Gun Nation

2016 ,    »  -   18 Comments
Ratings: 7.60/10 from 42 users.
Gun Nation

First published in 2000, Zed Nelson's book of photography titled Gun Nation became a seminal perspective on America's enduring gun fetish. In the years since, the country's love of guns is more prominent than ever before, as is the annual number of gun-related deaths. In this documentary short, Nelson returns to many of the subjects that populated his watershed book, and re-examines a culture that has only become more rabid and divisive.

Hailing from London, Nelson approaches the issue from an outsider's point of view. He recites the harrowing statistics from the outset: since his book was initially produced, there have been over a half a million deaths related to firearms in the United States. The central mission of the film is to determine why - especially given these startling death tolls - so many Americans remain resistant to even the most modest gun law reforms. If any easy answers exist to this troubling dilemma, the film doesn't find them, but it does expose viewers to a wide array of personalities who fall on both sides of the issue.

A shop owner boasts of his ability to order 100 machine guns on a whim. A police chief worries about the country's expanding open carry laws, which grant citizens the right to bring a firearm into restaurants, bars and public parks. A medical examiner illustrates how most shooting deaths occur in domestic situations, and result from the actions of those who are otherwise law abiding. A father continues to deal with the grief of losing his 15-year old son during the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, and fails to understand why more hasn't been done to prevent these types of shootings in the 17 years since.

The filmmakers also catch up with perhaps the most controversial subject of the book, a Texas man who was photographed holding his infant in one arm and a pistol in the other. He argues that the photo illustrated his devotion to protecting his family while his detractors protest with charges of child endangerment.

Gun Nation also tackles issues related to the increasing prevalence of assault weapons, the widespread reach and influence of the National Rifle Association, gun-free zones, and the notion of arming school teachers. The film may not be revelatory in its insights, but it does provide a thoughtful representation of the divides that remain regarding U.S. gun laws.

Directed by: Zed Nelson

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18 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Mals

    Weak. Very weak. The inner city was ignored completely.

  2. Mark Maloney

    An unarmed citizenry is easily occupied; and an armed citizenry, well, won the war of independence...

  3. Shiraba

    I see how America is detrimental to the world. Pathetic and sad.

  4. Stefan

    "Let naturial selection take it's course" - sounds like Germany 70 years ago... I assume he at the same time believes in creationism and doesn't get the contradiction there. The US really have a sick view of the world.

  5. Roger Andout

    A private citizen REALLY DOES need a SUV mounted with a Browning M2 AND a SAW ... for home protection, no doubt. Indefensible, if you'll pardon the pun.

  6. cyberdog

    If he doesn't like it, Nelson is always welcome to f-off back to occupied England, grow a pair of balls and stand up for his own country while it is drowning.

  7. idahoguner

    do you own your guns or do they own you?

  8. Sandpiper

    Psalms 144.1 Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Life Application Bible, FJV

  9. Sandpiper

    In the past when the Brits got their tail in a crack whom did call! The YANKS!

  10. Tim

    Planet of the Apes.

  11. mike mathwig

    get rid of the guns!

  12. Richard Raymond

    "Let natural selection take its course." Sorry, but there's nothing "natural" about getting shot and killed by a gun. Time to amend the second amendment. God, Guns & Gays; that's what seems to concern Americans throughout their daily lives. So glad I'm Canadian.

  13. scubahalo

    Leftist/Marxist propaganda, pure and simple. Don't be sucked in by this trash. If they try to go after the Second Amendment (the First will no doubt be next) there will be blood - and lots of it.

  14. AM

    The only sane people in this doco are the gunshop owners,a weird type of irony

  15. wendy wilson

    Well in Canada... if you came to my church .. and asked the same question... no one would have a gun permit ... or a gun ..

  16. NormDePlume

    Blinkered and one-sided. Just about what I'd expect from The Guardian on this topic though.

  17. Wade Bishop

    I am very much pro 2nd. amendment. Even if there was gun control, criminals would always get there hands on guns. There will always be wars and people fighting for what ever reason. If there were no guns it would just go back to more medieval times when people fought with knives, swords and bows. Either way people will be killed.

  18. Glenn Luttrell

    My Dad bought me an air rifle when I was 16, when I was 18 I bought a semi automatic 22 cal and when I was 29 I bought a 30 30 lever action, done a bit of shooting for ferrel animals but never shot anyone or even pointed a gun at anybody but we had a mass shooting here just off Australia in which our Prime Minister disarmed the population resulting in good guys unarmed and now we have shootings on a daily basis and the bad guys have the guns and the crimes are usually drug related.

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