Light Over Heat #14: The Homo Sapiens Projectile Club – Explained

In Light Over Heat Ep 11, I wore a Homo Sapiens Projectile Club t-shirt. You can buy the t-shirt or hoodie in the Liberal Gun Owners online store.

The idea underlying the t-shirt can be found in Pillar 1 of The Liberal Gun Owners Lens. This is the first of 4 planned pillars analyzing the relationship between humans and firearms.

Pillar 1 focuses on what the author, Randy Miyan (Executive Director of the Liberal Gun Owners), calls the human-weapon relationship, the reality that underlies the Homo Sapiens Projectile Club.

In this week’s “Light Over Heat” video, I connect the History Channel competition show “Top Shot” to the cultural and anthropological nomality of guns for Homo sapiens as a species.

Continue reading

The Liberal Gun Owners Lens Launch

Recently, without fanfare equivalent to its significance, the Liberal Gun Owners launched a new website, LGO Lens.

The site is a content hub on which people can access blog posts, learn more about the LGO and allied organizations, link to the Liberal Gun Owners Lens Podcast, and download the long but very important Anthropology Pillar of the LGO Lens (read: foundational perspective) on “The Human-Weapon Relationship – Evolution, Anthropology, and Human Innateness.”

It’s no secret that I am a liberal gun owner myself and have published an article analyzing the 20% of American gun owners who self-identify as liberals. Drawing on the publication, the notion that “Gun owners are all conservative” was included as the first of “Five myths about guns” in the Washington Post last year.

So it perhaps goes without saying that I am on board with the Liberal Gun Owners Lens project and have consulted with LGO Executive Director Randy Miyan regularly about it. I’ve participated in the LGO’s annual firearms training event and Miyan has guest lectured twice in my Sociology of Guns seminar at Wake Forest.

This is to say: I’m not a neutral analyst of the Liberal Gun Owners. I am a contributor to and a fan of the work.

Screen cap of https://lgolens.com/
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Seminar Student Final Reflection #3: My Naivety Epitomizes Why Courses Like This are Necessary

As noted earlier, the final assignment of the semester in my Sociology of Guns seminar is for the students to write an essay reflecting on their personal experience with and understanding of guns in light of what they learned in the course.

Here is the third of several such essays, written by a student whose initial reflections on our field trip to the gun range can be found here. (Link to the first and second reflection essays.)

Reflection essay author presenting her work to Sociology of Guns seminar, November 2021. Photo by David Yamane
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Seminar Student Final Reflection #1: Forced to Look at Other Sections of the Gun Community

As noted yesterday, the final assignment of the semester in my Sociology of Guns seminar is for the students to write an essay reflecting on their personal experience with and understanding of guns in light of what they learned in the course.

Here is the first of several such essays, written by a student whose initial reflections on our field trip to the gun range can be found here.

Reflection essay author presenting his work to Sociology of Guns seminar, November 2021. Photo by David Yamane
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Ver. 7.0 Is In The Books, Student Final Reflections Coming

Another year of Sociology of Guns at Wake Forest University is in the books. This is the 7th time in 7 years I have taught the course.

COVID made some things different this semester. In fall 2020, I taught the course online. I was happy to be able to meet this semester face-to-face, but we were required to wear masks in the classroom, which definitely inhibited discussion. Perhaps not more than meeting on Zoom inhibits discussion, but certainly compared to the first 5 times I taught the course under normal circumstances. I also kept the enrollment down to 13 students (instead of 16-18) in order to allow for more social distancing in class.

Despite the challenges, the course realized my aspirations in teaching it. This can be seen most clearly in the final reflection papers students submitted for the course. Over the next week or so I will be posting some of these papers here, so stay tuned.

And read on for a brief review of the course and additional information about the final reflection assignment.

Sociology of Guns Course Readers, Fall 2021
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Module 11: Guns and Liberalism

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.

Liberal/Leftist gun owner t-shirts sold by Rocket Armory, https://rocket-armory.com
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Class Student Final Reflection #5

As noted previously, for the final assignment of the semester in my Sociology of Guns Seminar in Spring 2019, students were asked to write a 1,000 to 2,000 word essay in which they would:

revisit your previous personal experience with and understanding of guns in the U.S. (as expressed, e.g., in the field trip reflection essay) in light of your consideration of the role guns actually do play in American society. Reflecting on what you learned from completing your major writing assignment, as well as the class more generally, discuss how your mind has (and/or has not) changed. Conclude this paper by considering what more you need to know in order to make informed choices about your own participation with and the place of guns in the communities in which you live and will live in the future.

Here is the fifth of several such essays (see the first, second, third, and fourth), written by a student whose initial reflections on our field trip to the gun range can be found here.

Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Class Student Final Reflection #2

As noted previously, for the final assignment of the semester in my Sociology of Guns Seminar in Spring 2019, students were asked to write a 1,000 to 2,000 word essay in which they would:

revisit your previous personal experience with and understanding of guns in the U.S. (as expressed, e.g., in the field trip reflection essay) in light of your consideration of the role guns actually do play in American society. Reflecting on what you learned from completing your major writing assignment, as well as the class more generally, discuss how your mind has (and/or has not) changed. Conclude this paper by considering what more you need to know in order to make informed choices about your own participation with and the place of guns in the communities in which you live and will live in the future.

Here is the second of several such essays (see the first), written by a student whose initial reflections on our field trip to the gun range can be found here.

Continue reading