People love guns. White people apparently love guns more than anyone else. But are the white people buying up all of the guns out of Walmart actually racist? Well according to a recent study, that could be the case. A study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE suggests that if you’re a white racist, chances are you’re going to own a gun and oppose strict gun laws.
Well, duh. I imagine there’s a racist white family stock-piling all of the guns in their fallout shelter just in case black people decide to revolt against the system, or what some refer to as “doomsday”. I’m only being a little facetious.
The study also brings back to life the term “symbolic racism”, which was a way to explain why many white Americans who professed support for racial equality also opposed policies designed to rectify racial inequality. The study found that for every one-point increase in “symbolic racism,” which is measured on a five-point scale, white Americans were 50 percent more likely to have a gun in the household.
People’s stated reasons for owning guns and opposing gun-control legislation are likely complex; however, it has been suggested that sociocultural factors such as fear of black violence may be associated with gun ownership, and with opposition to gun controls. Similarly, negative attitudes towards blacks (i.e., racism), along with conservative and political ideologies, appear to be related to fear of black violence and crime. What is not known, and accordingly is the focus of this study, is whether racism is associated with gun ownership and opposition to gun control. It has been found that racial stereotypes (e.g., that blacks are violent) are related to US whites’ fears of violence from blacks, and to their support for crime-related policy measures, such as building prisons, and the death penalty. Support for such policies is particularly pronounced in US whites who hold higher levels of racism. Strong evidence also supports the notion that negative racial stereotypes and attitudes are related to people’s perceptions of threat from black gun-related violence. Additionally, US research using measures of implicit race attitudes (e.g., Implicit Association Test; IAT) have shown a preference for whites over blacks and appear to influence people’s political decisions, and even choices of medical procedures for blacks. For instance, measures of explicit and implicit racism measures predicted opposition to Obama’s health reforms.
Most prominently, symbolic racism (racial resentment), an explicit but subtle form and measure of racism, has been found to be consistently related to peoples decisions regarding policies that may affect non-white US citizens. It is argued that symbolic racism supplanted old-fashioned or overt/blatant racism which had seen blacks as amoral and inferior, and was associated with open support for race inequality and segregation under ‘Jim Crow Laws’. Research following the US civil-rights movement suggested that anti-black racism and stereotyping, as assessed by blatant measures, had declined. However, subsequent research revealed that people may merely be reluctant to express racism and negative stereotyping on these blatant measures in order to avoid appearing racist. This observation led to the conceptualization and measurement of more subtle measures of racism, such as, symbolic racism.
In conclusion, white racists are paranoid about getting shot and killed by black people which is why they want to buy all the guns. But I guess they don’t realize according to the study and statistics they’re “considerably more likely to kill themselves with those guns, than be killed by others or blacks.” Now how’s that for irony.