How the U.S. became 'Gun Country'
On the heels of World War II, a handful of entrepreneurial Americans saw dollar signs.
Surplus weapons in European countries were being destroyed, or sat in warehouse storage at great cost.
At the same time, millions of American soldiers were returning home. With leisure time, and an intimate familiarity with firearms.
Samuel Cummings was one of the men who put two and two together. He bought up surplus, and soon to be outdated, rifles and pistols from countries like Finland. And he made millions importing, selling and shipping them to Americans on the cheap.
In his new book, Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture & Control in Cold War America, historian Andrew C. McKevitt argues this influx of military-grade weapons formed what is now, undoubtedly, the gun country.
Andrew C. McKevitt is the John D. Winters Endowed Professor of History at Louisiana Tech University. His new book, Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture & Control in Cold War America came out with UNC Press in November. His first book is Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America.