Is it racist to own a gun?
The academic article below says it is. To understand what is going on, you need to know what is meant by "symbolic racism". Basically it means reasoned racism. Below are the items of the most popular such scale. Some items are pro-black and some are anti-black:
The Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale
1. It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.
2. Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same.
3. Some say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast. Others feel that they haven’t pushed fast enough. What do you think?
4. How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?
5. How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?
6. Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.
7. Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.
8. Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve.
So a symbolic racist disapproves of perceived black characteristics. But a very prominent characteristic of blacks is their high rate of violent crime -- muggings, home invasions etc. So a symbolic racist will also be sure to disapprove of black crime. And if black crime is salient to you, it follows rather easily that you will be more likely to want to defend yourself from it. And that is the whole of what the article below shows: People who accept the reality of black crime are more likely to want to defend themselves from it.
But what are we to make of people who are critical of blacks? Are they being unreasonable? Leftists would say that they are. But conservatives would say that Leftists are deliberately blind to black reality.
The way in which many newspapers refuse to mention the race of a black perpetrator in a crime report certainly does display a policy of deliberate blindness. So a broader interpretation of the finding would be that realists own guns.
Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions
Kerry O’Brien et al.
Racism is related to policies preferences and behaviors that adversely affect blacks and appear related to a fear of blacks (e.g., increased policing, death penalty). This study examined whether racism is also related to gun ownership and opposition to gun controls in US whites.
The most recent data from the American National Election Study, a large representative US sample, was used to test relationships between racism, gun ownership, and opposition to gun control in US whites. Explanatory variables known to be related to gun ownership and gun control opposition (i.e., age, gender, education, income, conservatism, anti-government sentiment, southern vs. other states, political identification) were entered in logistic regression models, along with measures of racism, and the stereotype of blacks as violent. Outcome variables included; having a gun in the home, opposition to bans on handguns in the home, support for permits to carry concealed handguns.
After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).
Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in US whites. The findings help explain US whites’ paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control. Such attitudes may adversely influence US gun control policy debates and decisions.
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