Book Talk: "Gun Guys: A Road Trip" explores America's gun culture

Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:13am EDT
 
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By Randall Mikkelsen

BOSTON (Reuters) - Writer Dan Baum, a self-described Jewish liberal Democrat and a gun enthusiast since childhood, strapped a revolver to his side in 2009 and set off on an 18-month, 15,000 mileexploration of the U.S. firearms culture.

His book, "Gun Guys: A Road Trip," was released this month amid a gun-control debate rekindled by the December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Baum, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, says it was a challenge to write for two polarized audiences: liberals and fiercely protective gun lovers.

He spoke to Reuters about America's gun culture, semi-automatic weapons and what he learned about himself from writing the book.

Q: Are you a gun guy, or were you acting?

A: I'm a gun guy, and I live in a world of anti-gun people. Being a liberal Democrat, my whole social world is among people who dislike guns and dislike gun people.

Q: What should gun-control advocates know about America's gun culture?

A: Guns are cool; they're fun; they're mechanically gorgeous; they last forever.   Continued...

 
Dan Baum, author of "Gun Guys: A Road Trip", is pictured in this undated handout obtained by Reuters March 20, 2013. Baum, a self-described Jewish liberal Democrat and a gun enthusiast since childhood, strapped a revolver to his side in 2009 and set off on an 18-month, 15,000 mile (24,140 km)exploration of the U.S. firearms culture. REUTERS/Michael Lionstar/Random House/Handout