A study published in the Psychology, Crime & Law journal has proved that shooters are less aggressive than non-shooters and are less likely to have “personality dimensions, impulsivity and aggressive thoughts”. The report, ‘Do members of shooting associations display higher levels of aggression?’ by Maria Helena Nagtegaal, Eric Rassin and Peter EHM Muris, compared shooters and non-shooters in The Netherlands based on levels of aggressive behaviour, aggressive fantasies, impulsivity and main personality dimensions. The results clearly demonstrate that shooting association members are less aggressive and less impulsive than non-members.
“These findings suggest that there is no reason to consider hobby shooters…as more aggressive,” the report stated. It also proved that shooters “showed less impulsive behaviour…reported less aggressive thoughts, and exhibited less aggressive behaviour”. “The idea that aggressive individuals choose ‘aggressive’ leisure time activities such as shooting was not substantiated…when the shooters were asked to indicate why they become a member of a shooting association, 64 per cent answered ‘for relaxation’.”
This report dispels the myths often perpetuated by notorious anti-gun groups such as Gun Control Australia and biased media reports that misrepresent shooters as aggressive or dangerous just for partaking in a recreation that uses firearms. While the findings of this 2009 study comes as no surprise to shooters, it is credible academic research that assists in denouncing the ludicrous and misleading claims of anti-gun groups and the SSAA-LA welcomes the accurate findings.