Nicholas Rankin

A Warm Gun

Eight gun magazines

A court case story in the Daily Mirror seemed to say it all. ‘Jilted guns freak killed party guest’ (July 15th). A twenty-year-old Brummie was refused sex by a girl at a party and said he was going to ‘blow someone’s head off’. It was alleged that he then fetched a sawn-off shotgun from his collection of weapons, and when he saw a guest trying to get a pistol-shaped lighter to work he said ‘Like this’ and shot him in the face. The accused was said to be ‘a weak character obsessed with guns and living in a fantasy world.’

This is not the sort of story you find in gun magazines. I read seven different issues for June/July and their combination of know-how and defensive self-righteousness seeks to distance itself utterly from such grisly incidents. But only a self-deluder could divorce them. Reading gun mags gives new meaning to terms like fetishization, alienation and dehumanization.

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