My current research focuses on American gun culture. Through study and personal experience, I am trying understand what Michael Bane calls “Gun Culture 2.0.” This term reflects the idea that the center of gravity of U.S. gun culture has shifted over the course of the past half-century from hunting, recreational target shooting, and collecting (America’s historic “Gun Culture 1.0”) to armed self-defense (“Gun Culture 2.0”).
I have recently published an article on “The Sociology of U.S. Gun Culture” in which I argue that social scientists have been so concerned with the criminology and epidemiology of guns that there IS NO sociology of guns, per se. I suggest ways of developing a sociology of guns that is centered on the legal use of guns by lawful gun owners.
Before I began studying American gun culture, I spent 20+ years studying American religion. So it is perfectly natural that I would try to bridge the two interests. It is also the case that people often connect religion and guns in America. This, too, makes sense because the United States today is one of the most religious countries in the world and we have the most guns. My article “Awash in a Sea of Faith and Firearms,” published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion addresses this using data from the General Social Survey.
I am currently working on a book called Gun Culture 2.0, analyzing how gun culture gets represented in advertising, and writing a blog about gun culture.