Republicans in Congress are much better armed than their Democratic counterparts, reports USA Today. One hundred nineteen Republicans and 46 Democrats declared themselves as gun owners in the newspaper’s survey of lawmakers. There is no uniform public record of gun ownership by members of Congress, and it is not part of the information lawmakers are required to reveal in their annual financial disclosure forms. So the paper contacted every congressional office to ask: Does the lawmaker own a gun?
The results show a partisan and regional divide. Only 10 percent of Republicans who responded said they do not own a gun, while 66 percent of Democrats said they are not gun owners. Plotted on a map, the survey results speak to the cultural chasm between those districts where guns are a talisman of individualism and those where guns are viewed more as a criminal tool. Only 12 lawmakers from the Northeast, including Pennsylvania, said they own firearms, while 77 Southerners said they do. Congress’ gun gap suggests that cultural factors are at least as important as the influence of the gun lobby in determining where members stand on President Obama’s package of gun control proposals.