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CAS PhD Alumnus Craig Rood, Assistant Professor of English at Iowa State University, recently contributed to a University of Minnesota Gender Policy Report on gun violence and gender. Rood's essay, "Addressing Gun Violence by Reimagining Masculinity and Protection," analyzes what he calls "narratives of protection" used to justify recent increases in gun ownership and use.

"The desire for protection has a commonsense appeal—of course we want to protect and be protected," Rood explains. "But things get more complicated when we push on the term: From whom or what do we want protection? Who is 'we'? Whose lives are deemed worthy of protection and whose are not? Who is and is not encouraged to assume the role of protector? Moreover, protection can be enacted by what means? And at what cost?"

Rood cautions against negative consequences of "the protector role" and concludes, "Someone can 'be a man' — even a straight, wealthy, able-bodied 'manly man' — and choose not to own or use guns against anyone."