First Guest Speakers in Sociology of Guns (Fall 2021): John Johnston and Melody Lauer of Citizens Defense Research

Sociology of Guns Ver. 7.0 is in full swing now. Module 4 of the course — “The Concealed Carry Revolution” — brings with it the first of several guest speakers this semester.

I am very excited to welcome John Johnston and Melody Lauer of Citizens Defense Research. This will be John’s fourth consecutive appearance in the class (including last year via ZOOM).

Melody has only appeared in class via photograph (see below), so I am excited for her to share her expertise with the students and grateful for the effort she is making to be in Winston-Salem for the class next Wednesday.

John Johnston guest lecture in Sociology of Guns seminar at Wake Forest University, February 2019.

John and Melody will bring their expertise in firearms training to bear on the course. In particular, John will address the issue of mandatory firearms training that I raise in Chapter 5 of my book on the history of concealed carry laws in the US, Concealed Carry Revolution: Liberalizing the Right to Bear Arms in America.

Students have been assigned to read that book, as well as to watch the Lucky Gunner video in which John and Chris Baker shoot the Texas License to Carry qualification course of fire blindfolded.

John Johnston shooting the Texas LTC qualification course of fire blindfolded, with Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner.

Among other things, Melody will take up the question of fear in motivating and guiding defensive firearms training. Student have been assigned to watch the Vice Canada Reports video that features Melody, “Fear and Loading: Meet the NRA’s Most Wanted Customer.”

They are also reading an article by University of Texas sociologist of guns, Harel Shapira, that emphasizes the role of fear (danger, risk, uneasiness) in “Learning to Need a Gun.”

People often ask if these guest appearances in class will be recorded for external consumption. They will not. Part of what makes the conversations we have in Sociology of Guns productive — unfortunately, I admit — is that they take place out of the public eye. This allows students to ask authentic questions and experts to speak with complete candor.

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One comment

  1. The video from Vice was interesting, but like most anti-gun propaganda it talks about “gun deaths.”

    Yes. America has a lot of guns and so a fair number of “gun deaths.”

    If you could magically eliminate all guns from America, you would not eliminate domestic violence (one of the statistics mentioned often). You would move the stats from shooting to stabbing to beatings to blunt-force-trauma, etc.

    It is easy to hide behind “gun deaths.” Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    Liked by 1 person

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