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Blown Away: American Women and Guns Paperback


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Blown Away: American Women and Guns + Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America + Girls with Guns: Firearms, Feminism, and Militarism (Framing 21st Century Social Issues)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (April 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743464184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743464185
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A book about guns in America that doesn't take sides? A book about women and guns that avoids all the theoretical debates about what women "should" feel? Journalist Kelly starts out with some bold confessions instead: that she's been the victim of crime several times, and that she's loved learning to use guns and found it very empowering but doesn't own one herself because she's unwilling to shoulder "the social responsibility of keeping a firearm" in her home. While women do buy guns for sports or hunting, most of the 11 million to 17 million female gun-owners in America are looking for protection, says Kelly. According to the author, three-quarters of all women in America will be crime victims at some point in their lives; since most women are smaller and physically weaker than their assailants, Kelly believes "a gun... is the only weapon that truly levels the field in a life-threatening confrontation." Guns may make women feel safer, the author acknowledges, but do they really protect? While many women want guns to intimidate and don't ever plan to fire to kill, women who do shoot their attackers may face long jail sentences. While Kelly's prose is peppered with shocking statistics from both sides of the debate, it's her interviews with improbable women gun owners—delicately coifed elderly ladies, preppy Mount Holyoke College students, a big-game hunting former Miss Mississippi—that truly fascinate. Kelly offers no conclusions, just a list of sensible recommendations that anyone from either side could support: addressing violence against women, making women's safety a public priority and taking measures to reinforce responsible gun ownership.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Guns are a polarizing subject in America, but as journalist Kelly observes, "Men and women alike are often deeply ambivalent about a woman who owns a gun and knows how to use it." Curious about women gun owners (17 million and counting), cognizant of the appallingly high number of women who are victims of violent crimes, and certain that this line of inquiry would yield fresh insights into the impact guns have on our personal lives and society at large, Kelly set out to chronicle the history of American gun women. She begins by establishing a historical context, then moves on to revealing conversations with diverse women gun owners (enthusiastic and pragmatic), women gun-control activists, women who have survived violent assaults, and women who have used guns to protect themselves. Kelly also astutely assesses pop-culture depictions of gun-toting women; contrasts racial, class, and generational differences in attitudes toward armed women; and discusses the risks to children. Providing both practical information and useful commentary, Kelly turns in a rough-hewn yet groundbreaking and invaluable analysis. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Welcome!

My books both explore national issues of ongoing importance -- women and gun use, and the retail industry, which employs 15 million Americans and is the largest source of new jobs.

I wrote "Blown Away: American Women and Guns" to explore why firearms, from the founding of the United States to today, remain such an essential element of American identity for so many people -- 30 percent of American homes contain a gun. I don't own one, but wanted to understand and explain why so many women do, and why some others would never make that choice. The book is fair and balanced, a first on that topic in this respect.

"Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail" examines in detail the enormous retail industry we're all part of -- we all shop! I took a part-time job at a suburban New York mall in September 2007 to add income to my freelance writing work (for The New York Times, More, Marie-Claire and many others.)

But, 27 months later, I quit to write "Malled", which discusses this powerful $4 trillion industry in lively, personal detail. There's no book just like it.

My goal in "Malled" is to make clear(er) what working in retail means, to employees, shoppers, investors in that industry and to managers whose job it is to hire, manage and motivate workers, even for extremely low wages under difficult conditions.

Both books are down to earth and easy to read, full of original interviews with interesting people nationwide and lots of surprising information. (Like: Why don't malls use acoustical ceiling tile?)

You'll find terrific reviews -- from People, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly -- and sample chapters at malledthebook.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This book is a "must-read" for everyone.
Shauna
I haven't read the book personally yet, but she reports that it is a very information and enjoyable read.
S. Goodson
You really understand that a gun is seen as a guard against violence towards women.
Blake Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Summer-Parks on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I challenged myself to read a book about a subject I'm not comfortable with and then couldn't put it down. What a great Journalist and Storyteller Ms. Kelly turned out to be. I particularly enjoyed reading the history of women and guns in America. It gave me much food for thought. I highly recommend it for everyone on either side of this issue.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Blake Morris on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found the book very powerful. The author's interviews with women of all walks of life were very interesting. You really understand that a gun is seen as a guard against violence towards women. The book was well written and not full of opinions by the author. Just real people talking. Great Book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shauna on November 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Caitlin Kelly is a gifted writer. I have read many of her articles and news stories in such newspapers and publications as, The New York Times, the New York Post, Chatelaine and the Wall Street Journal. Buy this book and you will get an unbiased view of every woman's right to bear arms -- if she so chooses. This book is a "must-read" for everyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.It is packed with information all shooters need to read.Also a great book for anyone..those involved in the shooting sports and those not.Really is an eye opener and an easy read.Found the writing very fair and balanced.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Edwards on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why would a retired female pastor buy a book titled Blown Away? Because for the first time in my life, after retiring to Texas, I live every day with some measure of fear. And it's not just the number of women who die a violent death here. It's also a police force that shoots first and asks questions later. So I bought this book to see if it would change my mind about owning a gun. It didn't. The book is well written, and many of the stories are compelling. Other stories, however, seem contrived. Which is one reason I'm not convinced gun ownership is the answer. But if you're curious about why some women have chosen to arm themselves, this book is a pretty good start.
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