Inspired by the recent mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colo., researchers from Australia’s Monash University and Britain’s Manchester University produced a study in the hopes of better understanding the relationship between racist attitudes, gun ownership, and support for gun laws among white people in the U.S. Using data from the National Election Study, they found that what those who felt “symbolic racism” were 50 percent more likely to own a gun, and 28 percent more likely to support concealed handgun policies.
In an email to the New York Daily News, researchers explained what prompted their study:
“There had already been research showing that … blacks are more likely to be shot, so we thought there must be something happening between the concept of being black and some whites wanting guns,” Monash researcher Kerry O’Brien said…
Researchers also said they were confused by how people in the U.S. could be so resistant to gun policy reforms when the rates of gun homicide are so high, and this study helped them better understand the role of racist attitudes in fueling violence. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 50 percent of gun owners in the U.S. are white men compared to just 21 percent of all black people, even though they are disproportionately effected by of gun-related homicides.
(h/t NY Daily News)