Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun

A.J. Somerset. Biblioasis (Consortium, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $17.95 trade paper (326p) Style ISBN 978-1-77196-028-1
Somerset (Combat Camera) tackles the murky, polarized world of pistols, rifles, and shotguns from the unique angle of a former soldier and present hunter who thinks the current gun culture in North America is deeply troubled. By digging deep into history, brushing off dusty lawsuits, and pounding some pavement, Somerset manages to avoid all of the clich├ęs about North American gun politics and overturn everything that is held to be gospel. This is a brilliant piece of investigative journalism and surprisingly entertaining given the dismal subject matter. Somerset shrewdly crafts arguments against the most paranoid and fervent gun owners and their worldview, compelling readers to follow his line of thinking. He traces the fascinating development of the knotty concept known as "gun culture" as it follows a twisted, deluded path strewn with racism, inflated egos, and consumerism. Just as readers pat themselves on the back for their deep dive into North American attitudes toward gun violence, Somerset alters the dialogue again, suggesting that the solution to gun-related problems, including both gun violence and the related cultural divide, is extremely complex. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 454 pages - 978-1-927428-67-2
Ebook - 454 pages - 978-1-927428-68-9
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-77196-029-8
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