My involvement in gun culture has profoundly shifted my perspective on guns and gun owners.
Several years into my transition to gun owner and scholar, I was a guest on my fellow North Carolinian Sean Sorrentino’s GunBlog VarietyCast (since retired). Sean and I spoke about my background and project, and problems with academics’ dominant approaches to studying guns. When he asked me at the end for my big takeaway, I said something that turned out to be more significant than I expected.
The thing that has surprised me most about getting into gun culture these past 6 or 7 years is that gun owners are people, too. If you just read the scholarly literature on guns, you would not know that.
I have expressed this view in my own scholarly publications on guns, and over the years I have further refined this perspective into a sort of motto:
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