Packing Heat

Photograph a woman with her dog or a father watching TV with his daughter, and what do you have? A Hallmark image of companionship and affection. Insert a gun into that same tableau, and matters suddenly change.

Depending on where your opinion falls, gun owners are patriots or thugs, paragons of self-reliance or paranoiacs. That’s the thing about guns. In other parts of the west, you see firearms here and there—in the rear windows of pickup trucks, in living room cabinets, on the hip of the occasional civilian. We all know there are plenty of armed criminals in L.A., but there are also tens of thousands of registered gun owners; they just keep a low profile here. So photographer Gregg Segal set out to make the invisible momentarily visible, capturing ordinary people at home with their guns. Whether collectors or self-protectors, they have one thing in common: They like their hardware.


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