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Bloodbath Nation

by Paul Auster

Other authors: Spencer Ostrander (Photographer)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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973284,599 (3.87)3
"Each year, approximately forty thousand Americans are killed by gunshot wounds, which is roughly equivalent to the annual rate of traffic deaths on American roads and highways. Of those forty thousand gun fatalities, more than half of them are suicides, which in turn account for half of all suicides per year. Add in the murders caused by guns, the accidental deaths caused by guns, the law enforcement killings caused by guns, and the average comes out to more than one hundred Americans killed by bullets every day. On that same average day, another two hundred-plus are wounded by guns, which translates into eighty thousand a year. Eighty thousand wounded and forty thousand dead, or one hundred and twenty thousand ambulance calls and emergency room cases for every twelve-month tick of the clock, but the toll of gun violence goes far beyond the pierced and bloodied bodies of the victims themselves, spilling out into the devastations visited upon their immediate families, their extended families, their friends, their fellow workers, the people of their neighborhoods, their schools, their churches, their softball teams, and communities at large-the vast brigade of lives touched by the presence of a single person who lives or has lived among them-meaning that the number of Americans directly or indirectly marked by gun violence every year must be tallied in the millions"--… (more)
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What a clever essay, in a voice I have loved since the first time I read it. Auster tell us about the origins of gun ownership in the USA, and helps us see why there are fervent defenders of the second amendment (which doesn't really mean what they say it does). He argues against a ban very convincingly (it could very easily backfire, as did the ban on alcohol during the Prohibition), shares how guns have touched the lives of basically every American citizen, not only through popular culture but through the consequences of shootings; meaning injury, death, mourning, and also the destroyed mental wellbeing of every friend, family member, colleague, classmate, person living in an area affected, or in an area having a family that was affected. There isn't a person whose life has not been touched by gun violence at this point. And as urgent it is to take action, he makes us see how complicated the issue is in reality. With more guns being owned by American citizens today than the number of citizens themselves (including children). The black and white photos show the places where something violent happened. The absence of any person in these pictures screams louder than anything I have ever seen about the tragedies. ( )
  blueisthenewpink | Jan 3, 2024 |
Bloodbath Nation, by Paul Auster with photography by Spencer Ostrander, is an impassioned look at America's bloody love affair with guns, from colonial times through to our most recent bloodbaths.

While making a case for gun control Auster stops well short of being blind to either the appeal or the reasonable reasons for gun ownership. That said, he also points out the amazing levels of irrationality in the extreme arguments against any and all regulation. Through both personal stories, statistics, some basic history, and analyses of a few cases, Auster paints a picture of a divided country that has chosen deadly weapons as the battleground on which to display its dishonorable partisanship.

Combined with Ostrander's haunting photographs this short volume speaks to both the mind and the heart. There are no winners, except those raking in the cash from all the bloodshed.

I would like to recommend this to everyone, but I am almost positive the ammosexuals will be offended that their little compensatory phalluses are under attack. So other than them, I recommend this to anyone who cares about people being able to safely and without fear go about their daily business, be it work, shopping, school, or worship.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Jul 13, 2022 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Austerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ostrander, SpencerPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Griffith, KaleoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nolla, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Each year, approximately forty thousand Americans are killed by gunshot wounds, which is roughly equivalent to the annual rate of traffic deaths on American roads and highways. Of those forty thousand gun fatalities, more than half of them are suicides, which in turn account for half of all suicides per year. Add in the murders caused by guns, the accidental deaths caused by guns, the law enforcement killings caused by guns, and the average comes out to more than one hundred Americans killed by bullets every day. On that same average day, another two hundred-plus are wounded by guns, which translates into eighty thousand a year. Eighty thousand wounded and forty thousand dead, or one hundred and twenty thousand ambulance calls and emergency room cases for every twelve-month tick of the clock, but the toll of gun violence goes far beyond the pierced and bloodied bodies of the victims themselves, spilling out into the devastations visited upon their immediate families, their extended families, their friends, their fellow workers, the people of their neighborhoods, their schools, their churches, their softball teams, and communities at large-the vast brigade of lives touched by the presence of a single person who lives or has lived among them-meaning that the number of Americans directly or indirectly marked by gun violence every year must be tallied in the millions"--

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