Roughly one-third of young males and 1 in 10 females in rural communities have carried a handgun, reports a new study led by a University of Washington School of Public Health researcher. And, the study found, many of those rural kids started carrying as early as the sixth grade.
“This is one of the first longitudinal studies of rural adolescent handgun carrying across multiple states in the U.S. It provides evidence that youth handgun carrying in these settings is not uncommon,” said lead author Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, an associate professor of epidemiology and the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Washington School of Public Health. He is also co-director of the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program at Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center in Seattle.
The study of rural communities across the country, published Jan. 24 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found the practice was associated with pro-handgun attitudes and with having friends who carry handguns.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 31