The Problem with Averages in Understanding Guns, Violence, and Crime: No One Lives in “The United States”

The problem with averages is that there is no “United States of America” when it comes to guns, violence, and crime, but many Americas. Some of these Americas – like my neighborhood in Winston-Salem – are more like our first world counterparts in the OECD, and some of them are more like the third world … Continue reading The Problem with Averages in Understanding Guns, Violence, and Crime: No One Lives in “The United States”

On the Ideal of Ethical Neutrality in Research on America’s Culture Wars

I am not sure what it says about me, but in my career as a sociologist, I have been drawn to some of the more controversial issues of my time. What James Davison Hunter way back in 1991 called “culture wars.” Culture wars, according to Hunter, are “struggles to define America,” and have been fought … Continue reading On the Ideal of Ethical Neutrality in Research on America’s Culture Wars

Official Catholic View of Use of Lethal Force in Self-Defense

Miguel at the Gun Free Zone blog posted recently about a new book by a Texas police officer called Jesus Christ on Killing. I expect to see evangelical Christians taking this position, but Miguel brings to light some interesting passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that I had not previously read: The seldom … Continue reading Official Catholic View of Use of Lethal Force in Self-Defense

Gun Digest Magazine Shows How NOT to Create a Pie Chart

Thumbing through the February 13, 2014 issue of Gun Digest magazine, I was excited to see data on a recent survey of first-time gun buyers, attributed to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. Two pie charts, shown below, describe (1) the percentage of new shooters … Continue reading Gun Digest Magazine Shows How NOT to Create a Pie Chart

Reflections on My Reflections on Gun Culture Based on Site Statistics

Since November 2012, when I first started working in earnest on a new research project on American gun culture, I have tried to blog regularly at Gun Culture 2.0. I have been averaging about 5 posts a month since then, which is pretty good compared to my previous attempts at blogging (like on this blog). … Continue reading Reflections on My Reflections on Gun Culture Based on Site Statistics

Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America by James D. Wright

In my introduction to sociology class this week, I am discussing sociologist James D. Wright's classic essay, "Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America" (from Society March/April 1995, reprinted in Guns in America: A Reader). Among his points: “There are 200 million guns already in circulation in the United States. . . . firearms are … Continue reading Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America by James D. Wright

My Initial Take on the More Guns, More or Less Crime Debate

In response to my post on Michael Glassner’s anti-gun sentiments in his “Culture of Fear” book, my fellow sociologist Matt Loveland pointed me to an article by economist Mark Duggan called “More Guns, More Crime,” published in the Journal of Political Economy in October 2001 (volume 109, number 5, pages 1086-1114). Duggan’s abstract reads: This … Continue reading My Initial Take on the More Guns, More or Less Crime Debate

Concealed Carry Nation: Understanding Armed Citizens in 21st Century America

THE FOLLOWING IS A PROPOSAL I WROTE IN OCTOBER 2012 (PRE-SANDY HOOK) TO SECURE FUNDING FOR A RESEARCH PROJECT ON AMERICA AS A "CONCEALED CARRY NATION," PART OF A LARGER PROJECT I AM INITIATING ON AMERICA'S GUN CULTURES. On July 20th of this year, James Holmes entered a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises … Continue reading Concealed Carry Nation: Understanding Armed Citizens in 21st Century America