Tweet Of The Day

The tweet of the day comes from my good friend Prof. David Yamane who writes the excellent Gun Culture 2.0 blog.

As the late Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “A right delayed is a right denied.”

In His Cold Dead Hands

It is Friday afternoon and it is time for a laugh after the NRA news of the week. My friend and fellow blogger David Yamane posted the picture below on Facebook. It had the following caption:

Photo from 2040 of Wayne LaPierre holding onto the Executive Vice Preisdency of the NRA in his cold, dead hands.


#guns #gunculture #gunculture2point0 #nra #2a

Great satire always contains an element of truth.

Gun Culture 2.0 Or How A Liberal Professor Became An Armed American

My friend David Yamane, Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University, delivered the lunchtime address at the NRA Foundation’s National Firearms Law Seminar in Indianapolis last month. It detailed his journey from a non-gun owning, non-shooting college professor raised in the shadow of San Francisco to becoming an armed American. It was very well received and thanks to John Correia of Armed Self Protection and associates it is now available on YouTube.

In the video he credits his wife Sandy with helping him make the journey. She, like my in-laws, is a native of Mocksville, North Carolina. According to some tongue-in-cheek sources, it is the most redneck town in the state. I’d say it really is like many small towns across the state with farmland surrounding it, a small downtown area with various small shops and offices, and a Walmart out by the highway.

A Blog For The Gun Curious

My friend David Yamane has started a new blog called Gun Curious. It is aimed at those who don’t yet have a firearm but are curious about it.

He says:

As someone who had little exposure to and no interest in guns for most of my life, I know what it is like not to understand guns and gun culture. For nearly a decade now, I have burrowed deeper and deeper into American gun culture. I hope to translate what I have learned to the gun curious – those interested in but unsure about guns.


This uncertainty about guns can be coupled with attraction, repulsion, or neutrality. Whatever your orientation, if you are open-minded and hope to learn more about guns and gun culture, you should find something of interest here.

 If you have a friend or colleague that is curious about guns and would like to read more from a non-judgemental perspective, I would highly recommend sending them to David’s new blog.

He explains more about why he decided to start a second blog at his GunCulture 2.0 blog

National Negroni Week

As Professor David Yamane reminded me in a text a few days ago, this is National Negroni Week. For those that wonder just what the heck is a “negroni”, it is a simple cocktail made with three ingredients: Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin. There are variations and my favorite is the Boulvardier which substitutes bourbon for the gin.

So in honor of National Negroni Week and in memory of the late Anthony Bourdain, here is how he makes the Negroni.

Interesting Conference At Amherst College

Amherst College in Massachusetts holds their annual Copeland Colloquium this Friday and Saturday. The colloquium brings in a number of scholars from around the country to discuss a theme or topic. Past topics have included the place of art, the future of the humanities, international development, and “castrophe and the catastropic”.

This year’s theme will be The Symbolic and Material Construction of Guns.

Sponsored by the 2016-17 Copeland Colloquium, this
conference will explore the symbolic and culture
construction of guns (and other weapons), the way in
which the material culture of the weapon shapes quotidian
forms of violent interaction, and the narratives in which
we embed the “weapon as actor.” We want to ask new
questions about the symbolic value of guns and the
meanings the weapons used in the making of day-to-day
violence convey. How do those meanings take on a life of
their own in the minds of participants in violent encounters?
What kinds of symbols are guns, after all? Do they
condense multiple other meanings into a token to be
exchanged in civic life or do they operate as metaphors,
suggesting larger complexes of meaning?

Normally such a conference would be a bit esoteric even for me. However, among the presenters is my friend Prof. David Yamane of Wake Forest University who runs the Gun Culture 2.0 blog. David’s topic will be “The First Rule of Gun-Fighting is ‘Have a Gun’: Technologies of Concealed Carry in Gun Culture 2.0”. Now that doesn’t so esoteric to me.

The conference program and schedule is here along with a list of the other presentations. I have checked and the conference is open to the public. If you are in the western New England area this weekend, it might be worth a trip to Amherst for this conference.

I guess it should not be too surprising that such a conference would be held at Amherst College for a couple of reasons. First, the location is just at the north end of “gun valley” which is that swath of firearms companies (Colt, S&W, etc.) running from Hartford to Springfield. Second, fans of John Ross’ Unintended Consequences know that the protagonist Henry Bowman was an Amherst grad as is Ross himself.

It Pays To Have Friends

It pays to have friends. I am very fortunate to be friends with David Yamane ( of the great blog Gun Culture 2.0). He was recently in Kentucky touring the Bourbon Trail. Seeing his posts about the trip on Facebook, I messaged him to see if he might find me a bottle of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond.

As you can see, David came through for me. I had tried to find it when I was in Kentucky earlier this year at the NRA Annual Meeting to no avail. From what I understand, most of the production of bourbon that had been going to the Old Fitzgerald brand is now being saved for Larceny bourbon.

Having read Bernie Lubbers’ book Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit, I have been paying attention to bourbons that are bottled in bond. This tells me that the bourbon is at least four years old, it was distilled in a single season at a single distillery, and that it is 100 proof. As Bernie writes, “In short, the good stuff.”

Old Fitzgerald BIB is a wheated bourbon from Heaven Hill. It was originally a Stitzel-Weller brand and the tall chimney at that distillery still says “Old Fitzgerald”. While not a top shelf bourbon, it is still considered one of the best values in the wheated bourbon category. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Again, my thanks to David for finding this for me.

Ad Denied By Facebook Because Of…Well Not Really Guns

Facebook has a policy of denying to carry ads that promote the sale of firearms. They are in the private sector and that is their option. However, sometimes their algorithms used are lacking.

A case in point is my friend Professor David Yamane who publishes the Gun Culture 2.0 blog. He had an ad denied by Facebook’s faceless minions because they thought it promoted the sale of firearms and other weapons. He was advertising a link to his report on the USCCA’s recent Concealed Carry Fashion Show held in conjunction with their expo in Atlanta. They had previously accepted an advertisement for his blog that was titled, “Bushmaster is the Worst Marketer in the History of Guns.” David said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, that Bushmaster was bad at advertising since so few of its firearms (or any AR-15) were used in homicides.

This is ridiculous. Just like his series of posts on the gun industry which highlighted the fact that the gun industry isn’t just the Rugers and Smith & Wessons, this post doesn’t promote the sale of any product.

Mark Zuckerberg plans a series of meetings with conservatives. Perhaps he needs to go to the next USCCA Expo in Ft. Worth or this weekend’s NRA Annual Meeting to see that the gun industry isn’t just guns.

Do Mag Bans Reduce Casualties In Mass Shootings?

Bans on standard capacity magazines, that is, magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds, are supposed to have an impact on the number of casualties in mass shootings. The question is do they?

The simple answer is no.

As David Yamane reports in his Gun Culture 2.0 blog, criminologist Gary Kleck presented research at the recent American Society of Criminologists annual meeting that studied this question. Kleck’s research looked at mass shootings in which more than six people were killed or wounded. He went with six because that is the capacity of most revolvers and thus no standard capacity magazine would have been needed.

Even with this restrictive definition of a mass shooting, Kleck found that large capacity magazines – defined as holding over 10 rounds – were used in only 21 of the 88 incidents (24%). So, in 76% of the incidents, a large-capacity magazine ban would have made no difference in any event.


Kleck then goes on to analyze further the 21 incidents in which a large-capacity magazine was used. In every case, the shooters carried either multiple guns or multiple magazines. Therefore, even without a large-capacity magazine, the shooters could easily switch guns or magazines.


Kleck also marshals evidence to show that the rate of fire of most mass shooters is so slow that having to change guns or magazines more frequently would not diminish their casualty counts.

The bottom line to Kleck’s research, as David notes, is that it isn’t the tool but the desire of the evil doer to kill as many people as possible.  However, this conflicts with the desire of politicians and gun prohibitionists to “do something”.