This one is great:
Racism and guns go together.
That’s the finding of an international study released Thursday that says the two are linked. More specifically, odds are greater that a racist white American also keeps a gun at home and opposes gun control regulations.
The conclusion wasn’t too surprising for researchers at Australia’s Monash University and Britain’s Manchester University, which sought to better understand American gun culture.
“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 in an email to the Daily News. [Huh? Over 90% of blacks who get shot are shot by… other blacks!]
He also found that political leanings and geography play a part into firearm ownership.
“It is particularly noteworthy that the relationship between symbolic racism and the gun-related outcomes was maintained in the presence of conservative ideologies, political affiliation, opposition to government control and being from a southern state, which are otherwise strong predictors of gun ownership and opposition to gun reform,” said the study, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
So, how did the researchers ‘measure’ racism?
The report used data from the American National Election Study and scored people based on their “symbolic racism,” which is used to measure anti-black sentiments.
Since judging someone as racist can be subjective, the study ranked racism based on how participants answered a series of questions.
One question asked, “How well does the word ‘violent’ describe most blacks?” and participants were given five responses to choose from, ranging from “extremely well” to “not at all well.”
An “extremely well” response was seen as an endorsement of a stereotype.
For those with increased scores in symbolic racism, the odds also grew that they owned a gun and supported concealed carry laws.
John Lott comments on the ‘symbolic racism’ index:
So how is racism measured? Well, you are apparently “racist” if you don’t agree that the legacy of slavery still has a great impact on how blacks are faring today. After all, slavery was abolished 158 years ago.
Besides, blacks were doing relatively better on many dimensions, such as family stability, during the early 1960s than today.
Of course, people might disagree with these points, but that doesn’t mean that they are racist.
OK, so conservatives are more likely to own guns than liberals (big surprise there), and they are more likely to believe that people are more responsible for how well they do in life than something that happened to their ancestors over a century and a half ago.
Even more telling, when I examined this data set I found that non-whites and blacks who hold these supposedly “racist” views on slavery are also more likely to own guns.
So let’s get this straight. Blacks who don’t believe that slavery in the U.S. is important in explaining how well a black does in today’s society hates other blacks and is thus more likely to own a gun?
The authors focus on people who are racist being the ones who are more likely to buy guns, but they also speculate: “simply owning a firearm may lead whites to develop more negative attitudes towards blacks. There is some experimental research showing that participants who have recently held a firearm produce enhanced salivary testosterone levels and display increased aggression toward others.”
Seriously? So are blacks and non-whites also becoming more racist against blacks after they buy guns?