Study suggests mass shootings can inadvertently promote the idea of using guns to empower oneself

People who feel disempowered tend to feel more willing to shoot someone when mass shootings loom large in their mind, according to new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The findings provide some initial evidence that mass shootings can produce contagion-like effects. [...]

Do mass shootings inspire dangerous ideas about guns?

People in the United States endure hundreds of mass shootings per year and the deadliest shootings receive widespread media coverage. How does a national audience that owns an estimated 265 million guns react to news about mass shootings? One concern is that mass shootings subtly inspire more aggressive gun use in society – that is, they spread dangerous ideas about using guns as an outlet for one’s darkest impulses. [...]

How Changing Views on Masculinity are Helping Drive Gun Ownership

In a forthcoming paper with his collaborators Pontus Leander and Wolfgang Stroebe of University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Kruglanski surveyed gun owners both before and immediately after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. The results indicated that when gun owners were manipulated in experiments to feel a sense of failure or had experienced failure in their own lives, they viewed guns as more legitimate and effective tools of self defense compared to owners who weren’t stressed or exposed to failure. [...]

Fear of Crime, Danger Drives American Handgun Ownership

But what do these gun owners imagine they need protection from? A group of research psychologists from the Netherlands and the United States published a study on Thursday examining how fear of specific crimes and a broader sense of general danger contribute to American gun ownership. The study, which was broken down into different surveys and was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, hopes to mitigate some of these fears driving Americans to own guns. [...]

Study: Fear of crime, general sense of danger drives gun ownership

Studies by the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and the University of Maryland suggest differing motivations behind handgun and shotgun ownership. The researchers, whose work is published today in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, developed a first psychological process model of defensive gun ownership — a two-component model that considers both the antecedents and consequences of owning a gun for protection and self-defense. Researchers conducted three studies of 839 men in the United States, divided into 404 gun owners and 435 non-owners, to examine the factors and motivation behind gun ownership. [...]

Why Americans Will Never Give Up Their Guns

Why do so many Americans own handguns, and resist the regulation of firearms? "Protection" is the most common response, but who (or what) exactly are they protecting themselves from? And why do fact-based arguments, such as the reduction in crime rates and the dangers of having a gun in the house, fail to change minds? Newly published research provides a partial answer. It finds handgun ownership is motivated by two distinct impulses: "The specific perceived threat of assault, and a diffuse threat of a dangerous world." [...]

Study: Fear of crime, general sense of danger drives gun ownership

Researchers found the motivation to own a handgun was about fear of crime but also about a more general sense of threat from "the belief that the world is an unpredictable and dangerous place and that society is at the brink of collapse. It is not just concrete, specific threats that change our behavior, but also vague, general ideas about threat," researchers write in the study. "Even if we cannot pinpoint exactly why we feel threatened, the fact that we are threatened at all can lead us to want to own handguns for self-protection and advocate for more expansive rights to carry and use them." [...]

U.S. Handgun Ownership Motivated by Two Main Forces

The motivation to own a handgun for self-protection is not just about fear of crime, according to the model proposed by Wolfgang Stroebe and Pontus Leander (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), and Arie W. Kruglanski (University of Maryland), it is also about a more general sense of threat emanating from “the belief that the world is an unpredictable and dangerous place and that society is at the brink of collapse.” These dual layers of threat also predict beliefs that people have the right to shoot and kill in self-defense and that people should have broad 2nd Amendment rights. [...]

Why Americans buy handguns: Study says 'fear of crime and a broader sense of danger' is driving sales

Fear of crime isn’t the only thing driving handgun ownership in the United States; instead, the worries may go much deeper, according to a new study. [...]