These Photos Show That Guns Are Everywhere In America, For Better Or Worse

These Photos Show That Guns Are Everywhere In America, For Better Or Worse

If there is a defining mythology in America, it surely involves guns. Jesse Rieser for BuzzFeed News An American flag display made from shotgun shells. No place has been defined more by guns than the American West, with its legacy of John Wayne, westerns, and the wide frontier. Working with BuzzFeed News, photographer Jesse Rieser has criss-crossed the region, visiting Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma to explore the prevalence of gun culture. Rieser photographed gun ranges and neighborhoods wracked by gun violence and spoke with activists, politicians, and gun owners. His project examines the mythology around guns and its origins, illustrating the multifaceted viewpoints around firearms and seeking to challenge the idea that gun enthusiasts fit a certain profile. Rieser, who grew up on a farm outside of Springfield, Missouri, has a nuanced relationship with guns. “As a child, my father owned a .22 to protect their chicken coops from skunks and foxes,” he said. “My brothers and I were not allowed to have squirt guns and GI Joes. My parents felt the gamification of gunfights was damaging for developing minds, [and] this idea seemed radical in the ‘80s.” Just weeks before his high school graduation, the shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School happened, shaking a complacent America to its core. Since then, over 250,000 students have experienced gun violence at school while a veritable industry has sprung up in response, devoted to producing bulletproof backpacks, door locks, and other measures designed to keep kids safe while receiving […]

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