Study: Gun control groups should undermine our ‘gun culture’ to reduce gun ownership


There’s a dangerous scientific study making the rounds, even some pro-gun websites have featured it, titled “Gun ownership and social gun culture.”

It’s bunkum — pure fiction.

It’s an insidious piece of work, written by four academics who used firearm policy information from the Brady Center and the CDC’s Injury 2ndamendmentPrevention and Control Center — two groups well known for their opposition to the Second Amendment.

The gist of the study appears to say that since gun control supporters’ long term goal is to reduce gun ownership, they ought to consider not only campaigning for gun control laws that make it more difficult to acquire or possess guns — background checks, gun registration, gun owners licensing, etc. — but focusing on policies that could undermine the social aspects of gun ownership.

To be clear, the authors say gun control groups need to undermine our “gun culture.”

The study does not describe these social aspects in much detail, but you can guarantee they mean everything from hunting, to target shooting competitions and clubs, to marksmanship training classes and gun shows.

This is not a new approach.

Since the 1980s, gun control groups have realized that once a person becomes part of the gun culture, they’re likely to become a single-issue voter focused on protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

This is why anti-gun activist groups are now pushing the lie that — even though Americans have been buying guns in unprecedented numbers — gun ownership is declining.

They hope other people will essentially say, “Well, if no one is owning guns, I guess I don’t need to own guns either, or fret about additional restrictions.”

This new tact coincides with an admission by gun control supporters that pushing for extreme restrictions — handgun bans of the 1970s, “Assault Weapon” bans of the 1980s, “cop killer” bullet legislation of the 1990s, and more recent magazine restrictions — has failed.

None of these tactics worked. In the 1970s, when they claimed more handguns would mean more crime, Americans tripled the number of handguns they owned in little more than a generation.

In the 1980s, gun control supporters started trying to stop states from adopting Right-to-Carry laws. But Florida ignored them, adopting its law in 1987, 32 states followed Florida’s lead, and now nearly every state has right-to-carry legislation, and the nation’s murder rate is at an all-time low.

In 2012, the administration and its gun control supporters in Congress tried to convince Americans that support for gun control was overwhelming, and no further debate over the subject was necessary. But Americans responded by buying guns in unprecedented numbers, and Congress rejected the President’s agenda.

The Pew Center reported in December 2014 that among nearly all demographic groups, support for gun ownership is rising and support for gun control is decreasing. Gallup showed that self-defense is the primary reason why American own guns.

The ultimate goal of the study is obvious given its use of the anti-gun Brady Campaign’s scorecard to assess the gun ownership culture in the states.

The Brady Campaign gives most states school grades of “F” or “D,” because they don’t have the myriad of gun control laws that Brady wants.

Finally, I should point out that in the 1990s, several anti-gun groups tried to funnel taxpayer money to their like-minded pals in academia — an effort thwarted by Congress.

Maybe now the four academics responsible for this little study are hoping to carve themselves a lucrative niche in the anti-gun research cottage industry.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


      • He wrote a book published in 2000 that was so discredited that it makes 0bama look like a saint for correctness. Arming America, the Origins of a National Gun Culture. Claimed that the “gun culture” started in the mid 1800s and that settlers in the US weren’t armed. Claimed that Americans were poorly trained in their use even during the Revolutionary War. Tell that to the Brits.

      • Charles Cornwallis on

        Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture is a discredited 2000 book by Michael A. Bellesiles on American gun culture.

        The book is full of half-truths, lies, and distorted or non-existant “facts”

        He had to resign from Emory University in disgrace.

        You can read the full story on Wikipedia here;

  1. So this article states that Americans bought huge amounts of new guns, yet the killing rates have gone down. Tell the Brady Campaign, although it would not do any good, as they are solidly locked into the notion that guns are simply bad.
    Note that our government, like them all, want to be the only ones with guns, thus the 2nd Amendment. Us against them. Elite against the masses. The more they go against the will of the masses, the more they fear the masses, who need to be, above all, controlled, yet…
    Americans do want guns for self protection. And before Blah blahmer does one of his famous executive actions to ban them. Get ’em while you can. Those that don’t never will.

    • Oblameo does not possess the lawful ability to ban firearms by executive order, and if he were to try it, millions of we veterans and American citizens would be compelled to demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, the grand mistake he would make.

    • Absolutely John. BTW a member of my social circle (gun club) a retired Liberal Judge once remarked about the anti gunners that they were annoying and he wished that a stake could be driven into all their hearts, they keep on coming back after every defeat like vampires in the movies.

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  3. michael atkinson on

    Thanks Lee. I look forward to your article each week. I applaud your efforts on behalf of gun owners everywhere. This is a scary time for 2nd amendment rights. One thing the article is right on about; I will not vote for any non-pro rights candidate. Thanks again.

  4. Here is an example of their logic. “Gun ownership was
    measured using six questions that asked status of
    gun ownership such as whether being a gun owner,
    the gun was gifted, bought before year 2000,
    bought after 2000, the gun was used for hunting,
    have attended gun safety classes and whether the
    owner advocated responsible gun ownership. We
    categorised the individual as a gun owner if they


    to any of these six questions.”

    Just saying you believe in responsible gun ownership makes you a gun owner? I guess that would mean that all anti-gun owners that want responsible “common sense” gun laws are gun owners so they are off to a rousing halt.

    • gifted, purchased before 2000, or purchased after 2000 – This does not account for 100%. For example, one of my guns was the result of a bonus from my employer. Also, inherited, found, stolen, borrowed permanently, bought in year 2000 …

  5. You don’t understand. It is absolutely essential to disarm Americans, so we can continue to strip them of all those privileges we loaned them in the Bill of Rights. It was only intended to be a temporary gift to lure them away from England, so we could get all their money and adoration.

    Praise the Obamination and his minion Billary…

    • Marty Westmiller on

      You unAmerican idiot. When our government has no fear of betraying our citizens, I hope that you, you sheep are the first person they confine, as you will be as helpless as your words.

      • John Rushing on

        Marty, your heart is in the right place, but you missed the irony with which the comments were written.
        Completely agree with you on Heston’s remarks.

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  7. A. A. (AL) Puig on

    I have owned guns for self-protection ever since I was in my early twenties. Fortunately, I have never had to use them against anyone. However, the fact that “some individuals” knew that I was armed, most certainly saved me, and also avoided any undesirable confrontation.

    The criminal element will ALWAYS have guns at their disposal; therefore, if the law abiding citizen is not properly protected, we would be easy pray to those derelicts.

    For those who claim that guns are dangerous, I would tell them to place a gun anywhere, and they will learn that they do not hurt nor kill anyone, until someone makes improper use of it. Likewise, as far as being dangerous because they can kill people, I have been a witness of more fatal injuries caused to other persons, by the attacker wielding a machete or a knife, (rather than a gun), which are easily available in any hardware store, and no permits are required to buy them or carrying them. Consequently, in my opinion, a criminal with a sharp machete in hand, will be always more dangerous, than the average citizen armed with a gun.

    • Marty Shapiro on

      Hmm. I’m 70 years old, and that’s a scary picture. I practice at the range often enough, but it’s time to practice my draw at home. Getting the gun out faster from it’s concealed IWB position, after you just raised that image, makes serious sense.

  8. Patrick Finan on

    I know the discussion about guns can be very contentious and there are strong opinions on both sides and people like to put forth their opinions and agenda without the facts. Case in point was the city of St. Petersburg’s police chief telling a group of real estate agents that they shouldn’t carry a firearm because “That person’s going to take that firearm away from you.” Officer Chip Wells, also in attendance, cited FBI statistics that three out of four police officers killed by gunfire were shot with their own weapons. I found this information a little hard to believe so I decided to find a credible source on gun statistics. I found what I believe to be the best out there. Gun Facts by Guy Smith and his other book, Shooting the Bull. My source of rebuttal to Chief Holloway and officer Wells comes from the Officer Down Memorial. It states that about 51 police officers over a span of a decade are killed with their own guns. Contrast that with about 50 a year who died from gunfire. That means roughly 1 in 50 police gun deaths while on duty, and not suicides, are killed with their own guns. I’m sure chief Holloway and deputy Wells feel their intentions are good but they need to get their facts straight

    • The progressive argument is that the average citizen is helpless and criminals invincible. The death of any numbers of Officers at the hands of a perp seizing control of a duty weapon is unacceptable and tragic. That is why many lawmen also train in unarmed combative arts and weight lifting, to counteract the jailbirds lifestyle of training disarming techniques and body building while in confinement. It has always perplexed me why this is permitted by the penal systems.

  9. Marty Westmiller on

    In the words of my past President, Charlton Heston, you can have my guns when you can pry them from my cold dead fingers. God Bless America, land of the free and home of the brave.

  10. Unless there is a “typo” the first paragraph of the study states “We used data from a nationally representative sample of 4000 US adults, from 50 states and District of Columbia, aged
    >18 years to assess…”. This is an oxymoron. Using the term “adults” and “>18” together blows their study away! This symbol (>) means “less than”. Therefor Adults less than 18 is wrong because it is generally accepted that people younger than 18 are not legally considered adults. Of course we all know this is not the case because I know 11 year olds who have their own rifles and have been properly instructed in their handling, use and cleaning. They have more respect for their firearms than many young adults (over 18) I see at the range.

  11. Typical Gun Control MORON:
    “More and more gun violence is being committed by criminals……We need to disarm all the law-abiding citizens!!”

  12. Thanks Lee,
    I wish more like you would have the mental fortified to speak out to help private gun ownershship, expose the false indoctrine and protect our 2nd Ammendent. As someones’ previous comment said it’s is the nut cases walking around killing with knives,hammers,sticks, bottles, wood and about anything they can use for a weapon. So why blame only guns?

  13. I am a Life Member of the NRA and a single-issue voter only when the Second Amendment is threatened. I will NEVER give up my guns unless the Second Amendment is repealed, and I do not see that ever happening. I don’t consider myself part of any “gun culture” except when the Second Amendment comes under attack by unknowing or purposely lying individuals. Then I circle the wagons with other gun owners.

    I’ve owned guns for 56 years, primarily for hunting in the beginning. Now primarily for target shooting, although I still hunt. I do have a Concealed Carry permit, and do carry for self-defense on occasion. I also have a few loaded guns strategically located throughout my home. I don’t feel threatened by anything, but having been a scout, I learned to “Be Prepared”. I’ve never felt threatened by anyone who is open carrying a gun. To me carrying a gun is no different than wearing suspenders. Not everyone does, but there’s nothing particularly unusual about those that do. BTW, I wouldn’t outlaw suspenders either.

    • Charles COrnwallis on

      “I am a Life Member of the NRA and a single-issue voter only when the Second Amendment is threatened. I will NEVER give up my guns unless the Second Amendment is repealed, ”

      I too am a Life Member of the NRA and a single-issue voter and I would NEVER give up my guns EVEN IF the Second Amendment were to be repealed, The memory of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto in 1944 should still be fresh in everyone’s minds. Those that had hidden firearms in the floor, attic, walls, etc. at least were able to hold off the Nazis for a while. Those that weren’t armed were sent off to concentration camps (Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Treblinka, etc.) to be immediately exterminated.

      • I won’t be a sitting duck in my vehicle for carjackers or in my home for home invaders. I live in a small city and over the past 15 years I’ve had both happen to me. Having protection in my glovebox saved me from being carjacked, and luckily I had a family member’s police-trained German Shepherd in my home at the time of the home invasion. It’s funny how we never hear of these stories in the mainstream media, but then I am not surprised as most of them are bought and paid for by the left.

    • Lee Williams on

      Thanks for your comments, AJ. Imagine if a group of egghead academics devised a written plan to decrease membership in a religious group by targeting the group’s culture. The outrage would last for years. And I think it’s a fair analogy because religion is also constitutionally protected.

    • Over 75 years ago I had a bolt action 22long rifle with a scope, I was a kid just before being a teen.
      My mom came along on several trips to an abandoned quarry where i could shoot to my hearts content, the only requirement to carrying it there was to have it in the gun bag and carry the bolt out
      of the rifle. I had no trouble buying the bullets from the sport store as long as i had the money to pay
      for them and that’s me by myself as a pre teen……..what happened to all that freedom?
      When I joined the Army in 1948 my rifle experience helped me to be two people ahead of me as
      sharpshooters, and I ended as marksman. I used that official Army paper to secure my Concealed weapons Permit. Thanks for reading.

    • Little hard to believe a lifetime member of the NRA would offer to give up his or her guns under any circumstance. Sad really

  14. Bellesiles predicated that the industrial revolution coinciding with the Civil War originated the ‘gun culture’ so repulsive to the Progressives. Although mass production by assembly line and the mechanization of distribution systems (railroads) facilitated arms proliferation during the 19th Century, (mail order catalogs) Americans were certainly not strangers to firearms usage and ownership as Bellesiles falsely and incorrectly claimed through the prism of Liberal orthodoxy. From the beginning of the colonial era, militia service necessitating private arms possession were fundamentals of the new American society. A John Ford 1939 film starring Henry Fonda titled “Drums Along the Mohawk” depicts this circumstance quite entertainingly.

  15. I generally use this argument to the far left anti-everything. The Second Amendment guarantees all of the other Amendments. You take away guns, and the right to rebel against a tyrannical government, then you lose, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom what do they call that thing where people use a format to tell others what is going on in our Country???? Oh yeah Press/Media.

    As a Retired LEO Sgt. Everyone should carry a gun. I really do not like C.O.P.s who say you should not carry a gun. Here is why, Citizens On Patrol, LEOs forget who they are first Citizens, and our oaths state simply we will defend and support both Constitutions ( state and Federal) and to protect life and property.

    To the single voters, STOP!!!! If you automatically say no you take away your own knowledge of the anti league. Simply put you shut down and refuse to read or see what they are saying and then lose the ability to prove them wrong. Also they will label you as gun nut, redneck, etc…

    To finish my little rant please read about Thomas Jefferson the truest pro gun, pro non-government controlled army. As Jefferson stated “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Keep up the great work.

  16. Roslyn Smith on

    I can’t believe that these people that have no idea what gun control means, are just following others that want to control Americans, just like sheep. The crime rate drops everywhere that allows people to carry guns. My husband and I both have permits. Where we go, so does our guns. This is to protect ourselves not to commit crimes.

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  18. Mental health is the avenue to gun confiscation..
    It was used to confiscate guns in Eastern Europe prior to WWII..

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  20. Marvin Collier on

    “When any government fears arms in the hands of it’s people, it is time for the people to fear their government!!!” I don’t know who said it first but I have been repeating it for over 40 years. And when I say, “Government” that means Federal, State or municipal!

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