College Students Learn About American Society Through a Trip to a Gun Range

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David Yamane Gun Curious Student Range Day
Professor David Yamane and a student (courtesy guncurious.com)

Professor David Yamane teaches a Sociology of Guns course at Wake Forest University. Part of the curriculum includes a trip to a shooting range for the class’s students. After the range trip, students are assigned to write an essay reflecting on the experience and Professor Yamane posts some of those at his blog. Here are the thoughts of a “self-identified ‘flaming liberal’” . . .

As I am reflecting and rereading this summary of my thoughts, it strikes me that I have never been socialized with guns in a context of non-violence. The only consumption I have of the topic is from dramatic crime shows with over exaggerated death scenes and left-leaning media railing on the danger and destruction that guns cause. And while my opinions have not had a night and day shift to wanting to own a gun, it helps me to better understand why I felt that way at the gun range. I am not a person who hunts for sport and I am never around guns being used safely, so it would make sense that I don’t see them as anything but dangerous.    

On the flipside of fear, the adrenaline junkie in me was exhilarated to be experiencing something new and dangerous; admittedly I was also a bit impressed with myself when looking at the target. Being able to hold and use a gun safely allows me to better understand those who use the object as a tool in sport. But I doubt I will be having any change of heart anytime soon.

It all boils down to the reason I wanted to enroll in the class in the first place. Guns are woven into the fabric of our country whether I like it or not, and nothing about them is going to change any time soon. So understanding why they are so villainized, sensationalized, and above all  protected in this country can provide a deeper and more meaningful understanding of their influence in American society. As a politics major, I would be remiss to not think more critically about a topic that has been written into our history from its foundation.

— Mary Clark in Mixed Emotions and Complicated Views

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I suppose it takes some time to clean out a mental shit filter once it’s been clogged. Good for her though.

  2. Her essay strikes me as very thoughtful and well-balanced. Nothing like actual experience and familiarity with something to give one a more educated, and often more nuanced, perspective.

    • For people like Mary everything needs to be clearly defined otherwise one of her classmates with the deranged mind of a shannon watts will spin a pleasant day at the range into first degree murder.

      Allowing words like Sport to define hunting often gives the wrong impression to people who reside in ivory towers. Go beyond Sport and define Hunting as a means to put food on the table for the hunter’s family and often the families of guides or for homeless shelters etc. There are also costly laws concerning hunting and no one in their right mind wants to do something to upset a game warden.

      IMO…The primary thing Gun Owners need to do is untangle and separate The Second Amendment from Criminals and Gun Control. That way purposely confused by the media gullible people like Mary can easily determine who is who and have a solid foundation to stand on.

      1) The Second Amendment is one thing.

      2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, etc. is another thing.

      3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.

      • “…define Hunting as a means to put food on the table for the hunter’s family and often the families of guides or for homeless shelters etc.”

        That depends on state law in many areas when it comes to donating game meat to shelters.

        They may not be able due to liability issues.

        A number of years back Florida corrected that problem. If your state law is hostile to that concept, organize and lobby your state legislatures to legalize it…

  3. Nice! Positive exposure reduces fear and increases understanding. This is how you terminate phobias and even end prejudice and discrimination. But I’ve only been a social sciences instructor for 22 years, what do I know?

  4. She was willing to experience something new, something she had no understanding of, but did approach it with a positive attitude. We don’t ask liberals to love or even like guns, just respect the fact that others do find that guns are useful and fun tools when in the hands of honest, law abiding responsible citizens. Citizen ownership of guns is most certainly ” woven into the fabric of our country” because without them America and freedom would never have existed on earth.

  5. Amazing what someone with an open mind , using fairness and honesty can learn. Reminds me of the old Joe South song, ” Walk a Mile In My Shoes”……..

    • “Reminds me of the old Joe South song, ” Walk a Mile In My Shoes”……..”

      Ah yes, blastus from the pastus.

      Reminds me of:
      “Before you criticize someone, first walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you criticize, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes !”

  6. One of my enjoyable experiences was introducing some German xchange students to the land of possum.
    ” Soe it iz legal to grow marijuana out here?”
    No
    “Then why do you grow it?”
    Fckem.
    .
    Hey you guys wanna shoot some gunms?
    ” Und you can shoot ?”
    Sure, you want to give it a whirl?
    “???, yah, und what our we to shoot”
    See if you can put a round threw that engine block.
    ” Your going to shoot your auto?.
    It was great I tell yah, before to long I had the blond haired one shooting the lug nuts off. I drug a lot of gunms out that day, took em pasture riding in a beat up ford pick up, brbgue, beer, bonfire, ,,Possums America , I think they liked it. ( well they did bitch about the mosquitoes), fckn pussies.

    • i have no shortage of german cousins. when i go there i reline their brakes, visit cathedrals, drink the local altbier and maybe sneak some blonde into the javanse jongens. the mexican restaurant in groen serves their onion loaf with ~real heinz ketchup~.
      when they come here it’s all a wonder. open container while drifting an all wheel drive van and riding without helmets is a complete revelation.
      rubbing elbows with b.b. king’s daughter and reeling in a thirty pound chinook.

  7. I make a point of introducing people I know who know nothing about guns to what shooting is about with some time on a range.

    Not one of them yet said they disliked the experience…

  8. At the citadel all college students had atleast an m14 in their room. Years later,, as a graduate student I got to help cadets shoot all sorts of historic firearms as part of a class called “history of firepower”

  9. Mary will fully support every gun control measure that the fevered minds of the left can invent, but she’ll be able to say “I’m not anti-gun. I actually shot a gun!”

    Afterwards, Gersh Kuntzman will ask her if she had PSTD after her range trip, the NY Slimes will hold her up as a firearms expert, and Sleepy Joe will nominate her to direct the ATF.

    • Or the vapors…theres multitudes who own guns who are anti-gun. “Guns for me but none for thee unwashed peasant”.

  10. A number of years ago, back when I still lived in the North Country, several of my cousins left California for the upper Midwest. Being SoCal urbanites, they feared guns and thought them evil. Just to encourage them to embrace the lifestyle of the Midwest, I invited them to our 4th of July gathering at my lake cabin in Wisc. Had some Bison steaks, Moose burgers, and smoked Bear BBQ. Fire works are illegal there, so we did limit them to small stuff that wouldn’t upset the local Sherriff’s deputies. But, I did have the shooting range set up with a number of knock down targets as well as paper target stands. First the reaction was abject panic at the sight of a gun. Then curiosity. Then a willingness to try something new. While I doubt any of them will ever become hunters, at least they are not terrified by guns and no longer want to deny the rights and choices of others. In fact, 1 of them recently reached out to me about what I would recommend as a home/personal defense weapon. Somehow I ended up as the gun guy in their minds. Told them to speak with a dealer friend of mine in the area they live to select what they may want/need. Just been out of that state long enough to not know current laws, nor do I know their needs/desires. But, nice to see some folks understanding guns are not the evil tools of the devil, but just tools.
    Same as your kitchen knives. You can use them to cut up veggies for dinner, or use them to cut up your spouse in anger. But, the knife itself does not make the choice.

  11. I think this professor, not just the student, deserves some praise. Chaperoning a shooting range trip for college students is no mean feat: many students are probably into it, but I guarantee his department and administration were/are not. To put this kind of trip together and get his higher ups to sign off on it is an accomplishment and a half. I brought some of my own students to check out the local PD’s FATS system as part of a virtual reality firearms safety research project. No guns were actually involved in that little excursion (just the inert, but quite realistic CO2 actuated simulator pistols), and I STILL had to convince a lot of terrified colleagues that nothing bad was going to happen.

    Kudos to the prof. for opening eyes and minds.

  12. Ironic that an early 20 something liberal is already more informed on firearms than most of the talking heads in the msm media. They like to talk like they are experts but have never even fingered a gun.

  13. I was out at the State range a few years ago with a friend on a rapid fire day. Two guys who had never fired a gun were their having the time of their lives. They were from Denmark. They were stunned and appalled we had automatic weapons and the range officer told them they were legal!! I gave these guy about 100 rounds and about the same for my shooting buddy. These guys were so grateful for the opportunity to shoot ‘machine guns’ they will be talking about it after I’m gone.

  14. This is off topic but:
    The “education” of Rap singer Nicki Minaj and her 22 million twitter followers has begun. And perhaps she will be the one, “who breaks the chains”, of igorance that are rapped around so many voters who have desided to not vote.

    She refues to get “the jab.” And for some reason the UK prime minister has responded??? As well as the President???

    • Nicki Minaj
      @NICKIMINAJ
      My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied
      5:44 PM · Sep 13, 2021

      I didn’t realize the young lady had any training or experience in virology or epidemiology.

      I would be interested in her research methodology and protocols.

      • Does she even know which vaccine? Probably sinovax, sinopharm, or Sputnik which were only created to claim FIRST and then for political leverage.

      • I would be interested in her research methodology and protocols.

        I have no idea what that means, not a clue, but oh boy does it sound impressive.

        I try hard to sound smart, the snark… that comes naturally.

  15. A couple years ago I was at our local outdoor open range, shooting at a bowling pin. About half a dozen college kids showed up. We called a cease fire so they could set their targets out, and one of those kids went out and grabbed my bowling pin. I hollered and his buddy hollered at the same time. The buddy came over and apologized. He was in the National Guard and was taking his friends from school out for their first time shooting.
    He seemed like a decent guy, and he knew his weapons and safety. There were no more etiquette violations and no safety violations. He watched them like a hawk. Very pleasant to share the range with them.

  16. This is so useful information for the to young generation! The American students should have a desires to reveal their history and which is why I came across this page. Though I work with the this https://ulive.chat/tr/p site for providing more interesting and entertainment. Thanks for letting us know about the American gun industry.

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