We used data from the 2019 National Lawful Use of Guns Survey to segment the gun-owning population into different subcultural categories. Performing a latent class analysis, we introduce six types of indicators: (1) the types of firearm owned, (2) the reported primary reason for owning a firearm, (3) involvement in various gun-related activities, (4) Second Amendment activism, (5) the extent to which those in one’s social network own guns, and (6) measures of symbolic meanings attached to firearms. We introduce gender, race, U.S. region, and political affiliation as covariates. We find six classes of gun owners. The largest group (28 percent) is composed of family protectors who go to the shooting range and feel empowered by their guns. The second largest category (19 percent) is made up of incidental gun owners motivated by protection or family tradition. The third group (18 percent) consists of Second Amendment activists who engage in multiple gun-related activities and are resistant to social change. The fourth category (13 percent) contains target shooters. The fifth group (12 percent) is made up of hunters. The sixth category (11 percent), self-protectors, has a majority of women (51 percent). Our findings add to a very recent body of literature on variations in the meanings that guns have for people. In particular, we demonstrate that there are stark cultural differences between gun owners and that the body of existing research on this topic has mostly focused on the Second Amendment activists, who only represent about 18 percent of all gun owners.
No previous study has identified the specific brands of guns owned by gun owners. This study aimed to: (1) ascertain and describe patterns of brand- and model-specific gun ownership among US gun owners; and (2) investigate the relationship between gun owners’ brand and model preferences and their attitudes towards common firearm violence prevention policies.
Most areas of the law rely on the assumption on free will, which manifests in the expression of consent. We examine the nature of human emotions toward fictional characters and social robots, and question the concept of consent in the context of these unreciprocated fictional relationships. We conclude that policies need to regulate the use of social robots in order to protect consumers, and especially vulnerable ones, from an asymmetry of power between them and robotic companies. We propose different statutory and design-based solutions depending on the purpose of the robots and the type of users.
Introduction: A better understanding of the lawful use of guns and the symbolic meaning of guns to gun owners is essential to bridge the divide in public opinion regarding policies to reduce gun violence in the U.S.
Methods: A national, prerecruited Internet panel of U.S. adults in 2019 was used to survey gun owners (n=2,086) to ascertain their gun-related attitudes and practices. Data were analyzed in 2020.
Results: The primary reason given for owning a gun was defense (59.4%), followed by recreation (26.8%). A minority of the gun owners in the sample (22.9%) reported taking part in any gun- related activity more than rarely. The proportion of respondents who agreed that guns are an important part of their identity was just 10.0%. The majority of the gun owners viewed gun control advocates as wanting to take away all guns (58.5%). Nearly 70% of gun owners reported that a rea- son for their reluctance to engage in gun violence prevention was that they feel alienated because they perceive gun control advocates as blaming them for the gun violence problem, not understand- ing gun ownership, and not understanding much about guns.
Conclusions: For most of the gun owners, gun ownership plays a practical role as a method of self- protection and has a symbolic association with freedom. Public health practitioners must develop novel communication strategies that avoid alienating gun owners by creating a perception that the ultimate aim is to take their guns away.
We developed empirical methods to identify variations in elements of gun culture across states. Using these methods, we then analyzed the prominence of these subcultures between states and over time from 1998 through 2016. Using state-level data, we conducted a principal component analysis of 11 variables associated with gun-related behaviors and retained only the significant components. We then analyzed the presence of these components over time and across states. Based on the principal component analysis, we identified three cultural variations. Component 1 reflected recreational elements of gun culture. Component 2 represented a self-defense element of gun culture. Component 3 was indicative of a symbolic cultural element centered around the protection of the Second Amendment and insurrectionism. Over time, the recreational cultural element declined in prominence while the self-defense one rose and the Second Amendment advocacy one remained stable. This paper advances the literature on gun culture by demonstrating that: (1) gun culture is not monolithic; (2) there are multiple elements of gun culture that vary substantially between states; (3) over time, the recreational gun subculture has been falling in prominence whereas the self-defense subculture has been rising; and (4) there is another subculture, distinct from the self-defense one, which consists in mobilization around the Second Amendment and was strongest in places where state firearm laws are most extensive.