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Perceptions of Crime, Racial Attitudes, and Firearms Ownership

Robert L. Young
Social Forces
Vol. 64, No. 2 (Dec., 1985), pp. 473-486
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2578651
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2578651
Page Count: 14
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Perceptions of Crime, Racial Attitudes, and Firearms Ownership
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Abstract

It is argued that, because of a prevailing public image of criminals as young black males, racial prejudice leads to aggressive attitudes toward criminals, which increases the likelihood of gun ownership. Concern about crime, in turn, produces a greater increment in gun ownership among highly prejudiced than among less prejudiced white males. These expectations are supported by data from white males in the Detroit area. The model is also supported by patterns of ownership of more passive forms of household protection.

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