Small Minority Accounts for Bulk of Gun Ownership

Since the 2008 election of President Obama, the number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. has tripled, while imports have doubled. This doesn’t mean more households have guns than ever before—that percentage has stayed fairly steady for decades. Rather, more guns are being stockpiled by a small number of individuals. Three percent of the population now owns half of the country’s firearms, says a recent, definitive study from the Injury Control Research Center at Harvard University.

So, who is buying all these guns—and why?

The short, broad-brush answer to the first part of that question is this: men, who on average possess almost twice the number of guns female owners do. But not all men. Some groups of men are much more avid gun consumers than others. The American citizen most likely to own a gun is a white male—but not just any white guy. According to a growing number of scientific studies, the kind of man who stockpiles weapons or applies for a concealed-carry license meets a very specific profile.

These are men who are anxious about their ability to protect their families, insecure about their place in the job market, and beset by racial fears. They tend to be less educated. For the most part, they don’t appear to be religious—and, suggests one study, faith seems to reduce their attachment to guns. In fact, stockpiling guns seems to be a symptom of a much deeper crisis in meaning and purpose in their lives. Taken together, these studies describe a population that is struggling to find a new story—one in which they are once again the heroes.


Investing guns with this kind of moral and emotional meaning has many consequences, the researchers say. “Put simply, owners who are more attached to their guns are most likely to believe that guns are a solution to our social ills,” says Froese. “For them, more ‘good’ people with guns would drastically reduce violence and increase civility. Again, it reflects a hero narrative, which many white man long to feel a part of.” Stroud’s work echoes this conclusion. “They tell themselves all kinds of stories about criminals and criminal victimization,” she says. “But the story isn’t just about criminals. It’s about the good guy—and that’s how they see themselves: ‘I work hard, I take care of my family, and there are people who aren’t like that.’ When we tell stories about the Other, we’re really telling stories about ourselves.”


Folksonomies: gun ownership second amendment gun safety

/sports/paintball (0.507524)
/society/crime (0.420554)
/real estate/buying and selling homes (0.378104)

guns (0.992330 (:0.000000)), guns female owners (0.983884 (:0.000000)), Small Minority Accounts (0.837192 (:0.000000)), Injury Control Research (0.806884 (:0.000000)), Gun Ownership (0.653346 (:0.000000)), 2008 election (0.640017 (:0.000000)), President Obama (0.637405 (:0.000000)), concealed-carry license (0.635977 (:0.000000)), small number (0.635801 (:0.000000)), average possess (0.628592 (:0.000000)), gun consumers (0.621352 (:0.000000)), definitive study (0.619261 (:0.000000)), Harvard University (0.616210 (:0.000000)), racial fears (0.616013 (:0.000000)), broad-brush answer (0.613412 (:0.000000)), American citizen (0.612730 (:0.000000)), criminal victimization (0.611599 (:0.000000)), white male—but (0.611021 (:0.000000)), specific profile (0.610665 (:0.000000)), social ills (0.609233 (:0.000000)), job market (0.608578 (:0.000000)), scientific studies (0.607533 (:0.000000)), white guy (0.605363 (:0.000000)), deeper crisis (0.601769 (:0.000000)), new story—one (0.600960 (:0.000000)), good guy—and (0.596879 (:0.000000)), emotional meaning (0.594072 (:0.000000)), work echoes (0.592822 (:0.000000)), ‘I work (0.592656 (:0.000000)), white man (0.586291 (:0.000000)), hero narrative (0.585756 (:0.000000)), men (0.546486 (:0.000000)), firearms (0.488003 (:0.000000)), criminals (0.485025 (:0.000000)), stories (0.483098 (:0.000000)), kind (0.474300 (:0.000000)), population (0.472818 (:0.000000)), households (0.448501 (:0.000000)), civility (0.447074 (:0.000000)), percentage (0.444580 (:0.000000)), percent (0.441579 (:0.000000)), decades (0.441265 (:0.000000)), symptom (0.440897 (:0.000000)), U.S. (0.440239 (:0.000000)), individuals (0.439954 (:0.000000)), guns—and (0.439669 (:0.000000)), conclusion (0.439182 (:0.000000)), Stroud (0.437806 (:0.000000)), country (0.437285 (:0.000000))

President Obama:Person (0.769680 (:0.000000)), U.S.:Location (0.691756 (:0.000000)), Stroud:Person (0.677325 (:0.000000)), Injury Control Research Center:Organization (0.657252 (:0.000000)), Harvard University:Organization (0.647730 (:0.000000)), Froese:Person (0.627331 (:0.000000)), Three percent:Quantity (0.627331 (:0.000000))

Firearm (0.956932): dbpedia_resource
Gun (0.832595): dbpedia_resource
Cannon (0.645210): dbpedia_resource
Weapon (0.645092): dbpedia_resource
Firearms (0.598339): dbpedia_resource
Howitzer (0.579101): dbpedia_resource

 Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Smith, Jeremy Adam (March 14, 2018), Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?, Retrieved on 2018-03-20
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: gun ownership second amendment gun safety


    20 MAR 2018

     Science of Gun Ownership

    Owning a gun is contraindicated to home security and personal safety.