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Guns and American Society: Then and Now

a DIALOGUES seminar

There are more privately owned guns than people in the United States, and “gun culture” is more pervasive in American society than in any other modern, industrial nation. How did a distinctive view of guns influence the slave society in antebellum North Carolina and how has the belief in “gun rights” shaped contemporary interpretations of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment? We’ll explore these controversial questions with the relevant expertise of an historian who studies the ways in which guns were used by white and black North Carolinians before the Civil War and a legal scholar who studies how the right to own guns is interpreted in contemporary American laws and politics.


Community, Race, and Guns in 19th Century North Carolina
Antwain Hunter, Assistant Professor of History

Debates About the 2nd Amendment in 21st Century America
Joseph Blocher, Lanty L. Smith ’67 Professor of Law, Duke University

Why Did Guns Become So Important in American Culture?

A panel discussion with our speakers


9:00 am-12:30 pm, Saturday, October 15. The tuition is $65 to attend in person or $50 for virtual viewing.  A meal will not be offered with this seminar.

UNC Students can attend for free, but pre-registration is required. Discounts are available for UNC faculty, & staff. To register as a UNC Student, Staff, or Faculty, see our Registration Policy here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.  For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

In-person tuition for teachers is $32.50. Current K-12 teachers interested in receiving a complimentary virtual viewing registration for this seminar can apply here.

*Registration for this event closes on October 14 at 3pm*