Study: Racist Attitudes Linked To Gun Ownership

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A study finds a connection between increased racist attitudes and US residents who keep guns in their households.

The study published in the Oc.t 31 research journal PLOS ONE found that “symbolic racism” – described as “racial resentment” – was directly related to US respondents who kept guns in their home. For each point increase in “symbolic racism,” there was a 50 percent greater chance of people having a gun in their home.

There was also a 28 percent increase in the odds of supporting permits to carry concealed handguns.

“This anti-black affect is not necessarily conscious or deliberate but may be felt as fear, anger, unease and hostility towards blacks,” according to the researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom. “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.”

The study also found that the rate of gun ownership in the U.S. is twice as high among whites as opposed to blacks. And white Americans opposed gun control policies far more than black Americans. However, white gun owners were found to be statistically more likely to kill themselves than to be killed by others.

The survey respondents were recruited through the American National Election Studies, a joint effort between Stanford University and the University of Michigan. Respondents were paid $10 each month to respond to survey questions from 2008 to 2009.

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