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At Close Range: A Memoir of Tragedy and Advocacy

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  15 reviews
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 famil ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2020 by Texas Tech University Press
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Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, books-to-review
The role of guns in our society receives mixed thoughts. There are those that think they should be banned and there are those that believe in the right to bear arms. This memoir shows that there can be a balance between the two and it comes down to understanding the power that a gun can hold and being smart and safe using guns.

"I just didn't believe bad things would happen to people like us, people in the bubble. I didn't believe Jon would ever be in a room with an unsecured gun and not enough g
...more
Kristine Hall
So much pain. So many questions. So little forgiveness. In AT CLOSE RANGE, Leesa Ross takes readers along on the horrendous journey that no parent should ever have to take, but one which too many have, and must continue to take: the death of a child by gunshot wound. In her open and bluntly honest memoir, Ross’s grief is palpable, her desperation washing over the reader.

Perhaps it’s inappropriate given the topic of the book, but I’m going to go there and point out that it was the cover of AT CLO
...more
Ruthie Jones
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"After something tragic overwhelms your life, it takes a while to determine your guilt."

At Close Range by Leesa Ross is an absolutely heartbreaking account of one mother’s struggle to navigate the unspeakable grief of losing a child and to break down the brick walls of investigative feedback and a coroner’s report that her son died of suicide from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound to the head. Putting things into perspective can be difficult when faced with the fresh wounds of loss, but Leesa refu
...more
Lorilei Gonzales
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At Close Range: A Memoir of Tragedy and Advocacy by Leesa Ross is a sobering story of loss and the choices a person can make after. In typical fashion, I did not read the summaries or blurbs before reading this book, so I will be addressing the many assumptions that I made in addition to my thoughts on the writing specifically. First of all, I assumed that this book was written by a mother who lost a small child in one of the terrible school shootings that have happened in our country. It is not ...more
Mike
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At Close Range is a story about a mother’s loss and fury, and ultimately how those emotions are transformed into something meaningful and positive. I would not consider this a story of redemption. Rather, I consider it a story about a path to activism that I do not wish on anyone.

If you read the synopsis, you’ll know what the story is about - but what you won’t know unless you read the book is the dogged strength this mother portrayed as she investigated her own son’s death, and then recreated h
...more
Jennie Rosenblum
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
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.

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
...more
Tangled in Text
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
At Close Range was at the forefront a memoir. This story follows a mother processing her grief by revisiting moments in her child's life, questioning and coming to terms with the fact that sometimes life doesn't make sense. There were a mix of stories incorporated from both before and after the tragedy as she looks for red flags and examines her guilt.

The reader gets to witness this mother going through each stage of grief from denial, thinking her oldest was the least likely to be in that situa
...more
Maryann
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
People deal with grief in many different ways. I know this from my work as a hospital chaplain when I facilitated grief support groups, and the one truth about grief is there is no right or wrong way to handle it.

I admire Leesa Ross for how she channeled her grief into action. When I first heard about this book I thought about the protagonist in one of my books (One Small Victory) who is modeled after a real person who also lost a son. That woman used the emotional energy from her grief to push
...more
Lisa
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
At Close Range is Leesa Ross’ gut-wrenching story of the shooting death of her son, Jon. Jon was a young adult at the time he died, in his 20s. The account Leesa received from Jon’s friends who were there when it happened pointed to a horrific accident due to negligence, but the coroner ruled otherwise. In his eyes, it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound not inconsistent with suicide. That verdict was unacceptable to Leesa.

In At Close Range, Leesa paints a portrait of a family that, while not wit
...more
Kimmie
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this book, At Close Range, a week ago. Now, like Leesa Ross my mind is now constantly swirling with “What if?” scenarios. See, I am someone who believes that instead of taking guns away from people, that we NEED to start teaching gun safety in schools right alongside the other ‘talks’ that Leesa Ross mentioned. I mean seriously, we talk about everything else under the sun with our kids, but this one subject we tend to stay away from. However, Leesa Ross is trying to change some of that so ...more
Julia Walker
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
At Close Range should be read by everyone that wants to do something about the huge issue in our country regarding guns. I say this because the author takes a stand that the entire country could get behind regardless of whether or not they own a gun, belong to the NRA, or want every gun removed from personal ownership. The stand is a simple one that has the potential to save hundreds of lives without removing a single gun. Educate. Educate the entire populace on gun safety.

This is probably the
...more
Lynn Poppe
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-review
Before reading At Close Range, I had two preconceptions: One, this is a memoir. And two, this is a book about guns and gun violence. Memoirs are not a favorite genre of mine. And the pacifist in me is certainly anti-gun. Or at least no guns for me. (I live by the you do you philosophy.) But honestly, this book is much more about a mother and family dealing with loss and grief than gun violence per se.

Ms. Ross is candid and brutally honest in her writing, giving the readers an unvarnished picture
...more
Christena
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Rolling to 4.5 Stars

There is no mistaking that guns are a pivotal talking point for many of us. The recent book I read At Close Range is a book with many pivotal points.

At Close Range is a memoir about a mother turning tragedy into advocacy around a subject that is highly controversial and polarizing on both sides of the fence.

The first time I shot a gun I was six years old. From that moment on I knew guns were not to be played with in any form. That shooting of a gun came after my dad’s best fr
...more
Lone Star Literary Life
Featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours. Lone Star Blogger Team average rating: 4.3 stars. ...more
Veronica
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leesa Ross has written a compelling memoir about the personal gun tragedy that shattered her life. A parent’s worst nightmare is to lose a child; Leesa lost her young adult son in an accidental shooting.

As an activist working for gun reform, a mother of sons, and also married to a gun owner, I applaud Leesa’s courage and honesty as she shared her pain of losing a son in such a horrific tragedy.
I admire her ability to transfer her pain from such a terrible event to becoming an activist for gun
...more
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Leesa Ross is a debut author who’s trans- formed a tragedy into a mission for safety. After losing a son to a shooting accident, she formed Lock Arms for Life, an educational organiza- tion 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.

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