Straight Shot: Guns in America [Rebroadcast]
In the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans of all political stripes are wrestling with one big question: who should, and shouldn’t, have access to guns? So in this hour of BackStory, that’s the question we’ll be pushing back through the centuries.
On this episode, the History Guys look at the changing ways Americans have regulated gun ownership, and at what those weapons have meant to different segments of society. They consider the importance of the militia to the drafting of the Second Amendment, and explore the central role of the state in arming citizens. They also pay a visit to a 21st century version of the armories of the past: a gun show.
- Kevin Sweeney, Amherst College, on the role of the state in arming early Americans.
- Adam Winkler, University of California, Los Angeles, on gun control in the Wild West and the Black Panthers’ embrace of the Second Amendment.
- Laura Browder, University of Richmond, on why the image of the gun-toting frontier woman continues to resonate.
Listen to individual segments from the episode.
Resources galore! Peruse a list of outside sources compiled by the BackStory team to provide a more complete picture of the history of gun ownership in America, and consult a bibliography of works used in the making of this episode.
Read the listener discussion that helped shape this show.