Jennifer Carlson is Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, where she teaches courses on guns, rights, trauma, justice, and law. In 2022 she was awarded a MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant for her research into how guns shape American life, including those who survive gun violence’s harrowing aftermath, police who enforce the country’s complex gun laws, gun sellers and retailers who are on the front lines of surges in gun purchasing, and the people who choose to own and carry guns. She tweets at @jdawncarlson.
Her forthcoming book, Merchants of the Right: Gun Sellers and the Crisis of American Democracy, focuses on the dramatic increase in gun sales in 2020 against the backdrop of pandemic insecurities, police violence, and political polarization. She is also at work on a large-scale study of trauma among people affected by gun violence. With her balanced and rigorous approach, Carlson is a sought-after voice on the nuances of gun culture in the United States. Carlson’s insights into how gun ownership has become a highly charged political issue offer a potential path toward overcoming the entrenched social divisions that characterize gun policy discussions.