Before I began studying American gun culture, I spent 20+ years studying American religion. So it is perfectly natural that I would try to bridge the two interests.
It is also the case that people often connect religion and guns in America. This, too, makes sense because the United States today is one of the most religious countries in the world and we have the most guns. President Obama’s infamous comment connecting guns and religion (“clinging”) could also be phrased more neutrally based on the existing research on the topic. Through the years scholars have repeatedly found that Protestants are more likely to own guns than other Americans.
But Protestants themselves are a diverse group – white and Black, liberal and conservative – and religious tradition is also just one way to understand a person’s religiosity. Therefore, I undertook to examine the relationship between religion and gun ownership…
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