As an interesting follow up to my piece earlier this week on Americans' enduring embrace of the gun as weapon and symbol have a look at the demographic breakdown of a survey by the Pew Center for the People & the Press on the subject of which is more important, preserving gun ownership right or controlling gun access.
Perhaps it is unsurprising that men, older folks, whites, and those who abide in rural areas are more likely to lean towards gun rights while women, younger folks, blacks and hispanics, and those who live in urban and suburban areas are more likely to favor gun control.
But most interesting are the regional demographics. While Easterners are predictably more concerned with gun control than gun rights (60-36% margin), Southerner's concern is almost equality divided (49-48%).
The big split in the South breaks down between the South Atlantic states (including Washington DC, DE, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA and WV)--whose residents lean towards gun control by a 54-43% margin--and the East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) and West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) regions.
In Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas respondents were more concerned with preserving gun rights by a 53-43 margin, while in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, respondents were more concerned with preserving gun rights by a 61-36 margin, almost exactly the inverse of the attitude in the Eastern states.
One other interesting finding, among the Christian religious sects whose responded Pew parsed, all Protestants leaned towards gun rights by a 62-34 margin, but Catholics favored gun control by a 62-36 margin.