Is There a Link Between Gun Ownership and Racism? Yes, There Is

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Depends on which end of the barrel you're on
As you are doubtlessly aware, "active shooter" incidents -- for example, the LAX TSA shooting -- seem to have become commonplace in America; indeed, they "spiked sharply" over the past few years. (Yet, the violent crime rate continues to fall). After Newtown, it seemed sure that the political winds had finally shifted, and federal legislation on gun control would be sitting on the President's desk waiting for his signature.

That never happened. The NRA, via Wayne LaPierre, fought back viciously, and the Tea Party Republicans in the House stood firm. They had a different worldview; here's Texas Republican Louie Gohmert talking about Newtown:

I wish to God [principal Dawn Hochsprung] had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.

This frame of mind is worth keeping in the back of your head vis-a-vis some new research on gun ownership, attitudes about gun control and racial resentment.

At bottom: if you own a gun, and are white, there's a good chance that you are more likely than the average person to hold negative attitudes about black people. Here's what the study found:

After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50 percent increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28 percent increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism.

The "explanatory variables" were: age, gender, education, income, conservatism, anti-government sentiment, southern vs. other states and political identification. So it's fair to say the researchers were pretty comprehensive. And how do researchers measure racial resentment or anti-black attitudes? With the Symbolic Racism Scale. (Click and see how you score).

It is also interesting to note that -- and this is from the study as well -- white males, who are far more enthusiastic about gun rights than blacks -- why? because blacks are far more likely to be killed by guns -- are more likely to commit suicide with their guns than be killed in a gun homicide. Thus, many white males are advocating what is a deadly policy for . . . white males.

Now it is important to note, and the researchers are careful to state this, that this study only found a correlation, not causation. So, merely owning a gun and being white does not mean you're racist. (Just more likely).

Anyways, it is doubtful that meaningful gun control will be enacted anytime soon (i.e., not before 2016). But as the evidence mounts about the questionable nature of our gun culture and its effects, perhaps the political winds will eventually shift.

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22 comments
ww7386
ww7386

Oh how utterly stupid. People who live in urban areas with a depressed inner city have guns for a reason; criminals like to go the wealthier areas to extract wealth. In doing so they are likely to use force. To counter that force, they need more force. Thank God that most people in Houston are not so utterly and absurdly bereft of intellect.

OSOgullible
OSOgullible

Some people will believe whatever they read in a "study" (I'm looking at you, Calvin Terbeek).

wvonmayer
wvonmayer

You just wasted a few minutes of my life! Hope you did not get paid to write this screed! There are a lot of jobs out there were you don't need to open your mouth, I recommend getting one of those.

desirae.alfred
desirae.alfred

Isn't it a bit racist of you Mr. TerBeek to call any white gun-owning minority-hating male a racist just because they own a gun?  That's not exactly how science works.  Nice try though lol

JKSweets
JKSweets

It's funny seeing racist people try to do math. 

rich5371
rich5371

Without a doubt this is the worst article I've ever read in the Houston Press, and I've been reading the Press for over a decade.  The symbolic Racism Scale is a piece of garbage as well. But I guess since I feel this way you'll just write me off as a racist.  And yes, I am a gun owner.

n230099
n230099

 <i>"That never happened. The NRA, via Wayne LaPierre, fought back viciously, and the Tea Party Republicans in the House stood firm."</i>

 This is such a canard. The NRA has , maybe, 5 million members. There are 80,000,000 gun owners in America. Now what's the probability that all 80M are Republican?  That would be 0% chance. That means that there are 10s of millions of Democrat gun owners. To whom do you think the legislators listen? A group with 5M members or the 80M back home that actually vote?  The NRA as bogeyman is really the stuff of those "stuck-on-stupid". 


As for the part about so called "racism" and guns. Isn't it an axiom of the left that only fat, small penis,  white republicans can be racist?  So, if simply owning a gun makes a person racist, how do you square this premise with 10s of millions of democrat gun owner that because they're dems, therefore cannot be racist.

calvin.terbeek
calvin.terbeek

Or you could get your PhD and perform your own regression analyses while controlling for a number of variables like the professors did in the study you obviously failed to read. 

breaktrack
breaktrack

Lame. So lame. Talk about hitching your wagon to a non-starter. No basis in fact for any of the conjecture in this article. Surely you have better writers than this, that might actually do some research and actually reach conclusions that make some kind of sense. In the liberal mind, anything that does not tow the liberal line MUST be based on racism. Weak, and lazy.

desirae.alfred
desirae.alfred

@wvonmayer Agreed! and AMEN!! He doesn't even address spring-guns, which by definition can't be racist

desirae.alfred
desirae.alfred

@UH-OH No and I don't appreciate you insinuating that I am, Mr. or Ms. UH-OH.  Now whose the funny one?

calvin.terbeek
calvin.terbeek

@OSOgullible @calvin.terbeek I wouldn't, and didn't, say that. I would encourage you to read the study. The paper explicitly states, and I repeated, that it is simply a correlation, not causation.

desirae.alfred
desirae.alfred

@UH-OH Thanks for playing, if you don't have any gun comments why don't you gtfo?

UH-OH
UH-OH

@desirae.alfred   Definitely not you, that's for sure.

UH-OH
UH-OH

@calvin.terbeek I really couldn't care less what you do or don't have a problem with. Some people will believe whatever "study" is put in front of them. Were their "peers" fellow gungrabbers? Of course they were. Don't be so incredibly naive. You can't have our guns, sorry to disappoint you. The sooner you get a grip on that the better.


Spreading propaganda like this only shows your desperation. It's sad and pathetic.

calvin.terbeek
calvin.terbeek

@OSOgullibleI do have a spare hour or two, but I doubt that you actually have the will to write something that would take me an hour, never mind two, to read. 

You seem more interested spouting ad hominem attacks and making "jokes" than saying anything of actual substance.

(Did you know, btw, that when Australia banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent?)

Now, I do not have a problem with concealed carry laws -- tho they seem to have been taken a bit far -- because these are not the people who commit gun violence, but the study is not about that. 

It is a empirically-based finding that, controlling for a number of relevant variables, gun owners are more likely hold anti-Black attitudes. Can you perform a univariate or multivariate regression analysis, much less criticize the authors' work?

I understand that you don't like the study's conclusion, but this was a peer-reviewed study.  All you have offered in response is rhetoric. That's not persuasive.

OSOgullible
OSOgullible

@OSOgullible  Do you have a spare hour or two? Anyone who believes this "study" conducted by gungrabbing foreigners will obviously believe anything.

OSOgullible
OSOgullible

@calvin.terbeek  I read this worthless, biased POS "study". Laughable at best.

P.S. would you like to buy a bridge over the ship channel? I will sell it to you cheap!

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