Assistant Professor of Political Science Jonathan Obert is one of several people quoted in a Boulder Weekly article about (white) American gun culture, which he describes as “people really seeing something of their own identity in the possession and use of guns.”
The article, by Angela K. Evans, notes that Obert was born and raised in the Boulder, Colo., area, near Columbine High School and other sites of mass shootings. He now studies and writes about firearms laws and violence and is at work on a book titled Arming the Body Politic: The Economic Origins of American Gun Rights.
The professor comments on the United States’ long and distinctive history as a nation where guns have been “sold and marketed toward private individuals” and have represented control of frontier communities over Indigenous populations and enslaved Black people. He also mentions the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association’s role in shaping the idea of gun ownership as a constitutional right and an aspect of many Americans’ personal and political identity, and the resulting “polarization” of gun-rights advocates versus those who call for gun control and safety measures.