“Gunsmoke, Mythology, and the American Gundemic, 2021-2022” by photographer Jesse Rieser

This work-in-progress investigates gun culture not in a singular sense as one belonging to the enthusiast, but one that is synonymous with being an American citizen as we share the land with more guns than peoples. Stories on guns are plenty but none which look at the role firearms have played in the mythology of the American West. From film, music, and literature, the world loves our pop culture exports of the gun carrying character personified as the cowboy, pioneer, soldier, mobster and the gangster. A uniquely American export is now a uniquely American health crisis.

Photographer: Jesse Rieser