“Guns Are Becoming a Totem of White Masculinity”

Sociologists are “my people,” but when sociologists talk about guns and gun culture, I often feel a profound disconnect from my own experience with and understanding of the same.

At a special session on religion and guns/gun culture today at the annual meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in Philadelphia, one of the panelists said that self-defense gun culture (i.e., Gun Culture 2.0) is essentially white masculine gun culture. And that “guns are becoming a totem of white masculinity.”

Immediately after that session I took an Uber 15 miles south and spent a few hours with Annette Evans. Who is a first generation American, the child of immigrants from Hong Kong. Female. An attorney. A competitive shooter. A training junkie. And co-owner of Race Street Range, a gun range she is working hard to open.

Race Street Range owner Annette Evans giving a tour of the facility

Although understanding the dominant racial and gender composition of gun culture is important, a more adequate understanding of Gun Culture 2.0 needs to include people like Annette Evans.


      • David, I appreciate your stuff. I’ve been learning a lot about guns and gun culture on your blog. It’s a shame that Sociology has become so ideologically homogenous that several of us feel compelled to censor ourselves in the face of questionable claims. I’d actually be interested in an analysis of the “Totem of White Masculinity” claim. There might be some validity to it, at least I see some evidence of this in some of my circles (but I don’t get that from the folks who comment here, of course). But my guess is that this didn’t rest in any sort of analysis and was a mere throwaway line affirming the priors of most of the audience.
        Anyway… for what it’s worth, I’m enjoying your work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It may be too late for that, David!! ☺️

        That was such a lob over the plate I couldn’t help but take a swing at it!

        Re: totems of white masculinity – I thought social scientists really tried to understand the people they studied and refrain from letting their personal biases influence their work. Silly me! (With the clarification that you and a few of your colleagues actually do conduct yourselves in an objective manner, trying to get to underlying truths and a deep understanding of the subjects of your research. Thanks for that! ) (or are my biases against the ‘soft sciences’ unduly impacting my opinions, me being educated in the hard sciences?)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You are a part of the problem. I challenged BS like this all the time. I am a retired sociologist and the “research” into this topic by sociologists and [much worse] psychologists, must be challenged BEFORE it makes it into professional journals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m fairly that the erroneous “gun culture is white culture” equation presupposed by that panelist is largely resulting an unchallenged axiomatic a priori political position. Literally the first assumption which comes tumbling down when those living in a Blue Bubble encounter the world of guns is the notion that the gun owning demographic is not diverse. Any gun skeptic I’ve ever taken to the range has been stunned to find a fairly complete cross section of populations attending the range.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In other words, that sociologist is ignorant of demographic trends and utilizes stereotypes in academic contexts. I wonder if that same sociologist feels the hoi polloi are wrong in their perception of detached academics?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I got to meet Annette when I was in Philly last year. Great person. I am insulted that the sociologist you’re talking about doesn’t believe that Annette and I can be part of the same tribe.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Last time I went out with some friends to do a little plinking I turned out to be the only white guy there. And no one even noticed until a few hours in. From what I’ve observed it’s only gotten more diverse as time has gone on not less.


  6. From Wikipedia: “…A totem (Ojibwe doodem) is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe…”

    Well, I suppose. But if I were to pick a firearm for the home totem, it would more likely be a Weatherby Mk 5 than an AR. Is it so bad to have a totem?


    • So here are the names of the blogs…. starting with mine 357 Magnum

      Cornered Cat Blog
      Girls Just Wanna Have Guns
      Julie Golob’s Blog
      The Adventures of Roberta X
      View From The Porch

      There are more of course, who are more political than guns like Victory Girls and Girls on the Right.

      And probably a few I’ve ignored, but that is the list of folks I check on pretty much once a week.


    • I always expect WP to be smarter than it is…. that link is to the following:

      Study: 17.25 Million Concealed Handgun Permits, Biggest Increases for Women and Minorities


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