Photo Credit: Jody Lewis, Crossfire Photography
1 in 3 Americans Own Guns
Columbia University professor Bindu Kalesan and three of her colleagues recently published a study that asked 4000 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia about guns and gun culture. Among their findings is that 1 in 3 adults own guns.
We found that one-third of US residents are gun owners and gun ownership rates vary widely between states. Although there are no recent nationally representative survey results of gun ownership rates in the USA to allow for direct comparisons, the rates we report are consistent with rates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2004, where the prevalence of household firearms ranged from 10% to 66% across the 50 states.
The purpose of the study is the relationship between gun culture and gun ownership.
We assessed gun ownership rates in 2013 across the USA and the association between exposure to a social gun culture and gun ownership. We used data from a nationally representative sample of 4000 US adults, from 50 states and District of Columbia, aged >18?years to assess gun ownership and social gun culture performed in October 2013. State-level firearm policy information was obtained from the Brady Law Center and Injury Prevention and Control Center. One-third of Americans reported owning a gun, ranging from 5.2% in Delaware to 61.7% in Alaska. Gun ownership was 2.25-times greater among those reporting social gun culture (PR=2.25, 95% CI 2.02 to 2.52) than those who did not. In conclusion, we found strong association between social gun culture and gun ownership. Gun cultures may need to be considered for public health strategies that aim to change gun ownership in the USA.
Gun ownership varied widely among the states. Delaware had the lowest ownership at 5.2% and Alaska had the highest at 61.7%.
So what was the point of the study?
This analysis rests on a cross-sectional design. Therefore, we cannot infer whether exposure to social gun culture predisposes one to gun ownership or whether the latter increases likelihood of participation in the former. However, this is not particularly germane to the observations being drawn here, suggesting simply that prudent gun policies that aim to reduce gun ownership and gun-related injury might need to actively consider the prevailing social gun culture in the USA. Future studies that aim to inform our understanding of gun ownership may fruitfully explore the determinants of a participation in social gun culture in the USA.
So here’s the thing: this study was used to determine how American gun culture and gun ownership are related to help gun control groups plan their next strategies. Gun culture is frowned upon by these groups because liberty and freedom are not a part of their culture. Keep an eye out for our Gun Culture to be a factor in the next statist media headline.
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