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December 10, 2012

The Machine Gun Gun Show

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Peter Muller machine gun show destroyed car

It’s an extremely provocative set of photos by Pete Muller at Wired’s Raw File. I’ve seen plenty of images from domestic gun shows, but this is the first look I’ve had at a machine gun show. Held annually in out-of-the-way Wyandotte, Oklahoma, one has to wonder where one actually draws the line when it comes to weaponry and America’s firearm fancy.

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At the end of the Wired post, Muller ties severe violence to freedom, individualism and valor, and then back to American patriotism, emphasized by Muller’s shot of the woman performing the national anthem in the rather formal orange dress, an odd clash with the paramilitary duds of the enthusiasts.  I’m actually wondering, though, how much these photos have to say about politics as opposed to something more basic, more primal.

As reflected by the first couple comments in the thread, perhaps what’s captivating about these photos (reflected in this “I love napalm in the morning” face, also) is less about  freedom or valor than just about pleasure, pure power and release.

(8:45 am PST – edited for content)

See the Wired post and slideshow here.

(photos: Pete Muller caption 1: Story Rush, a kindergarten teacher from Greenwood, AK, fires an M1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun on the first night of OFASTS. “It is such an adrenaline rush,” she says after stepping back from the weapon. It’s her first time at the show, which she attends with her husband and 8-year-old son. “I grew up hunting with my dad so guns are nothing unusual for me,” she says. caption 2: Targets on the OFASTS range on the final day of shooting. caption 3:Connie Moser, a local singer from the nearby border town of Neosho, Missouri, sings the national anthem before shooting commences.)

  • bks3bks

    I haven’t fired a gun in years, but I was tempted by a guy who set up a firing range where you could blast apart old computers and other electronic equipment with automatic weapons.

    –bks

    • LanceThruster

      I target shoot and have fun testing the destructive capacity of different weapons and rounds. I clean up all my target trash at the end of the shoot. It seems silly but I can relate to the ear to ear grin of the kindergarten teacher firing the M1919 Browning.

  • black_dog_barking

    As reflected by the first couple comments in the thread, perhaps what’s captivating about these photos (reflected in this “I love napalm in the morning” face, also) is less about freedom or valor than just about pleasure, pure power and release.

    Sure it is. Too bad there’s no other way to feel pleasure, pure power, or release.

    Guns and Ammo and blowing shit up is rooted directly in our biologic imperative, we’re wired for it. At least, from personal experience, men are.

  • black_dog_barking

    Serendipity and the theme of blowing stuff up, just ran across a piece about high-speed photography and dropping porcelain figures onto a hard surface: Martin Kimas.

  • Karadjordje

    What angers me more than anything is the connection some people make between exhilarating love for weapons, family values, patriotism and Jesus fucking Christ! Please, just leave family values out of this. Please.

  • alan

    Whats provocative about these photos? Its a SAFE and fun hobby enjoyed by Americans ina large group. In the liberal world though, facts are thrown to the side to make normal Americans look like violent idiots.

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