» » American Shooter: A Personal History of Gun Culture in the United States

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by Gerry Souter
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Politics & Government
  • Author:
    Gerry Souter
  • ISBN:
    1597976903
  • ISBN13:
    978-1597976909
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Potomac Books (February 1, 2012)
  • Pages:
    300 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Politics & Government
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1668 kb
  • ePUB format
    1671 kb
  • DJVU format
    1977 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    365
  • Formats:
    docx lrf mobi lrf


Gun ownership has long been a hot-button topic in the United States, and the National Rifle . Gerry Souter is my kind of gun owner and shooter.

Gun ownership has long been a hot-button topic in the United States, and the National Rifle Association has the reputation of being an organization of primarily politically conservative members. American Shooter provides a unique look at gun ownership. Well read and educated, thoroughly immersed in the gun culture, possessing serious marksmanship experience via formal, organized event attendance and competition shooting, yet with plenty of personal and professional interests besides guns and shooting.

This book is not about the Second Amendment controversy

This book is not about the Second Amendment controversy. Yet Souter explores the nature of our gun culture and how deeply ingrained it is, both personally and individually, and broadly throughout American society. -From the foreword by Gordon Morris Bakken, professor of history, California State University, Fullerton. Gordon Morris Bakken).

American Shooter book. Gun ownership has long been a hot-button topic in the United States, and. Gerry Souter examines the history of firearms in the United States, from the settlers who carried matchlock muskets ashore at Jamestown to the citizens who purchase guns in record numbers today. Recent Supreme Court decisions that uphold the right to bear arms have galvanized citizens on both sides of the debate, making the gun issue hotter than ever.

Gerry Souter examines the history of firearms in the United States, from the settlers who carried matchlock . American Shooter is both a history and a personal journey that traces the path of American gun ownership culture from the Revolution to today.

Gerry Souter examines the history of firearms in the United States, from the settlers who carried matchlock muskets ashore at Jamestown to the citizens who purchase guns in record numbers today.

Book · January 2011 with 1 Reads. How we measure 'reads'

Book · January 2011 with 1 Reads. How we measure 'reads'. To provide a personal view, Souter weaves in tales of his own experiences with guns, including sport shooting as a young man, hunting and bonding with his father, and facing the smoking end of a muzzle as an international photojournalist.

American Shooter provides a unique look at gun ownership, handgun bans, shooting sports, and the controversy over how to interpret the Second Amendment from the point .

American Shooter provides a unique look at gun ownership, handgun bans, shooting sports, and the controversy over how to interpret the Second Amendment from the point of view of a liberal gun owner and enthusiast.

Gerry Souter examines the history of firearms in the United States, from . A professional author, he has written more than 20 books since 1997, with great success. Gun ownership has long been a hot-button topic in the United States, and the National Rifle Association has the reputation of being an organization of primarily politically conservative members.

From my Cold Dead Hands": the role of the NRA in the lack of gun reform in the United States from 1996-2014. The Allen Institute for AIProudly built by AI2 with the help of our.

Just as guns have played an important role in the political and cultural history of America, they have also .

Just as guns have played an important role in the political and cultural history of America, they have also had a significant impact on its economy. But before getting into the numbers, it is important to look at how guns impacted the way in which American industry conducts itself. Personal Use. The relationship between America and guns goes both ways. Removing gun ownership from the American psyche would likely require an active move to forget many of the myths and stories used to build up America’s image today, something that again takes generations to transform. Explore More Society Articles. By Any Means Necessary: Malcolm X’s Controversial Struggle for Black Freedom.

Gun ownership has long been a hot-button topic in the United States, and the National Rifle Association has the reputation of being an organization of primarily politically conservative members. American Shooter provides a unique look at gun ownership, handgun bans, shooting sports, and the controversy over how to interpret the Second Amendment from the point of view of a liberal gun owner and enthusiast. Gerry Souter examines the history of firearms in the United States, from the settlers who carried matchlock muskets ashore at Jamestown to the citizens who purchase guns in record numbers today. Recent Supreme Court decisions that uphold the right to bear arms have galvanized citizens on both sides of the debate, making the gun issue hotter than ever. To provide a personal view, Souter weaves in tales of his own experiences with guns, including sport shooting as a young man, hunting and bonding with his father, and facing the smoking end of a muzzle as an international photojournalist. American Shooter is both a history and a personal journey that traces the path of American gun ownership culture from the Revolution to today. It recounts how the country has lived with guns from the flintlock hung over the fireplace to the concealed-carry, laser-sighted Glock semiautomatic pistol tucked away in the hidden pocket of a mom’s purse.

Musical Aura Island
This wild and vicious national debate needs to adopt the balanced view of Gerry Souter. Until we can do that, we Americans don't have a chance in hell of solving the problem of the place of firearms in our society.
Faulkree
This is a readable and entertaining overview of many issues associated with guns and the "gun culture" in the United States, with a strongly historical perspective and frequent personal reminiscences by the author. It provides a very helpful primer for those interested in guns and the debates over the usefulness of guns and/or gun control laws; the author's middle-of-the-road attitude allows him to illuminate both sides of some contentious issues, and the book contains a wealth of historical and background information that will help bring readers up to speed on the content and context of this debate. The book suffers from a lack of organization and the author's frequent failure to maintain focus on the topic at hand (particularly in the many personal digressions that are often entertaining but equally often just irrelevant to the issue of guns).

The book addresses several themes: the history of gun ownership and use, particularly in the US; the development of firearms technology, both military and civilian; trends in gun ownership and their relationship to historical events such as the world wars, Prohibition, and the elections of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; and trends in public attitudes toward guns and the role of gun advocates, especially the NRA, in shaping and promoting them. The author interleaves these issues with stories of his own experiences with guns, including shooting with his father as a boy, competing in and coaching youth gun competitions (once common and uncontroversial in schools, churches, and youth groups across the country), his brief period carrying a gun as a security guard, and the pleasure of casual shooting, privately or with his wife. The writing is lively and approachable, often funny (and the author frequently slips in unacknowledged literary or historical quotes and plays on words that indicate a humorous erudition). The result is a thorough survey of gun culture, with an informative and explanatory historical perspective and an entertaining personal touch.

The reader comes away well-informed about the historical events that influenced trends in firearms technology and ownership in the United States, especially the somewhat obscure developments in military training and doctrine that had a significant influence on the history of guns in the civilian environment but are not often explored in depth. This is closely tied to the evolution of firearms technology, again a major driver of civilian gun ownership and use, and which gets a clear and useful review here. The author's personal perspective - as an avowed pro-gun liberal who is suspicious of the fearful and often racist motivations of the more excessive gun-rights advocacy - gives him a thoughtful approach to policy issues, as well as to the positive role gun training can have in developing discipline and self-esteem in young people. He speaks soberly of the limits and dangers of concealed weapons carry, and of the saddening failure of social cohesion represented by the widespread fears that are driving that trend; he also advocates strongly for increased gun ownership for peaceful purposes, and devotes an Appendix to describing a possible National Shooting Sports League that would sponsor televised competitions to increase public appreciation of shooting sports, and attract more young people to the pastime. His personal anecdotes reveal the source of his own attitudes toward guns, both their use and misuse, and are often very entertaining. In the end, the book leaves the reader well-informed, educated in some of the technicalities of gun technology, more appreciative of the points and counterpoints of gun policy debates, and with a positive but considered perspective on guns and gun culture.

The weaknesses of the book have largely to do with organization and focus. The author - like many gun enthusiasts - has a tendency to sink into bewildering lists of calibers and model numbers, often unexplained, that can leave a novice's eyes glazed, but this merely comes with the territory. More puzzling is the repetitious and non-sequitur flow of the text. The book contains much historical information, but it is organized only roughly chronologically, with each chapter addressing a different topical theme in the history of US gun culture. The author winds up repeating much of the historical content as it comes up over and over in different topical contexts. (He tells the story of George Washington authorizing the use of multi-projectile "buck and ball" loads to overcome his army's miserable shooting accuracy at least three times, and seems obsessed with the influence of suppressive fire as a military doctrine hampering the development of single-shot accuracy.) He often refers to an event or anecdote in one context, then re-tells it at great length later; perhaps this is the literary technique of "foreshadowing", but it just feels repetitive. Most oddly, he constantly jumps from one topic, or one time period, to a completely unrelated one in successive paragraphs, giving the whole book a digressionary and unstructured feel. The personal anecdotes are a real strength of the book, but the author often seems to forget why they are there, or how they relate to the topic of guns; he indulges in lengthy stories of his time as a newspaper photographer, getting chewed out by a supervisor on his security-guard job, or why he chose not to pursue horse-riding as a hobby, among many others, that simply bear no relation to the rest of the book, and often starts a story about guns that wanders far off into unrelated territory. (Combining all this with the not-infrequent typographic errors, the book feels unedited.) Coming from a life-long reporter and freelance writer, this structural confusion is surprising, and it detracts considerably from the book. Finally, though the material in the book is footnoted, the notes cover only a tiny fraction of the considerable historical and technical content. Long passages relating historical events, technical developments, or the actions of important figures in the narrative are left undocumented, which effectively invalidates the book as a resource and relegates it to the role of background information only - a tremendous waste of what is otherwise, even if somewhat disjointed, a vast trove of useful and informative data.

In the end, the book is less than it could be, due largely to the structural issues and lack of documentation noted above. I would have been tempted to give it 3 stars for those reasons - a good effort at an interesting and important topic that does not quite reach a high level of execution. However, the uniqueness of the author's voice, as a heartfelt liberal with a strong personal commitment to guns and a thoughtful perspective on their social role and appropriate ways of regulating them, gives this book an important place in an otherwise almost-unoccupied niche. The breadth of material covered, and the author's clear explanatory voice, also make the book interesting and useful for those seeking an orientation to gun issues, especially if new to the topic. For all these reasons I gave it 4 stars, and recommend it, even with its flaws, to anyone interested in gun issues in the US.
Jonide
Gerry Souter is my kind of gun owner and shooter. Well read and educated, thoroughly immersed in the gun culture, possessing serious marksmanship experience via formal, organized event attendance and competition shooting, yet with plenty of personal and professional interests besides guns and shooting. He is up on his history of gun ownership and marksmanship, yet above the saber-rattling too common among pro gun people.

Unfortunately, this makes people like Mr. Souter a rarity and that's a shame.

Most Americans, including the gun owners, view the National Rifle Association of America as a political organization due to changes made during the 1970's which changed their focus to politics and lobbying. However, before then the NRA was primarily concerned with promoting marksmanship training and competition. All forms of shooting skill in military, law enforcement, hunting and civilian circles can trace its origins back to organized competition shooting. Shooting was a popular spectator sport and received wide media coverage. Gerry Souter started his journey in the gun world back then and does a great job recounting much of this history. Too bad so few pro gun people today seem aware of it.

One of the best parts of this book is the author's concept of a National Shooting Sports League. The NSSL doesn't exist as it's just an idea and a very good one. An idea so good that the NRA and NSSF should be standing up and running with it. But, as Mr. Souter points out, they won't and that is part of the problem. Americans have sufficient number of gun owners to rival the most popular mainstream sports along with a plethora of national-level alphabet-soup organizations promoting a tapestry of interesting events. Yet, organized shooting is a totally disjointed effort garnering little attention even among gun owners, to say nothing of the general public at large. Pro-gun forces are good at keeping guns in the hands of American citizens but shockingly bad at getting those gun owners involved in anything more interesting than mere ownership.

Read this book for a wonderful history of gun ownership and marksmanship as it is a treasure that rivals the best books on the subject, including Americans And Their Guns, published by the NRA long ago when they used to be a marksman's organization. Read it for the witty and entertaining personal anecdotes of the positive influence guns and shooting can have on someone interested in more than merely possessing firearms and taking them out on infrequent, unorganized, random plinking or hunting outings. Read it for insightful, pro-gun commentary by someone that isn't merely a pro gun sycophant parroting the party line. Above all, if you're a gun owner or interested in firearms for any reason, read American Shooter.