Student Gun Range Field Trip Reflection Essays for Fall 2021 Forthcoming

Later today, I will begin posting some of the field trip reflection essays my Sociology of Guns students were required to submit following our visit to Veterans Range at the start of this semester.

The field trip is historically a highlight of the course for students, and the reflection essays among the most popular items I post to my blogs every year (previous student reflections can be found on my Sociology of Guns collected posts page).

The essays provide interesting insights into the experience and thoughts of young adults who for the most part are not invested in, or even familiar with, guns and gun culture. They are gun curious.

Sociology of Guns student at Veterans Range, Fall 2020
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Field Trip to Gun Range, September 2021

Although the remnants of Hurricane Ida forced a last minute rescheduling, my Fall 2021 Sociology of Guns seminar students completed their mandatory field trip to the gun range on September 3rd.

This is the 7th time I have taught the course and the 7th successful field trip we have taken as a class. All the students left the range with the same number of holes in their bodies as they arrived with, plus some experience handling and shooting live firearms.

Although guns are always a Rorschach test of sorts and students’ preexisting understandings heavily influence the conclusions they draw about guns at the end of the course, having an experiential basis upon which to discuss firearms and shooting is foundational to our consideration of the role of guns in American society.

In the coming days, I will (as before) post some of the students’ field trip reflection essays on this blog. They have historically been among the most popular items I post, so stay tuned!

Sociology of Guns student firing a .22 pistol during field trip to Veterans Range, September 2021. Photo by David Yamane
Continue reading

Sociology of Guns Module 1: Field Trip to Gun Range

As I prepare to teach my Sociology of Guns course Version 7.0, I thought I would post as much of the material for the different modules I am teaching this fall as possible.

Probably the most unique aspect of this course from the start has been the class trip to the gun range. Before we ever meet as a class or discuss any opinions, ideas, or scholarship on guns, students are REQUIRED to attend a field trip to the gun range. Once there, they are given the OPTION to try shooting.

The range field trip is such a highlight of the class for students, I joke that the course goes downhill after day 1.

Sociology of Guns Inaugural Student Field Trip to Gun Range, 2015. Photo by David Yamane
Continue reading

Student Gun Range Field Trip: Triggers and Cognitive Dissonance

In response to my recent post about prepping for Sociology of Guns V7.0, reader DZ asked:

I’m curious. Have any of your students been “triggered” by the range trip? Are any affected emotionally by shooting a firearm for the first time? Have you had students refuse to participate?

These are great questions that I am happy to answer.

Sociology of Guns student at range. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media
Continue reading

Prepping for Sociology of Guns Ver 7.0

It’s hard to believe that I first taught my “Sociology of Guns” seminar at Wake Forest six years ago, in the fall of 2015. This fall I will teach the course for the seventh time in seven academic years.

Although some aspects of the course do not change — the class field trip to the gun range, most importantly — I do try to tweak the courses materials from year to year to reflect my own interests and developments in the field of gun studies.

Following are the broad outlines of where I am going with the Sociology of Guns Ver 7.0 this fall, including some guest lecturers who will be reprising their previous visits.

Professor Yamane with Wake Forest student at field trip to Veterans Range, Mocksville, NC. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media
Continue reading

Student Range Visit Reflection #11: I Am Still Struggling to Come to Terms with Enjoying My Experience

Students in my Sociology of Guns Seminar are required to visit a gun range with their classmates early in the semester and to write a reflection essay based on the experience (see the assignment).

Below is the eleventh and final student reflection essay for Fall 2020. (Find the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, the fifth here, the sixth here, the seventh here, the eighth here, the ninth here, and the tenth here.)

Sociology of Guns student at range. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Continue reading

Student Range Visit Reflection #10: I Have Always Viewed Gun Ownership as a Normal Part of Life

Students in my Sociology of Guns Seminar are required to visit a gun range with their classmates early in the semester and to write a reflection essay based on the experience (see the assignment).

Below is the tenth student reflection essay for Fall 2020. (Find the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, the fifth here, the sixth here, the seventh here, the eighth here, and the ninth here.)

Sociology of Guns student visiting range. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Continue reading

Student Range Visit Reflection #9: I Was Surprised By How Much I Enjoyed the Feeling

Students in my Sociology of Guns Seminar are required to visit a gun range with their classmates early in the semester and to write a reflection essay based on the experience (see the assignment).

Below is the ninth student reflection essay for Fall 2020. (Find the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, the fifth here, the sixth here, the seventh here, and the eighth here.)

Like so many students, this one does a great job of grappling honestly with her thoughts and feelings. That’s all I ask in this assignment.

Sociology of Guns student at the range. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Continue reading

Student Range Visit Reflection #8: Under No Circumstances Should a Gun Be in the Hands of a Typical Citizen

Students in my Sociology of Guns Seminar are required to visit a gun range with their classmates early in the semester and to write a reflection essay based on the experience (see the assignment).

Below is the eighth student reflection essay for Fall 2020. (Find the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, the fifth here, the sixth here, and the seventh here.)

Sociology of Guns student at range. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Continue reading

Student Range Visit Reflection #7: The Power I Felt Behind the Gun Was Unsettling

Students in my Sociology of Guns Seminar are required to visit a gun range with their classmates early in the semester and to write a reflection essay based on the experience (see the assignment).

Below is the seventh student reflection essay for Fall 2020. (Find the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, the fifth here, and the sixth here.)

I give this student a lot of credit because she overcame a tremendous fear of guns and shot two pistols and a rifle during our range trip.

Sociology of Guns student at range visit. Photo by Robin Lindner/RLI Media

Continue reading