Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline

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Oxford University Press, Apr 1, 2015 - Social Science - 272 pages
From gang- and drug-related shootings to mass shootings in schools, shopping centers, and movie theatres, reports of gun crimes fill the headlines of newspapers and nightly news programs. At the same time, a different kind of headline has captured public attention: a steady surge in pro-gun sentiment among Americans. In Citizen-Protectors, Jennifer Carlson offers a compelling portrait of gun carriers, shedding light on Americans' complex relationship with guns. Delving headlong into the world of guns, Carlson participated in firearms training classes, attending pro-gun events, and carried a firearm herself. Through these experiences, she explores the role guns play in the lives of Americans who carry them and shows how, against a backdrop of economic insecurity and social instability, gun carrying becomes a means of being a good citizen. A much-needed counterpoint to the rhetorical battles over gun control, Citizen-Protectors is a captivating and revealing look at gun culture in America, and a must-read for anyone with a stake in this heated debate.

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About the author (2015)

Jennifer Carlson is Assistant Professor, School of Sociology and School of Government & Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Her work examines gun politics, policing and public law enforcement, the politics of race and gender, and violence.

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