British Photojournalist Finds American Gun Owners Don't Fit 'Gun-Nut' Stereotype

When British photojournalist Charles Ommanney traveled through six states to photograph American gun owners, he found something he did not expect: they don't fit the stereotypes.

According to, Ommanney was sent to photograph American gun owners for the German magazine Stern. In so doing, he discovered "people who are often far from the stereotypical vision of the American 'gun-nut.'"

He found a teenager named Elizabeth, who posed with a Walther handgun "in front of a floral wallpaper backdrop." He found entire families--mother, father, daughter, son--who posed with their firearms of choice.

Ommanney also found one woman with a pump shotgun for home and personal defense and another with a handgun. One father had an AR-15, and another dad had a pistol holstered on his hip as he carried his son in a papoose.

Ommanney said he came away from the project understanding there are a variety of reasons Americans own guns, but it all ultimately comes back to one thing: they own firearms because they refuse "to be a victim."

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