Study Claims Recent Gun Owners More Willing to Engage in Political Violence

We know that gun sales have been through the roof for years now. That’s a good thing, to be sure, because gun owners have a strong tendency to become gun voters. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, it doesn’t matter, and the more non-Republican gun owners we get defending our rights, the better off we all are.

If neither party wants to infringe, that’s a very good thing, and that only happens when their base demands they leave the Second Amendment alone.

Yet a recent study presented some findings that look a bit disturbing. It reports that more new gun owners are willing to engage in political violence.

Large numbers of Americans who have bought guns over the past four years or who regularly carry their loaded weapons in public are willing to engage in political violence, even to the extent of shooting a perceived opponent, a new mega-survey has found.
The study of almost 13,000 Americans, drawn from across the country and weighted for demographics, provides alarming evidence of the openness of certain types of gun owners to the idea – and possibly the practice – of violence as a political act.
The risk of violent behavior rose dramatically, the researchers found, with certain subsets of gun owners.
In particular, Americans who have bought their weapons since the disruptions of Covid in 2020 and those who often or always carry guns in public expressed high levels of susceptibility to political violence. A similar, though less marked, trend was visible among owners of assault-style rifles of the sort used frequently in mass shootings.
The study, Firearm Ownership and Support for Political Violence in the United States, was conducted by the violence prevention research program at the University of California, Davis. Its findings will ring alarm bells at an already exceptionally tense time for the country

Alarming, right?

Well, I wouldn’t get too worked up.

First, this is a survey. This is basically asking people what they’re thinking, which means it’s a snapshot of their willingness to engage in such violence at that particular moment, a moment when there’s no real threat to them or theirs. They’re asking in the abstract and a lot of people are willing to talk smack in the abstract but when the rubber meets the road, they’re not.

Then, of course, we need to look at the overall questions asked. This study asked about 17 different “objectives,” and what those are can be kind of important.

For example, 90 percent of gun owners said violence wasn’t justified to return Donald Trump to the presidency while less than six percent said it was always or usually justified. To stop people who don’t share their beliefs from voting, 95.5 percent said it was never justified. Almost 92 percent opposed using violence to oppose those who don’t share their beliefs.

Meanwhile, just under 70 percent said it was never justified to prevent racial discrimination and 45 percent felt that way about preserving the American way of life.

That last one is interesting because that can be interpreted as defending this country from foreign threats or, at a minimum, a threat to basic human freedoms.

In other words, for all the doomsaying we’ve got in that piece, the truth of the matter is that few Americans are even saying they think violence is justified in most of these cases. Those were they’re more likely to say it is are cases where there really isn’t much ambiguity about the right and wrong involved here.

Interestingly, non-gun owners are more likely to want to engage in violence against those who don’t share their beliefs than gun owners–3.3 percent saying it’s always or usually justified among non-gun owners compared to just 1.7 percent among gun owners–which somehow didn’t make it into the report.

Shocking, isn’t it?

I’m sure this will get a ton of attention, and gun owners will once again be vilified by the media. This study will be used to justify still more gun control as anti-gunners argue that we simply cannot be trusted with firearms.

Yet when you look at the numbers, then consider that a lot of the people who say they’d go to war are just talking smack, things don’t look nearly as alarming, now do they?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds 1864 Law Limiting Nearly All Abortions

Biden’s Bizarre Moments at State Dinner, and the Surprising Things Guests Said About the Election