Over a period of three years, award-winning British photographer Zed Nelson documented America’s gun culture. These compelling images explore the paradox of why America’s most potent symbol of freedom is also one of its greatest killers – resulting in an annual death toll of almost 30,000 American citizens.
Since 1960, over half a million citizens have been shot to death in the streets and homes of the USA, and there are an estimated 240 million guns in circulation nationwide. The growing popularity of high-calibre, semi-automatic assault weapons and hand-guns has added to the carnage.
Gun Nation has been awarded 5 major photography awards including a 1st Prize, World Press Photo.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE Memphis housewives meet and compare recently purchased weapons. (L-R) Jean-Marie Strong, 49, Elizabeth Strong, 28, Susan Wilson, 44, Vicky Sykes, 40, and Melva French, 46.
Elizabeth Strong, 28, says “Sure I would unload my gun on someone… not because I want to hurt them, but because I’m goin’ to make sure they’re down. That’s what the course teaches you; to empty the clip.”
Susan Wilson, 44, says “I’ll be carrying a 9mm semi-automatic from now on. Things are getting dangerous out there. I hope and pray that the person I shoot doesn’t die; that’d be great, but I’m goin’ to shoot so that I don’t die.”
Vicky Sykes, 40, says “People in this country huddle in their houses and throw the dead-bolts, but I will not succumb to the scum that is out there.”
Melva French, 46, says “Government gun-control laws will never stop crime. It’s a spiritual issue; our nation has turned away from God. Passing more gun control laws just makes it harder for us, law-abiding people, to own guns.” (Photo by Zed Nelson)