Sociology of Guns Seminar at Wake Forest University, Take 4, Spring 2018

I am excited to be teaching my “Sociology of Guns” seminar for the fourth time in four years. I also taught the course in 2017, 2016, and 2015. I still enjoy teaching this course because I try to teach some new material each time and the inquisitive spirit my students bring to the class.

My revised syllabus is available for download as a PDF file HERE.

As before, a trip to the range for an “Intro to Firearms” demonstration and (optional) shooting at the range will be a highlight of the course. When I have taught the class in the fall, we have shot outdoors at Veterans Range (my home range, in 2015 and 2016), and in the spring we go to indoors to ProShots Range (in 2017 and this semester).

Sociology of Guns student shooting AR-platform rifle at Veterans Range in 2015.

In addition to a bunch of new readings, this semester I will have a guest speaker visit class to talk about armed self-defense: John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research and Ballistic Radio. It will be great to have someone in class who can speak more authoritatively about the issue than I can, and also very likely inspire in the students a feeling of awe and fascination in a way that I cannot.

Screen cap of John Johnston from Instagram feed for @ballisticj

Given all the other balls in the air right now, I’m not sure if I will be able to post regularly about the course. But I will be sure to hit the highlights along the way.


  1. “John Johnston holds several instructor certifications such as Rangemaster Advanced Handgun, Vehicle Close Quarter Battle (VCQB), Close Quarter Battle (CQB), and more”

    What organization(s) is/are responsible for setting up and vetting both the criteria for those certifications and the testing of individuals who receive them?


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