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guns, firearms, Second Amendment, self-defense, law


Academic work is increasingly important to court rulings on the Second Amendment and firearms law more generally. This article highlights two recent trends in social science research that supplement the traditional focus on guns and physical harm. The first strand of research focuses on the changing ways that gun owners connect with firearms, with personal security, status, identity, and cultural markers being key reasons people offer for possessing firearms. The second strand focuses on broadening our understanding of the impact of guns on the public sphere beyond just physical safety. This research surfaces the ways that guns can create fear, intimidation, and social trauma; deter civic participation and the exercise of constitutional rights; and further entrench racial inequality.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Firearms ownership, Self-defense, Gun control, Firearms--Social aspects