Who is buying all these guns—and why?
The short, broad-brush answer to the first part of that question is this: men, who on average possess almost twice the number of guns female owners do. But not all men. Some groups of men are much more avid gun consumers than others. The American citizen most likely to own a gun is a white male—but not just any white guy. According to a growing number of scientific studies, the kind of man who stockpiles weapons or applies for a concealed-carry license meets a very specific profile.
These are men who are anxious about their ability to protect their families, insecure about their place in the job market, and beset by racial fears. They tend to be less educated. For the most part, they don’t appear to be religious—and, suggests one study, faith seems to reduce their attachment to guns. In fact, stockpiling guns seems to be a symptom of a much deeper crisis in meaning and purpose in their lives. Taken together, these studies describe a population that is struggling to find a new story—one in which they are once again the heroes.
I find it interesting that every person in my sample of gun owners fails to match the profile they give on almost every one of the negative characteristics they claim dominate. Some might match on one negative characteristic, and some on another, but none that I can think of match on more than one. I wonder how they obtained their sample and how many gun owners claimed to not be a gun owner and avoided participating with their study.
And, if someone claims this is justification for implementing gun control, this is an admission that gun control is sexist and racist.
In any case, this is what they think of you. Let them keep thinking this. It will be a bigger surprise for them when reality smacks them in the face.