Light Over Heat #35: Top 10 Books on Guns in America – #1 to #5

In last week’s and this week’s Light Over Heat videos, I lay out my Top 10 books on guns in America. This week I cover books #5 to #1.

See below for the list and links.

Books #5 to #1 of my Top 10:

5. Barrett, Paul M. 2012. Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun. New York: Broadway Books.

4. Lacombe, Matthew J. 2021. Firepower: How the NRA Turned Gun Owners into a Political Force. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

3. Joslyn, Mark R. 2020. The Gun Gap: The Influence of Gun Ownership on Political Behavior and Attitudes. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

2. Carlson, Jennifer. 2015. Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline. New York: Oxford University Press.

1. Winkler, Adam. 2013. Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America. 1 edition. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

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  1. Just ordered Citizen-Protectors on Kindle based on this recommendation and your earlier commentary. Will get started on it this evening.

    While I appreciate Carlson making the effort of ethnographic immersion, I suspect the ‘citizen-protector’ persona she resurfaced with is actually a preconception she carried with on her dive. It certainly isn’t prevalent in the waters of gun culture in which I swim.

    I’m also eager to see how she reconciles her thesis that carrying ‘reassert[s] their masculinity and help them to “reclaim a sense of dignity,”’ with the sizable and growing number of women who carry. (Or if she has a parallel profiling of women carriers.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think some aspects are what we would call “theoretically overdetermined,” but she has 2-3 unique insights that elevates the book in my ranking. She doesn’t address women gun carriers much in Citizen-Protectors, but she does in a couple of other articles.


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