I have just been metaphorically punched in the guts. Ben Philippi (a pseudonym) has published the book which gun-haters been craving. Gun owners are portrayed as being scary, crazy and hostile. Ben Philippi says his book is “The Greatest Book Ever Made About Contemporary American Gun Culture”.
Just like many of the readers of this blog, I too am gun culture personified, yet I am not a stereotype. I am normal. I am boring.
I respect the right of people to live however they like, I celebrate and love the diversity of our gun culture, but it is dishonest to pretend a selection of eccentric gun owners, who handle their guns in an unsafe manner, represent us all.
Ben Philippi, the author and photographer, wrote (link NSFW) (emphasis added) …
As a professional photographer, journalist and gun owner, I set out to do something that has never been done before: I spent four years traveling to every corner of America photographing proud, unashamed and legal gun owners in a raw unbiased manner. After meeting many uniquely different people, I can assure you that America is indeed made from a very special cloth woven from the fibers of God, Guns, and Guts.
My experiences took me many places and I would be remiss to leave out the variety of flavors that make up the landscape, both urban and rural that embrace these individuals, so I have included some of the landscape and location images to the book. I have also included many of the favorite quotes from the people I photographed to complete the vision of this project. This book has been a labor of love and passion and I know that you will like it. We need to celebrate freedom, liberty and our right to bear arms in a fun and creative spirit.
Ben may have been unaware that this type of project has been done before by photographer Kyle Cassidy.
Take a look at the photos below and the photos in the flash animation on this page. Take note of their trigger fingers, most of them are on the trigger.
Mark T.C. Muller wrote the introduction (I believe he is the man pictured above in the cowboy hat) (emphasis added) …
Who is that good-looking man on the cover of this book? No matter. (It’s me).
Between the covers is an awakening of sorts. Photographer and writer Ben Philippi started out snarking and questioning and learned some indisputable truths: Where good people have guns, evil dares not tread. This book is at times whimsical, frightening, and inspiring. Make of it what you will after it goes through your mental and spiritual filters.
As for me? I’m picking God, guns & guts over slavery and bureaucracy.
A reader discovered this Tumblr post by a friend of Ben Philippi who is writing the press releases about the book (emphasis added) …
I’ve been writing: some press releases and such for Arbutus and – as of today – Montrealer and photo journalist Ben Philippi for whom I just wrote a news release.
Ben and I made this goofy film about Wal-Mart back in the day – 126 thousand hits and counting ha ha – and he’s spent the last four years documenting “freedom loving gun freaks” in the US. The resulting book God, Guns and Guts is not for everyone (can’t say I’m really a gun person), but it was actually pretty fun writing a tongue in cheek news release that will accompany the tome on it’s way to the gun mags and enthusiasts of the world!
Ben’s website is offline, but the Google Cache reveals his Contact page …
I think this is all a big joke and that we are the joke.
( All photos are © Ben Philippi. Permission to published the photos was assumed to granted when asked to write a review of the book. If the copyright holders wished the photos be taken down, I will comply )Related