Safety / by Helena Swanson-Nystrom

The third episode in our series explores the role of safety in an American social contract. We ask how our country’s debate around guns defines who can keep themselves safe—through both access to and protection from guns in their communities. We hear from Arwen Mohun, a professor and historian of technology; Dean Winslow, a professor of medicine, former Trump nominee, and retired Air Force colonel; Maj Toure, a musician and founder of Black Guns Matter; and Landon Shroder, a security and intelligence specialist.  

For additional information on the issues we briefly examine, we recommend the following resources:

  • Arwen P. Mohun, Risk: Negotiating Safety in American Society (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2012).
  • Dean L. Winslow, I spoke my mind on guns. Then my Senate confirmation was put on hold., Wash. Post (Dec. 20, 2017),
  • Maj Toure: Living the Solutionary Lifestyle, NRA Blog (Oct. 3, 2016),
  • Landon Shroder, Gun Control Isn’t the Answer, Disarmament Is, RVA Mag (Oct. 2, 2017),
  • Adam Winkler, The Secret History of Guns, The Atlantic (Sept. 2011),
  • Heather Sher, What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns, The Atlantic (Feb. 22, 2018),
  • David E. Vandercoy, The History of the Second Amendment, 28 Val. U. L. Rev. 1007 (1994).
  • Joyce Lee Malcolm, The Supreme Court and the Uses of History: District of Columbia v. Heller, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1377 (2009).

This episode was produced by Mareva Lindo.

Thanks to Doctor Turtle for the music:
"Lullaby for Democracy" (
"Go Tell It On the Molehill" (