The topic of Module 7 of my Sociology of Guns seminar is “diversity in gun culture.” Scholars have done a woeful job of capturing this diversity — including the major axes of difference on which sociologists tend to focus such as gender, race, and sexuality, as well as religious and political differences — making it difficult even to assign published research on the topic for my students to read.
I am all the more pleased, therefore, to welcome two guests to my class this week who both embody and attempt to foster diversity within gun culture: Tiffany Johnson and Aqil Qadir of Citizens Safety Academy.
I have been following their work with interest for some time now, having mentioned them in the section of my National Firearms Law Seminar talk in April 2019 in which I discuss diversity and inclusion within gun culture.
Johnson and Qadir are going to talk about their work, especially an online course they put together called “Broadening the 2A Tent.” It is a free course, as they note, “designed for anyone interested in the exploring the possibilities, the justifications, and the unique challenges of expanding the firearms training community and ensuring the continued growth of Second Amendment support.”
As their description suggests, this is not a neutral analysis of diversity in gun culture, but an effort to strengthen the Second Amendment by expanding involvement in and attachment to gun culture by diverse people.
The course grows out of presentations Johnson and Qadir have been making for a few years now in venues like the A Girl & A Gun National Conference and the Rangemaster Tactical Conference. It takes just under an hour to complete and is conveniently broken down into 3 introductory modules, 7 “quick tips,” and a brief conclusion.
Early feedback from my students on the online course has been very positive. For example, one student reflected,
as a liberal college student with pretty firmly-established gun regulation wishes, I just want to say how informative and necessary I think your course is. Every tip is a nod toward level-headedness and honest discussion. I especially love the idea of giving 60% in a conversation; thinking of it in that way should allow for much more worthwhile debate. I also like the little quote quizzes wherein our expectations of a Scalia quote is actually from Breyer, or an expected Feinstein quote is from Reagan. Little things like that really might be able to break us out of our partisan echo chamber (even if just for a second).
I am looking forward to participating in tomorrow’s discussion and reporting back here when I can.