Book Review Enemies Foreign and Domestic, By Matthew Bracken
Reviewed by Jeff W. Zimba

Enemies Foreign and Domestic
By Matthew Bracken
ISBN 0-9728310-1-0
570 pages
Steelcutter Publishing
San Diego, CA

In the opening pages, the reader is thrust into a football stadium packed with 80,000 fans on a pleasant September day. As the game is starting, small waves of activity begin erupting from areas all through the stadium. It is soon apparent that people are being shot and no one knows where the bullets are coming from. As the crowd begins to realize what is going on, panic spreads throughout the entire stadium and pandemonium erupts. In a panicked effort to flee their seats, several people meet their fate being trampled by the stampeding crowd. Others plummet to their death by being pushed by the fleeing crowds, from the upper reaches of the stadium. In the end, over 1,000 people have perished.

The alleged shooter, a disabled Desert Storm vet, was located almost 1,300 yards away, on a perch overlooking the stadium with an old SKS rifle. He was immediately dispatched by the tactical team looking for the source of the incoming fire.

That same evening, the President appeared on television to address the nation about the tragedy that had been playing over and over for hours on every broadcast network. With a scoped SKS rifle by his side, the President proclaimed that the nation needed to move to ban military style rifles in order to prevent anything like this from happening again in the future. He pleads with the Congress to immediately take up the issue. In a knee-jerk, reactionary move, typical of so many liberals in public office, the possession of all semiautomatic "assault weapons" is outlawed and the public had one week to turn in their now prohibited firearms to the nearest police station for immediate destruction. All semiautomatic rifles are included in the ban, including the common and popular .22lr firearms.

It is soon realized that there are a few "low people in high places" orchestrating events to compound on the stadium tragedy in order to take advantage of the momentum of anti-gun sentiment in the misled general public. In the following pages the reader is introduced to a cast of characters who happen to meet by a series of related incidents in the days following the sweeping ban. Previously unaware of each other's existence, events following the gun ban would create a bond they would have the remainder of their lives. As they begin to understand what is happening, it is time for retaliation and the tide slowly turns against those who have perpetuated the horrific events that would scar the nation for years to come.

I found this book to be a great read. I usually don't spend much time reading works of fiction but within one chapter, this book not only caught my interest, but also retained it through the remaining 570 pages. This is not a typical good guy vs. bad guy, or "hero against the out-of-control government bad guy" type of read. It is also not a "goober manual" loaded with far-reaching, underlying conspiracy theories. Many of the events discussed in this book are historically accurate and while the storyline is full of twists and turns it remains believable and not too far fetched. It is obvious that the author has a background involving firearms from the numerous references that are indeed realistic. Firearms mentioned range from H&K 10mm MP-5's, used by special-ops teams, to the effective and compact Thompson Contender pistol, threaded for a sound suppressor. The characters you meet are interesting and complex, and the storyline has several major events running parallel to each other. The last chapter leaves the reader waiting for the sequel. This writer will be anxiously waiting for its release.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V8N7 (April 2005)
and was posted online on May 31, 2013


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