Final Student Range Visit Reflection: A Liberal, Anti-Gun Perspective

This is the seventh and final post featuring Sociology of Guns Seminar student reflections on our field trip to ProShots, a local gun range. I provide the actual assignment in the first post, and you can also see it in the context of the syllabus itself. (Link to second post and third post and fourth post and fifth post and sixth post.)

This student’s reflection is particularly interesting to me because she is — by her own admission — so anti-gun she had a very negative reaction to the field trip.

Non-Violence sculpture in front of UN headquarters by ZhengZhou [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D

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Where to Buy a Gun Within 8 Miles of Wake Forest University Campus

I lived the first four decades of my life completely outside of gun culture, so I remember well when I started to realize after I moved to North Carolina how common and normal guns are to so many people.

Once I was attuned to the reality of guns outside of their criminal misuse, I didn’t have to look very hard to find them all around me. I realized the annex to our local sports arena holds gun shows several times a year. I noticed ground signs advertising “concealed carry classes” on many heavily trafficked street corners. I saw billboards on area highways displaying advertisements for local gun stores. I also discovered, with astonishment, that many of the highly educated professionals I play tennis with have guns. One owns several long guns that were passed down from his grandfather. Another has two semi-automatic pistols in his basement that he used to shoot regularly. A number of the women in our tennis community also own handguns, mostly for self-defense.

Screen cap of Isabella Kornitsky’s “Where to Buy a Gun 8 Miles from Campus,” from https://story.mapme.com/0c625633-e730-4a4e-a9e5-c3c103c8cb8a.

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Student Range Visit Reflection #6: A Canadian POV on an American Gun Range

This is the sixth of several planned posts featuring Sociology of Guns Seminar student reflections on our field trip to ProShots, a local gun range. I provide the actual assignment in the first post, and you can also see it in the context of the syllabus itself. (Link to second post and third post and fourth post and fifth post.)

This reflection is by a Canadian student – an outsider to gun culture in both the United States and Canada – who ended up deciding not to shoot on the range but still learned quite a bit.

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Student Range Visit Reflection #3: A Newfound Respect

This is the third of several planned posts featuring Sociology of Guns Seminar student reflections on our field trip to ProShots, a local gun range. I provide the actual assignment in the first post, and you can also see it in the context of the syllabus itself. (Link to second post.)

Many gun people take for granted that everyone has a basic familiarity with firearms. As someone who never saw, touched, or fired a (non-BB/pellet) gun for my first 42 years of life, I know there are many of us out there. The student’s reflection below highlights some of the discoveries that can come from venturing into the unknown of a gun store and range.

Sociology of Guns student field trip to ProShots Range, January 2018. Photo by David Yamane

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2019 Sociology of Guns Seminar Gun Store and Range Field Trip

My Sociology of Guns seminar’s annual field trip to the gun range is such a highlight that I sometimes wonder if I should do it at the end of class rather than the beginning. The class really is all down hill after visiting the range.

This semester my 15 students and I once again made the short drive from Wake Forest University to ProShots Range in Rural Hall, North Carolina.

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Sociology of Guns Seminar Field Trip to the Gun Range

One of the best places to satisfy gun curiosity is at the gun range. So the highlight of my Sociology of Guns seminar at Wake Forest University each year is a field trip we take to a local range. There students get a first exposure to what guns are, how they work, and what it is like to handle them. This provides an essential experiential base of knowledge that carries over through the semester.

Sociology of Guns student learning how to operate an IWI Tavor bullpup rifle at Veterans Range, 2016.

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