If you are a hack social science researcher who dabbles badly in pseudo-science and fatuous wrenchings of correlation into causation, you are living in a golden age. Even Scientific American is running your drivel, and paying for it, with a straight face.
As we see in this piece – which attributes (white) men “stockpiling” guns to…
…well, pick your threadbare feminist trope:
The short, broad-brush answer to the first part of that question is this: men, who on average possess almost twice the number of guns female owners do. But not all men. Some groups of men are much more avid gun consumers than others. The American citizen most likely to own a gun is a white male—but not just any white guy. According to a growing number of scientific studies, the kind of man who stockpiles weapons or applies for a concealed-carry license meets a very specific profile.
These are men who are anxious about their ability to protect their families, insecure about their place in the job market, and beset by racial fears. They tend to be less educated. For the most part, they don’t appear to be religious—and, suggests one study, faith seems to reduce their attachment to guns. In fact, stockpiling guns seems to be a symptom of a much deeper crisis in meaning and purpose in their lives. Taken together, these studies describe a population that is struggling to find a new story—one in which they are once again the heroes.
Of course, we’re in the post-logic era – where the last thing you should look for in Scientific Ameircan is “Science”.
Turn, instead, to actual science – the evolutionary science that so many on the left chant their fealty to when it’s time to vent their two minutes’ hate against Christian fundamentalists, but which nearly none of them supports when it comes down to the many areas where evolution kills and dresses out their sacred political cows.
American men – especially American men in the Red States – are buying guns because it fulfills the evolutionary imperative to protect what is yours, and those who depend on you – and a rational person sees that a gun is a useful tool toward that end.
Scientific American’s not going to pay for that insight, though.