In one year on average, 116,255 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or police interventions (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence).
The proposed responses to increasingly deadly gun violence have polarized our society. If we are ever to achieve a unified response to the problem, it may help to understand that the culture of guns has varied through time, including in this country, and around the world. Since that is the case, perhaps the culture of guns can continue to vary here—in the sense that Americans, now so divided, can come to a consensus about reducing gun violence. Gun Violence: a Brief Cultural History traces guns from inception in a Scandinavian woman’s name to their current place as part of everyday life, through imagery and statements from around the world.
William Briggs, author of How America Got Its Guns: A History of the Gun Violence Crisis will present a lecture and book signing on, followed by a reception for Gun Violence: A Brief Cultural History. The exhibition is part of the Current Issues in Anthropology series.
The exhibition and event is supported by the Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.
William Briggs is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Colorado at Denver. His book, How America Got Its Guns, examines the Second Amendment and the laws and court cases it has spawned. The thorough and objective account shows the complexities of the issue, which are so often reduced to bumper-sticker slogans, and suggests ways in which gun violence in this country can be reduced.