There are basically three events where the average US citizen has a chance to get his family’s hands on a wide range of full-auto machine guns. One of them was last weekend at Oklahoma’s Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show.
The other two such opportunities are the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in Kentucky, and the Big Sandy Shoot in Arizona. At all three events you can shoot wantonly at kitchen appliances, old cars and exploding targets.
Photojournalist Pete Mueller attended last week’s OFASTS in Wyandotte, Okla. And for someone with a camera, it’s a target-rich environment–between smoking barrels, nighttime muzzle-flashes, and the young and old alike with large weapons, the events lend themselves well to photography.
There’s surprisingly little controversy over the shoots. The negative headlines are few. Still, the abundance of guns is disturbing to the anti-gun crowd. But to photographer Muller, guns are an intrinsic part of American culture.
Our country’s love affair with guns, Muller told Wired magazine, “represents notions of freedom, individualism and valor and all of those things are tied to patriotism.”