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Now, this is not a sexist or a "Bash the South" post.  It's strictly informational.  I'm simply reporting the findings from a study by Gallup which aggregated data from six polls Gallup conducted from 2007 to 2012, regarding how many Americans own guns and which Americans are gun owners.  Let's look at the overall data for gun ownership, first.

According to Gallup, 30% of Americans, regardless of race, gender, political party affiliation, the region where they live or marital status own guns.  When you break that number down by gender you find that 45% of of males own guns while only 15% of women own guns.  In short, a man is 3 times more likely to own a gun than a woman.   Gender is by far the best predictor on who is likely to own a gun.  I suppose their are many reasons for such a large difference, but I'm not going to speculate on why there is such a large gender gap between men and women.  That's one thing we desperately need, more research about guns in general and what makes some people more likely to purchase one, specifically.

However, where the results get really interesting is when we look at the male population of gun owners.  Here's the results that should interest you about the rate of gun ownership among me.  The two highest rated sub-populations regarding gun ownership are:

Married southern men :                 64%

Non-Hispanic southern white men:  61%

By contrast:
Non-southern married men:                   48%

Non-Hispanic, non-southern white men:  45%

Further more, no other region of the country comes close to the South in terms of guns ownerhip.  Here are the rates of gun ownership, which combine both male and female gun owners, among the various regions of the country:

Southern residents:     38%

Midwestern residents:  29%

Western residents:      27%  

Eastern residents:       21%

That's a big difference.  It may reflect a cultural difference among the various regions, or it might reflect that many states outside the South have stricter gun laws.  There's no way to know, unfortunately, just based on Gallup's raw data.  However, Gallup's data does show that women, married or not are more likely to own guns if they reside in the South versus other regions of the country.

Surprisingly (well, at least for those whose views on gun ownership are based on  what they see on television or read about in the tabloids), non-white men and Hispanic whites own less guns than Whites.  Of all gun owners, here are the numbers for Hispanics and Non-whites (i.e., Blacks, Asians, Native Americans and all other minorities):

Non-white men:    31%

Hispanic whites:    33%  

There are some other interesting nuggets in the data.  Self identified conservatives (39%) are more than twice as likely to own guns than self identified liberals (17%) and the same is true for Republicans (38%) and Democrats (21%), though the overall margin is a little under twice as many, mostly because "Conservative Democrats" raise the overall rate among Democrats.  Independents fall right between the two parties (31%), at roughly the national average.  Also older people, especially older men (over 50) are more likely to own guns than younger people of either gender.

Many of these results are not what I expected.  I expected higher rates of single men owning guns than the Gallup data shows, for example.  However, the biggest takeaway from this is that men are far more likely to own a gun, and southern men even moreso than any other sub-population in our country.  Crime statistics show that men are far more likely to commit violent crimes and far more likely to use a gun to commit a crime.  Men are also more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, as well (though one cannot be certain of that statistic, in light of the suspected significant under-reporting by women of rapes and incidents of domestic violence).

All of this is intriguing, but it also points up the necessity of additional academic research into the demographics of gun ownership (particularly, to find explanations for the disparities Gallup's data reveals) as well as more research on the causes of gun violence in general.

Originally posted to Steven D on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  So, I'm not to think that this is typical Southern (4+ / 0-)

    good old boy activity and is part of their never ending "Civil War" mentality with that undertone of racisim and gross mistrust of the government.  Also, we need to take a look at men and why they are so violent, just spend a night in a ER especially on the week end and see what I'm talking about especially where women are concerned.

  •  I find this interesting. I also strongly agree (5+ / 0-)

    with the need for extensive research.  I am sincerely lookin forward to the information found by objective research.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:01:41 PM PST

  •  Two very different cultures (6+ / 0-)

    Your data are descriptive re: owning guns. They are phallic symbols in the south and west.

    But the fetish for automatic weapons is a completely different issue; it's about folks who think they have to have fire power equal to the army's, since the government is eventually coming to get them. Michigan militia types! And of course, "the government" is now represented by a Kenyan socialist muslim.

    The "victory" of the NRA is that they've obscured the difference between the two types of weapons. (Yes, you can convert one to another, but that's a miniscule issue.)

    Two totally different psychologies. Keep them distinct.

    •  MsTribble: your contention is prejudiced (9+ / 0-)

      not supported by independent data regarding the primary reason for owning firearms.

       The South and West, and especially the West except for certain areas of its coastline, are more rural than the North / Northeast (I consider the area from DC to NYC one big city, for example).

      Firearms are more likely to be owned by people for whom the ways of life are what you would consider rural.

      And it's tough to convince me, as a female, that firearms are phallic symbols for all owners.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree (8+ / 0-)

        I am also female. my gun was handed down to me by a great aunt who as a widow in South Dakota used it to hunt and feed her family. Gun ownership in my area is pretty much everyone. It has to be. In the rural west a rifle is a tool one the vast majority of us hope not to have to use but occasionally do.

        Girls and boys are both taught to shoot it is considered a survival skill.

        We would also be unlikely to tell a stranger over the phone we own a gun. That is considered a none of anyones business question.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:11:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How then explain Bushmater Firearms Co's (6+ / 0-)

        advertisement to "Get Your Mancard Punched" by purchasing an AR-15.  Are they prejudiced or have they researched the marketing of their product and found a not so subtle phallic reference appeals to their customers?

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:17:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   a punch to the area of the phallus doesn't sound (0+ / 0-)

          like a recommendation to me.

          But then I don't care for overhyped underperforming anything.

          Hence the reason I own no Apple products, no Microsoft products,
          no Chevy or Nissan or Toyota products, and don't wear "designer" jeans or clothes. Hell, even my Levis are Wrangler's bargain brand.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:26:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "To become a card-carrying man" says their (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ratcityreprobate, lyvwyr101

            advertisement.

            That's from a Salon article referenced in a post from the 'ultraviolet' group that I get in my email. Sorry I don't know how to link.

            It's absolutely a Big Man fantasy, and I just can't understand the insecurity it'd take to need that validation.

            I think there should be shamans in high schools, alternative counselors to tell the young men how profoundly valid is their own existence; as in the ELP song 'stones of years', to

            Realize/
            You Are.

            •  ah. 'splains much. I'm a card-carrying (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mookins

              ACLU liberal, and disabled vet. So there's that.

              But then again, I'm female, too...

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:20:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder how many "Mancard Punchers" (4+ / 0-)

          Know that a lot of Vietnam vets know the AR-15 as the "Plastic Barbie Princess"?

          In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

          by boriscleto on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:51:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  back in my day, some of the stocks had (0+ / 0-)

            the "Mattel" logo on 'em from the moulding process. Generated a lot of ... ah ... belittlement, among the hardcore.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:23:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Trucks, ATV's, dirt bikes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ratcityreprobate

          Trucks, ATV's, dirt bikes and lots of other products are advertised with sexist ads.

          As a mountain biker, ATV's are a bigger threat to me than guns are.  I'd like to have them banned, except for government employees.

        •  AR15 (0+ / 0-)

          speaking of what I know from this area alone.

          The only people I know who own these are combat veterans. They seem to prefer them because it is similar to the gun they carried in war. They know how it works and how to care for it. They also know what it feels like to shoot it, what kind of kick it has and so on. it is something they are comfortable using from the start.

          Most of these guys didn't grow up out here and didn't learn to shoot until the went into the military so for many the only gun they ever used was their military issues weapon.

          I have not exactly taken an inventory of the locals to find out who else may have them. There could be one in every closet for all I know. But I would doubt that very much.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:57:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just in case you didn't know, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hangpilot

            When taken as a whole, (all variants and manufacturers, plus home-built on a bare receiver... looking at it this way makes sense in this context becuase the rifle is modular, and almost any comapny's parts will fit almost any other company's gun, so lumping them together is more ogical than lumping, for example, "pump-action shotguns" together would be,) the AR-15 is probably the single most popular firearm in the country.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:00:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yikes. That's absolutely disheartening, LG! (0+ / 0-)

              but then it makes the same kind of sense as second-hand Chevy trucks selling well for practically ever -- you can go down to any parts store and get something that'll work in the thing....

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:25:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not to mention that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hangpilot, jung123

                they're about the easiest-shooting centerfire rifle out there, fit almost every human on earth, tend to be quite accurate...

                And they're a lot of fun to shoot... that matters.

                --Shannon

                "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                by Leftie Gunner on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:33:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Speaking of 'fun to shoot', (0+ / 0-)

                  did anyone bother to ask the surveyed precisely whether they have ever in fact, after safety class, fired each weapon they owned, and why they did so? It seems to me that one material distinction that should be made and available here in this debate is based on the answer to that question.

                  Hunters shoot at animals and practice targets, or varmints that are dangerous such as bears in those parts of the country that have them and nobody would argue with the appropriateness of that, and the ownership and use of the kind of guns useful for such purposes, in the places where such reasons exist, but nobody in a city has such a rational need for guns  in the city other than for hobby target shooting, as something they will actually have done.

                  This question is intended to identify the parameters of actual user groups, not people who have them at home but have never used them at all. It might also be useful to know how many of those who own in fact do practice  regularly with the weapons they own and/or have taken on a regular basis a safety class, so they know how to use them competently.

                  It does seem to me that a bit of exploration on the subject of how gun owners in fact use their guns if they do use them at all, would be an interesting parameter to the discussion. And the ones with the most fearfulness,  owning it but never using it at all, would have some serious explaining to do.

                  •  I expect it would be all over the map. (0+ / 0-)

                    I rarely shot any of my guns at all over the last couple of years... my Dad, brother and I couldn't hook up for hunting trips as often as we had been, and my regular shootin' buddy had a girlfreind who refused to let him out of her sight. The closure of the free public ranges here in San Diego didn't help.

                    Situations have changed, and I'm now shooting a lot more than I have been, although still not as much as I used to. Dad's gone, but the in-laws have a vacation house outside of Yuma (Martinez Lake), and it's a 5 minute truck ride to a nice, safe shooting spot.

                    A lot of hunters fire a box or less of rifle ammo in a year. A few to make sure the gun's still sighted in, and one at their deer, and that's their season.

                    Bird hunters shoot a lot more... they have to. First, shotgunning skills are a lot more perishable than rifle skills, (shotgunning is mostly muscle memory... if you're thinking about the shot, you're probably going to miss... and muscle memory fades quickly,) and second,  bag limits are higher and misses are, umm... more frequent. I think dove hunting was invented by shotshell manufacturers.

                    CCW permitees are probably all over the map, too. Most that I know get significant range time, but I'm in California, so I don't know too many. In shall-issue States, the variation is presumably a lot wider, since a lower percentage of carriers will be dedicated gunnies.

                    Then you've got the ".38 revolver in the nightstand" types... I'd bet that a lot of those never take the gun out of the drawer. Not a recommended procedure, BTW... A good wheelgun with good ammo will still go bang after 10 years in a desk, but the odds that you're going to hit anything with it don't work that way.

                    It's really impossible to say.

                    For what it's worth, I think that anone who makes the choice to be armed should practice often enough to be proficient and accurate with their weapons... when the shit hits the fan, if your hands don't already know what to do, you're almost certain to fuck it up. And any situation where a firearm is necessary is almost by definition a situation in which you don't want to fuck up.

                    --Shannon

                    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                    by Leftie Gunner on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:21:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's part of the point. A distinction (0+ / 0-)

                      between users and mere possessors wtihout skills. Perhaps one of the issues here should be that those who don't brush up on use and get the gun serviced when not a certified antique, on a regular basis, should have a license revocation issue,  and an insurance issue, which will not affect hunters and those with legitimate uses, and those who take care of their weapons and their skills. It is, ahem, likely that the criminal element do not do those things.

                      And a proper survey on use and care, would, like the one the Times discussed this weekend, show everyone  what the actual use and care habits are and how that might well be relevant to those making rational regulations and those thinking about them.

                      •  seems unenforceable... (0+ / 0-)

                        Leaving aside that licensing gun ownership is a political non- starter, and likely unconstitutional, how would you make sure that 80+ million people maintain their guns and go to the range?

                        --Shannon

                        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                        by Leftie Gunner on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:08:04 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •   vets I know want something better than the '16 (0+ / 0-)

            'cause it behaves so tetchily. But then I'm old.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:24:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I couldn't disagree for two reasons (5+ / 0-)

        FIrst of all, I live in Northern Michigan. I have personally known many of these militia types. They truly believe that they need automatic weapons because that's what the government has, and the government is out to get them. (There is a significant body of communication about FEMA as the organization planning to take them over!)

        And second, you misunderstand my comment. I've got a concealed weapon permit myself. I virtually never carry a gun outside the house, but believe I have the right to have it in the home (and the permit makes it easier to transport or sell.)

        Thirdly, you have to classify "firearms." We have several heirloom long guns, pistols for sport--all very well secured and registered. This is not anti-gun. I've also taught gun safety, many years ago.

        If there were better data, I think it would be easy to separate the long American tradition of guns for hunting and sport from the government-is-the-enemy paranoia. NRA does not want that separated, and wants the sportsmen to think the government wants THEIR guns.

    •  Gun ownership, Do you measure up? (3+ / 0-)

      In order to own ____

      you must be this long.  No allowance for

      My gun control petition was shot down.

      by 88kathy on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:02:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Gun Phallus replacement Dynamic (4+ / 0-)

      is usually diagnosed with the presence of an assault-style weapon with any of the following

      Hummer H2

      Trans Am with the Super Chicken Decal on the hood

      Camo everything

      Combover

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:27:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might a well add pick-up trucks, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101

        all manner of sports cars, and barn jackets if you wish to paint with the brush you've chosen.  

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:12:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe it's the recapturing-lost-youth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101

        thing there- it's like Harleys, pitched as something done by, as someone once deliciously slammed Dan Quayle, 'An old man's idea of a young man".

        Not that riding a Harley has to be that, mind you, nor does riding a sportbike either. Just too bad they're saddled with this baggage.

    •  I'm not convinced this is phallic. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros, historys mysteries, mookins

      Mr. MAHW grew up in the South (Houston, Biloxi, Dallas, Memphis) and had grandparents in KY and Mississippi.   Though we both are strong advocates for gun control, Mr. MAHW had fired plenty of weapons.  He grew up around guns.  In Memphis, in the mid '70s, when he was in 6th grade, it was a requirement for the boys to take a gun safety course as part of their regular schooling.  The NRA taught the course (please recall, this was the 70s.  The NRA was not the NRA it is today).  He doesn't remember who provided the guns, but they would go to a shooting range and fire different types of weapons, and learn never, ever to point a gun at anyone or thing you wouldn't mind having destroyed, and to treat all guns as if they were loaded, etc.  He doesn't know what the girls were doing during this time (just asked him).  
      His dad and grandpa would take him bird hunting, and there was a shotgun in the house for that purpose.  In other words, I don't think it was (or is) necessarily phallic, just cultural, and a long ingrained cultural tradition.  I can't tell from his experience where it came from, but it's different from what I grew up with in Utah.  My dad, as a former marine, did have a gun, but I never knew he did until I was an adult.  He kept it locked up where neither I nor my brother ever saw it or knew of its existence.  We had friends who hunted, but gun safety was certainly not taught in school, and the Utah legislature was not quite as bat guano insane when I was growing up (at least about guns, anyway) as it is now.

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:34:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My gramma taught my father to shoot and both of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife

        them did so to put meat on the table before the First World War and my father until the Korean War. Seeing a dead moose on one fender of the family car and a dead deer on the other, on the way to the freezer place, and eating the results all winter and sharing it out, is a fixture of my childhood. In those days and outside what then passed for towns that the women thereof did not leave, women used weapons regularly and knew how and taught their kids how. It's only recently and in less rural areas, where the need to shoot is less,  IMO that the notion that guns are somehow associated more specifically with males, as part of an identity issue. The same sort of thinking which also says often that women should not drive trucks or drive at all if there is a man available to do it, even if he is only thirteen or so, as if gramma couldn't drive the wagon from the farm to the town and back, and repair the bloody thing herself when needed. And she and he prepared theier own ammunition, cheaper than store bought and more reliable.

        But God help you if gramma saw you abusing either the wagon or the horses, or any gun. She was a lot closer than the legislature and a lot meaner.

    •  "phallic symbols"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      andalusi

      Yah, Freud is dead, eh?

      You missed the memo?

      •  Not to mention utterly wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher

        about vitually everything he ever wrote.

        The human mind simply does not work even remotely the way Freud thought it did.

        --Shannon

        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:30:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That testimony in Congress this week (6+ / 0-)

    where some idiot woman made up a story about a woman using an automatic to defend her babies, then was countered because the woman actually used an old fashioned shotgun, is very telling.

    In fact, women are probably legitimately protected by handguns in some situations--where they have PPOs against violent former partners or live in very high crime areas. I'm talking about people who keep the weapons in their house, appropriately locked, and take appropriate training in how to use them. I am enough of a constitutionalist to believe that protecting your front door is a right IF you are responsible enough to know how to do it.

    The real "victory" of the NRA is that "slippery slope" crap, convincing those who want to shoot skeet or hunt that Obama is coming for them. I have a niece out west who is a great hunter. She has babies, has a family hunting camp, and actually eats that game! And she's absolutely convinced that her right to kill an elk is being threatened.

    Contribute to the groups that want to pull back the curtain.

  •  there was (8+ / 0-)

    a thoughtful piece in the Times, back in October, that touched some on this.

    Seems it all started with sheep . . . .

    The historian David Hackett Fischer traces the divide back to the British settlers of colonial America. The North was largely settled by English farmers, the inland South by Scots-Irish herders. Anthropologists have long noted that societies that herd livestock in rugged terrain tend to develop a “culture of honor.” Since their wealth has feet and can be stolen in an eye blink, they are forced to deter rustlers by cultivating a hair-trigger for violent retaliation against any trespass or insult that probes their resolve. Farmers can afford to be less belligerent because it is harder to steal their land out from under them, particularly in territories within the reach of law enforcement. As the settlers moved westward, they took their respective cultures with them. The psychologist Richard Nisbett has shown that Southerners today continue to manifest a culture of honor which legitimizes violent retaliation. It can be seen in their laws (like capital punishment and a stand-your-ground right to self-defense), in their customs (like paddling children in schools and volunteering for military service), even in their physiological reactions to trivial insults.

    Admittedly, it’s hard to believe that today’s Southerners and Westerners carry a cultural memory of sheepherding ancestors.  But it may not be the herding profession itself that nurtures a culture of honor so much as living in anarchy. All societies must deal with the dilemma famously pointed out by Hobbes: in the absence of government, people are tempted to attack one another out of greed, fear and vengeance. European societies, over the centuries, solved this problem as their kings imposed law and order on a medieval patchwork of fiefs ravaged by feuding knights. The happy result was a thirty-fivefold reduction in their homicide rate from the Middle Ages to the present. Once the monarchs pacified the people, the people then had to rein in the monarchs, who had been keeping the peace with arbitrary edicts and gruesome public torture-executions. Beginning in the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, governments were forced to implement democratic procedures, humanitarian reforms and the protection of human rights.

    When the first American settlers fanned out from the coasts and other settled areas, they found themselves in anarchy all over again. The historian David Courtwright has shown that there is considerable truth to the cinematic clichés of the Wild West and the mountainous South of Davy Crocket, Daniel Boone and the Hatfields and McCoys. The nearest sheriff might be 90 miles away, and a man had to defend himself with firearms and a reputation for toughness. In the all-male enclaves of cattle and mining towns, young men besotted with honor and alcohol constantly challenged one another’s mettle and responded to these challenges, pushing rates of violence through the roof . . . .

    But then why, once stable government did arrive, did it not lay claim to the monopoly on violence that is the very definition of government? The historian Pieter Spierenburg has suggested that “democracy came too soon to America,” namely, before the government had disarmed its citizens. Since American governance was more or less democratic from the start, the people could choose not to cede to it the safeguarding of their personal safety but to keep it as their prerogative. The unhappy result of this vigilante justice is that American homicide rates are far higher than those of Europe, and those of the South higher than those of the North.

    •  except, blueness, by bankers, insurance agencies, (4+ / 0-)

      foreclosure mills, and the goddamned government helping them

      Farmers can afford to be less belligerent because it is harder to steal their land out from under them, particularly in territories within the reach of law enforcement.
      as was done to a generation of family farmers and small ranchers in the Reagan years, under the guise of "poor management".

      It's a racket designed to get more and more of us into corporate serfdom. I resent the hell out of it, because it took my family into an urban necessity ... and we're still stuck in cities to keep jobs that don't give us as good a living. Furthermore, because of rents and leases we're forbidden gardens and household livestock (chickens, pigs, a calf for beef or a cow for milk) because we have to live near the work.

      If you really believe the government has a right to completely disarm its citizens, then your understanding of the proper role of citizens is fundamentally different from mine. We are not meant, under the Constitution, to live at the sufferance of a landed or ennobled handful of aristocrats; it is also why I resent the ascendancy of such "persons" as MBNA and AETNA, BCBS and Chase.

      Until 40 years ago Texas had a "bassackwards" law forbidding banks to do business in Texas if they had "branches" not physically connected to their headquarters -- and we had far fewer foreclosures and "bank mistakes" that were never the fault of the banks, because they were by definition not allowed to get to be too big to fail. Now we're just like every other poor sucker: at the mercy of the moneyed masters of the universe.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:01:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  neither (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, lyvwyr101

        the author of the piece, nor I, happen to be talking about "bankers, insurance agencies, foreclosure mills, and the goddamned government" during "the Reagan years."

        We're hundreds of years before that, when the template was set, long before "bankers, insurance agencies, foreclosure mills, and the goddamned government" and "the Reagan years," when it was just white folk and their sheep, blithely tromping about on land that belonged to the Indians.

        Meanwhile, here in the year 2013, I am no more interested in honoring that Second Amendment designed to protect and perpetuate slavery, than I am in honoring any of the other many clauses in that decrepit document designed to protect and perpetuate same.

        The guns are over. All the guns are going to go. But fear not: all the banks are going to go, too. Because money, too, is over.

        •  No, you don't (0+ / 0-)

          and you're refusing to see that the contentions about "civilization" don't apply in the light of those much more recent historic changes in the way people perceive whether "land can be easily stolen" or not.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:04:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  irony is that South was seen as undisciplined (5+ / 0-)

      For all their pretense to Christian piety and prudery and an aristocratic culture of honor and manners, the South was long been seen by the North as a land of fundamental hypocrisy, where underneath that genteel veneer, laziness, rowdiness, and self-indulgence was the rule.

      The temperance movement (despite its evangelical roots) was a fundamentally Northern phenomenon, and its association with women was seen as proof of Northern effeminacy as well as the North's disposition to imperialism.  Along with opposition to gambling and bloodsport (cockfighting, etc.), it was seen as an attack upon a Southern masculinity that reveled in its appetites, not as a stern but necessary restraint that was a natural expression of religious virtue.  Southerners have never been Puritans; historically, Southern Christianity was ecstatic and devotional, not disciplined and penitent, which mirrored its remarkable tolerance for vice as seen by Northern eyes.

      Conversely, the Southern view of the North is and has long been of a land of people both repressed and oppressed - as chilly as its winters and as mechanical as its factories - at war with human nature and American liberty.

      Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

      by Visceral on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:25:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      Convince the Scots-Irish to give up alcohol and tobacco?

      Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

      Mormons had better luck with the English, the Welsh, Dutch and Scandinavians.

      And people here love in utah guns.

      There are still places in Wyoming and Nevada where the nearest sheriff is 90 miles away.

  •  !Quien es mas macho! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, Utahrd, lyvwyr101

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:52:56 PM PST

  •  Hard to Believe They Carry Cultural Memory? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, Utahrd, PavePusher, lyvwyr101

    Maybe not handed down details of the old country, but as one who grew up playing Irish and Scots trad among immigrants, there are a number of cultural patterns and habits from that world I recognize in southern populations.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:01:05 PM PST

  •  I'd like to see (0+ / 0-)

    which of these demographics have grown over that time period.

  •  I suspect age may have an effect. (4+ / 0-)

    At first glance this doesn't make sense:

    Married southern men :                 64%
    Non-Hispanic southern white men:  61%
    Take out the Hispanics and gun ownership declines?

    But:

    Hispanic whites:    33%
    So being married makes a difference. Older men tend to be married and they are also more likely to be hunters.

    I grew up in the rural West, and almost every man of my father's generation (WWII) had a rifle for hunting and also fishing gear. Being able to put meat on the table was a measure of your manhood (the women could handle the dessert).

    This is a different culture from the assault weapon nuts. My father and his friends were serious about gun safety. Many of them had been in combat and knew firsthand what guns could do to humans.

  •  Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Arizona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, ban nock

    are parts of the south.

    And Indiana and  Ohio.

    What would be really cool would be relevant data, like who actually is pulling triggers when they shouldn't....

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:23:58 PM PST

  •  You've obviously never lived in rural PA. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Rick Aucoin

    Being a urban- or suburbanite all my previous life, I was shocked to wake up one morning after my move to the PA-NY border surrounded by woods & cows to hear what sounded like the Battle of the Bulge, which I soon found out was just the first day of hunting season.  Later I moved to State College, the town surrounding one of the largest universities in the world (Penn State) and found out that my son's Thanksgiving vacation extended into the next week because the local self-identified "world-class" school system closed down for the first day or two of deer-hunting season.  

    There's a reason that the area between Philly and Pittsburgh (and the areas north of both) is often called Pennsyltucky or, less creatively, Alabama.  The gun fetish may be somewhat more pronounced in the South, but it's more of a rural American problem than a specifically Southern one.  

    (P.S.  I also lived and worked for a time in both Florida and in N.C., so I have some basis for comparison.)

  •  Rural myths and health safety realities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Araguato

    My WWII veteran Dad farmed the farm our family homesteaded in the 1850's.  He never had a gun on the farm and my brother has never had a gun on the farm to this day.

    If anyone has ever been murdered anywhere near there I'd be astounded.  Wild life is no more a problem for my brother on the farm than it is for me in my suburban neighborhood.  

    The meaningful difference when it comes to safety and it is far, far worse in the south is the distance from emergency care.  My mom almost died the night my brother was born from blood loss and a long trip to emergency care.  A neighbor fell and froze to death.  Farm injuries are all too common and farm children have a much higher rate of serious injuries.  And none of these even touch on the lack of primary care in many rural areas.  Guns solve none of these issues and these are what actually kill rural Americans not hordes of marauding outlaws or grizzly bears.

  •  so how does the President fit in here? (0+ / 0-)

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:06:37 PM PST

  •  I've read the comments and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat

    think there's likely a grain of truth in most of them no matter which side of the fence represented.  In my opinion, the problem comes from trying to expand the grain of truth into something more than it is.

    I've stayed away from the gun diaries because I see a very few people, who are often unwilling to see / consider that anyone's view but their own is worthwhile, monopolizing the discussion and often insulting others.  Such behavior makes reasonable people simply go away.

    I'm reasonably certain that some people try to make up for their personal inadequacies by purchasing things that, in their minds, make them appear to be something they're not.  But, to lay that on everyone who purchases/enjoys such things is foolish.  It's  also counter-productive.  

    Stereotyping southerners as ignorant bible-thumping gun crazy rednecks is about as accurate as stereotyping all Italian women as "Snookies".    

     

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:28:08 PM PST

  •  It's The Bible Belt... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101

    ...God and Guns...nuf said.

    ego sum ergo ego eram

    by glb3 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:28:04 PM PST

  •  those are not huge spreads (0+ / 0-)

    I think it's more of a rural vrs urban thing than a southern vr rest of the usa thing. 100 round mags are silly and should be banned without a doubt, but out in the country people hunt and target practice for recreation, It's not a macho thing at all, it's just something to kill a little time and have a excuse to get outdoors for a while.

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