Early in 2020 I wrote an entry on this blog asking “Who are the liberal gun owners?” I was responding to media interest in liberals who own guns in an election year. In response to an inquiry from the Associated Press, I did some quick and dirty analyses using data from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey, but was left wanting to know more.
I was fortunate to find two sociology graduate students from Baylor University to collaborate with me on a more systematic analysis of these same data, Jesse DeDeyne and Alonso Alonso Octavio Aravena Méndez. Together, we recently published our article in the journal Sociological Inquiry.
Although the article is not Open Access, you can download a PDF of the article for educational purposes.
In our statistical analyses, we compare “liberal gun owners” as a category to a few other categories of individuals. By slicing the gun owner pie in different ways, we highlight ways in which liberals who own guns resemble other guns owners more than other liberals and non-gun owners generally (older married white males who hunt), AND ways in which liberal gun owners differ from gun owners who are politically conservative (less likely to hunt, be Evangelical Protestants, and hold punitive attitudes).
I hope that this work, like my previous scholarship in the sociology of guns, continues to challenge others to get beyond various oversimplifications and better understand the full breadth and depth of American gun culture.