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Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes Hardcover – June 26, 2007
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"...Each picture in Armed America could be a pro-gun advertisement - or an anti-gun poster. That's what makes the book so riveting." -- The Washington Post, July 29, 2007
"Cassidy's genius... vividly captures the subjects' personalities as well as their widely differing views on gun ownership." -- Guns & Ammo, October 2007
"...stunning photos... You can't finish this book and still make blanket judgments about gun owners." -- The Library Journal, September 1, 2007
"What we have here folks, between two covers, is that greatest of rarities, a fair picture of who owns guns." -- Field & Stream, David Petzel, 2007
About the Author
Kyle Cassidy is a photographer living in Philadelphia.
Top customer reviews
"Guns! Guns!" she sang happily as she skipped off with her Dad.
The salesman and I stared bemusedly after them, and laughed when I said, "God bless America."
I keep this book in my waiting room and get feedback that is almost all good, except for a disturbed look from one non-gun-owner. Just big pictures of people posing in their own homes with their gun, one or many.
On each facing page appears a quote about why they feel they should have a gun. The combination of the candid photo and the equally revealing comments displays the whole diversity of our culture. There are scary looking people I'd not like to run into, especially now that I know they're armed. On the other extreme there's the gentleman who said, "As a Jewish American I am cognizant of the fact that 6 million of my people went into air pollution in the 30's and 40's...It's hypocritical to deny someone the most basic of human rights, which is the right to defend youself." Interesting book.
I appreciate that the book portrays first and foremost the people and does not slant or objectify them (there is no political agenda) which leaves me able to digest the contents for myself. The author's intro paragraph is very succinct and imaginitive; he is not only a gifted photographer but a unique writer as well. The photos are also really interesting because there's usually something going on in the background - you can see pets in motion captured at a moment in time or interesting expressions on the people's faces.
I liked the book because it showed who the gun owners are that people keep talking about. The general feel is that gun owners are shady folks or involved in militas dressed in camo planning to overthrow the government, neo nazi skinheads or criminals roaming the street. I like the idea that the book defeats that stereotype. It shows a diverse selection of gun owners of every race and background, poor, middleclass and rich, straight, bisexual, or gay. Gun owners come in all form, some support restrictions some don't.
The pictures of the book were very detailed and even if you are not a fan of guns or don't know anything about them, the detail of the pictures and the objects around the house are interesting, also lots of pets. There are details to the left of the pictures generally that have a little dialouge on why the person owns guns along with their name and state and listing the model of firearms.
I enjoyed the book and some of my friends who don't own firearms also enjoyed it not realizing that so many gun owners were just everyday people that lived in their neighborhood.
It's really interesting to try to read the different people, what they say, and they way they pose to try to gain some understanding into different American's psyches.
It's odd that so many of the subjects talk about guns as a "reset" button for democracy. If we had a better political process, it might not come to that. I can't tell if those subjects want it to come to that. They love shooting after all. It's also a bit disturbing when the subjects compare them to tools, because I don't see people posing and cherishing their hammers. A better comparison might be how people identify with their cars, which are arguably more dangerous.
Ayoob writes about the distinction between being a sheepdog and a helpless sheep, and the risks of turning into a wolf from the empowerment of guns.
All in all, a great book, especially if you are anti-gun. Being put out of your comfort zone and trying to understand is a really fun experience.
Ironically, I didn't get a gun until after this book.