Books, where Shannon Watts, the founder of ‘Moms Demand Action‘ and a gun-control & anti-NRA activist, will talk about this controversial topic from her book, Fight Like a Mother – How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World.

The owner of Byrd’s Books, Alice Hutchinson, a former Bethel Selectwoman and Democrat, gave this reason for why she is promoting an author that is called the “NRA’s Worst Nightmare” whose book and connected organizations promote an extreme viewpoint on guns, “This in an important dialogue in our country right now. I feel it is an issue that warrants discussion. As a bookseller I bring in lots of different viewpoints, and have seen a great deal of discussion on a variety of topics.

However, Hutchinson said she does does not have any future events planned to promote books in support of the 2nd Amendment or gun-rights proponents. Hutchinson said, “This is an author event and signing for a new book. It is most common to hold one event in a bookstore for a new book. This is a national publication getting a great deal of press. We are booksellers and our goal is to discuss and sell books.” (Read more of Hutchison’s answers to our questions at the end of this article.)

According to the book description, “Shannon has been called “the NRA’s worst nightmare”—and her army of moms have bravely gone up against the gun lobby, showing up in their signature red shirts, blocking the hallways of congress with their strollers, electing gun sense candidates and running for office themselves, proving that if the 80 million moms in this country come together, they can put an end to gun violence.”

The timing of the event 49 days before the upcoming municipal election day, with such an extreme Democratic platform, is questionable, and might it be an attempt to gain support for the Democratic party?

Business owners are allowed to run their businesses as they wish but should a local establishment be holding such an event in our town that takes such an extreme stand on gun control and is anti-NRA when a certain percentage of Byrd’s Books customers, and Bethel citizens, are most likely supporters of the 2nd Amendment and gun-rights?

David Kopel writes:

Ignorance is strength” was the slogan of the totalitarian government of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. As a practical matter, it could have been a slogan for the gun prohibition movement of the 1960s.

At the time, it was possible for a well-educated person to believe that the Second Amendment was only about the National Guard, and that repressive gun controls and gun bans would greatly improve public safety. At the time, there was virtually no serious scholarly research on the Second Amendment or on the social science of gun ownership.

Beginning in the 1970s, and with greater and greater depth in each following decade, scholars have investigated the fundamental premises of the gun prohibition movement and provided overwhelming evidence that those premises are false.

For the Second Amendment to survive in the long term, America’s gun owners need to have a strong understanding of their constitutional rights and of the many social benefits that result from the responsible exercise of those rights.

Here is a list of 10 great books that will deepen your own understanding of
America’s first freedom—the Second Amendment—and make you a more persuasive pro-freedom advocate with your friends, family and the broader community.

Click here: Top Ten Books for Gun-Rights Proponents compiled by David Kopel.

We recently contacted book store owner Alice Hutchinson and she was so kind as to answer our questions as shown:

1) What made you decide to hold an event to promote this particular book?

This event had been scheduled at another bookstore. They had a scheduling conflict and asked me to pick it up for them.

2) Do you know Sharon Watts personally or do you have any connection to her or her causes? If so, what organizations? 

No, I have never met the author. Most of the author events the bookstore hosts are authors new to the store. 

3) Do you agree with the stand the book is taking against guns and the NRA? And if so, why?  If not, why? 

This in an important dialogue in our country right now. I feel it is an issue that warrants discussion. As a bookseller I bring in lots of different viewpoints, and have seen a great deal of discussion on a variety of topics. I see it as one of the purposes of a bookstore- to encourage dialogue on a variety of issues. We are about to celebrate “Banned Books Week”. so we celebrate the right to read any book.

4) How many people will be able to participate in this event (audience/residents)? 

The bookstore can only accommodate 40 attendees. The event was at capacity about 8 hours after the registration link went up.

5) Will you be holding more events on this same book/author or topic (a topic or author that has the same viewpoint) since this event is already sold out?  If so, when and where? 

No, this is an author event and signing for a new book. It is most common to hold one event in a bookstore for a new book. This is a national publication getting a great deal of press. We are booksellers and our goal is to discuss and sell books.

6) Do you take into consideration that this event could make some buyers stop patronizing your bookstore? Are you concerned about that? 

That would be too bad, but I will always stand up for the rights of individuals to read whatever they like, and would hope others would support non-censorship of books. We have always gladly ordered anything our customers want to read, since we are too small to have a huge inventory. I see no reason to change that practice.

7) Will you be holding any events to promote books supporting the opposite viewpoint?  If so, what books and authors and when? 

As I stated previously, this is an author event for a new book published by a major publishing house. She is touring the country on a national author tour, and we are one stop. 

8) Have you ever held any events to promote books supporting the opposite viewpoint? If so, what books and authors and when? 

Our author events are chosen by what author has a new book, is touring in our area and is published  by a major publishing house. We submit proposals directly to the publishers from the notices they send us as to who is touring in our area. Event choices are driven by who is writing what, what author is touring in our area and who is willing to do an event in a little store with a limited capacity. 

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What do you think about this topic? Comment on our BETHEL ADVOCATE Facebook page here.

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Editor Note: We also contacted Bryan Terzian, the Chairman of the Bethel Republican Town Committee (BRTC), for comment from the party about gun rights, but he did not respond.

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