Firearms / My Experience

Reflections on My Gun Culture Blogging 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).

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As I noted in one of my first posts, “Jumping into the gun culture as a complete novice is like jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.” I wrote this after the movie theater attack in Aurora, Colorado that month. Things only got worse later in 2012 when the Sandy Hook massacre took place. What was already a challenge to get up to speed on only became worse.

As a consequence, my posts on Gun Culture 2.0 have ranged widely from my own experiences shooting to reviews of books about guns to my attempts to understand existing research on guns. I am pretty much all over the place.

I began the blog as a way to force myself to reflect in writing on gun culture – a way to force myself to write! – but not many people who take the time to write do it only for themselves. So of course I have been interested to know if anyone out in cyberspace is looking at my posts. Recently I decided to look at my site statistics to see how many people have visited and what they have been most interested in reading about.

Top Blog Posts

The majority of my posts have fewer than 100 views, so the 6,370 total page views since I started Gun Culture 2.0 are dominated by a few entries. The home page not surprisingly leads the way with 1,415 views (though June 14).

1. Massad Ayoob’s MAG-40 Course – A Humanitarian Approach to Armed Citizenship (735 views). This is a long entry, but for anyone interested in a very thoughtful approach to the rights and responsibilities of armed citizenship, Massad Ayoob is the man.

2. Understanding Case-Control Studies of Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor (656 views). I am glad so many people have looked at this, because a lot of the most often cited statistics on the dangers of keeping a gun in one’s home is based on case-control designs. I learned a lot myself about this methodology in writing this entry.

3. Massad Ayoob Checks the Accuracy of My Handgun (612 views). This entry is just funny, because you often hear people who shoot guns say things like, “That gun doesn’t shoot well.” Given my own experience, I wonder what percentage of the time the actual statement should be, “I don’t shoot well.” Guns don’t shoot badly; people shoot badly.

4. Assessing the Great Ammo Shortage of 2013 (592 views). The fact that this entry has gotten as many views as it has suggests how concerned people are about the ammo shortage.

5. Shooting the MAG-40 Qualification Course (545 views). Three of the top 5 most visited pages on my site have to do with Massad Ayoob and his MAG-40 course. Overall this suggests that people are a lot more interested in Massad Ayoob than they are in me!

6. Investigating the New York Times’ Dangerous Gun Myths (173 views). This entry is another long one, and probably too boring for mass consumption, but looking at specific claims made in a NYT editorial claiming to debunk gun myths is important for those who want to look below the surface of those claims.

7. The Culture of Fear and the Mass Murders of 2012 (114 views). Here is another entry I wish more people would read. Recently, a big to do was made about the near-simultaneous release of a government study that showed violent crimes committed with guns is way down over the past 20 years, and a Pew Research Center poll that shows that people perceive gun crime to be going up. But this is an old story — crime down, fear up – as I note in this entry from January 2013.

8. Thoughts on Banning Certain Types of Rifles and Magazines (107 views). Banning so-called “assault rifles” and so-called “high capacity” magazines is a panacea designed to make us feel better without making us significantly safer. Enough said, but I wish more people had looked at this page, too.

Visitors

From its inception, Gun Culture 2.0 has had 6,370 page views. I don’t have any basis for comparison in terms of blog readership, but I know this is more people than bought my first three books combined!

The best ever single day was 142 views. On that day I posted an entry on “Looking Forward to History’s Top Shot Season 5 All-Stars.” I like this because as I noted in my first ever entry, Top Shot had a major role in my interest in guns and gun culture.

My best month ever was May 2012 with 1,687 views. That was up from just over 1,000 in each of March and April. If I can get 1,000 page views a month, I am happy with that.

Although the vast majority (5,352 of 6,370) visits have been from the United States, I have also had 548 visitors from Australia, and the other 400+ visitors have come from 60 other countries including Vietnam, Slovenia, Kuwait, Nepal, South Africa, and Malta.

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