When it comes to gun ownership, the United States is second to none. In fact, current estimates say the U.S. has more total firearms (over 400 million) than people (330 million). Why is that exactly?
This is the question that prompted researcher Nick Buttrick and co-author Jessica Mazen to do some digging. What they found was the number of enslaved people in a county in 1860 correlates with the number of guns there now, even when accounting for other variables.
For today’s show, host Ali Muldrow spends the hour with Nick Buttrick talking about the history, culture, and psychology of gun ownership in the U.S.
Nick Buttrick is assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is co-author of a new paper called “Historical prevalence of slavery predicts contemporary American gun ownership.”
Cover image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay