The dumpster fire of 2020+ appears to be flowing over into still another calendar year, but I am undaunted. I must press ahead and report my most viewed posts of the previous year, 2021.
The number of visitors and page views for this blog were down dramatically from 2020 levels. On roughly the same number of posts in 2021, I had 38% fewer visitors and 53% fewer page views. This is obviously disappointing. As I posted recently, I am taking steps in 2022 to see whether the blog medium is the problem (spinning up my YouTube channel “Light Over Heat”), or if people have just grown tired of my particular take on guns and gun culture.
I also continue to post often at Gun Curious, which I launched in February 2019 in an effort to reach an audience beyond those already deeply enmeshed in American gun culture. You can see the 2021 Top 10 most viewed posts on Gun Curious to get a sense of how the content differs.
Here are the 10 (+1 bonus) most viewed posts on this blog in 2021:
*Words Mean Things: Grown Up Talk about the AR-15 (Guest Post): I give this a * rather than the number 1 because, even though it was the most viewed post last year, it was guest written by Jon Stokes. It’s popularity highlights the general popularity of all things hardware, which is to my disadvantage as I discuss software associated with gun culture much more often.
 Is Using “R.I.P.” Defensive Ammunition Asking for Trouble? To my point above, this post from 2016 continues to garner significant views. People love hardware.
 Sex and Guns: Safer not Safe: Sex sells! But this post hopefully captured more than just people’s prurient interests. Argument by analogy is always potentially fraught, but thinking about “gun safety” as being like “safe sex” may be helpful.
 Causes of Gun-Related Deaths in the US: Beliefs vs. Reality: Not a deep analysis, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a motion graphic worth? Apparently quite a lot in terms of readership.
 Guns Are Normal, Normal People Use Guns: I coined a phrase but realized at some point last year that I never posted about the fundamental idea that animates my research on guns and gun culture.
 How a Card Carrying Liberal Professor Became a Card Carrying Liberal Armed American: A couple of years old now, but so foundational to what I am doing that I am happy people continue to return to this work.
 New York Times Steps to Buy a Gun, Homicide, and Suicide Cross-Nationally: Although I obviously am not in the camp that says all statistics are lies and statisticians are liars, it is possible to take the same set of data and reinterpret them from a different perspective, as I do here in this oldie but goodie from 2018.
 Revolvers Kill! (May Be Even More Lethal Than Semi-Automatic Handguns): Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and don’t bring a revolver to a semi-auto gunfight. But this post highlights the importance of intentions in the process. A person armed with a revolver and malice can do a lot of harm.
 Kyle Rittenhouse is a Poster Child for Civilian Gun Training: It would be hard to make it through all of 2021 and not say something about this divisive figure. In addition to this blog post, I also wrote an opinion essay published in The Hill, “Kyle Rittenhouse does not represent American gun owners today” (23 November 2021).
 Awareness and Managing Unknown Contacts: Before a Harsh Word or a Gun: Almost 3 years old now, this recap of part of Craig Douglas’s Extreme Close Quarters Concepts course stands the test of time in part because Douglas is far ahead of his time in this course material. I don’t often like re-reading my own work, but the end of this post always leaves a smile on my face.
 Assessing Risk in the Decision to Carry a Gun: I am not sure what revived this post from 2015, but I am glad to see people still find the content interesting. Risk is a key concept in the field of gun studies (often misunderstood, in my view) and it is something thoughtful gun owners and carriers grapple with regularly.
As was the case in 2021, my main goal for 2022 is to make serious progress in writing my book on American gun culture. I am not sure how that will impact my blogging, but however it goes, I appreciate everyone’s continued interest in and support of my work here.