Bibles, Bullets and Broken Stereotypes: The relationship between religion and gun ownership... it's complicated.

Do firearms and religion go together like peas and carrots? Scanning the news or social media could lead one to believe so.

Staring down the barrel of potential misconception, Wake Forest sociologist David Yamane wanted a closer look.

He went beyond broad-brush labels to identify specific connections. He found that while religion can be a factor in gun ownership, it's just one of many.

Where on falls on the liberal to conservative spectrum, worship service attendance, geography, and religion of choice form a variety of combinations that quickly unravel the accuracy of any blanket statement.

It's tempting for groups on both sides of the great gun debate in the United States to co-opt religion for their side, said Yamane. But neither side has a monopoly on people of faith in America. That is a very important story this study tells.

Bibles, Bullets and Broken Stereotypes

Professor David Yamane is currently an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Religion and Wake Forest University School of Divinity. His primary scholarly interest has been in sociologically understanding organized religion, particularly Roman Catholicism in the postwar United States.

In a recent departure from his previous work, Professor Yamane has undertaken a study of American gun culture. With support from Wake Forest University, he is exploring the phenomenon of armed citizenship as part of what has been called “Gun Culture 2.0” — a new group of individuals (including an increasing number of women) who have entered gun culture through concealed carry, self-defense and the shooting sports.

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