The study, published in a journal called “Injury Prevention,” seems innocuous at first. But a closer look reveals a clear anti-gun bias.
The survey breaks down respondents according to geographical area and whether or not they come from a “gun culture.” According to the study,
One-third of Americans reported owning a gun, ranging from 5.2 percent in Delaware to 61.7 percent in Alaska. Gun ownership was 2.25 times greater among those reporting social gun culture than those who did not.In other words, people who own guns tend to come from places where gun ownership is popular. Pretty simple, right?
Wrong. While the study may seem harmless, the subtext is actually quite dangerous. Linking gun ownership to “gun culture” implies that reducing gun violence requires undermining that culture. As the authors of the study conclude: “Gun cultures may need to be considered for public health strategies that aim to change gun ownership in the USA.”
This line echoes a strategy that the anti-gun movement has been using for decades. According to The Gun Writer:
Since the 1980s, gun control groups have realized that once a person becomes part of the gun culture, they’re likely to become a single-issue voter focused on protecting the right to keep and bear arms. This is why anti-gun activist groups are now pushing the lie that — even though Americans have been buying guns in unprecedented numbers — gun ownership is declining. They hope other people will essentially say, ‘Well, if no one is owning guns, I guess I don’t need to own guns either, or fret about additional restrictions.’”As The Gun Writer points out, the information in the study was drawn directly from two well-known anti-gun groups – the Brady Campaign and the CDC’s Injury Prevention and Control Center.
It is also important to note that the study focuses on law-abiding gun owners. People who own guns illegally – and are much more likely to commit gun crimes – are much harder to track down.