A magisterial work of narrative history and original reportage ... McWhirter and Elinson, reporters at The Wall Street Journal, unspool the...story with admirable restraint; you can feel the tension building one cold, catastrophic fact at a time ... With commanding authority, American Gun lays out the unvarnished truth about an industry where the conversion of fear into profit, along with an ever-mounting civilian body count, causes few pangs of conscience. Policymakers and the public alike have much to learn from it.
A deeply reported, engrossing account of the rifle, tracing its evolution from battlefield combat to today’s domestic carnage and culture war ... The interwoven reporting gives a broad view, though not without some contextual stumbles. Too much focus on battles over banning assault weapons plays into a false dichotomy of all-or-nothing policy ... On the whole, though, the book elucidates how the AR-15 has stirred open-carry rallies and national school walkouts, enriched gun executives, armed extremist plots at the U.S. Capitol and elsewhere, and brought death and devastation to thousands of innocent people. It adds valuable context as we reckon with the indelible and ongoing impact of a uniquely American gun.