Guns in America: Can We Have a Better Gun Debate?

Photo of bullet casings on table

Class Dates

September 10, 2019 to October 15, 2019

Meeting Days

Tuesdays, 4-6 p.m.


The Loft Cinema



Course Instructor(s)

This course will provide a chance to study with one of the leading experts on US gun politics.  In this six week course, Professor Jennifer Carlson will trace the profound changes in gun culture and gun law in recent decades. In 2000, Gallup asked Americans whether they thought having a gun made their homes safer or more dangerous. More than half saw a gun as dangerous, and only a third saw guns making a home safer. Within a decade and a half, though, those numbers dramatically reversed: by 2014, 63% of respondents said that guns make homes safer. As annual deaths from gunshot wounds in the US hover just under 40,000, these survey data point to a profound shift in the social life of guns in America. This course will explore the historical, criminological, political, legal, sociological, and cultural perspectives that can help make sense of the contemporary views of guns as tools of safety versus objects of danger. 

Join us for Professor Carlson’s examinations of the relationship between gun rights and gun rules, between crime and self-defense, and between the past and present politics of guns.