So we know more Americans are buying firearms than ever before, but are people who have been victims of crime more likely to buy than those who haven’t? A new Gallup poll asked just that, and the results are pretty revealing.
According to this post from gallup.com, Americans who have been recent crime victims do indeed report higher rates of gun ownership than those who have not been victims. These results come from aggregated data from Gallup Crime surveys, the post says.
Here’s how it breaks down: 33 percent of American adults who have been recent victims of assault, theft, or property crimes in the past 12 months own a gun, compared with 28 percent of those who haven’t been victims who own a gun. The post says the difference is “statistically significant.”
Gallup asks people whether in the past year they’ve personally been the victim of a number of crimes, including burglary, property theft, assault, and vandalism. The analysis is based on a combined 11,165 interviews from those surveys. Overall, an average of 17 percent of Americans reported being the victim of at least one of the crimes in those polls, and 29 percent said they personally own a gun.
Perhaps most interesting is what the polls DON’T reveal about the individuals interviewed: whether or not being a victim of crime prompted their gun purchase, or if it’s merely a coincidence. The poll does not ask if the person owned a gun before the crime occurred, the post says.
From the post: “Also, because the survey asks only about crime victimization in the last 12 months, it is possible many people victimized by crimes in the more distant past bought a gun in reaction to those crimes. Thus, the analysis may understate the relationship between crime victimization and gun ownership.”
The polls revealed some other facts about gun ownership in America, namely that men are far more likely than women to own a gun. The post says that gender is actually the strongest predictor of gun ownership—but that number is still higher among crime victims than non-victims, regardless of gender.
“Specifically, 48% of men who have experienced a recent personal or property crime own a gun, compared with 43% of men who have not been victimized. Meanwhile, 19% of female crime victims own a gun, compared with 14% of all other women.”
Additionally, more people own guns if they live in towns or rural areas compared to those living in suburbs or cities.