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And this is why we can’t have nice things.

June 2, 2015

A Berkeley-educated professor at a Canadian university walks into a bar — er, publishes an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times. Her article is reprinted on gun blogs nationwide. What is the reaction? No prizes for guessing correctly.

But wait! There’s more. Jennifer Carlson, PhD, published this response to our reaction, and it is worth reading. So read with an open mind. I think she makes some points worth considering.

Jennifer Carlson, PhD

I grew up in a very conservative, Midwestern family, and I work in a pretty liberal profession. Add to that — I research an extremely controversial topic: gun politics and wrote a book about it called Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline. Precisely because people disagree so vehemently about guns in this country, I see the best thing I can do as a sociologist is to bridge that gap and help people try to see things from other people’s perspectives – and because I chose to study gun carriers rather than gun rights activists, that often means getting the anti-gun left to better understand pro-gun America.

So, despite this being one of the most divisive issues in American politics, I have strained over and over to avoid playing into the stereotypes about gun carriers – both who they are and why they carry. It…

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