A study recently conducted by the Pew Research Center paints a new portrait of gun-ownership in the United States. Some of its findings do not come as a surprise; for instance, rural residents and older adults are much more likely to own a gun than other Americans.
Other results, however, reveal the increasingly distressing realities of our country’s gun owning population. “Overall, about a third of all Americans with children under 18 at home have a gun in their household, including 34% of families with children younger than 12,” writes Rich Morin, a Senior Editor at Pew. “That’s nearly identical to the share of childless adults or those with older children who have a firearm at home.” Thus, the presence of children does decrease the likelihood that an adult will have a gun in his or her home.
The research also reveals that gun possession and usage is skewed along racial lines. “While blacks are significantly more likely than whites to be gun homicide victims, blacks are only about half as likely as whites to have a firearm in their home (41% vs. 19%),” Morin explains. “Hispanics are less likely than blacks to be gun homicide victims and half as likely as whites to have a gun at home (20%).” The disproportionate toll that gun violence takes upon communities of color is well documented, and it is a factor that continues to throw a wrench in the political agenda of predominantly white gun-rights advocates.
For evidence of such backwards political scheming, read Francis Wilkinson’s article ‘You Can’t Fight Racism with Guns,’ published yesterday on Bloomberg.com. To read more about Pew’s gun ownership research, click here.