For some Americans, they are symbols of personal identity and community. For other Americans, they represent racial oppression and violence. American Totem explores Americans’ emotional connection to firearms, and the power of this object to both create and destroy community.
Using a non-partisan approach, various communities have time to share their stories, including gun rights activist, gunshot victims, community organizers, historians, philosophers and sociologists.
VOICES IN THE FILM
Melina Abdullah, PhD Pan-African Studies, California State University, Los Angeles
Rakem Balogun Co-founder, Huey P. Newton Gun Club, Dallas, Texas
Yafeuh Balogun Co-founder, Huey P. Newton Gun Club, Dallas, Texas
Soraya Chemaly Journalist and Author, Rage Becomes Her
Saul Cornell, PhD Fordham University, A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America
scott crow Author, Setting Sights: Reflections and Histories on Community Armed Self Defense
Julianna Crowder Founder, A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, Austin, Texas
Firmin DeBrabander, PhD Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art, Do Guns Make Us Free?
Bigg Flawliss Rapper and Actor
Pamela Haag, PhD Author, The Gunning of America
Mark Kaplan, PhD Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA
Tina Maldonado Firearms Instructor, Austin, Texas
Fatima Mann Co-founder, Counter Balance: ATX
John E. Price PhD History, Penn State University
Harel Shapira, PhD Sociology, University of Texas Austin, Waiting for Jose
Robert Trausch Community Organizer, Chico Housing Action Team, Chico, CA
Cody Wilson Founder, Defense Distributed
Sue is a political talk show host and college professor, based in Chico, CA. In 2016, she set out on a journey across the country to talk with Americans about firearms, and to document the solutions to the gun violence. What she found was not what she expected.