ON THE “GUN CULTURE” — 15 Comments

  1. One of the things I noticed was a lack of recognition that some members of the gun culture hunt in order to feed their families. I guess the majority of researchers think everyone gets their food prepackaged.

    I’m rather tired of the endless repeats of the concept of the gun as a totem of male masculinity. It’s simply a more appropriate device for certain purposes.

    • I believe it was mentioned that sustanence hunting was less common than sport hunting but, I agree, it wasn’t well discussed. That probably would require a lot more direct research. On the masculinity, a big me too! I’m seeing a lot more ladies hunting and at the shooting range than any time in my 60 years.

    • I’m rather tired of the endless repeats of the concept of the gun as a totem of male masculinity. It’s simply a more appropriate device for certain purposes.

      I wish some of those clowns could have met and gotten to know my Grandma. She weorked the farm all her life, carried an ancient octagon barreled .22 lever action rifle so worn it would fire by holding your trigger finger back and working the lever until the tube mag was empty. SHE nevre did that, she made every round count. No one ever kept track of all the cottontail, rattler, skunks, coyote, wild duck and geese she despatched with that thing….. even into her eighties when she finally sold the farm. She lived another twenty six years, dying of natural causes at 106. Still had all her wits about her, and could get around better than some I’ve known less than half that age. Oh, and the count of her direct descendants runs over two hundred these days, and still climbing.

      No, guns were no macho thing for her. They were to her far more important than manicure sets and bath salts for many women I know today.

  2. David is a nice guy and a good researcher. His blog is worth reading for a new perspective on gun culture. I admire his attempt to approach the subject of guns from an objective evidence-based point of view as a sociologist trying to understand the culture and not as someone who is trying to collect data that will fit a preconceived notion that guns are ‘bad’

  3. Good article explaining different perspectives. One thing I did not see was what % of people with a carry permit (3.5%) actually carry on a daily basis? A lot of people get the permit, sometimes for the training, and just to have it in case they decide to carry, but many don’t. And I agree, the masculinity thing is over played. True for some, just a realization of the world we live in for many others.

  4. As an academic psychologist working in a gun free zone replete with liberal politics (yes- thinking seriously of leaving the profession after 20+ years)- I appreciated the objective approach to the topic. The challenge to a wider scientific study of gun culture is the “fit” such a line of inquiry will have with the mission, vision, and values of the mostly liberal research-oriented institutions in the United States. I wonder if there are any grant programs to support research into gun culture- aside from the typical programs aimed to reduce “gun violence” as if this was a unique kind of human behavior problem.

  5. Two of the sociologists Yamane cites, Carlson and Stroud, seem to view carrying a firearm as an aberrant behavior that needs to be explained; their conclusions, not surprisigly, spring inseparably from this bias. Why does someone choose to carry a gun? How about asking why DOESN’T someone choose to carry a gun? Carlson and Stroud also draw their assumptions from very small sample groups, 60 and 36 people respectively, that were limited in geographic scope. This is the basis for a study? Not convincing and even less impressive.

  6. David Yamane is wasting his time. Academia is so totally dominated by leftist thought, these days, that unbiased research on firearm-related topics, including a study of “Gun Culture”, is impossible. The vast majority of people, in Academia, are trapped in a left-wing “mind-prison” that effectively prevents them from applying the scientific method, in an unbiased fashion, to hot political topics like firearms. In other words, they are literally “incapable” of “thinking outside the box”. The left-wing ideological box.

    Modern American academia can only view firearms through the prism of deviant behavior. This is because left-wing ideology insists that firearm ownership IS DEVIANT behavior so as to justify the disarmament of the civilian population. Once disarmed, the population will be totally dependent upon and under the control of the all-powerful, left-wing central government. This is the Utopian Dream of every leftist.

    Since firearm ownership can only be seen as deviant behavior by academia, they will never study it outside of the context of criminal “Gun Violence”. Indeed, they are so conditioned that Firearms equals criminal violence, in their minds, and they cannot exist in any other context.

    Hence, my observation that Mr. Yamane is wasting his time. Getting modern American academia to objectively study firearms is like trying to persuade blind men to study the color spectrum. Their minds are simply “not equipped” to do it.

    • No, it’s not a waste of time. Pointing out fallacies in what passes for “studies” is a most necessary task. The publication that featured the item deserves a big attaboy. Recently there have been several tenured professors that found themselves out of work due to being caught in what the non-academic world would call culpable fraud.

      One of the biggest shocks of my life was doing the review of the literature for my thesis. It was hard to believe the shoddy work that supposedly passed peer review and got published. That was almost 40 years ago and it’s apparently beoomce worse. If no one makes an issue of this type of thing, it continues.

      Many “studies” start with a hypothesis and pick their data sources and methodology to make sure things work out to the preselected result. Very few of the name researchers actually do all the work. Grad students do most of it and know if they want to get their thesis/dissertation through and ensure their future employment, they better produce. If no one brings this stuff out in the open, it’s gonna continue.

      • @ WR Moore – Your comment is based upon the assumption that the American Left, and their supporters in Academia, are open to constructive criticism. If I thought that this was true, then I would agree with you. Pointing out fallacies so that researchers can learn from their mistakes is an important part of the scientific method.

        However, I believe that most leftists are so locked in their “Mind-Prison” of left-wing ideology that they are currently incapable of learning from their mistakes. Instead of accepting constructive criticism as having value, they see it as an Alt-Right attack on their Holy and Pure Ideological Worldview. They will reject such criticism automatically as invalid.

        This is clearly shown by their reaction to their defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election. Most healthy political parties, after losing an election that they expected to win, would undergo self-review to see what improvements should be made in their positions and messaging.

        However, the leftists (locked in their own echo-chamber of ideology) did none of that! Instead they blamed everyone except themselves (Trump, the Russians, Alt-Right Fake News, ect.) and then doubled-down on the ideology that the American Voters had just rejected.

        So, if I thought for one minute that American Academia would accept critical feedback and actually try to self-reform and do better, I would agree with you that Mr. Yamane’s critical paper served a useful purpose. However, given the un-yielding ideological “Mind-Prison” in which American Academia now resides, I stand by my original view that he wasted his time.

        Maybe I am being too cynical. I certainly hope so. I guess time will tell.

  7. The article you linked to is very interesting. The author though missed seeing my own primary reason for being armed on a day to day basis, that is simply that it is my RIGHT and I decline to be stripped of it because other people do not understand the Constitution that I am, and every veteran similarly is, sworn to protect, preserve and defend. I have served in combat, know what it’s like to get shot at (but fortunately not hit) and am fully cognizant of the consequences of taking a bullet from seeing my fellow warriors do so. Since the right is mine, you cannot take it away until and unless I violate any felony law that must be legitimate and valid (which does NOT include “gun control” laws). The erosion of our rights will only continue until we stand up and USE them.

  8. Interesting article. My sense is that sociology departments are among the most liberal in the campus, notable in the liberalism of academia in general. I’m glad that a sociologist has tackled this topic. When someone tells me about “The American Gun Culture” in derisive terms, I like to ask the which one they are talking about. Hunters? Action shooters? Home defenders? Recreational target shooters? Gang bangers? Abusive partners?

  9. I have a large college in my back yard. One of my friends made a good retirement job from PRIVATELY teaching members of the university to shoot. If found out those people would loose their job and never work in that business again. The mind trap mentioned is like the Childerns story of The Emperors’s New Clothes. There are a lot of things they know better, but never want to publicly admit.

  10. What’s wrong with being masculine? What’s wrong with wanting to be the good guy, the hero who brings the bad guys to justice, or slays the dragons? I think a brave mindset such as that is VERY healthy. I agree that it can be unhealthy when it is overdone. That is why everything must be balanced, everything must be done in moderation.

    When people imagine ways to improve the world, they usually think in terms of feeding the hungry, or educating the ignorant. That makes perfect sense, but executing criminals would be another way to improve the world. We need fewer criminals and terrorists, and more law-abiding, productive citizens in healthy families. Guns and balanced masculinity can be a part of that.

    Obviously, another reason to remain armed is to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust. If you think about it, the Founding Fathers recognized the Second Amendment as a defense against tyranny, and the Holocaust was a tyrant’s program. By understanding human nature, our Founders saw the future accurately.