Study Finds Gun Owners Distrust Government


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rhubarb
June 22, 2005, 01:16 PM
From the painfully obvious department:

GUN OWNERS MORE LIKELY TO DISTRUST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new nationwide study confirms the popular notion that people who own guns are more likely than others to have little confidence in the federal government.

Timothy Curry
Using a nationwide sample, sociologists Robert Jiobu and Timothy Curry at Ohio State University found that gun owners had less faith than non-owners in the government, even after they controlled for a variety of other factors that may affect gun ownership.

"Far from being a characteristic of a small minority, distrust of the federal government is widespread, a finding that has been reported before," said Jiobu, an associate professor at Ohio State. "We found that these people who don't have faith in the government are more likely to own guns."

The results also held true no matter who was President at the time of the survey: Ronald Reagan, George Bush or Bill Clinton.
The study was published in a recent issue of the journal Social Science Quarterly. The researchers analyzed data collected between 1988 and 1996 from the General Social Survey (GSS), which included interviews with a total of 6,576 people.

Participants were asked several questions about how much confidence they had in the people who ran the three branches of the federal government.

Nearly half of the Americans surveyed - 43.9 percent -- had hardly any confidence in one or more branches of the federal government, a finding that supports other studies.

Results showed that of those respondents who said they had a great deal of faith in all three branches of government, only 23 percent owned a firearm - compared to a 37 percent gun ownership rate among those who had hardly any faith in any branch of the federal government.

The results held firm even after the researchers controlled for a variety of other factors that may affect whether people own guns. These included things such as political ideology, gender, age, education, general fear of crime, and whether the respondents had been crime victims in the previous year. They also controlled for whether participants or someone in their household hunted, what region of the country they lived in and whether they lived in a city, in the suburbs or in a rural area.

The results also held true no matter who was President at the time of the survey: Ronald Reagan, George Bush or Bill Clinton.

Curry, also an associate professor at Ohio State, said people who don't trust the government may be more likely to own guns because firearms offer a "symbolic empowerment" to owners.

"For some people, guns represent freedom and the ability to protect themselves," Curry said. "Guns are seen as a little bit of protection in an otherwise chaotic world."

People who don't trust the government may own guns because they are afraid that the federal government may try to take their rights away, Curry said. Or, they may not fear the government itself, but may believe the government will not be able to protect them from outside forces.

The results suggest efforts to control the sale of handguns may have some unintended consequences. "To mandate decreased gun ownership through gun control legislation may only encourage those people who have little faith in the government to stockpile weapons," Jiobu said.

Understanding that some people own guns because of their lack of trust in government can shed some light on the gun control debate, according to Curry.

"We have to understand that for many people, the gun is an icon for evil and violence, while for others that same gun is an icon for democracy and personal empowerment," he said. "Until that is understood, neither side of the debate will be able to understand how the other side can be so blind to the 'truth.'"

When the U.S. gummint starts unconstitutionally financing certain religious groups, arresting others for their religious affiliation, illegally searching and seizing property, holding prisoners for years without charging them with crimes and giving itself powers not delegated by the Constitution everybody else is gonna stand up and say, "Them gun owners was right all along."

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Zundfolge
June 22, 2005, 01:18 PM
In other news, government scientists discover that TREES ARE MADE OF WOOD!

:evil:

MrTuffPaws
June 22, 2005, 01:42 PM
:what:

taliv
June 22, 2005, 01:44 PM
Yes, but for many people, trees are for making paper and fires and houses, while for others, they're for hugging. Until that is understood, neither side of the debate will be able to understand how the other side can be so blind to the 'truth.'

svtruth
June 22, 2005, 01:50 PM
Have not read the study, but text entirely contradicts headline. Distrust of teh government was the independent variable, among those people, gun ownership was higher than among people who did trust. Article draws a conclusion about gun owners not on the least supported by the study.

armoredman
June 22, 2005, 01:51 PM
Say it isn't so! :p

Baba Louie
June 22, 2005, 02:02 PM
We find that nearly 100% of the people who don't trust the government breath air, eat food and own automobiles. Oh yeah, they drink water too. Social Scientists are puzzled as to what that all really means... :D

garyk/nm
June 22, 2005, 02:10 PM
Zund :cuss:

There goes another keyboard :evil:

Ryder
June 22, 2005, 02:21 PM
firearms offer a "symbolic empowerment"

Haha, my bullets are just symbolic. They couldn't hurt a fly. :rolleyes:

I can stop being so serious about it now, right?

Henry Bowman
June 22, 2005, 02:25 PM
The results suggest efforts to control the sale of handguns may have some unintended consequences. No kidding.


people who don't trust the government may be more likely to own guns because firearms offer a "symbolic empowerment" to owners. How's about I symbolically [low road...]

Mikul
June 22, 2005, 02:27 PM
I'd like to see a similar study regarding small business owners. I'll bet they distrust the government even more than gun owners.

Guns are symbolic empowerment because a man who rolls over to every government action would be powerless even with control of a neutron bomb wrapped around the neck of every member of Congress.

JohnBT
June 22, 2005, 02:28 PM
"...little confidence in the federal government."

Or the state government or the city government. I also didn't like the student government in high school or college, and way back when my family didn't like the governments of England, Ireland or Scotland.

OTOH, I also inherited a great confidence in guns. :)

John

LAR-15
June 22, 2005, 02:31 PM
I trust the fed.gov as far as my nose grows.

odysseus
June 22, 2005, 02:34 PM
Sheesh... I wonder if that was done on a tax payer's government grant to the university. Man, I need an easy money job like that.... :D

1557
June 22, 2005, 02:36 PM
...people who own guns are more likely than others to have little faith in the Federal government. Sounds like "which comes first,the chicken or the egg? Perhaps people who own guns do so beacause they have little faith in the government.
Of the people,for the people, and by the people,just doesn't seem to ring true anymore. I belive I'll keep all of my symbolic tools.

nico
June 22, 2005, 02:56 PM
Like svtruth said, the study DOES NOT say that gunowners are less trusting of the government. It said that people who don't trust the government are more likely to own guns. Scientifically, there's a huge difference between those statements and one does NOT imply the other.

Here's an example: I do a study about dog owners and find that 75% of them also own cats. My study doesn't mean that people who own cats also own dogs and no such conclusion can be drawn from it. It would be possible for my study to be absolutely accurate and for 90% of cat owners to own no other pets.

As a recent college graduate (B.S. in biology), it really pisses me off to see journalists (I remember the kinds of classes they take :rolleyes: ) taking scientific studies and twisting them to fit their story. They always take a perfectly legitimate study and screw with the conclusion, which leads to less public trust in science. :banghead:

mics357
June 22, 2005, 03:05 PM
:what: why frankly i'm shocked you mean some of those nice folks may not be looking out for my best interest. gheesh ,whoda thunk

R.H. Lee
June 22, 2005, 03:09 PM
Well it's even then, because the government obviously does not trust gunowners.

Vernal45
June 22, 2005, 03:10 PM
GUN OWNERS MORE LIKELY TO DISTRUST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT


HMMM, I wonder why? Thats All I will say on this one, not gonna touch it. :rolleyes:

scottgun
June 22, 2005, 03:11 PM
The politicians who are the biggest gun control supporters are the ones who should be trusted the least. (I guess that's pretty obvious)

Its not a gun contol issue, its a trust issue. :banghead:

308win
June 22, 2005, 03:20 PM
Its not a gun contol issue, its a trust issue.

No, it is a survival issue if the American public ever develops a backbone.

TallPine
June 22, 2005, 03:24 PM
Now they need to do a study investigating the correlation between empty coffee cans and distrusting the gubbermint :p

nico
June 22, 2005, 03:28 PM
They may take our coffee, but they'll never take our FREEEEEEEDOMM!!! :D

rick_reno
June 22, 2005, 03:44 PM
Where is the source for this article?

rhubarb
June 22, 2005, 04:28 PM
Oops. Source:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/gunconf.htm

Mr. James
June 22, 2005, 04:40 PM
Molon Cafe!

Malone LaVeigh
June 22, 2005, 05:59 PM
I note that the study was controlled for, among other things, political philosophy. That means that people on the left, as well as on the right, who do not trust the government contributed to those statistics. Which is a point I have been trying to make around here for a long time. It also makes sense, since people on the left in this country historically have more reason to distrust the govt.

I also note that every thread seems to devolve into coffee can hilarity. I wonder if I'll be considered a member of the Koffee Kan Konspiracy, since I store my used brass in coffee cans. Was about to transport a bunch of them across country, and don't want to get in trouble.

Alex45ACP
June 22, 2005, 06:34 PM
You'd have to be suicidal to trust the government.

JJpdxpinkpistols
June 22, 2005, 06:58 PM
Yes, but for many people, trees are for making paper and fires and houses, while for others, they're for hugging.

And yet, they still go home to stick framed houses and read their newspaper and wipe with traditional TP.

Before you think this is off topic:

These people who don't *think* they get benefit from trees, do.

These people who don't *think* they get benefit from RKBA, do.

They just don't realize it. Yet.

Matthew748
June 22, 2005, 07:04 PM
The government has done a lot of things over the years to warrant a fair amount of mistrust from its citizens. The fact that they are always looking for new ways to limit civilian access to firearms through the use of import bans and registration requirements has not done much to endear them to gun owners.

Malone LaVeigh
June 22, 2005, 07:41 PM
but for many people, trees are for making paper and fires and houses And yet, they still breathe the air generated by trees, and they drink clean water and live on hillslopes that don't wash away because trees hold the soil on the slope, and some even hunt or otherwise enjoy wildlife that lives in or under trees. When will they ever learn?

torpid
June 22, 2005, 07:54 PM
I have come to hunt the dangerous Oak.



.

torpid
June 22, 2005, 07:56 PM
The Lorax is scaring all the oaks away with a bullhorn- Damn you Lorax!!!


.

Jeff
June 22, 2005, 07:57 PM
A very good question would be, "Why do types of people who don't typically own guns-- liberals, Socialists, Progressives-- necessarily trust their government?"

I would imagine there are plenty of pissed-off liberals out there right now, sore-assed because of the questionable 2000 election (questionable at least to them), the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, and loosened environmental policies. How can they possibly trust their government?

RealGun
June 22, 2005, 08:05 PM
The government didn't trust itself, so it gave us the 2A. Why this country has lasted this long would be an interesting discussion.

gm
June 22, 2005, 08:20 PM
The government has done a lot of things over the years to warrant a fair amount of mistrust from its citizens. The fact that they are always looking for new ways to limit civilian access to firearms through the use of import bans and registration requirements has not done much to endear them to gun owners. exactly...and all the scheming and sneaking their agenda into bills that might pass otherwise. Theres little accountability after the fact.

Why should I trust someone whom doesnt trust me? Why should I trust someone who has to have their nose in every aspect of daily life?Why should anyone trust someone that will lie, scheme and be disrespectful?

athlon64
June 22, 2005, 08:40 PM
Yes, but for many people, trees are for making paper and fires and houses, while for others, they're for hugging.

Trees are for making gun stocks :)

Standing Wolf
June 22, 2005, 08:41 PM
Remember: 99.99% of heroin addicts and convicts in federal prisons ate French fries as a child.

308win
June 22, 2005, 09:51 PM
The government didn't trust itself, so it gave us the 2A. Why it has lasted this long would be an interesting discussion.
Because the Government knows that the citizens don't have the sand to use the 2A for any reason other than recreation.
Remember: 99.99% of heroin addicts and convicts in federal prisons ate French fries as a child.
So did 99.99% of those comprising the government including the citizenry; in this instance at least there doesn't appear to be a lot of distinction.

scottgun
June 22, 2005, 09:57 PM
It also makes sense, since people on the left in this country historically have more reason to distrust the govt.

The "left" tends to promote government dependency, welfare is an example. While the "left" might not trust the government - biting the hand that feeds you is also not a good idea. Conservatives tend to promote self reliance and not depending on others, especially the government.

The "leftists" are the ones who are trying to take the guns away through gun control, Kerry, Kennedy, Feinstein, Schumer. The "right" at least attempts to defend the right to keep and bear arms (for fear or losing those NRA votes).

Generally speaking, the left is the enemy of freedom regarding RKBA.

pax
June 22, 2005, 10:25 PM
... and in related news, another study determined that dogs mistrust fleas.

pax

The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly' meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks' meaning 'blood sucking parasites'. -- Larry Hardiman

ReadyontheRight
June 22, 2005, 11:48 PM
"Study Finds Citizens Who Distrust Politicians Tend To Purchase Firearms"

In a related story, millions of free-thinking individuals actually believe that the power of government actually flows from the will of plain old, ordinary people. :rolleyes:

Malone LaVeigh
June 23, 2005, 02:02 AM
Kerry, Kennedy, Feinstein, Schumer I wouldn't define any of those as remotely leftist.

JitsuGuy
June 23, 2005, 02:24 AM
Trusting government will just make you a victim.

J

earthworm
June 23, 2005, 03:41 AM
How many millions did the survey company make in establishing this amazing fact?

eagle45
June 23, 2005, 08:06 AM
"For some people, guns represent freedom and the ability to protect themselves," Curry said. "Guns are seen as a little bit of protection in an otherwise chaotic world."

For anyone that has had to use a weapon in defense of self or family, I doubt if they viewed it as "a little bit of protection" anymore than the recipient of said force considered it "a little bit of lead".

c_yeager
June 23, 2005, 09:22 AM
Complete inversion of cause and effect. Many people own guns BECAUSE they dont trust the government, not the other way around.

Henry Bowman
June 23, 2005, 09:33 AM
c_yeager is right, although I don't see what difference it makes. Either way it is a good thing and is legal behavior.

If gun ownership caused distrust of the .gov, then we would see far more people becoming libertarian than the stats show. Also, the lable "gun owner" would become useful, unlike it is now. That is, today, "gun owners" as a group do not hold any predictable or consistent political beliefs. Instead it is a collection of subgroups (hunters, target shootes, sportsmen, self defense, militia, C&R, etc,) with vastly different political priorities.

The Freeholder
June 23, 2005, 09:35 AM
When the U.S. gummint starts unconstitutionally financing certain religious groups, arresting others for their religious affiliation, illegally searching and seizing property, holding prisoners for years without charging them with crimes and giving itself powers not delegated by the Constitution everybody else is gonna stand up and say, "Them gun owners was right all along."

Uh, "starts"? Dude, we've started all of that a while back. Examples:

Religion--don't honestly have a good example off the top of my head for the financing, but I bet I can find one if I look. As far as arrest, if you don't count burning alive, we can look at some of the American Indians who used hallucinogens in their rituals and now are not allowed to do so because of Federal drug laws.

Illegal search/seizure: How's civil asset forfiture work for ya? Search warrants based on the "anonymous tip"?

Holding prisoners for years without trial--I'll get fried for this one, but how about the detainees in the War on Terror?

Giving itself powers beyond those defined in the Constitution? The latest stretch of the Commerce Clause (Raich vs. Ashcroft) is just the most recent in a long line that, depending on your definitions, may stretch back as far as the Whiskey Rebellion.

I'm being lazy and not offering a lot of examples. Google is your friend, though.

As far as gun owners distrusting government, well, yeah, I distrust my government for the same reason I distrust any large organization--power corrupts. It'd be an intereseting study to look at how those same gun owners feel about banks, insurance companies, international comglomerates, etc.

GunGoBoom
June 23, 2005, 09:39 AM
In other news, government scientists discover that TREES ARE MADE OF WOOD!

+1
And extensive multiple-regression-anaylsis studies have concluded the sky is blue.

Freeholder, I think he meant, in a roundabout/sarcastic way, that he understands that those things are in fact happening, or have happened. He's on the same page. :) Having said that, not just a whole lot of waves of new people have stood up and said gun owners were right all along, yet. But we'll see... I have two good friends that are diehard Democrats, but they distrust the gov, own guns, and one of them I even convinced to not vote for Kerry, since he was so anti-gun, even though this friend is active in the state young Democrats club (an officer)! :eek:

StopTheGrays
June 23, 2005, 09:40 AM
The results suggest efforts to control the sale of handguns may have some unintended consequences.

Sounds like the premise of a good book. :)

thereisnospoon
June 23, 2005, 10:12 AM
well, Duh!!!!!!!!!!!

Logistics
June 23, 2005, 11:38 AM
It's TRULY amazing we are having this back and forth arguement about Guns and government while *some* here on this VERY board don't even trust honest citizens with coffee cans!

And do you think Rosie O'donnell trusts her spoons?

hmmm....

;)

fletcher
June 23, 2005, 11:42 AM
With SCOTUS decisions like this (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050623/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_seizing_property), who can blame them? :uhoh:

308win
June 23, 2005, 04:40 PM
With SCOTUS decisions like this, who can blame them?
+1+1+1!!!

The cockroaches are getting bold enough to crawl in the open because they have proven to themselves and the people to whom they owe their offices that the American citizen will roll over no matter the action taken against them.

Kramer Krazy
June 23, 2005, 06:46 PM
Would it be a safe assumption that the quantity of firearms and ammunition one owns reflects the level of distrust they have in the government? :uhoh:

Mongo the Mutterer
June 23, 2005, 07:07 PM
Lemmeesee, trust the government?

Okay, one word... democide.

in the 20th century over 100 million people killed by their OWN governments or with the complicity of their OWN governments.

Check it out. 100 million is a bit low. :what:

Flyboy
June 23, 2005, 07:47 PM
"People who are willing to rely on the government to keep them safe are pretty much standing on Darwin's mat, pounding on the door, screaming, 'Take me, take me!'"
--Carl Jacobs

DRZinn
June 25, 2005, 11:51 AM
Guns are seen as a little bit of protection in an otherwise chaotic world.Ya think?

ravinraven
June 25, 2005, 12:39 PM
...don't trust the government.

And especially after the latest SCOTUS anti-liberty, anti-American action. Anyone who trusts a government that can grab your house and sell it to the highest bidder is a fool. I feel that we turned a fateful corner last Thursday.

Those five robed thugs need to be arrested for treason and then turned over to me. It would be so fantastic to do non-THR approved activities with them.



rr

HonorsDaddy
June 25, 2005, 03:10 PM
Now why would anyone trust an organization which is run by the same friendly people you meet down at the DMV - or even scarier (to those of us with more traditional attitudes toward child rearing) CPS?

Biker
June 25, 2005, 03:18 PM
Isn't this from the same research company that determined that white rats don't trust lab techs?
Biker

Pointman
June 25, 2005, 04:54 PM
Our tax dollars at work, folks.

I wonder if it ever occurred to these obviously enlightened scholars that the entire reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution was their distrust of Government?

To paraphrase Friedman "you get what you subsidize" and we're obviously subsidizing idiots at Ohio State University.

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