Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Ameriguns

My first reaction to the pics in this tome was: These people are clearly nuts! How can you want to have your picture taken surrounded by your firearms? And not just one firearm, lots of them. Moreover, the guys and gals look seemingly proud. It is way beyond me what is going on in their heads. On the other hand, it is generally beyond me what is going on in anybody’s head and that includes my own.

Politicians from both sides of the Atlantic often talk about shared values. Looking at the people portrayed in this book, I’m not sure what these values could possible be. To me, these people seem to inhabit a foreign planet. But, hey, aren’t Swiss citizens allowed to have guns at home? Yes, they are (and I do find that nuts too) but they do not talk about it. It’s like money, the Swiss do not talk about it either … although they are supposed to have lots of it..

 Although I’ve been visiting the US many times (and once crossed it from East to West) and have of course heard about American gun culture, I hadn’t been aware of the dimensions this book informs me about: There are more guns in America – firearms legally purchased and owned by civilians – than people. How come? Journalist Gea Scancarello argues “it is a question of tradition, of a constitutional guarantee”. It is, she writes, the “ideal of freedom on which the entire American narrative is founded: limitless possibilities, minimal restrictions, self-determination. Ensured by guns.” It is also what Trump stands for: Me first. The American version of freedom, it needs to be stressed, is not a universally understood concept.

For the full review,see here

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