The liberalization of concealed carry laws over the past several decades represents a dramatic expansion of the right to bear arms in the United States. It is an integral aspect of contemporary defensive gun culture and facilitates the ongoing development of Gun Culture 2.0.
In this module we will review the development of concealed carry laws in U.S. history and consider how and why people choose to keep and carry guns for protection.
We also consider the issue of gun training in general and as part of concealed carry permit requirements. For their expertise on these issues, I welcome to class gun trainers John Johnston (for the fourth consecutive year) and Melody Lauer of Citizens Defense Research.
Required readings for Module 4 are:
- David Yamane, Concealed Carry Revolution: Expanding the Right to Bear Arms in America (2021). My self-published mini-book that reviews the history of concealed carry laws up to the present.
- Harel Shapira and Samantha Simon, “Learning to Need a Gun,” Qualitative Sociology (2018). Still one of the only studies of gun owners that focus on social practices and embodied experiences. Don’t agree entirely with their analysis and conclusions, but it is a unique study worthy of consideration.
Recommended readings for Module 4 are:
- Lawrence Northwood, et al., “Law-abiding One-Man Armies,” Society (1978). As far as I can tell, this is the first ever study of concealed carry permit applicants/holders, using data from Seattle in 1972. Read my thoughts on the study here.
- Elisabeth Anker, “Mobile Sovereigns: Agency Panic and the Feeling of Gun Ownership,” in The Lives of Guns (2019). Assigned this book chapter the last time I taught this class and I really like the concept of “mobile sovereigns” (akin to the idea of “law-abiding one-man armies,” but more critical). But the empirical foundation for the work proves too thin in the end so I subbed in Shapira and Simon.
- Malone, Chad A., and Trent Steidley. “Determinants of Variation in State Concealed Carry Laws, 1970–2016.” Sociological Forum (2019). Although my mini-book looks at the rise of shall issue (and now permitless) concealed carry regimes, it does not systematically explain them. This article begins to do so. Also Steidley’s solo-authored, “Sharing the Monopoly on Violence? Shall-Issue Concealed Handgun License Laws and Responsibilization.” Sociological Perspectives (2019).
- Barnhart, Michelle, Aimee Dinnin Huff, Brandon McAlexander, and James H. McAlexander. “Preparing for the Attack: Mitigating Risk through Routines in Armed Self-Defense.” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (2018). I have required this article the past few years because it is one of the only existing studies that covers gun training.
- David Yamane, “The First Rule of Gunfighting is Have a Gun: Technologies of Concealed Carry in Gun Culture 2.0,” in The Lives of Guns (2019). Study of the material culture of defensive gun ownership based on my field research.
I don’t take the recommended readings to be comprehensive or complete. Suggestions are welcome.