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Citizen-protectors: the everyday politics of guns in an age of decline

"From gang- and drug-related shootings to mass shootings in schools, shopping centers, and movie theatres, reports of gun crimes fill the headlines of newspapers and nightly news programs. At the same time, a different kind of headline has captured public attention: a steady surge in pro-gun se...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Carlson, Jennifer
Format: Print Book
Language:English
Published: Oxford New York Oxford University Press [2015]
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Summary:"From gang- and drug-related shootings to mass shootings in schools, shopping centers, and movie theatres, reports of gun crimes fill the headlines of newspapers and nightly news programs. At the same time, a different kind of headline has captured public attention: a steady surge in pro-gun sentiment among Americans. A Gallup poll conducted just a month after the Newtown school shootings found that 74% of Americans oppose a ban on hand-guns, and at least 11 million people now have licenses to carry concealed weapons as part of their everyday lives. Why do so many Americans not only own guns but also carry them? In Citizen-Protectors, Jennifer Carlson offers a compelling portrait of gun carriers, shedding light on Americans' complex relationship with guns. Delving headlong into the world of gun carriers, Carlson spent time participating in firearms training classes, attending pro-gun events, and carrying a firearm herself. Through these experiences she explores the role guns play in the lives of Americans who carry them and shows how, against a backdrop of economic insecurity and social instability, gun carrying becomes a means of being a good citizen, an idea that not only pervades the NRA's public literature and statements, but its training courses as well. A much-needed counterpoint to the rhetorical battles over gun control, Citizen-Protectors is a captivating and revealing look at gun culture in America, and is a must-read for anyone with a stake in this heated debate"--
"In this in-depth and systematic look at gun carriers, Jennifer Carlson draws on her fieldwork attending guns shows and training courses, becoming an NRA certified instructor, and carrying a firearm to unpack the everyday politics of guns. Carlson argues that guns are taken up to address practical problems of policing and protection-in effect to manage social insecurities and suspicions surrounding state disinvestment and the efficacy of state institutions, especially law enforcement. In this context, guns carrying becomes a means of practicing good citizenship by producing social order amidst disorder. This understanding helps to clarify why Americans cling to their guns as both practical and symbolically charged tools of policing and protection, but it also sheds light on the NRA's hidden power as the primary organization that certifies Americans to carry guns. Rather than focus simply on how to handle a firearm responsibly, these training courses primarily cultivate the disposition, capacity, and desire to use guns in self-defense as well as teach the idea that carrying guns is a part of responsible citizenship"--
Item Description:Includes bibliographical references (pages 199-216) and index
Physical Description:xii, 227 pages 26 cm
ISBN:9780199347551