Why some Americans love guns

Ben Marks of CollectorsWeekly says:

Our associate editor, Lisa Hix, has just written a terrific piece about why Americans are so in love with guns. Turns out the Wild West mentality that manifested itself after the slaughter at Sandy Hook (when the head of the NRA suggested that the answer to gun violence was to arm teachers) has its roots in the Wild West of our imaginations as conjured by Hollywood, not the Wild West of historical fact. That disconnect has colored the current debate about guns.

For example, citizens of the American frontier of the 19th century rarely got the chance to "stand their ground." In fact, according to Bob Boze Bell, executive editor of "True West" magazine, "The protocol of either counting down to draw or allowing the other person to draw first, that's pure made-up hooey. In most of the fights, the idea was to get the drop on the other person, and that meant, more often than not, shooting from a safe place in an ambush, or shooting someone in the back, unfortunately."

In addition to interviews with Bell and Jeffrey Richardson, a curator at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, our article features numerous photos of antique Kentucky rifles, Remington revolvers, Colt .45s, Smith & Wessons, and Winchesters, all of which prompted my son to encapsulate in a text the ambivalence many people feel about firearms: "Man I hate guns… and yet some of these guns are so cool…."

Why Americans love guns