Environment of Risk and Determinants of Racial Attitudes Toward Gun Regulation: A Test of the Social Reality Thesis

Paula D. McClain

DOI: 10.2190/V9KA-MYJ4-C8E0-8E1E


Despite the years of heated debate surrounding the issue of gun regulation, little is known about the attitudes of or the determinants of attitudes of blacks and whites toward this policy issue. The questions addressed here are whether the social realities of whites and blacks are so different that they produce disparate attitudes toward gun regulation and also produce different determinants of such attitudes. Data collected through a mail questionnaire from black and white residents of high and low homicide risk neighborhoods in Detroit are used to test the hypotheses. Results indicate that, for the most part, blacks and whites hold different positions on the issue of gun regulation and evidence different determinants of attitudes.

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