Who Owns Guns? Criminals, Victims and the Culture of Violence
America is a nation filled with guns and gunowners. Using the General Social Survey, we investigate who owns guns. Gunowners resemble neither criminals nor victims, although they do hunt. Waiting periods appear to have little effect on the overall level of gun ownership, but they do lower the propensity to own guns among people who have been arrested. Living around other gunowners increases gun ownership. Guns appear to be a substitute for the legal system, because gun ownership is highest among people who do not trust the government and where the availability of police is lowest. Guns also are associated with a general taste for violent retribution.
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