Law Abiding One-Man Armies (Seattle, Washington, 1972)

Gun Culture 2.0

Although the right-to-carry revolution in the United States is three decades old now, very few serious studies of gun carrying have been published over the years. That is starting to change, as scholars take note of the rising number of individuals getting concealed weapon permits and as high profile cases of permit holders like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn make the news.

Reading up on the history of concealed carry, I was surprised to find an early sociological research study of concealed weapon permitees that has managed to avoid getting much attention at all. “Law-Abiding One-Man Armies” was published in the journal Society in the November/December issue in 1978 by sociologist Lawrence Northwood, social worker Richard Westgard, and civil engineer Charles Barb, Jr.

According to Google Scholar, the article was not cited in another publication for 13 years after it appeared in print. And in the nearly 40 years since…

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