Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Mugambi Jouet (McGill Faculty of Law) has posted Guns, Identity, and Nationhood (Nature - Palgrave Communications, vol. 5, no. 138, 2019) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The article provides a theoretical perspective on the symbolic meaning of the right to bear arms in modern America, especially among its conservative movement. Neglecting this issue, scholarship on gun symbolism has commonly focused on guns possessed by offenders in inner-cities, such as juveniles or gang members. Offering a multidisciplinary and comparative outlook, the article explains how guns have become symbols of a worldview under which armed patriots must stand ready to defend America from “tyranny,” “big government,” “socialism,” and other existential threats. In particular, the U.S. conservative movement does not merely perceive the right to bear arms as a means of self-defense against criminals, but as a safeguard against an oppressive government that “patriots” may have to overthrow by force. The article examines the hypothesis that guns foster a sense of belonging in this conception of nationhood.