A new study released this week and touted by the mainstream media concluded that there was a correlation between those who own guns or support gun rights and those who are racist. On closer examination, the study is horrendously unsound and laden with inaccuracies.

The measures of gun ownership and gun rights support were fairly straightforward: does the respondent (a) have a gun in the house and (b) oppose gun control? The data was pulled from federal election year surveys, which are accessible to the public in their entirety here. In fact, the research that began with these objective and honest data might have succeeded in achieving credibility and insight if it had not been for one measure. The critical flaw that suffices to single-handedly invalidate the entire study is the definition of “racist.”

Here is one notable example of how the researchers determined the “fatally flawed” measure of racism, as reported by Fox News (emphasis mine):

So how is racism measured? Well, you are apparently “racist” if you don’t agree that the legacy of slavery still has a great impact on how blacks are faring today. After all, slavery was abolished 158 years ago.

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