Black adults — especially Black women — with higher levels of education and experiences of discrimination and crime are more likely to own a firearm, according to a study from the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers.
In a new study appearing in Journal of Clinical Psychologythe researchers found that black adults who endorsed firearm ownership were more likely to have grown up in homes with firearms, to have previously shot a firearm, and to plan to obtain a firearm in the next year.
“The high rates of firearm ownership among highly educated black women were somewhat of a surprise to us,” said Michael Anstis, executive director of the New Jersey Center for Violence Research and senior author of the study.
“This may reflect a broader shift toward gun purchases by women and people of color across the United States in recent years, perhaps in response not only to pandemic-era turmoil, but also to repeated, highly publicized incidents of police brutality against men.” Blacks, women, and the escalation of gun violence that the United States witnessed during that period.”
Recent research shows that since 2019, Half of all new firearm owners In the United States it is defined as female.
Risk of injury and death – whether by suicide, manslaughter or domestic violence –increases sharply When firearms are kept in and around the home. Recent research He highlighted that black men and women represent a growing percentage of the firearm-owning community.
Despite this, very little research has focused on what distinguishes black adults who own and don’t own firearms. In the Rutgers study, researchers at the center surveyed two groups of English-speaking adults. The first cohort included 502 individuals identified as black and recruited from a national sample in mid-2020.
The second sample included 1,086 individuals identified as black and recruited from a sample drawn from New Jersey, Mississippi, and Minnesota in early 2021. Each participant was asked about their experiences with firearms as well as factors related to their identities. In the second sample, participants were also asked about their experiences with discrimination, crime, and suicidal thoughts.
In the second sample, the researchers examined the extent to which adverse life experiences were associated with firearm ownership. Those who had more experiences of discrimination, who faced more crime, and who felt less safe in their neighborhoods were more likely to endorse gun ownership.
According to the study, black adults who endorsed gun ownership were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts than black adults who did not own firearms.
Since the risk of suicide is increased when keeping a firearm in or around the home, this suggests that black adults who are at higher risk for suicidal ideation are also more likely to reach for the most lethal methods of suicide. This last finding may help explain the sharp increase in the gun suicide rate among the black US population.
“For black Americans, experiences of systemic racism and inequalities may lead to a decision to purchase a firearm to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Alison Bond, lead author of the study and doctoral student at the Center for Violence Research in New Jersey. .
“However, owning a firearm also increases the risk of death by suicide. This is concerning given that black firearm owners report high rates of suicidal ideation. Prevention and intervention efforts are needed at the individual and system level to combat racism, increase hoarding gun safety among the black community and linking those at risk of suicide with evidence-based mental health care.
Allison E. Bond et al., Examining the Characteristics and Experiences of Black Firearm Owners, Journal of Clinical Psychology (2023). doi: 10.1002/jclp.23532
the quoteDiscrimination, Crime, and Suicidal Thoughts Associated with Greater Odds of Firearm Ownership Among Black Adults (2023, May 16) Retrieved May 16, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-discrim-crime-suicidal-thoughts-greater .html
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