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BWW Review: THE STORY OF THE GUN at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

BWW Review: THE STORY OF THE GUN at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Mike Daisey

I think it's safe to say that guns in America might be one of the most divisive and important topics today. Nowadays school shootings are on the news more frequently than ever and there is usually a story every week about some kind of incident involving a gun.

Master monologist Mike Daisey is no stranger to tackling important topics in his always tour-de-force performances. The Story of the Gun is no exception. Daisey doesn't do your standard pro and con discussion that never really resolve the issues. His discussion rather ingeniously starts with the history of the gun from its earliest inception and goes from there, focusing heavily on how and why the gun is grounded in U.S. culture and history from as far back as 1492.

What really stands out to me in this show are a few of the facts that Daisey brings out. The first one is the gun to person ratio in this country. There are 300 million guns to 330 million U.S. citizens. If you eliminate kids and gun collectors, that's roughly one gun for every American. Secondly, there's Daisey's story about the National Rifle Association (NRA) and how that organization was considerably different thirty or so years ago. It wasn't the advocacy group that it is now. It was less on the defense about gun usage and more about educating users on safety etc.

You can't have a conversation about guns without mentioning the Constitution and the Second Amendment. Daisey most certainly does include it, but does so in a way you might not expect.

Daisey frames his discussion around his own experience growing up in northern Maine where guns play an integral role in the local culture. His dad fought in Vietnam, kept guns in the house, and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although Daisey was - at least in his 20s - an NRA card carrier, he himself does not own a gun. The reasons why might rip your heart out.

Let's face it, as long as there are people with guns there will always be a discussion about gun control. Mike Daisey's The Story of the Gun keeps this conversation going in new and inventive ways. No matter which side of the debate you are on, I highly urge you to get a ticket to this show. The presentation is simple. It's just a wooden table, a chair, a simple backdrop of a splash of something, and one of America's greatest storytellers doing what he does best. That would be having a discussion about the issues that need to be discussed even if we don't want to hear them.

Mike Daisey is back in town with his vengeance and passion. Join in the conversation and see the master at work.

Running Time: Two hours with no intermission.

The Story of the Gun runs through August 9, 2018 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, which is located at 641 D St NW, Washington, DC. For tickets, click here.

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