The Lives of Guns

ISBN : 9780190842925

Jonathan Obert; Andrew Poe; Austin Sarat
320 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Nov 2018
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Guns have never before been as important in American culture as they are at this moment. Most contemporary conversations on guns focus on either the gun as a tool used in mass killings or a right to be fiercely defended, with most debates deadlocking on the ultimate role of humans in causing gun violence—that, as the cliché goes,

The Lives of Guns offers a new and compelling way of thinking about the role of the gun in our social and political lives. In gathering ideas from science studies, law, sociology, and politics, each chapter turns the stale, standard gun conversations around by investigating the gun as a technology and thus as an object with its own power and agency. In approaching guns from a tech perspective, down to the very science of how they are created and how they fire, The Lives of Guns takes up a number of questions, such as: How does the presence of these specific objects shape civic ideology? What does it mean to develop and care for gun and gun accessories technology? What do guns mean to those who build them versus those who fight for—and against—them? What could happen when drone technology meets gun technology? In bringing together a great breadth of perspectives from leading lawyers, political scientists, and historians, The Lives of Guns promises to move the gun debate forward by opening up new ways of thinking about these issues, ultimately broadening our conception of what counts as an issue in these debates.


An Introduction
Jonathan Obert, Andrew Poe, Austin Sarat
Section I: The Political Life of Guns
Chapter I: Mobile Sovereigns: Agency Panic and Gun Ownership
Elizabeth Anker
Chapter II: Radical Printings: Future Gunsmithing and the Politics of Self-Manufacturing Firearms
Andrew Poe
Chapter III: Counting Up AR-15s: The Subject of Assault Rifles and the Assault Rifle as Subject
Timothy Luke
Section II: The Social Life of Guns
Chapter IV: The Thriving Life of Racialized Weaponry: Violence and Sonic Capacities from the Drone to the Gun
Heather Hayes
Chapter V: Dum-Dum Bullets: Constructing and Deconstructing 'The Human'
Joanna Bourke
Chapter VI: The Death of the Unarmed Assailant: On Racial Fears, Ambiguous Movement, and the Vulnerability of Armed Police
Franklin Zimring
Section II: The Private Life of Guns
Chapter VII: The First Rule of Gunfighting is Have a Gun: Technologies of Concealed Carry in Gun Culture 2.0
David Yaname
Chapter VIII: Consumed by Guns
Harel Shapira

About the author: 

Jonathan Obert is Assistant Professor of Politics at Amherst College.; Andrew Poe is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at Amherst College.; Austin Sarat is Associate Dean of the Faculty and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College and Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Scholar at the University of Alabama School of Law. He is the author or editor of more than 90 books

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