Defensive Gun Ownership is Irrational – The Standard Model Part 4 (Light Over Heat #45)

This video continues my ongoing series systematizing the dominant academic approach to understanding Gun Culture 2.0, what I call “The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership.”

Here I engage the 4th of the model’s 5 points: Based on the first 3 points, defensive gun ownership is IRRATIONAL.

Links to the first four videos in the series are below.

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Racism Against the AAPI Community and Gun Ownership

As a gunologist, not to mention an Asian-American gun owner, a recent episode of the Red, Blue & Brady podcast on racism against the AAPI community and gun ownership caught my attention.

The episode focused on a recently published study by a group of public health scholars who fielded a national survey of 916 Asian Americans asking about their experiences of racial discrimination and their firearm-related behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a lot of anecdata floating around about how anti-Asian discrimination increased during the pandemic (think of people taking the “China virus” and “kung flu” language to the next outgroup level), and that this led to unprecedented gun buying among Asian Americans.

Of course, without historical data, we can’t really speak to “precedent,” but these scholars find that 6.0% of respondents said they purchased a gun during COVID and another 11.2% said they intended to purchase a gun. Of the 6% of COVID gun buyers, 54.6% were first-time gun buyers.

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Guns ADD Risk of Negative Outcomes – Part 2 (Light Over Heat #44)

This video continues last week’s video on how scholars, especially public health scholars, see guns as adding to the risk of negative outcomes.

This is part of my ongoing series systematizing the dominant academic approach to understanding Gun Culture 2.0, what I call “The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership.”

Here I engage the third of the model’s 6 points, offering my own take on guns as a risk factor that tries to navigate between the “YES THEY ARE” and “NO THEY’RE NOT” that too often characterizes discussion of the issue.

Links to videos 1 (Light Over Heat #41) and 2 (Light Over Heat #42) and 3 (Light Over Heat #43) are below.

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Studies Show Guns ADD Risk of Negative Outcomes – The Standard Model Part 3 of 5 (Light Over Heat #43)

This video continues my series systematizing the dominant academic approach to understanding Gun Culture 2.0, what I call “The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership.”

The model has 6 points, and in this 3rd video, I discuss point 3: how guns are seen to add risk of negative outcomes.

Links to videos 1 (Light Over Heat #41) and 2 (Light Over Heat #42) are below.

ACADEMIC TRIGGER WARNING: I got carried away discussing the methods employed in public health research on guns as a risk factor (I am a professor, after all), so this video is longer and more tedious than average. AND I also took the last third of the video in which I critique the public health research and put it in a separate video that will run next week.

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The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership (Light Over Heat #41)

In mid-November, I am presenting at a workshop about firearms and self-defense at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. I am using the occasion to write out something that has been in my mind for some time: Systematizing the dominant academic approach to understanding defensive gun ownership (Gun Culture 2.0).

In this and the next five Light Over Heat videos leading up to the Saint Anselm workshop, I will be sharing what I am calling “The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership.”

This week’s video summarizes the entire 6-point model.

New “Light Over Heat” videos are released on YouTube every Wednesday, so please surf over to my YouTube channel and SUBSCRIBE to follow, RING THE BELL to receive notifications, and SHARE so others can learn about this work.

Light Over Heat #17: Are Gun Owners Thoughtful Risk Analysts?

The idea that guns are a risk factor – for homicide, suicide, accidental death, and injury – was a central idea at the gun violence prevention writers workshop I attended in Hartford earlier this month (see Light Over Heat #15 and Light Over Heat #16). This week I reflect more broadly on the role of risk in our lives.

I am risk-averse in certain ways, but in other ways, I take risks all the time. Notably, drinking alcohol which has many well-documented short-term and long-term health risks. Rather than always trying to avoid risk, perhaps we should, in gun trainer Will Petty’s terms, think of risk as a currency that we get to choose how to spend?

In spending our risk wisely, we need to be thoughtful risk analysts and wise risk managers. In bringing firearms into their homes and lives, gun owners are assuming a certain amount of risk for themselves and their loved ones.

This raises the question: Are gun owners thoughtful risk analysts for their own lives?

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New Gun Owner Advice from a High-Level Shooter

Now that I have been wandering around American gun culture for over a decade, I consume fewer gun-related podcasts than I used to. Time is my scarcest resource and as podcasts have proliferated, the signal-to-noise ratio is often too low to merit the investment.

That said, John Johnston’s Ballistic Radio has been at the top of my diminishing list of must listen to podcasts for some time now. Recently he had on a guest who is an extremely high-level shooter, K.A. Clark. This is not unusual for Ballistic Radio, of course. What I found interesting was the advice Clark had for new gun owners.

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Sociology of Guns Seminar Student Final Reflection #8: I Just Could Never Understand This Great Excitement about Guns

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.

This is the eighth and final final reflection essays, written by a student whose initial reflections on our field trip to the gun range can be found here. (Link to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh reflection essays.)

Reflection essay author presenting her work to Sociology of Guns seminar, November 2021. Photo by David Yamane
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Guns Can Be Understood and Respected as Dangerous, Useful, and Recreational (Fall 2021 Student Range Visit Reflection #4)

This is the fourth of several student gun range field trip reflection essays from my fall 2021 Sociology of Guns seminar (see reflection #1, reflection #2, and reflection #3). The assignment to which students are responding can be found here. I am grateful to these students for their willingness to have their thoughts shared publicly.

By Dalton Collins

My understanding of firearms in my life has always been that they are primarily tools, regardless of their ability to maim and kill. They are tools by which we can hunt and defend ourselves. Despite this, it has always been important to treat them with the utmost respect in order to handle them safely. Like many other tools they can be used for recreation.

Shooting guns is fun. There is an adrenaline component to the sound and recoil as well as a satisfaction found hitting a target.

Our trip to the range was the first time I have fired a gun in over a year. Despite how fun guns can be, I do not tend to find myself wanting to fire them. In fact, I have spent more time considering my opinions on gun control than handling firearms. in the US.

The author shooting at Veterans Range, September 2021. Photo by David Yamane
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Exhilarating Normalcy (Fall 2021 Student Range Visit Reflection #3)

This is the third of several student gun range field trip reflection essays from my fall 2021 Sociology of Guns seminar (see reflection #1 and reflection #2). The assignment to which students are responding can be found here. I am grateful to these students for their willingness to have their thoughts shared publicly.

By Hannah Coates

My experience at Veterans Range was surprising to me in more ways than one. Not only was the gun range different than I anticipated in appearance, structure, and regulation, but the act of shooting a gun was also eye-opening in comparison to my expectations, all in all expanding upon my prior understanding of guns in the US.

The author shooting at Veterans Range, September 2021. Photo by David Yamane
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