Gun Cultures or Honor Cultures? Explaining Regional and Race Differences in Weapon Carrying

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Gun Cultures or Honor Cultures? Explaining Regional and Race Differences in Weapon Carrying


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Category: |Journal: Social Forces (full text)|Author: P Pare, R Felson|Year: 2010

We use the National Violence against Women (and Men) Survey to examine the effects of region and race on the tendency to carry weapons for protection. We find that Southern and Western whites are much more likely than Northern whites to carry guns for self-protection, controlling for their risk of victimization. The difference between Southern and Northern whites is particularly strong for women. We do not find much evidence for regional/race differences in carrying knives or mace. These findings provide support for the idea that regional differences in weapon carrying reflect a gun culture rather than an honor culture. We see more evidence of an honor culture among blacks: they are more likely than whites to carry knives as well as guns, controlling for their risk of victimization.

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