Gun Nation is a revealing and unsettling video journey to the heart of America’s deadly love affair with the gun.
In the 18 years since Zed Nelson’s seminal photography book Gun Nation was published, 500,000 Americans have been killed by firearms in the US and many more injured. Nelson returns to the people he met, photographs them again, and asks why America is a nation still with an insatiable appetite for firearms.
Avoiding stereotypical images of gang members or extremists, Nelson focuses instead on another side of America’s gun culture: the mainly white middle classes who sell and purchase guns in vast numbers.
Nelson’s two-decade-long rapport with his photographic subjects gives unique and intimate access to the minds of gun owners. As they cling to the notion of a centuries-old ‘right to bear arms’, Nelson seeks to understand why – despite the enormous death toll – there is such fierce resistance to gun control laws, particularly the debate about ownership of assault weapons.
Gun Nation explores the paradox of why America’s most potent symbol of freedom is also one of its greatest killers.
Zed Nelson is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. Gun Nation was awarded first prize in the World Press Photo Contest, the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award and the Visa d’or.