Guns and gun culture in the United States are strongly associated with political and cultural conservatism. So much so that what requires explanation is not the link between guns and conservatism but guns and liberalism.
One-fifth of gun owners self-identify as politically liberal, and another 40% as politically moderate. So, in fact only a minority of gun owners (40%) self-identify as politically conservative.
In this module we examine the work of one of the two major liberal gun organizations in the United States: the Liberal Gun Owners (LGO). (The other is the Liberal Gun Club (LGC).) We will welcome to class as a guest speaker, for the second time, Randy Miyan, the executive director of the LGO.
He will talk about his own evolution as a gun owner, as well as the LGO’s unique perspective on guns in human history and culture.
Required readings for Module 11 are:
- Liberal Gun Owners, The Liberal Gun Owners Lens, Pillar 1: The Human-Weapon Relationship (2021). A thorough analysis of the uniquely human and culturally universal use of projectile weaponry that provides the foundation for a liberal endorsement of gun ownership.
- Kahan, Dan M., and Donald Braman, “More Statistics, Less Persuasion: A Cultural Theory of Gun-Risk Perceptions.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review (2003). Uses cultural cognition theory to explain how deeply rooted differing perceptions of guns and gun policies are.
Recommended readings for Module 11 are:
- David Yamane, Jesse DeDeyne, and Alonso Octavio Aravena Méndez, “Who Are the Liberal Gun Owners?” Sociological Inquiry (2021). We use General Social Survey data to answer this question that was on my mind.
- Mark Joslyn, The Gun Gap: The Influence of Gun Ownership on Political Behavior and Attitudes (2020). A thorough and interesting analysis of political differences that follow from gun ownership.
- Matthew Lacombe, Firepower: How the NRA Turned Gun Owners into a Political Force (2021). Explains the NRA’s role in creating gun owners as a political force in the United States.
I don’t take the recommended readings to be comprehensive or complete. Suggestions are welcome.