Increased Risks or Peace of Mind? Exploring Fear, Victimization, and Safety Strategies Among Women Planning to Get a Gun

Author(s): 
Logan, TK., & Lynch, K.R. (2021).
Source: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1 – 28.
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Expanded Abstract: 

Much of the research on firearm owners implies that the U.S. population can be divided into two groups—those that own guns and those that do not; however, there is a third group—those thinking of getting a gun and almost nothing is known about this group. A survey on gun ownership, experiences, and behaviors was deployed online via Prolific in June and July 2020 to recruit women from the general U.S. population who were planning on getting a gun (n = 187), who owned a gun (n = 288), and who did not own or plan to own guns (n = 968). Results show that women planning on getting a gun worried more about their personal safety and more had experienced recent interpersonal violence victimization compared to the other two groups.

Almost all of the women planning on getting a gun believed that carrying a gun would make them safer. Even though women planning on getting a gun had limited experience with guns, they expressed fewer gun related worries than non-gun owners. Additionally, women planning on getting a gun had more depression symptoms and more of them indicated they had thoughts of self-harm in the past two weeks than current gun owners. Depression symptoms were significantly associated with plans to get a gun in the multivariate model. Given the risks associated with having firearms in the household, interventions could target those considering getting a gun as well as educating friends and family about what to say when someone close is considering obtaining a firearm for safety.

(The expanded abstract is excerpted and adapted from the article cited above)

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