WaPo - researchers from University of No Shit Sherlock say white resentment fuels opposition to gun control. Quote:
Racial prejudice could play a significant role in white Americans' opposition to gun control, according to new research from political scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In their paper, published in the journal Political Behavior in November, Alexandra Filindra and Noah J. Kaplan found that whites were significantly less likely to support gun control measures when they had recently looked at pictures of black people, than when they had looked at pictures of white people. The study, which surveyed 1,000 white respondents, also found that the higher they scored on a common measure of racial prejudice, the stronger negative effect the photos of black people had on the respondents' support for gun control.
Taken together, those two findings "demonstrate that racial prejudice influences white opinion regarding gun regulation in the contemporary United States," Filindra and Kaplan conclude.
Yeah, or you could just read the Turner Diaries and read some mid-90s militia movement propaganda.
Particularly with respect to the modern gun-rights movement that really took off in the '80s and '90s, the language "creates this distinction between 'law-abiding citizens' and 'criminals,'" Filindra says. She points to the type of language that's frequently used by gun rights groups who warn of ever-present threats by "predatory criminals" and a murkily-defined "they" who want to "take your guns away."
"Juxtapositions of 'law abiding citizens' and 'criminals' [are] evocative of racialized themes as crime has long been associated with blacks in the white mind," Filindra and Kaplan write.
Or you could just collect stats on gun sales and correlate them to amount of Obama coverage per day on Fox News.
Filindra and Kaplan say their research does not imply that all white gun owners are racist, nor that all support for gun control carries racial baggage.
But for a certain subset of white gun-rights supporters, particularly those who are inclined to hold certain prejudicial beliefs, messages about individualism and liberty and rights are understood in a very specific way.
In the mind of this type of gun owner, "I am showing my white nationalist pride in a sort of generic way through gun ownership," Filindra posits.
Or it could all be a bunch of rodent-minded country bumfucks scared that a black man might date their white daughter.
Indeed, Filindra says that her study illustrates the limits of trying to change gun policy by appealing to hard evidence. Gun control advocates "have been approaching the subject from the perspective of public health, which has a message all about costs and benefits -- an emphasis specifically on how many deaths, how many injues, all of that stuff."
But these messages are likely falling on deaf ears if many white gun owners' identities are strongly intertwined with gun ownership. "This is really about identity processes, and about how people perceive their changing position in a social hierarchy," she said. "We need to rethink how we can address gun control, how we can decouple the racial and public health dimensions of this."
Gee, how about teaching people that being a paranoid ignorant racist asshole is bad? Or would that offend religious freedom or Republican principles, or something?
I'm not criticizing the researchers - it's actually an open secret that "no duh" facts are resolutely ignored by the scholarly community up til the point someone manages to publish an academic paper proving them. So kudos to these two for harvesting the low-hanging fruit. It really is that fucking easy to write a paper that gets you noticed.