Sociology of Guns Seminar, Take 3

I ordinarily do not repeat seminars in successive semesters, but a scheduling fluke this spring has me teaching my Sociology of Guns seminar once again. No major changes to the overall structure of the course, though I have tweaked the readings as I usually do. (You can download the syllabus as a PDF document here: soc384-sociology-of-guns-syllabus-sp-17.)

I am also pushing the students to engage even more with James Wright’s essay, “Ten Essential Observations on Guns in American Society.” At the end of each segment of the class, I will have the students say whether the reading(s) and discussion on balance tend to support Wright’s observation, refute it, or some of each, and to explain their conclusion.


Because I am experimenting by teaching this class as a once a week, 2.5 hour seminar, we will cover twice the material in each class session. So, later today we will be engaging the first 3 of Wright’s observations. I will post the students’ feedback on them as soon as I can.

Also, next week we will be taking a field trip to ProShots Indoor Range and Training. The field trip was a highlight of the class in Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 that I thought I was going to have to forgo due to weather concerns in January. But Richard Talbert — who has twice been a guest presenter in my class — has graciously offered to host the class at ProShots. Stay tuned for an after-action report on that next week.


  1. The moral high ground on the Second Amendment, private firearms ownership, and
    guns is best addressed by two non NRA affiliated institutions. The Include: The John
    Birch Society in Appleton, Wisconsin at and,
    respectively. Also, JPFO, Inc. at JPFO, Inc. is “America’s Civil Rights
    Organization”. Bear in mind “Dial 911 and Die: The Shocking Truth About The Police
    Protection Myth” available for public viewing at you tube. The 1999 book by same
    title by Richard Stevens is likewise available from JPFO, Inc. The National Rifle
    Association (NRA) though must be credited for teaching hunter and firearms safety,
    and for promoting women’s safety: Refuse To Be A Victim. Yet, both The John Birch
    Society and JPFO, Inc. delve much deeper into the hidden agenda of the well funded
    socialist anti-gun/civilian disarmament movement in America and even globally.
    James A. Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)


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