I personally sit in a weird place when it comes to guns. Going to the range and shooting the different guns made me very aware of the gun’s capacity to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Especially in the wake of current gun-related news, which is admittedly frightening to me. The thought that we can never have an accurate account of where guns are, or who is using them, makes me want to own one more. I will never forget the saying “I would rather not need it and have it than need it and not have it”.
It is interesting to note that fear is one of the main deterring and encouraging forces for gun usage. As a black person living in the South, I believe that that fear is an encouragement for me. To state it simply, I fear racially and discriminatorily motivated violence. Firing the guns at the range gave me a sense of power knowing that I would effectively be able to control a dangerous situation involving myself or others. Considering my own reasons, I find it interesting that gun usage and gun advocacy have many different meanings for different groups, both benevolent and malevolent.
I am deeply intrigued by the sociological angles in which this course will examine gun use in the United States. When I took Racial Capitalism, I focused my final paper on how the media’s depictions of Black people can affect real-world attitudes and actions toward people who identify/present as such.
I bring the same examination to this course: How do the depictions of gun use in the media affect our feelings toward guns? It is so interesting to consider how portrayals of gun use and gun violence affect the discourse regarding gun politics.
I can already think of several examples like police brutality, gang violence, and gun use in popular culture. I imagine that many of these factors will have intersections with depictions of race, sex, socioeconomic class, demographics, etc.
— Malachi Woodard in Wake Forest Sociology of Guns Range Trip Reflection