Book Review—Gender, Race, and Right to Carry

One of my favorite college professors was an anthropologist, one of the old-school types who had done field work with the Alaskan Eskimo. A concealed carry permit holder myself, I felt like a subject of this model of scholarship as I critically read University of Toronto sociology professor Jennifer Carlson’s fascinating field study of several dozen gun-carrying residents of southeast Michigan’s industrial cities—Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and their suburbs. Carlson is notable in her profession by refraining from using scholarship as a perch from which to attack gun owners under the banner o...

NPR Gets It Right

After following the politics of the public health gun prohibition movement for over two decades, I have no illusions about which side most media outlets are on. As recently as January 15 it was necessary to dissect in this blog a grossly misreported Washington Post story on Congress’s 1996 defunding of gun control advocacy at the federal agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). So it was gratifying to be a guest this week on the Santa Monica, California National Public Radio affiliate station KCRW show “To The Point” with host Warren Olney. The other panel guests were Mother Jones edi...

“How Gun Rights Strengthen the Rule of Law”

Firmin Debrabander’s April 1 article in The Atlantic online, How Gun Rights Harm the Rule of Law, oddly contradicts reality. It seems fitting for April Fools Day but is really unself-conscious parody, tying itself in knots to justify nonsensical conclusions. Debrabander is a philosopher with a string of anti-gun writing, but there are more than enough examples just here: “Thanks to Stand Your Ground [laws], citizens must now fear their armed neighbors”. I hadn’t heard of neighborhood fears growing due to recognition of a right to defend oneself without being obliged to retreat when attacked...

Safe Haven?—Outdoor Channel Investigates Gun Free Zones

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Katie Pavlich hosts a 45 minute documentary, “Safe Haven: Gun Free Zones in America”, which explores the failure of gun free zones. The mass murder at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT is analyzed by Edward Monk and J. Eric Dietz, PhD as representing a problem of response time. These events continue until someone acts to stop the killing. They point out that mass murderers seek out gun free zones in preference to places where people might be armed. The shooters are looking for the highest score. They go to places where they can kill as many people as possible in the shortest time. (more&hel...

The Daily Show—Bloody Shirts on Parade

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Much ink has been spilled exploring the psychology of humor and of comedians in particular. One theme recurs—successful comedy springs from a dark repository of fears and prejudice. Just as well recognized is the long-honored role of comedy in political affairs, i.e. satire. I was recently invited to appear as a guest (a victim, really) on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, just before Stewart announced his retirement from the show. The topic of the day was to be Florida’s Docs vs Glocks law, which as regular readers of this blog will know was enacted to prevent professional ...