Quick Reads: “Gun Guys” by Dan Baum


book cover

“Gun Guys: A Road Trip”

By Dan Baum

KNOPF

“You would get a far better understanding,” former NRA exec J. Warren Cassidy told Time in 2001, “if you approached us as if you were approaching one of the great religions.” In Gun Guys, author Dan Baum embeds with the flock. A Jewish Democrat from suburban New Jersey, he has been hooked on guns since childhood. Packing a sidearm and an NRA cap, Baum embarks on a pre-Newtown tour of shooting ranges, gun shows, and gun shops, tracing the rise of the AR-15, unpacking crime stats, and challenging the notion that America suffers from an “epidemic of gun violence.” He tackles this polarizing subject with an anthropologist’s eye, and in the end wonders if the left’s anti-gun sentiment distracts from a progressive agenda that working-class gun guys might support—if only they didn’t think Obama was coming for their arsenal.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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