1st Edition

Guns on the Internet Online Gun Communities, First Amendment Protections, and the Search for Common Ground on Gun Control

By Connie Hassett-Walker Copyright 2019
    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    Gun rights and control are well-trodden subjects, with prior work supporting the right of citizens to own firearms, discussing the failure of gun control efforts, or warning about or exhorting citizen gun ownership, among other things. Although social media in their many forms have only come to dominate modern U.S. life during the past decade, there has been little academic exploration of gun owner communities on the Internet and social media. How do gun owners use social media? How do they meet other gun owners online? What do they talk about as relates to guns? With a massive and well-organized collection of support material, Guns on the Internet faces these questions with an unbiased approach that seeks a foundation for mutual understanding.

    Also available as an audiobook.

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Part I, The Tour: Guns, the Internet and Social Media

    Chapter 2. How Gun Owners Use Social Media and the Internet

    Chapter 3. Gun Owner Communities on the Internet

    Chapter 4. Politicians and Lobbyists Online Talking Guns

    Chapter 5. Women in Online Gun Subculture

    Part II, First Amendment Protections for Gun-Related Online Content: Balancing the Right to Free Speech with the Need for Public Safety

    Chapter 6. The First Amendment and the Internet

    Chapter 7. Should YouTube Gun-Related Videos be Protected under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Provisions?

    Chapter 8. Purchasing and Talking Firearms Online

    Part III, Finding Common Ground?

    Chapter 9. Finding Common Ground?


    Connie Hassett-Walker is an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies and Sociology at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. She holds a PhD in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University (2007). Her dissertation ("Delinquency and the Black Middle Class") was awarded second place by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) for the 2006 Social Issues Dissertation Award. Prior to joining the faculty at Norwich University, Dr. Hassett-Walker taught at Kean University, and worked as a research associate at the Violence Institute of New Jersey at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). In 2012, she received an AREA grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the impact of justice system involvement on youths’ substance use trajectories. Her research has been published in a variety of scholarly journals including the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. Her first book, Black Middle Class Delinquents, was published in 2009 by LFB Scholarly Publishing.  

    "This book makes a strikingly original contribution to the growing, inter-disciplinary, field of firearm/gun studies, providing fascinating insights into the ‘pro-gun’ and ‘anti-gun’ mindsets whilst also showing how theses might be systematically researched on websites and social media. The book also takes up the vital question of public safety and 1st Amendment freedoms as they relate to online ‘gun talk’." – Peter Squires, University of Brighton, UK

    "Given the ubiquity of social media and the roles it plays in fostering community and spreading ideas, it’s surprising that there is no detailed study of gun culture online. Guns on the Internet takes important steps to fill that gap. Particularly timely, as YouTube moves to censor gun videos, is its even-handed consideration of free speech." – A.J. Somerset, author, Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun (2015, Biblioasis, Windsor, Ontario)

    "Hassett-Walker’s Guns on the Internet presents a valuable description and analysis of gun subculture online; moreover, the book draws our attention to the importance of human connection and communication. Although the issue of guns in the United States is broad, the Internet and its evolution are essential considerations in any social, political, and legal discourse on guns." – Danika DeCarlo-Slobodnik, University of Ottawa, Book Review for The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (https://www.ccja-acjp.ca)