The article “Many Gun Owners Support Gun Control. So Why Don’t They Speak Out?” (Aubrey 2022), reveals that a significant number of U.S. gun owners endorse gun control measures, such as raising the legal gun ownership age and implementing red flag laws. However, a sense of disconnection and fear of blame hampers them from openly expressing their support. The study cited in the article, conducted by Michael Siegel of Tufts University, indicates that about 70% of gun owners are hesitant to engage in gun violence prevention due to feelings of alienation. The narrative introduces individuals like Richard Small, a long-time NRA member, who, after a school shooting, supports common-sense measures for gun control, highlighting the potential for attitude shifts among gun owners.
Learning about Richard Small’s transformation is particularly impactful. It challenges stereotypes about gun owners and underscores that they, too, can advocate for stricter gun control policies. Small’s decision to surrender an assault-style rifle and his call for fellow gun owners to compromise suggests a growing movement among sensible gun owners. This information aligns with my research question about gun ownership and preventing gun violence while understanding the perspectives of gun owners who support gun control measures but hesitate to speak out. However, I’m curious how stories similar to Richard Smalls can contribute to changing public discourse on gun control and making our communities safer.