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American Gun Owners in their Homes

Since the founding of the United States, guns have remained an integral, yet controversial, component of American culture. The passion for guns held by many Americans stretches across all social and racial boundaries, as illustrated by Krause Books' photo series entitled Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes.

The photographs are very well done, and the juxtaposition between owner and type of gun owned is sometimes surprising.

Even though I would probably never own a gun, I felt drawn by the stories and photos. A friend once said that guns are "as American as Apple Pie, buffets, and NASCAR". Call me unpatriotic, but I'll take my Apple Pie and pass on the other 3.
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I know quite a few gun owners, and the thing that strikes me about them is that they all seem to get a big kick out of the thought of a burglar breaking in and giving them justification to blow someone's head off.
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Lest we forget, the Founding Fathers thought it appropriate to put the right to keep and bear arms as the second amendment, only behind the freedom of speech, and well ahead of all the others in the Bill of Rights.

While I don't agree with many of the gun nuts out there, I can appreciate the logic and the intent of the Founding Fathers.
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My father used to be an expert marksman and owned a collection of antique pistols (until it was stolen from him). The caveat? He's a complete pacifist.

Not everyone who is interested in guns wants to see them ever used against other humans.
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I would say the minority of gun owners are "nuts". Most are probably hunters (or if in L.A., gang members) who have a legitimate reason for owning guns.

Most of the people in the pictorial seem normal, although the contrast between folks like the grandpa and the guy with the high powered semi-auto assault rifle are pretty amusing.
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I think it's important to distinguish gun owners and gun nuts. I agree with Anita that gun nuts are a small minority.

Carl, this is a matter of hot debate - I think even the Supreme Court has gone both ways (i.e. saying that the 2nd amendment applies to individual citizens, whereas in other cases it has hinted that it only applies to "well regulated militia"). Correct me if I'm wrong.

See also: Second Amendment
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Boo guns. The founding fathers were awesome--gotta give them that much credit--but not everyone is right all the time. Even Einstein made mistakes. That's my opinion. You're all entitled to your own.
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WTF is that guy holding an AK47 for? He doesn't need that , you don't go hunting deer with an AK. Is his wife also holding a Spas-12? Both guns are loved by terrorists.

I thought that the whole "right to own guns" was about the fear of an invasion by the King of England and us being able to be strapped to the teeth and ready.

Guns hurt more people than they help, and (duh) countries with strict gun laws have way less crime than those who don't. In fact, statistically you're more prone to shooting a family member and friend than you are an intruder in your own home.

Boo guns indeed Ty, I'm with you.

How about people go back to using a sword, at least that takes some damn skill to use.
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People that hate guns hate freedom.

And the 2nd Amendment says that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The reasoning behind it is irrelevent. It shall not be infringed.

The 1st Amendment was created to protect political speech. I'm thankful that they didn't make that explicit, as the same totalitarians would use the same faulty logic to attack speech as well.
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In fact, I have a friend (Navajo) who hunts only with a bow and arrow. It makes me happy to see that.

Anybody every see that skit of Borat when he goes to Texas to one of those ranches where you can shoot animals that are standing by feeders?

The guy goes on to tell a story about shooting an endangered animal, and how he prides himself on it. You know damn well he didn't eat any of that meat. Also, leave it up to Borat to bring out the racist in someone.

Some people say that they have them for hunting, some for protection. It's scary because they've because so part of an American culture that if there was a gun ban (which I don't ever see happening here) that it would create serious chaos. I even know someone who went out and bought 2 rifles and a handgun because of fear that the terrorists will come over here and start a war. Like terrorists are going to wage war on this humongous ass continent. What a joke.

When I inherited a M1 Garand and .45 from my grandfather, I went out the next day and sold them. I'll have no part in taking guns, it's my silent protest.
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The Constitutional right to bear arms was written by folks with a very clear recollection of the Revolutionary War, and the "well regulated militia" to which they referred was the force that allowed them to be freed from the oppressive British rule they had known for a long time. They knew that there was a chance that the new government they created could eventually arrive at a point where freedom was again restricted as it was under the British, and if that were to happen the only recourse for the people would be to fight against their government. The right to bear arms is, therefore, one more check and balance in the system of government we enjoy.

The "well regulated militia" does not refer to a force that is organized and ready to go, but rather the potential that exists to gather such a force. I think it was Noah Webster who wrote something to the effect that the government cannot deprive the citizenry of their liberties as long as the people have the power to fight back. I don't know what compels people to such angst against gun ownership, but that is enough for me to seriously doubt anyone in or running for political office who promotes any kind of ban on firearm ownership.

All this is fairly basic material as taught by the Federalists. It's a topic worthy of research by anyone who has any appreciation for the freedom we enjoy in the US.
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Ah... another 2nd amendment discussion...It's right up there with 9/11 conspiracy and "Apple Sucks" threads when it comes to topic popularity.

Hey, feel free to not like guns. Feel free to respect my wish to own one as well. I keep a gun or two and I say screw the 2nd amendment. I'm not going to grant the state a monopoly on violence and I don't seek the approval of government or any of these above dopes who seek to define "legitimate" ownership. (I love the folks above who try to define the cross section of gun owners while not knowing anything about the subject and totally ignoring the (limited) evidence presented in the photo gallery.)

As an anarchist and a gun owner, I keep pretty weird company when it comes to the gun debate: the number of idiots who don't even know the other 9 amendments of the BoR, who use the gun issue as a false front for tons of hate mongering and other reactionary bullshit is staggering.

P.S. Why is everybody in the photos white? I'd love to see a similar photo album of my latino/black/vietnamese/chinese/etc. neck of the woods here in Oakland. I think I just created another project for myself...
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grouchosuave, not everyone is white in that photo spread.

Take a look at Bashir, and his Bushmaster CAR-15, which looks like one rugged weapon I tell you.
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Ya, thought the photos were a little weird the first time I saw them...

By the way, a very lengthy history of the 2nd ammendment up to its ratification....
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You Americans kill me.
More to the point, you kill each other.
"People that hate guns hate freedom."
That's classic!
If it weren't so pathetic, it would be funny.
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i live in a country where its really hard to own a gun, yet its one of the most liberal contries around, yeah we can do drugs, drink and watch porn when we are 18 (16 for beer), and yet, stil our crime rates are lower and homocides way lower than the usa (and its one of the most densly populated countries so the rular argument wont fly ...but yeah...we are not free because we dont own guns? THINK AGAIN

(the Netherlands)
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The second amendment is about fighting tyrannical government. It is about the right to the means to oppose the state. It is NOT about hunting.

Opposition to the private ownership of weapons is tantamount to worship and approval of the state and its monopolization on the use of violence.

If I own my life then I have unadulterated property rights with that life, with that body. Seeing as that is true, I have the right to defend that property from the forceful aggression of others. From ALL others. From street thugs to jack booted thugs, from thief to state thief. Any attempt to bar me from that basic right to protect my life on any grounds, or to restrict the tools to do so, is a violation of my right to my own life.
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