Sociologists are just beginning to understand who is buying guns and how gun ownership makes them feel.

Self-defense is the top reason Americans purchase handguns. But a study of individuals who said they were planning to purchase a first or second firearm during the early days of the pandemic found that would-be buyers were more likely to see the world as dangerous and threatening than individuals who were not planning to purchase a firearm.

Dr. Rebeccah Sokol spoke with The New York Times about the vulnerability of households with multiple firearms and the likelihood of firearm-related injuries among teens in those households.