I’m proud of my friend — photojournalist and writer — Ben Philippi. He just finished his book, “We the People,” a celebration of America’s gun owners.
In promoting the book, Ben writes:
Over the course of five years and covering thousands of miles, I toured America to meet some of the millions of legal gun owners who, every day, proudly exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Excited by how limitless freedom can be when every man and woman is afforded their right to arm and protect themselves, I sought to produce a collection of photographs and words as unbiased and true to the diverse social fabric of American gun owners today. I strove to create a book that mirrors the exceptional beauty, pride and singularity of the greatest and most profound country on earth — the United States of America.
I met Ben about five years ago when he was just starting out his foray into the gun world. At the time, he didn’t really know anyone within the gun industry and when he told me about his vision for the book, I thought he was nuts.
The idea that he, as a journalist, was going to travel all over America and take pictures of gun owners seemed like a fool’s errand. As we all know, gun owners tend to be a skeptical breed. Ask a random gun owner about his collection and he’s likely to tell you to hit the bricks. Ask a random gun owner to take a photo holding one of his firearms — and, hell, he might just kick you in the pants!
Or so, I thought. But Ben proved me wrong. Through his earnest nature and his dogged work ethic, Ben won over hundreds of gun owners and began building up his Rolodex to the point now where almost everyone within the firearms industry knows who Ben is. Not only do they know him, but they have great admiration and respect for him too. That is a great accomplishment in and of itself.
I can say firsthand that you won’t meet a nicer guy than Ben. I am really proud of his work. The “We the People” book is a great snapshot of American gun culture and a great addition to one’s personal library (I have mine sitting here right on my coffee table).
This holiday season, if you want to give a gift that celebrates the Second Amendment in its full glory (apart from, you know, the obvious — a gun), check out Ben’s “We the People” book. It’s on Amazon for $39.99. There are limited number of copies available. So, if you like what you see, get it while you can!