2020 Brief Year in Review

Although 2020 presented some unprecedented challenges, I managed to have some successes along the way.

I published two scholarly articles on guns. The first, “Targeted Advertising: Documenting the Emergence of Gun Culture 2.0 in Guns Magazine, 1955–2019,” was a replication of my earlier work examining advertising in The American Rifleman from 1918-2017. It showed substantially the same pattern of a shift in the center of gravity of gun culture from Version 1.0 to Version 2.0.

The second was published right at the end of the year, “Who Are the Liberal Gun Owners?” This article actually had its origins in a question I first raised on this blog.

Brian Hill teaching at The Complete Combatant, Dahlonega, Georgia, June 2020. Photo by David Yamane

The pandemic notwithstanding, I was able to travel a couple of times to do field research for my book on American gun culture. In the summer I was in Georgia to take Entry Level Pistol Essentials at The Complete Combatant with Brian and Shelley Hill and observe Technical Handgun: Tests and Standards with John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research.

John Johnston teaching at The Complete Combatant, Dahlonega, Georgia, June 2020. Photo by David Yamane

My wife Sandy and I also took the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Course with The Tactical Professor Claude Werner. (Blog posts on these experiences are in the works!)

In the fall, I made the short trip to Charlotte to watch several hours of Edged Weapons Overview (EWO) with Craig Douglas of Shivworks.

The media and gen-pop were tremendously interested in the Great Gun Buying Spree of 2020. I spoke to a number of outlets about this and related topics, including various National Public Radio stations, Christian Science Monitor, AXIOS, National Geographic, and Wired magazine.

Sociology of Guns student at range visit. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Last, in the fall semester I taught the 6th edition of my Sociology of Guns seminar at Wake Forest. We once again began with a trip to the gun range, where the students shot .22 and 9mm pistols and my wife’s AR-platform rifle. I took advantage of the pandemic to have more guest speakers than usual Zoom with the class, including John Johnston, Aqil Qadir and Tiffany Johnston of Citizens Safety Academy, Mike Sodini and Rob Pincus of Walk the Talk America, and Lara C. Smith of the Liberal Gun Club. You can find a bunch of posts from this and previous classes on this blog.

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