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McWhirter and Elinson’s ‘American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15’ is A True Story, but Not THE True Story

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They promise fairness and compassion in telling the story of the AR-15, but I don’t think gun owners get it here.

We see this McCloskey guy who confronted Black Lives Matter protesters with his Colt AR-15 on his front steps of his mansion in St. Louis. We meet Kyle Rittenhouse. We meet a white nationalist group called The Base, the Boogaloo Boys, extremists who build “ghost guns,” MAGA supporters with AR-15 confederate battle flags, and Oath Keepers.

All of which are absolutely true. They’re not making this up. But they’re giving a very partial view of the eleven million AR-15 owners in the United States, most of whom are not involved in this culture war over guns in the United States. …

One of the reasons why they don’t [present a more complete view of AR-15 gun owners] is that it would disrupt a very coherent narrative that they’re constructing that really looks at AR-15 owners as cultural dopes, in a sense, to gun industry marketing and political pawns of the NRA, they’re right wing culture warriors and insurrectionists and, of course, they’re also murderers. 

So I say in my review that a more accurate, though less marketable title than The Truth About the AR-15 would be The AR-15: From Stoner to School Shootings. Because is really what their focus is. …

By framing the book in such a limited manner it really makes the truth that it conveys limited as well. So this is, I would say, a true story of the AR-15, but it’s not the true story of the AR-15. 

— David Yamane in his brief review of American Gun: The Tru Story of the AR-15 

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