Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Study Reveals Link Between Gun Ownership and Heavy Drinking

A 2011 study by the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis examined  the relationship between handguns and drinking. It found that  firearm owners were more likely than non owners to have more than 60 drinks per month. Binge drinking was also more common among gun owners, and those who carry loaded guns in cars are four times as likely to drink and drive. The heaviest drinking occurred among  gun owners who said that they carried a firearm for protection against other people, or who kept a loaded firearm in their houses.

Researchers stated that the findings were not surprising, since risky behaviors are often linked. One theory about this connection involves underlying personality traits, such as impulsiveness and an inclination to take risks, which could lead to an increase in dangerous behavior involving alcohol and guns.

While this is possible, I also relate the findings back to a previously published post that noted the signs of addiction in some gun owners. It's common for addicts to be cross-addicted, experiencing more than one dependency, which may also help explain the link between guns and alcohol abuse.

In 2009, there were 30,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S., and more than 78,000 non-fatal gunshot wounds. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, about one third of firearm-related deaths involve alcohol. 

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