Gun Culture 2.0 and the Great Gun-Buying Spree of 2020

Late in 2020 an editor from the online magazine Discourse contacted me to see if I wanted to write anything about my work on American gun culture for them. The invitation provided an excellent opportunity for me to formalize some of my scattered thoughts on the Great Gun-Buying Spree of 2020. I quickly agreed.

It was published recently so have a look, and read more after the break.

I don’t know whether Discourse will ask me to write again for them, but that will probably be more likely the more my essay is downloaded, so go ahead and give me a click, and please share this with your friends.

Screen cap of Discourse magazine essay on Gun Culture 2.0

According to its “About” page, Discourse is “a new online journal of politics, economics and culture published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Discourse is dedicated first and foremost to discourse, to the idea that good thinking and good ideas arise amid the interplay of different viewpoints and perspectives. Discourse is also dedicated to promoting and defending time-tested liberal values with new and innovative thinking.”

Although I am not exactly a (Hayekian free market) liberal in the mold of the Mercatus Center, they placed no limits on what I could write about, did not suggest any ideologically-driven directions, and made no effort in the editing process to substantively change what I argued. To the contrary, I received some excellent editorial feedback from the magazine’s staff and am very pleased with how the essay turned out, including the graphic based on my colleague Trent Steidley’s work with NICS data.

I was also glad that they allowed me to sneak in a photo of my wife, Sandy, taking John Murphy’s Concealed Carry: Advanced Skills and Tactics course, about which I have written a few times.

Did I mention it would be awesome if you would actually read the essay and/or share it with your friends?

Buy me a drinkIf you want to support my work, please buy me a drink


  1. Well written, David, although anyone who has followed your blog for as long as I have (and been the fortunate recipient of some of your academic preprints), its kind of a review paper. But for those not familiar with the discussion, an excellent one.

    Khal Spencer, academic expatriate and member of the Dark Side WMD fraternity
    Fanta Se, NM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay teach, I read it. where’s my extra credit? 😉

    As Khal says, a review for many of us but as always a well written summary of the continuing evolution of American gun culture. I shared it to Facebook.


  3. They did ask me to cover the idea of Gun Culture 2.0 for an audience that likely had not heard of it, but the connection to the Great Gun Buying Spree of 2020 and the diversification of gun culture were supposed to be MORE novel contributions. Of course, for long time supporters like you and Khal, I guess not so novel.

    GOLD STARS for both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, to be sure, there was novel stuff in there regarding the Great Gun Buying Spree, but it seemed to me that the thrust of the new material was to put it in the context of the evolution of gun culture rather than an event of its own. Other than, of course, whenever there is a crisis (whether Newtown, the Dems taking Congress, the pandemic, or the riots) people buy guns. Now we have a pandemic, riots, and the Dems taking Congress.A trifecta of panic buying.

      Liked by 2 people

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