A study published in the scientific journal forum PLOS ONE found that the presence of firearms in white homes in the U.S. is associated with higher incidences of racism and stiffer resistance to gun control policies. According to a press release from the University of Manchester, the study was led by University of Manchester and Monash University professor of Behavioral Studies Dr. Kerry O’Brien.
The study analyzed data from a large swath of white U.S. voters and was spurred by the vehemence of the gun control debate in this country in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut. O’Brien and his team mainly hail from the U.K., New Zealand and Australia and were curious about U.S. attitudes toward gun ownership.
“Coming from countries with strong gun control policies, and a 30-fold lower rate of gun-related homicides, we found the arguments for opposing gun control counterintuitive and somewhat illogical. For example, US whites oppose gun control to a far greater extent than do blacks, but whites are actually more likely to kill themselves with their guns, than be killed by someone else. Why would you keep them? So we decided to examine what social and psychological factors predict gun ownership and opposition to gun control.”