I like the NRA Firearms Sourcebook for a basic reference work, but keep in mind a lot of stuff is available free on the internet. Obviously you have to be careful of your sources on the WEB, but really that can be true of printed sources also. I personally have found Wikipedia to be very helpful for gaining a basic understanding on a variety of subjects and don’t forget Google.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman