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NAT’L – GUN RIGHTS – Fear Is Not a Factor in Gun Ownership

Are gun owners more or less afraid than people who do not own guns? A new study from researchers at Florida State University and the University of Arizona hopes to add some empirical data to the conversation after finding that gun owners tend to report less fear than non-gun owners. The study, led by sociology doctoral student Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, used the Chapman University Survey of American Fears to examine both the types and the amount of fear that gun owners had in comparison to non-gun owners. “There’s a lot of popular rhetoric in the media and among politicians as to why people own guns,” Dowd-Arrow said. “The biggest claim is that they’re cowards. So, we wanted to see if owning guns was truly a symptom of fear.” Dowd-Arrow and his team examined fear pertaining to specific phobias and victimization. The results, published in SSM – Population Health, showed that the popular rhetoric surrounding gun ownership was not true. The researchers first examined gun ownership as a result of fears. For the most part, the study showed that fears were unrelated to the probability of owning a gun. There were some exceptions. Adults who reported a fear of animals and adults who reported a fear of being mugged were less likely to own a gun. Adults who reported a fear of being victimized by a random/mass shooting were more likely to own a gun.  [full article]

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