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Publisher's Summary

Here is armed America - a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns - which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms.
Dan Baum is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey feeling like a "child of a bitter divorce with allegiance to both parents". In Gun Guys he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the 40 percent of Americans who own guns. We meet Rick Ector, a black Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery - then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense, especially to the resistant black community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Baum also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago to interview a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and shooting ranges while trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions.
In the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, Baum brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, Gun Guys is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh assessment of the heated politics surrounding guns, one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue. This may be the first book that goes beyond gun politics to illuminate the visceral appeal of guns - an original, perceptive, and surprisingly funny journey through American gun culture.
©2013 Dan Baum (P)2013 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Dan Baum armed himself with an open mind and a .38 Detective Special to see what the armed lifestyle is about. Taking participatory journalism to a debate that rivals abortion as a hot-button topic, he emerged with observations that need to be read by both sides of the highly polarized issue." (Massad Ayoob, author and use-of-force instructor)
"Dan Baum’s curiosity about guns and his passion for them pull you deep into this book before you even know how you got there. He has put in the heft of a firearm and the smell of gunpowder and the heedless hilarity of shooting the heck out of stuff, and has produced a beautiful piece of writing." (Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia)
"Engrossing... a thoughtful corrective to the mutual ideological hysteria surrounding the issue of guns in America." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Dark Urban on 11-18-14

An East Coast Liberal confirms the ECL sterotype

Any additional comments?

East Coast, Jewish, Educated, Liberal, Writer. That pretty much ticks off any and every box you can get for the privileged elite who want to tell you how to live your life. This book tells the story of how he fell in love with guns and became a "gun guy" himself. BUT the truth is that he isn't. He has a gun, he even has a carry permit but he constantly talks about why YOU should not have one. As a former liberal (but will never be conservative) myself I walked a very similar path. I too learned about the fake facts used by the left to try and pass more and more anti gun laws. I then used my new insight to look at other tactics on the left and found over and over again that almost everything they were pushing was all based on the same misinformation. And the same could be said for the right. But the author here talks about on one page about how these lies are pushed on us and then espouses all the other virtues of the left. It's absolutely insane to sit there and tell me that you have learned that they are lying to you about this one huge issue and then try to say "OH but they are being honest about the rest. And how dare you question them?". Honestly it sounds like he just surrendered to peer pressure. His job, his wife, his family and all of his friends are all far left anti gun types. He even points to editors refusing his articles because they were not antigun enough. But he never takes the next step to questioning where this all is coming from. He makes excuse after excuse for anti gun issues and then picks apart and comes up with ridiculous excuses for why the pro gun data says what it says. I think he is just tired of his wife and friends treating him like a pariah for liking guns. And like a "recovering catholic" he still can not shake off the decades of indoctrination. This could have been a great story of one mans journey, instead it's the perfect example of what the left will do to you if you dare to disagree with the party line. But in the end the hypocrisy of the left comes shining through. One day, while biking in a bad part of town his wife, who detests that he has a ccw, turns to him an says "do you have your gun with you" and when he says yes well then, everything is better and they ride on. You see, guns are bad, except of course when they need them.Avoid unless you want to watch a man crushed by peer and social pressure.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Brandon Pruitt on 02-15-15

cherry pick arguments to conceal other viewpoints

the author spends a good part of this book complaining about how gun guys shove their politics down his throat but then subjects his readers to the same agony.

you will soon notice that, according to the author, he never does anything out of spite or carelessness. everyone around him who disagrees with him is just a gun but who, in his own words, refuses to accept responsibility for teenage suicide by gun and felony theft of firearms.

he complains so much about "gun guys" not wanting to compromise and actually blames victims of theft and home invasion for street crime by firearm

in typical modern liberal fashion his reasons for owning a gun and having a carry license are noble and just, and if yous differ then you are just some irresponsible southerner without a clue.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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