Just in case you forgot:
This crap-for-brains anti-civil right/anti-self defense drivel is what is being taught at American Universities and touted to the citizenry by the propaganda organs of Michael Bloombutt AKA ‘The Trace’ et al’
The ending book review is point on.
Caroline Light is a Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense,” as she put it in the subtitle of her latest book. Reading the extensive reports this week of a surge in gun buying around the country, she was not surprised.
Caroline Light is director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South.
After a young, white gunman killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, conservative legislators lamented that the tragedy could have been avoided if the schoolteachers had been armed and the classrooms equipped with guns. Similar claims were repeated in the aftermath of other recent shootings—after nine were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the aftermath of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite inevitable questions about gun control, there is a sharp increase in firearm sales in the wake of every mass shooting.
Yet, this kind of DIY-security activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement—and even the stand-your-ground self-defense laws adopted in thirty-three states, or the thirteen million civilians currently licensed to carry concealed firearms. As scholar Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.
To be fair, this is not strictly the usual anti-gun polemic. The eternal villains here are not guns, conservatives, or the NRA, but a much bigger target: The Patriarchy itself, an apparently toxic brew of white men, American history, and the very concept of self-defense.
Any reader who habitually checks under the bed to see that there are no men hiding there … or racists … or anything else nasty, like white people … or printed copies of the Bill of Rights … or legal concepts such as the right to self-defense, or the presumption of innocence … will feel right at home with this book. And anyone who peppers conversations with words like “normative” or “cis-“anything will just love it. But anyone else, not so much.
Consider a few samples. These are entirely typical; note that throughout 200-plus pages, the author puts a great deal of weight on imaginary crimes, crimes which are not even argued to be real, but are just assumed to be so.
“The Heller decision conveniently ignored the race and gender exclusions of the amendment’s original historical moment, where a ‘law-abiding citizen’ was a white, property-owning man, who openly carried a rifle not only to defend his ‘hearth and home,’ but also to assert his dominance over enslaved labor and his access to land seized from Native Americans.” (Page 7)
“In spite of widespread efforts by DIY-security proponents to recruit women, nonwhites, and LGBT people to the cause of armed citizenship, the adjudication of lethal self-defense continues to privilege white hetero/cis-masculinity.” (Page 15)
“That contemporary celebrations of armed citizenship can *appear* to be race- and gender-inclusive attests to the power of collective amnesia.” (Page 16)
Etc cetera, et cetera. One more, from a bit further along … more of the same;
“Now, more than ever, a man’s castle – the sanctuary of white, property-owning heteromasculinity – seems under siege by forces within as well as beyond the nation’s boundaries.” (Page 155)
The modern so-called “stand your ground” laws do indeed have a history, but if that legal history is anywhere in this book, my eyes must have glazed over before I reached it. But I don’t think I missed much of substance, because I have no great confidence that the author has any idea what the SYG laws are.
I base that statement on the author’s comments on the Zimmerman/Martin case; her apparent belief that the case had anything at all to do with Florida’s SYG law shows the grossest misunderstanding of both the trial and the relevant law.
SYG was not cited by either prosecution or defense at any point in the Zimmerman trial, although the press was obsessive in its pretense that SYG was somehow involved. (But one would expect a researcher to be able to distinguish between a hysterical Press and a slightly less hysterical Court.)
The author glosses over the actual evidence presented at trial with an airy “accounts are mixed as to what happened next”; but to anyone who followed the televised proceedings, the salient facts are not in dispute. And they have nothing at all to do with “Stand Your Ground”.
This book really isn’t about America or its current gun control laws. It seems to be more about feminist intersectional theory. And whether feminist intersectional readers would find anything of interest here, I’m not qualified to say.