The Way of the Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of Firearms

The Way of the Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of Firearms

by Iain Overton


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In this compelling and revelatory book, an investigative journalist explores the lifecycle of the gun—following those who make firearms, sell them, use them, and die by them—with a special emphasis on the United States, to make sense of our complex relationship with these weapons.

We live in the Age of the Gun. Around the globe, firearms are ubiquitous and define countless lives; in some places, it’s even easier to get a gun than a glass of clean water. In others, it’s legal to carry concealed firearms into bars and schools. In The Way of the Gun, Iain Overton embarks on a remarkable journey to understand how these weapons have become an integral part of twenty-first century life, beyond the economics of supply and demand.

Overton travels through more than twenty-five countries around the world and meets with ER doctors dealing with gun trauma, SWAT team leaders, gang members, and weapons smugglers. From visiting the most dangerous city in the world outside a war zone to the largest gun show on earth, his journey crosses paths with safari hunters and gun-makers, paralyzed victims and smooth-talking lobbyists. Weaving together their stories, Overton offers a portrait of distinct yet deeply connected cultures affected by the gun and from them draws out powerful insights into our weaponized world. Ultimately, he unearths some hard truths about the terrible realities of war and gun crime, and what can be done to stop it.

Eloquent and accessible, infused with compassion and humor, The Way of the Gun is a riveting expose about guns and human beings that offers an eye-opening portrait of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062346070
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 747,209
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Iain Overton is the director of policy and investigations at Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). Prior to joining AOAV in 2013, he worked as a journalist, notably for the BBC, ITN, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the Guardian, Telegraph, and Independent newspapers. He is the recipient of two Amnesty Media Awards, a BAFTA, and a Peabody Award, among others. He holds two degrees from Cambridge University.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

I Introduction 1

1 The Gun 3

II Pain 19

2 The Dead 21

3 The Wounded 37

4 The Suicidal 53

III Power 65

5 The Killers 67

6 The Criminals 89

7 The Police 105

8 The Military 123

IV Pleasure 153

9 The Civilians 155

10 The Hunters 176

11 The Sex Pistols 197

V Profit 221

12 The Traders 223

13 The Smugglers 249

14 The Lobbyists 268

15 The Manufacturers 292

16 The Free 308

Notes 311

Acknowledgements 355

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