The Slanted Findings of a Gun-Control “Study”

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posted on August 25, 2023
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Everytown for Gun Safety is a Michael Bloomberg-funded gun-ban group that has never heard of an anti-gun proposal that it hasn’t supported. So, when Everytown recently joined with The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Lab to study “youth” and guns, it should come as no surprise that they “found” exactly what they were looking for.

The combined groups’ new “study,” titled “U.S. Youth Attitudes On Guns Report,” concluded that pro-gun youth are more likely to hold supremacist or racist views. “Evidence from this study suggests that pro-gun attitudes were associated with more extreme worldviews like male supremacist ideation and racial resentment,” the report stated.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts, let’s first take a look at an interesting aspect of the research. While it explicitly states “Youth” in the headline, the study participants ranged from 14 to 30 years old. Even the most-liberal definitions of “youth” tend to use the parameters of 14 to 24. While there is no consensus on what defines “youth” under law in the U.S., nearly every state, along with the federal government, considers the age at which one becomes an “adult” to be 18 years old. Some may debate including 18- to 24-year-olds among “youth,” but adding 25- through 30-year-olds to the study ensures it doesn’t have any validity concerning American “youth.” 

Part 1 of the study looked at pro-gun media and social-media websites on the internet. Part 2 was a survey of more than 4,000 people in the 14- to 30-year-old range. Part 3 was comprised of follow-up focus groups with respondents from Part 2. The “findings” weren’t very surprising, given who was conducting the pseudo-research.

“A young person’s access to guns, identification with gun culture and exposure to media relating to guns correlated with concerning beliefs like support for male supremacy, belief that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to overthrow the government, higher levels of racial resentment and post-traumatic stress disorders,” the study claimed.

What must these “kids” have said to provoke such a blanket statement? In a nutshell, those performing the research simply didn’t like some of the answers they received—answers that make perfect sense to most law-abiding American gun owners.

According to the researchers, men were more familiar,  and agreed more, with the following so-called “gun narratives”: “Guns allow the weak to stand up to the strong,” “People should buy guns now because society might collapse in our lifetime,” “It isn’t fair that the actions of a few troubled individuals should have a negative effect on the gun rights of good Americans who have done everything right,” “Guns are the best way to defend yourself, loved ones and your community” and “Guns bring families together.” 

Concerning the alleged misogynistic nature of those identifying with the “gun culture,” the study authors seemed especially concerned that many males in the study felt a duty to protect females in their lives.

“Male gun owners in focus groups stated that guns offer protection for themselves and their families, which may have also increased their feelings of confidence and control and reduced their sense of vulnerability to unpredictable violence,” the report stated. “While it is unlikely that they will use a gun to protect their wives and children, the belief that they should be ready to do so is a critical part of how male gun owners construct their gender identity.”

To many Americans, including many women, this normal male tendency to protect one’s spouse and family from harm is a good thing, and has been considered so forever. To those at Everytown and the SPLC, however, it’s apparently a sign of male supremacy and not to be condoned.

Of course, who better to ratchet up the sexism and racism claims than The Trace, an anti-gun propaganda mill partially funded by Everytown that masquerades as a journalism outlet. The Trace is one of Everytown’s primary mechanisms to launder its disinformation out to the public, and “mainstream” media outlets often quote The Trace as gospel. In this case, The Trace headline left little doubt it was doing the job it is paid to do, claiming, “Report: Young People Who Identify With Gun Culture Likely To Hold Racist Beliefs.”

Not surprisingly, the “results” were quite popular with those in the “mainstream” media, who are often quick to report just about anything bad about guns and gun ownership. One such outlet quickly posted a story that featured a picture of a man showing his young son how to aim a rifle at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings in Houston with the shocking headline, “Young Americans who identify with gun culture are more likely to believe in male supremacy, research shows.”

PBS had a different, equally anti-gun take: “Most young Americans feel unsafe and support stricter gun laws, new survey shows.” While the report did state something like that, it’s interesting to note that researchers had to throw out two-thirds of the study participants to come to this conclusion. The report actually states: “59% of youth under 18 believe that gun control laws in the U.S. should be stricter than they are today.”  

Could it be a coincidence that such “research” has just become available right when American gun owners ages 18 through 20 are under fire like never before? Several states, including Nevada and Texas, are currently considering or have just considered legislation to ban ownership of common semi-auto rifles by American adults in that age group. Colorado even passed legislation banning all gun sales to adults who are 18 to 20 years old!

President Joe Biden (D) has also got in on the action, as he managed to institute an “enhanced” background check for gun purchasers 18 to 20 years old through last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which the NRA opposed. Additionally, Illinois is set to ban firearms advertising that officials believe appeals to children. Whether or not those “children” will include the 30-year-old “youth” in the Everytown study is anyone’s guess.

A cynical Second Amendment supporter might speculate that Everytown and the SPLC chose the timing of this new “study” in order to bolster the anti-gun argument for further restrictions on the constitutional rights of young American adults. It’s certainly not unlikely that the groundbreaking “results” will soon show up as “facts” in the text of various bills and lawsuits concerning young adult gun ownership.

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