Gun Culture 2.0: The Evolution and Contours of Defensive Gun Ownership in America

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Gun Culture 2.0: The Evolution and Contours of Defensive Gun Ownership in America

Category: Behavior|Journal: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (full text)|Author: D Yamane|Year: 2023

I trace the evolution of gun culture in the U.S., starting with the prehistorical normality and significance of projectile weaponry among Homo sapiens, then turning to the largely practical use of firearms as tools in the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early Republic eras (ca. 1607–1850). I highlight the emergence of Gun Culture 1.0, which centered on sport hunting, recreation, and collecting and was the core of American gun culture from approximately 1850 to 2010. I then show the roots of Gun Culture 2.0, which began in the 1960s and 1970s and centered on self-defense. I use various indicators to document that, by 2010, armed self-defense had become the core of American gun culture. In the penultimate section of the article, I use the great gun-buying spree of 2020+ to show the diversity that exists within Gun Culture 2.0, a theme that carries over to the conclusion, where I consider possible future directions of gun culture.

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