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.
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.)