Gun Ownership Linked To Racism, Says New Study
Does owning a gun mean you’re racist? A new study from researchers at Australia’s Monash University and Britain’s Manchester University examined how racism and gun ownership among whites is linked, and came up with some startling conclusions. The study showed that racist white Americans are more likely to keep guns at home and also oppose gun control regulations.
The report used data from the National American Election Study and scored people based on “symbolic racism,” which is used to measure anti-black sentiments based on answers to a series of questions.
“There had already been research showing that … blacks are more likely to be shot, so we thought there must be something happening between the concept of being black and some whites wanting guns,” said Monash researcher Kerry O’Brien in an e-mail to the New York Daily News.
The data also suggested that African-Americans are more likely to die from gun violence, despite mostly white people owning firearms, yet white people were more opposed to gun reform policies than other groups. O’Brien said that “most of the logic for wanting to have a gun was illogical” and the researchers had trouble making sense of it.
The study noted that “the relationship between symbolic racism and the gun-related outcomes was maintained in the presence of conservative ideologies, political affiliation, opposition to government control and being from a southern state, which are otherwise strong predictors of gun ownership and opposition to gun reform.”