Engage & Learn

The Norm of Guns

In Washington, there is much debate about gun control. At the same time, there is an emerging dialogue about the culture of guns – the presence of guns in everyday lives of Americans, in both negative and positive contexts, in both rural and urban communities. For many, the gun control debate may not address the complex web of relationships, emotions and lifestyles that determine how it interacts with firearms. In Momma’s Boyz, the fact that the characters may carry guns seems relatively unsurprising. The following is a compilation of articles and artifacts that describe cultures in which guns are a norm, for worse or for better.

This American Life: Harper High School.

This two-part radio story tells tales from Harper High School, here in Chicago. The description of part one reads, “We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible and surprising stories, this show is a two-parter.”

Part one: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one

Part two: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/488/harper-high-school-part-two

New York Times: “For Some, Owning Guns Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Liking Them”

In this article, author Susan Saulny writes that when it comes to gun control, gun owners often “come from a largely unexplored middle ground [between supporting an assault weapons ban and themselves owning guns] — a place of nuance and contradiction.”

To read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/gun-owners-arent-always-gun-lovers.html?hpw&_r=0

To suggest additional articles that tell the story of a “gun culture,” e-mail us at education@goodmantheatre.org!