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June 14, 2004

BACK IN THE OFFICE, and facing the inevitable stack of mail. On top is what looks like an interesting book from Oxford University Press, by Abigail Kohn: Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures. Obviously, I haven't read it yet, but it looks like an effort to take an honest sociological look at gun owners in America, in opposition to the rather cartoonish and negative view generally found in mass media. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

According to some of the top journalists in the country, gun enthusiasts and NRA members are racist, stupid, ignorant about history an dpolitics, apathetic to violence, bellicose, and jingoistic. They are, quite simply, evil.

It's difficult to imagine the media promoting these kinds of characterizations of particular ethnic or religious groups without a political firestorm. Yet these are routine characterizations of gun enthusiasts. . . .

When I began my research into gun enthusiasm and gun ownership in the mid-1990s, I learned that a number of my academic colleagues held very similar views.

The book looks quite interesting, and I'll try to say more about it later. Now I'm off to a faculty meeting I didn't know I had until just a few minutes ago. Sigh. Vacation's over. . . .

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