01. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

Gun Guys: A Road Trip by Dan Baum, 338 pages, read by Madeline, on 07/05/2013

Here is armed America, land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they are collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns, which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms. The author is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey feeling like a “child of a bitter divorce with allegiance to both parents.” In this book he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the 40 percent of Americans who own guns. We meet Rick Ector, a black Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery, then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense, especially to the resistant black community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. The author also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago to interview a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions. In the tradition of the books Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, he brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, this book is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh assessment of the heated politics surrounding guns, one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue. This book goes beyond gun politics to illuminate the visceral appeal of guns; it is a journey through American gun culture, in search of Americans who love their guns.

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