Machine Gun Expo Is Down-Home Americana Gone Ballistic
Photojournalist Pete Muller recently scratched a years-long itch to visit OFASTS and documented his trip.
“I grew up in a congested and heavily regulated area of the northeast and consequently had little exposure to guns and gun culture,” says Muller. “What was happening at OFASTS was unlike anything I’d seen or experienced.”
For those accustomed to guns, especially automatics, events like OFASTS can be as welcoming and innocuous as a state fair. For outsiders, the shows and the photos from them can be quite shocking and, in some cases, disturbing.
“I find it somewhat peculiar when people seem surprised by the ongoing American love affair with guns. The country was acquired in a way that required guns. Expansion of the American frontier was a severely violent process in which the gun played a central role, its sanitized memory has since become a pillar of white American nostalgia. It represents notions of freedom, individualism and valor and all of those things are tied to patriotism,” says Muller.
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