Do You Own a Gun? New Study Says That Could Be Linked to Racism

A new study is making the connection between owning a gun and harboring racist attitudes in the U.S.

Smoking Gun Range & Training Center owner Kim Smith holds a Thompson submachine gun in the new indoor shooting range in Box Elder, S.D. (AP)

The study, “Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in U.S. Whites May Influence Policy Decisions,” published in the research journal PLOS ONE says “symbolic racism,” or “racial resentment,” correlates directly with American citizens who keep guns in their homes.

The study found that for every point on its “symbolic racism” measure, there was a 50 percent greater chance of respondents having a gun in the home. It also found that gun ownership is twice as high among white Americans as black Americans, and that whites are more likely to oppose gun control measures.

The researchers were from the United Kingdom and Australia and the survey respondents were recruited through the American National Election Studies in 2008 and 2009. The American National Election Studies is a joint operation by Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

“This anti-black affect is not necessarily conscious or deliberate but may be felt as fear, anger, unease and hostility towards blacks,” the researchers said. “The symbolic component reflects the abstract view of blacks as a collective rather than as individuals, as well as its basis in abstract white moralistic reasoning and traditions.”

(H/T: CBS Washington)