Review: Gun Guys: A Road Trip by Dan Baum

Gun Guys: A Road Trip
by Dan Baum
Rating: ****
Read 7/14/2013

I’m astonished at how I feel about this book, frankly. Because I picked it up between two fingers, with my nose wrinkled up and my eyes rolling like the teenager I sometimes act like when my gun guy father tells me to read something like… well, like what I thought this was going to be.

What it was, however, was the story of a liberal Democrat guy who grew up liking guns and how he jumped feet-first into US gun culture to understand it from the inside. It didn’t turn out the way Baum expected it to, either. He learned, and in turn explained to me, about what the average-guy-on-the-street-with-a-concealed-weapon was all about. And what hunters are doing out there. And the sports gun people. He talked to people who’ve been on both sides of guns, and if he told me the five rules of gun handling once, he told me a dozen times.

It’s a fair opening salvo (ahem) in the quest to have a dialogue between the anti-gun people and the gun people. It’s a tour of a United States that coexists invisibly with the one in which I’ve always lived. And it’s given me an awful lot to think about, made me if nothing else a little more aware of my own prejudices and assumptions.

Highly recommended.

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