Guns and/as Symbols of America/Freedom

Because I am mostly concerned with the practical aspects of guns — how they are used — I do not focus on the symbolic dimension of guns as much as many, like Jennifer Carlson (gun carriers see themselves as “citizen-protectors”), Angela Stroud (concealed carry is an expression of “hegemonic masculinity”), or Joan Burbick (gun shows sell an ideology of Christian nationalism along with guns).

Nevertheless, even I could not miss the symbolic association of guns with American political identity at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show recently.

Auto Ordnance Trump Custom 1911. Photo by David Yamane

Auto Ordnance Trump Custom 1911. Photo by David Yamane

Taurus = Jessie Harrison and America

Taurus 1911 pistol. Photo by David Yamane

Remington = America.

Remington 1911 R1 pistol. Photo by David Yamane

Hi-Point = America.

Hi-Point pistol. Photo by David Yamane

Unique ARs = America.

Unique ARs AR. Photo by David Yamane

Israeli Weapon Industries = America.

IWI Tavor. Photo by David Yamane

Anderson Manufacturing double dipping with the Constitution and flag = America.

Anderson Manufacturing AR-15s. Photo by David Yamane

Stag Arms = “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Stag Arms AR-15. Photo by David Yamane

Stag Arms = “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Stag Arms AR-15. Photo by David Yamane

And last, but by no means least, Gear Head Works presents: Anarchy! Anarchy! Anarchy!

The NSSF staff checked in over 15,000 guns, the overwhelming majority of which were NOT adorned with these symbols. Of course, for many people the gun itself symbolizes freedom, whether or not it is additionally adorned with stars and stripes or the Constitution.

3 thoughts on “Guns and/as Symbols of America/Freedom

  1. Given our current political brown-fest over immigration, I’ll take the one with the Statue of Liberty inscription. Oh, and one with the intro phrase to the Constitution.

    All kidding aside, thanks for the coverage, David!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Forbes Reporter Spends a Year in Gun Culture and Doesn’t Learn Much | Gun Culture 2.0

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