Is There a Connection Between Religion and Gun Ownership? New Study Says Yes

Are you a religious person who is afraid of Satan? A new study says you’re probably also a gun owner.

Ivory tower academics have been trying for years to understand why anyone would want to own a firearm. The answers (self-defense, 2A rights, simple enjoyment) are obvious enough, but that doesn’t stop our scholarly class from conducting studies and surveys that purport to reveal the mysterious mind of the gun-owning public.

The latest example comes from the University of Kansas, where two researchers set out to find a link between owning a firearm and being religious. Their paper, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Gun Ownership,” argues that religious peoples’ fears of Satan, Hell, Armageddon, and demons prompts them to pursue gun ownership as a means of protection.

Gun ownership, they say, is part of a larger “ethic” that frames the world as a battle between “good and evil,” and “belief in supernatural evil is bound up in policy attitudes that protect or expand gun rights.”

Or, as co-author Abbie Vegter told Deseret News, acquiring a gun stems from a “posture of fear” and a sense of a “duty to defend — a willingness to kill when necessary.”

SEE ALSO: New Research Paper Tells Us ‘The Meaning of Guns to Gun Owners’

The researchers interviewed 62 Kansas gun owners (66 men and 7 women) to draw their conclusions about gun owners more broadly. Most of the people they interviewed identified as nondenominational Christians, Baptists and evangelicals, though they also spoke with a few Catholics, a Buddhist, and a Wiccan.

To each of the participants, they posed the question, “Do you consider yourself a religious person? Do you feel that your religion or spirituality influences your gun ownership? Do you believe in evil? Satan? Hell? What can we do about the gun violence in this country?”

One participant named Gloria was apparently nudged by the suggestion embedded in the researchers’ question.

“I guess it goes back to good and evil,” she is reported as saying. “I would hope that I would always choose the good side, and sometimes that means that you’ve got to get rid of the bad guy.”

SEE ALSO: Chicago Mayor to Gun Owners: ‘Do Not Take Matters Into Your Own Hands. Call the Police’

Vegter and her co-author, Margaret Kelley, argued that religious people believe they answer to a higher power than the government, which gives them the right to take a situation into their own hands.

“The mentality is: ‘I’m answering (not to the law but) to a power that has given me that right,’” Vegter told Deseret News.

As evidence for this, researchers point to Regan, a 39-year-old white nondenominational Christian, who said, “I believe in a higher authority than government.” She added that “government is not a savior for anybody; they’re human beings.”

Religious and non-religious people alike have been flocking to their local gun stores in recent weeks. Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and the presidential election, these new and veteran gun owners broke records for firearms purchases in March, June, July, and November.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

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  • D.J. December 23, 2020, 9:14 am

    All that is demanded to disprove a generalized statement , is
    to show one exception …………. Here I stand .

    I have made this point to you , ” bones ” , ( or tried to ) , many
    times in the past . I do not understand your brand of idiocy , but
    I do admire your dedication to it .

    As a Christian , I do forgive your ignorance , and pray for your soul .

  • Dwight Scholl December 21, 2020, 11:13 am

    The bible talks about self defense, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s in the old testament, for those that care to find it.

  • Bob Clark December 19, 2020, 4:47 pm

    “New Study Says Yes”
    Bob Clark says, “duh”.

  • Ozark Muleskinner December 18, 2020, 4:15 pm

    It’s sad that academicians do not have constructive, meaningful and REAL work with which to busy themselves.

  • Gary Edwards December 18, 2020, 12:00 pm

    I’d opine “atheism” is a misnomer as it is defined by a belief “that God categorically does not exist”. This, of course, is only an unprovable opinion. Therefore, the best an intellectually honest “atheist” can be is agnostic which simply means “I don’t know if God exists – but I CHOOSE to believe there is none.” A very simple test for the atheist is to ask them “What percent of the KNOWN AND UNKNOWN factual information of the ENTIRE cosmos do you personally possess?” The honest person can not even define a number small enough and even if the colossal egotist says 5%, ask them is it “not possible for God to exist somewhere in the other 95%?”. So while the equation cannot be “proved” one way or the other, for me, the “95%” holds much more Hope and promise than my humbling ignorance of the totality of what may be out there.

  • JoeUSooner December 18, 2020, 11:26 am

    This “study” is a perfect example (the best I’ve seen in decades) of sheer, abject, unadulterated bovine manure – produced by idiotic ivory-tower eggheads who have absolutely lost all contact with reality. But I suppose they must at least publish SOMETHING, in order to try to justify their own miserable existence… however spectacularly they fail to do so.

  • Matt December 18, 2020, 11:08 am

    “….Satan, Hell, Armageddon, and demons prompts them to pursue gun ownership as a means of protection.”
    Having consulted my Bible I can assure you that a gun will not “protect” you against any of these. So I guess all of you Southern Baptist can just forget gun ownership (:

  • Stephen December 18, 2020, 10:47 am

    If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”
    – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

  • Scott Miller December 18, 2020, 7:02 am

    Too bad there’s no Like button. I appreciate both the above comments!

  • Bones December 18, 2020, 6:31 am

    Only FAKE christians have guns, are against immigrants, lgbt and equal rights, and love to suppress and oppress those that dont align with their views.Guns are made for killing .. they surely wouldnt sell their soul just for punching holes in paper right?now me .. im not a christian.. so i can use guns for what they are really for with a clear conscience.. dont be so confused.. just turn the other cheek and pray to your imaginary gods !FOOLS !

    • Wilko December 18, 2020, 8:01 am

      Please take your atheist rant and put it where the sun does not shine.
      Your ability to judge me and my religious views is totally non-existant. Anyone who makes gross generalizations, such as yours, demonstrates both ignorance and intolerance.

    • Big Al 45 December 18, 2020, 10:57 am

      As an agnostic, I have never found an atheist I really could like, nor tolerate for that matter.
      I’m convinced that most atheists are just hateful human beings, hell bent on espousing their hate and conceit for the beliefs of what are often just average nice people.
      Your post simply reinforces my conviction about atheists.
      Interestingly enough, the vast majority of Christians I know and interact with are understanding of my convictions, and treat me kindly.
      Just because you’re an atheist, doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t have morals and manners.
      With the exception of you, apparently.

    • Mark December 18, 2020, 6:00 pm

      So what I’m picking up from your diatribe is that you would have a clear conscience with no moral restraint or value placed on life, and pull the trigger for a kill – And you’re calling those who would think before they pulled a trigger fools? Fortunately your bluster indicates that you have never been placed in that situation. . . Or, you’re a psychopath. Firearms are for defense, just like Peter’s sword, or is he a fake Christian?

    • Kane December 18, 2020, 10:36 pm

      “hate the pigs and hillbillys..” -Bones

      Hey Bones, does that look familiar? You wrote it on another thread. You sound like an intolerant hypocrite but I doubt anyone is surprised.

  • Bones4442 December 18, 2020, 5:34 am

    Spot on! …and all the while reaffirming their belief that gun owning religious people are racist slack jawwed yokels who are not to be trusted.

  • Buzz Waldron December 18, 2020, 4:06 am

    HOW are you going to call the police for protection when the stupid corrupt Democrat mayor has told the police not to protect you or anyone or anything? And the courts (as in the Florida school shooting) have ruled the police have NO responsibility to protect us! No responsibility to stop an active murderer who is murdering! Plus, they may take 2 hours or more to simply respond to your call…

  • paul December 10, 2020, 1:21 pm

    Fine don’t go to church and don’t own a gun that IS YOUR RIGHT, but what IS NOT YOUR RIGHT is tell tell others what to do!

  • SuperG December 10, 2020, 11:11 am

    Hey, Margaret, we’re middling researchers who do not want to lose out on grant money, what do we do? Well Abbie, since our “university” is anti-gun, let’s create a study that shows a link between gun ownership and religion, then the admissions office can tacitly use it to decline enrollment from those that do not support our liberal agenda. Great idea, Margaret, plus we’ll be published researchers, and can possibly get lucrative jobs with anti-gun groups!

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