A Liberal Professor’s Surprising Journey Inside America’s Gun Culture

Gun Curious: A Liberal Professor’s Surprising Journey Inside America’s Gun Culture

In 2011, as a 42-year-old, Professor David Yamane shot a gun for the first time.

He then embarked on an immersive twelve-year study of America’s gun culture to understand why nearly 100 million American civilians own hundreds of millions of firearms. The fruit of this effort, Gun Curious: A Liberal Professor’s Surprising Journey Inside America’s Gun Culture, will be published on June 1st by the Exposit Books imprint of McFarland & Co. Publishers.

Gun Curious: A Liberal Professor’s Surprising Journey Inside America’s Gun Culture

Gun Curious tells the story of how Yamane – an Asian American and lifelong liberal sociology professor from the San Francisco Bay Area – became a gun owner, a gun “super-owner,” an AR-15 owner, a concealed carry permit holder, and a trained armed citizen.

Having a foot in each of the two worlds that see guns so differently positions Yamane to act as a translator from one side to the other. He is very much like Walk the Talk America (WTTA) founder Michael Sodini in this way. In a chapter of Gun Curious addressing negative outcomes with firearms, Yamane highlights Sodini’s unique background of growing up outside of gun culture but then leading a prominent firearms company, Eagle Imports. Yamane argues that this positioned Sodini to found WTTA and spearhead its important work of bridging the worlds of guns and mental health.

A limited number of pre-release copies of Gun Curious will be available for sale at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas, Texas from May 17 – 19, 2024. Professor Yamane will be the lunchtime keynote speaker at the National Firearms Law Seminar on Friday, May 17, and make several booth appearances from Friday to Sunday to talk about and sign the book.

Gun Curious is currently available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Exposit Books, or your local bookstore.

Walk the Talk America is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to bridging the gap between mental health and responsible gun ownership. Its mission is to enhance the perception of mental health among gun owners while elevating the standard of mental health care within this community. Walk the Talk America is uniquely positioned as an organization that integrates the wisdom of gun-owning mental health professionals, offering innovative solutions derived from real-world experiences.

If this is your first time hearing about WTTA, here are some popular links to learn more:

About Walk the Talk America:

WTTA, the brainchild of Sodini, a firearms industry veteran, spearheaded a movement within the firearms industry to bridge the gap between mental health and responsible firearm ownership to reduce suicide by firearm and gun violence. Through educational programs, podcasts, and training programs, WTTA is paving the way for educating mental health professionals about gun culture and breaking down the negative stigmas around mental health for gun owners. Through its various programs and offerings, such as mental health videos for firearms instructors, instructional flyers and slides for firearms instructors, classes in Cultural Competence, and Introductory Courses in The Intersection of Guns and Mental Health, WTTA is leading the conversation and opening doors throughout the firearms and mental health industries.

About Prof. David Yamane:

David Yamane is a sociology professor at Wake Forest University. He is an internationally recognized scholarly authority on guns in America and a calming voice in our divisive national argument on the issue. An Asian American and lifelong liberal from the San Francisco Bay Area, Yamane became a first-time gun owner as a 42-year-old and began a 12-year journey into the complex world of firearms in America. Having one foot outside and one inside gun culture allows him to speak with compassion across our paralyzing differences.

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