Review: ‘Freedom Baby ABC’, by ‘Jane Sharpe’

Freedom Baby ABC is a cute little alphabet learner for children just starting to grasp letters. There are hundreds of these out there, and the twist here is that every letter is illustrated by a firearm-related item or concept. DRGO has reviewed and recommended a number of young people’s books that responsibly introduce terminology and ideas about owning and using guns. (See here, here, here, here and here, unless I’ve lost count.)

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‘Jane Sharpe’ (you’d think her real name was actually the pen name) has joined this subset of the literary world with a book directed at the youngest set yet. She designed, wrote, and illustrated it, which earns my admiration regardless of the product. But the product is lovely and fulfills her aims well.

I’ll quote from an email she sent describing her aim that I can’t better: “. . . it’s the first book of its kind. Simple images that will be familiar in any gun-loving home leap from the brightly colored pages. From Ammo to sleepy ZZZZs, parents will love sharing Freedom Baby ABC with their children because it reinforces 2A values to the next generation.” Yes, it is, they do, and we will.

The content includes mostly hardware of various kinds, but the software that may be even more important is also highlighted. These include concepts about “Duty”, “Freedom”, that “Guns are tools” and “Never to be played with”, and the security and reassurance of knowing your parents are armed and you are protected. These are ideas one hopes more and more children will grow up with rather than the modern illiberal belief that families with firearms are dangerous. She draws their attention to them well with bold, bright colors.

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I do wish she’d found a way to work in “Second Amendment”. That’s a far more important foundation for a growing child than a “Sight” picture (though “Safety” matters sooner). Maybe in a second edition she’ll add the numerical digits to her basic literacy characters for these newest of newbies. The occasional duplication of words beginning with the same letter also feels a bit awkward, since most pages use only one. There’s something to be said for consistency in teaching little kids, whether using one word per page or several so they can explore multiple ideas on every page. Quibbles, each.  

Finally, we should acknowledge that DRGO agreed to provide a blurb for the back cover: “Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership knows that education about gun safety and our rights cannot begin too early. Freedom Baby ABC is a lovely way to introduce toddlers to the alphabet and to firearms along with the rest of their world. Add it to your bookshelf and enjoy it with your child!”

And that’s exactly what we mean. Pick it up (it’s not heavy), share it, and you’ll enjoy it along with your future range buddies. 

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Robert B Young, MD

— DRGO Editor Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

All DRGO articles by Robert B. Young, MD