This devastating book begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, sixteen-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day’s end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another.
In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as “the gun that made the eighties roar.” In so doing, he not only illuminates America’s gun culture—its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists—but also offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearm. The result is a book that can—and should—save lives, and that has already become an essential text in the gun-control debate.
“Larson takes us past the absurd myths, past the numbing statistics, and into the face of reality. . . . Journalism at its highest.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review