Modeling recent gun purchases: A social epidemiology of the pandemic arms race

Terrence D. Hill, Ming Wen, Christopher G. Ellison, Guangzhen Wu, Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, Dejun Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we document the social patterning of recent gun purchases to advance a contemporary social epidemiology of the pandemic arms race. We employ cross-sectional survey data from the 2020 Health, Ethnicity and Pandemic Study, which included a national sample of 2,709 community-dwelling adults living in the United States. We use binary logistic regression to model recent pandemic gun purchases as a function of age, sex, race/ethnicity, nativity status, region of residence, marital status, number of children, education, household income, pandemic job change, religious service attendance, pandemic religion change, and political party. Overall, 6% of the sample reported purchasing a new gun during the pandemic. Multivariate regression results suggest that pandemic gun purchasers tend to be male, younger, US-born, less educated, recently unemployed, experiencing changes in their religious beliefs, Republicans, and residents of southern states. To our knowledge, we are among the first to formally document a new population of pandemic gun owners that is characterized by youth, US-nativity, and religious volatility. Our analyses underscore the need for public health initiatives designed to enhance gun-related safety during pandemics, including, for example, addressing underlying motivations for recent gun purchases and improving access to training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101634
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Gun ownership
  • Pandemic
  • Social epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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