Gun Curious

A Liberal Professor’s Surprising Journey Inside America’s Gun Culture


In stock

SKU: 9781476695877 Categories: , , Tags: ,
Imprint or Series:Exposit Books

About the Book

More than ever, it feels like cultural and political divisions over firearms are tearing the United States apart. Guns are an undeniable and contradictory presence in America, both widely owned and controversial. This book does something remarkable: it promotes insight over animosity in understanding the complex reality of guns in America. It challenges firearms skeptics, entertains enthusiasts, and informs the uncommitted by taking readers on a surprising journey inside gun culture.
A lifelong liberal from the San Francisco Bay Area, David Yamane became a new gun owner as a 42-year-old and embarked on an immersive twelve-year study of American gun culture. Weaving together his personal experiences and sociological observations to explain why guns make sense to those who own them, he illuminates defensive gun ownership, the risk of negative outcomes associated with firearms, and what responsible gun ownership looks like in the twenty-first century. This book lowers the heat on America’s inflamed arguments about firearms and models the civil discussions we desperately need.

About the Author(s)

David Yamane is a professor of sociology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is a nationally recognized scholarly authority on American gun culture.

Bibliographic Details

David Yamane

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 213
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9587-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5355-6
Imprint: Exposit

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Glossary of Gun Terminology xiii
Preface 1
Introduction: How a Liberal Professor Became a Gun Owner 5
1. Guns Are Normal and Normal People Use Guns 17
2. Top Shot and the ­Human-Weapon Relationship 31
3. Becoming a Gun ­Super-Owner 43
4. Living with ­AR-15s 57
5. Swept Up in the Concealed Carry Revolution 76
6. Pascal’s Wager and Firearms 94
7. Guns as Risk Factors for Negative Outcomes 108
8. Being Responsibly Armed 131
Conclusion: What the Professor Learned 153
Chapter Notes 171
Bibliography 183
Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

• “I think this book by Professor Yamane is a treasure trove of reasonable and thoughtful consideration of firearms in America. I can’t agree more with the statement in the introduction that ‘Open minds and hearts are as important now as ever.’ Whatever side of the debate about firearms in America you are on, you will surely find some great information here that will make you think, sometimes make you question, maybe make you mad, but always will make you better at knowing the sociology of firearms ownership and use in America. I applaud Professor Yamane for his scholarly and yet approachable take on this contentious issue and hope that those who read it, heed his message and integrate it into their understanding of this hot button dog whistle issue.”—John Correia, President, Active Self Protection

• “David Yamane offers readers the rare perspective of an accomplished sociologist who became an avid gun owner and a gun culture scholar in his forties. Skeptical Americans wonder whether owners can be trusted to live with their guns. Yamane’s learned and irenic case for responsible gun ownership and for building a culture of responsibility bridges societal divides. This book deserves attention, appreciation, and response by all Americans of good will.”—Per Anderson, professor emeritus of religion, Concordia College

• “David Yamane takes us on a personal and sociological journey inside American gun culture. It’s a fascinating, informative, and entertaining story about a liberal professor’s growing involvement in an entirely different social world and the valuable lessons learned along the way. With refreshing honesty, Yamane effectively counters many long-standing criticisms of gun ownership. His observations are balanced, original, and drawn from years of scholarship and first-hand experiences with guns and gun culture. Nothing partisan here, Yamane is a voice of reason in our highly polarized times.”—Mark R. Joslyn, political scientist and author of The Gun Gap: The Influence of Gun Ownership on Political Behavior and Attitudes

• “America’s gun debate has weaponized people against one another for far too long. In Gun Curious, Yamane takes aim and shatters the looking glass that distorts our perceptions of America’s gun owners, showing firsthand that it’s ok to dig deeper, ask questions, and challenge our ideas on guns, past and present, to find a path forward.”—Ashley Hlebinsky, founding executive director, University of Wyoming Firearms Research Center

• “David Yamane provides insightful evidence and anecdotes documenting the normality of American gun culture and how it has developed over decades and generations. We need the vigorous, informed dialogue that Gun Curious provides, so that Americans can better understand how to respect civilian gun ownership as a civil right. If you want to understand how the ‘gun curious’ influences our country’s debate and discussion around firearms, this book is for you.”—Chris Cheng, History Channel’s Top Shot season 4 champion and author of Shoot to Win