On Target: Gun Culture, Storytelling, and the Nra

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Product Details
University of Toronto Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 8.7 X 1.0 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
Noah S. Schwartz is an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of the Fraser Valley.

" On Target is a book about the power of culture - gun culture . Striking a balance between critical distance and intellectual empathy, Schwartz guides the reader through a grand tour of National Rifle Association activities - from its museum to its annual meetings - to illuminate how the NRA provides its members (and firearms enthusiasts more generally) with a space of collective belonging and cultural connection. Excavating how memory, narrative, and identity are mobilized by the NRA, On Target provides a fresh look at the appeal of guns and the role of the NRA in shaping that appeal."

--Jennifer Carlson, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona

"In his important and timely book, Noah Schwartz uses collective memory theory and historical narrative to understand the NRA's vast influence on firearm policy. Sociologists, gun regulation scholars, policy practitioners, and those generally interested in gun politics will find Schwartz's work engaging, informative, and properly balanced."

--Mark R. Joslyn, Professor of Political Science, University of Kansas

"This is not some dry, academic treatment; Noah Schwartz delivers a rich, evocative, and personal account of his own experiences learning to use firearms and encountering members of the NRA and gun-owning community. In the process, he develops key insights about how the NRA uses historical and cultural narratives to shape both the meanings people attach to guns and the identities and political views of gun owners. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to better understand gun culture and the powerful influence of the NRA in politics and policy."

--Melissa K. Merry, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Louisville

"Leave it to a Canadian to understand gun culture in the United States better than most American scholars do. On Target is an excellent treatment of the National Rifle Association's role in the ongoing Great Gun Debate in the US. Rather than lamenting the NRA as an 800-pound gorilla rampaging through Washington DC and subverting American democracy, Schwartz offers a level-headed, participant observer's view of what the NRA actually does that animates its political power. He is a skilled ethnographer and writer and his thick descriptions of the NRA annual meeting, gun classes, range visits, and the NRA museum are among the best I have read. Very highly recommended."

--David Yamane, Professor of Sociology, Wake Forest University