Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America

Ryan Busse. PublicAffairs, $29 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5417-6873-4
Busse, a former executive at the gun manufacturer Kimber, delivers a valuable insider account of how the NRA altered the gun industry and the U.S. political landscape beginning in the 1990s. He details how the NRA’s failure to stop the 1994 assault weapons ban led the lobbying group to adopt a more strident approach and link gun control to abortion and other “hot-button right-wing social issues.” Busse also describes how tragedies, including the 1999 Columbine school shooting, drive up sales among gun owners fearful that the government will pass new restrictions, and contends that the NRA fanned the flames of xenophobia after 9/11 and stoked racial tensions during the Obama presidency in order to sell more guns. After running afoul of the NRA by speaking out in favor of preserving public lands, Busse left Kimber in July 2020 and is now an activist for progressive causes. Though his attempts to explain why he stayed in the industry for more than 20 years, despite his increasing distress over the NRA’s influence, aren’t entirely convincing, Busse’s insights into the connections between politics and profit are genuinely eye-opening. This is an incisive look at how and why one of America’s deepest partisan divides got that way. Agent: Julie Stevenson, Massie & McQuilkin. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/20/2021
Release date: 10/19/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6686-0186-0
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