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CA – GUN CONTROL – Study: 110,000 Californians Bought Guns During Pandemic; Fear of ‘Lawlessness’ Most Common Reason

A new study reveals that 110,000 Californians bought guns during the coronavirus pandemic, 43% for the first time — and the most common reason given was fear of “lawlessness.” The study, carried out by the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California Davis, casts firearm purchases as a response to the “pandemic,” and concludes that COVID-19 “exacerbated persistent structural, economic, and social inequities in the conditions that contribute to violence and its consequences.” The study reveals that 43% of the people who purchased firearms during the pandemic were first-time gun owners. The authors conclude that this reflects underlying inequalities in society — that “the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to lessen its spread have compounded the burden of violence-related harms.” However, the authors appear to overlook another explanation — namely, the fact that violent riots were going on in California and the rest of the country during the period in which its online survey of 2,870 adults was taking place, July 14 to 27. In the months since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 48 of America’s largest 50 cities have been affected by riots. The study found: The most common reason given for firearm acquisition in response to the pandemic was worry about lawlessness (75.9%; 95% CI: 27.6-96.3), followed by worry about prisoner releases (56.1; 95% CI: 22.0-85.3), the government going too far (49.2%; 95% CI: 17.7-81.3), government collapse (38.0%; 95% CI: 12.2-73.0), and gun stores closing (31.1%; 95% CI: 9.7- 65.4) … Reasons for ammunition purchases in response to the pandemic were similar.  [full article]

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