Study Asks What Guns Mean To Owners

Study Asks What Guns Mean To Owners
Photo Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

The anti-gun left has a lot of opinions about why we have guns. Frankly, most of those are downright hilarious, such as “overcompensating” for something. Some are downright insulting, like fearing minorities. However, what few have ever done is sit down to actually talk to us about why we own guns and why we’re so vehement about not giving them up.

Psychology Today is anything but a pro-gun publication. I’ve read plenty of anti-gun nonsense on their pages over the years, so I know they’re not exactly fans of the Second Amendment.

However, they did report on a study that actually did talk to gun owners about why they have guns.

According to a recent paper, by Siegel and Boine at Boston University, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, most gun owners possess guns for reasons of self-defense, believe gun control advocates want to take their guns away, and claim their unwillingness to participate in gun violence prevention has to do, in part, with their perceptions of gun control advocates as always blaming them.

The measures used included those related to “gun ownership, gun-related activities, gun owner identity, the symbolic meaning of guns, opinion toward firearm policies, attitudes toward the gun control movement, and civic engagement with gun violence prevention.”

The symbolic meaning of firearms was measured with questions that asked whether owning a gun was important to the participants’ sense of freedom and whether guns made them feel safe, patriotic, confident, respected, responsible, in control, and of greater value to their family and community.

Analysis of the results showed the top reasons the participants gave for gun ownership were:

  • Defense (59%)
  • Recreation (27%)
  • Constitutional rights or feelings of power (8%)
  • Other (6%)

That sounds about right. Of course, if people only gave one answer, then that’s going to be different than if they can give a couple. For example, the primary reason I have my guns is defense, but I do also have them because it’s good to enjoy one’s constitutional rights. That wouldn’t show up on this survey, however, so it may lead some to suggest that constitutional rights aren’t all that important.

But the survey also suggests that gun owners believe gun control advocates want to abolish the Second Amendment.

Let’s be clear, a lot of gun control advocates will tell you explicitly that they want no such thing. They even believe it, too. What they want to do, however, is gut it so severely that it might as well not exist. They know they can’t actually repeal it, so even those who advocate for it know it’s unlikely to happen.

But taking our guns? Oh, you better believe that one.

Take President Joe Biden’s latest announcement regarding firearms. We already know his proposal will force millions of Americans to turn in their weapons and magazines because they simply can’t afford to pay $200 per item just to keep what’s theirs’. The only reason we’re not talking door-to-door confiscation is because everyone knows that’s one surefire way to kick off the boogaloo.

Honestly, there’s only so much anyone will learn about gun owners from a survey. If folks are genuinely interested in learning why we own guns and value our Second Amendment rights so highly, all you have to do is talk to us like a rational human being. You’ll learn all you want to know then.


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