When UCLA law professor Adam Winkler first began to promote his new book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, he spoke to a booking agent about appearing on television news programs.

“So which side are you on,” the agent asked, “far-right or far-left?” Winkler explained that neither he nor his book came down hard on either side of the gun debate, to which the agent replied incredulously, “Have you ever seen a TV news show?” Nuance, it seems, doesn’t get booked on FOX or MSNBC. So without an extremist stance, Winkler’s career as a talking head was over before it began.

This anecdote was shared with guests by the author at his book party in Beverly Hills Thursday night, held at the home of his parents, Irwin and Margo Winkler, and co-hosted by Arianna Huffington and Ron and Kelly Meyer. But the history of guns in America, Winkler explained, doesn’t correspond neatly with extreme ideologies.

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