Publication Alert – Targeted Advertising: Documenting the Emergence of Gun Culture 2.0 in Guns Magazine, 1955-2019

At last my replication of an earlier study of “The Rise of Self-Defense in Gun Advertising: The American Rifleman, 1918-2017,” has been published. Working with the same two co-authors, my son Paul and another Wake Forest graduate Sebastian Ivory, we analyzed the changing themes in advertisements placed in Guns magazine from its founding in 1955 through 2019.

The article was published in a special issue of the journal Palgrave Communications on “What Guns Mean.” It is available open access (i.e., FREE!!!).

We again find that Gun Culture 1.0 themes of hunting and recreational shooting decline from the mid-1960s on while Gun Culture 2.0 themes of personal protection/self-defense and concealed carry increase over the same period of time. The two themes cross over in the early 2010s, highlighting that Gun Culture 2.0 is now the core of American gun culture.

From article available at:

Although the change is more pronounced in Guns magazine, the overall pattern is nearly identical to what we found when we examined changes in gun advertising themes in The American Rifleman from 1918-2017.

From the book chapter “The Rise of Self-Defense in Gun Advertising: The American Rifleman, 1918-2017.”


  1. […] The findings graphically depict a profound change. As you can see in this figure, over this 100-year period, the prevalence of hunting and recreational shooting themes in ads, represented by the red line, declined in an almost mirror imagine to the increase in personal protection and concealed carry themes, represented by the green line. [NOTE: We have since replicated this finding in a study of advertising in Guns magazine from 1955 to 2019.] […]


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