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Gun Country

Presented By
Andrew C. McKevitt

The United States accounts for a little more than 4% of the world’s population and 46% of its private gun ownership, the number of privately held firearms surpassing 393 million. That’s 120 for every 100 people.

That pervasiveness is a relatively modern phenomenon. In a discussion of his new book Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture & Control in Cold War America, Louisiana Tech University historian Andrew C. McKevitt tracks a gun boom born of a glut of mass-produced weapons in Europe at the end of World War II and a handful of American entrepreneurs eager and willing to capitalize.

Those opportunists bought used munitions for pennies on the dollar and resold them stateside. An emerging Cold War stoked fears and demand for personal protection. When gun control legislation arose in the 1960s, many Americans – accustomed to the unregulated abundance of firearms and fearful of Soviet invasion, domestic subversion, and urban uprisings – mounted a fierce challenge that endures today.

In a review of Gun Country, after its release in November, The Washington Post called McKevitt’s account “indispensable … one of the best works of nonfiction this year.”

McKevitt is the John D. Winters Endowed Professor of History at Louisiana Tech, where he has taught since 2012. Holder of a Ph.D. in history from Temple University, he is also the author of Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America and has written for Time magazine and MSNBC, among other outlets. 

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Gun Country

Date & Location
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Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Room Helzberg Auditorium
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