Gun Ownership and Willingness to Shoot: A Clarification of Current Controversies

Document Type


Publication Date



Data from the 1982 ABC News Poll of Public Opinion on Crime are used to examine household gun availability and willingness to shoot a burglar. Findings show some support for similarity between protective and sport ownership, and “fear and loathing” hypothesis, and the impact of region (southern residence) and gender on ownership. The findings also support some of the recent contentions of Hill, Howell, and Driver (1985), although we note two clarifications in their discussion of previous research. Support for the collective security hypothesis, however, was limited; this finding raises a concern for proponents of further restrictions on gun ownership.