Talking Gun Conversion with The Reverend Hunter

In October 2021, I traveled from North Carolina to Vermont to attend and present at the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s (OWAA) annual conference. After flying into Burlington, I had a 90-minute long shuttle bus ride to the Jay Peak Resort, near the Canadian border. On the ride, I listened to and participated in some friendly chatter with other conference attendees.

I would later see one particularly gregarious fellow from the shuttle a few times during the conference, including sharing some meals together. Toward the end of the conference, we realized we had something more in common than the OWAA.

It turns out that before he became The Reverend Hunter, my new colleague Tony Jones was a celebrity pastor of the “emerging church” movement in the evangelical wing of American Christianity. Before I became a gun scholar, I spent 20 years studying American religion. We had a mutual friend in one of my longtime colleagues in the sociology of religion, Gerardo Marti, co-author of The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity, in which Jones figures prominently.

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Before we parted ways, Jones offered to help me with the proposal for my book on American gun culture (he also has experience in the publishing industry) and to have me on his podcast, The Reverend Hunter.

He made good on both offers. The podcast episode released on April 8th and is available on all the usual podcast apps or by using this direct link to the podcast page.

Tony chats with sociologist, professor, and gun convert David Yamane. They talk about the difference between mores and folkways, parking the wrong way on the street, studying religion while being openly religious, the secularization thesis, the sunk cost fallacy in academia, shooting a gun for the first time, Gun Culture 1.0 vs. 2.0, the uneven distribution of guns in America, being Gun Curious, and more.

This podcast differed from others I’ve done, not just because of our common interest in the study of religion, but also due to our differing interests in the gun reality. As his title suggests, The Reverend Hunter is more of a Gun Culture 1.0 guy and I am firmly ensconced in Gun Culture 2.0

Though Tony Jones did also offer to take me hunting for the first time, so perhaps I will undergo a gun reversion from 2.0 to 1.0 someday.

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