My latest book, Merchants of the Right: Gun Sellers and the Crisis of American Democracy, draws on interviews with gun sellers across the US to better understand the dilemmas facing American democracy today. The book focuses on the turmoil of 2020, showing how gun sellers mobilized mainstays of modern conservative culture—armed individualism, conspiracism, and partisanship—as they navigated the uncertainty and chaos unfolding around them, asserting gun politics as conservative politics and reworking or even rejecting liberal democracy in the process.
In 2015, I published my first book entitled Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline with Oxford University Press. This book chronicles my interviews and ethnographic work with gun carriers in Michigan in order to make sense of a massive transformation over the last few decades in how Americans relate to their guns–that is, by carrying them.
This book led to a whole set of questions about the relationship between gun politics and public law enforcement, which is why I decided to interview over six dozen police chiefs in Arizona, California and Michigan. These interviews form the basis of my second book, Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race, published in 2020 with Princeton University Press. This book was a recipient of the Sociology of Law Distinguished Book Award in 2021.