Gun culture is a major stumbling block when it comes to discussing firearms and violence prevention in the U.S. – what works in some places may not be effective in other regions, largely because of how firearms are viewed differently from one perspective . A new study identified three specific “weapon cultures” in the United States and detailed which culture each state is most closely identified with.
The new study comes from the School of Medicine at Boston University, where researchers used weapon behavior data in the US based on a number of categories, including hunting, protection, recreation, and more. The data, which takes into account, among other things, certain gun laws and the purchase of firearms, ultimately finds that the reasons why Americans own weapons are different ̵
The three weapon cultures are:
– recovery (red)
– self-defense (orange)
– second change activism (blue)
According to the study, these cultural attitudes towards weapons have changed over the years. For example, the researchers found that the overall use of recreational weapons has decreased in the United States, while self-defense ownership has increased. The political character of gun ownership, which comes under the activism culture of the second constitutional amendment, has also increased.
Politically conservative states focused more on firearm recovery when the state had few regulations, little racial diversity, and a lot of rural areas. In contrast, conservative states faced with high unemployment and relatively new regulations see weapons largely from a self-defense point of view.
Liberal states were most likely to experience what the researchers call “Gun Culture 3.0”, which refers to the relatively new activism movement. This applies to states with strict firearms regulations as well as states with a large Hispanic population and a large urban area.
Study director Claire Boine explains:
The NRA has spread insurgent rhetoric over the past few decades and has undermined American confidence in its legislators and the federal government while advocating for a patriotic organization. The result is a few million people who believe that real gun violence prevention is the first step in a program that deprives everyone of their rights and deprives them of their rights.