In this editorial piece disguised as news and statistics, Yahoo tells us that there are only about only 16.7% of Americans actually own firearms.
the top twenty percent of all gun owners actually owned 55% of the guns. In terms of absolute figures, ten million people owned 105 million guns – for an average of ten guns per person, and the remaining 87 million guns were owned by 34 million people – for an average of 2.6 guns per person. The population of the U.S. was 263 million in 1994 – indicating that only 16.7% of Americans had actually owned a weapon.
So their claim is that 44 million people own all of the guns. That is complete and total bullshit, and I can prove it. Let’s use concealed weapons permits as an estimate of the number of gun owners. Florida alone has approximately 2.6 million active concealed weapons permits. With 12% of all Florida residents having a concealed weapons permit, this would mean that three in four gun owners have a CWP. That would be a very high percentage, indeed.
How many people in Florida have weapons but no CWP? That is impossible to know, but what we do know is that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts 1.5 million instant background checks for firearm purchases per year. The anti-gunners are claiming that all of these firearms are being sold to the same people over and over.
I just don’t see it. It is far more likely that, when called by some random “survey taker” that the person answering the phone either says, “Guns? We don’t have any guns here,” when asked, or they simply refuse to take the survey. I just don’t think that surveys are a reliable means of “research” on any topic like firearms. I might as well take a survey of high school boys, asking them about their number of sexual partners. I’m equally as likely to get an accurate count in either case.
These estimates of gun ownership rates are simple guessing. In fact, the Rand corporation estimates that as many as 28 percent of Floridians are firearm owners, and Florida is outpaced in ownership rates by at least 9 other states. According to that study, rates range from 3.4% in Massachusetts to more than 33% in Mississippi. Even with this method, these “studies” are little more than guesswork.
Just in the 20 years between 1999 and 2019, over 42 million rifles were manufactured (pdf alert). Between 20% and 50% of all rifles manufactured in the USA are AR-15 pattern rifles, including all of the variants like the AR-10, and all of the miscellaneous caliber variations.
What we DO know is that there have been 460 million background checks run through the NICS system since it went online in December of 1998 (pdf alert). Just in the year 2020, there were 39.6 million NICS checks done. Now granted that NICS isn’t a complete count of gun ownership because it fails to capture sales done between private parties, guns stolen from dealers and common carriers, and multiple firearms sold in one transaction. Some sales will likewise be overcounted because checks are occasionally done through NICS for CWP permits that don’t result in a transfer, but NICS is the closest thing that we have to counting the number of firearms transfers in the US. Are we to believe that the number of firearms sold in the US from 1900 to 1998 is only 35 million, when Americans are busy buying more than 30 million firearms a year? Those guns sold in the 1980s aren’t going away. Guns last a long time. I myself own firearms that are over 100 years old.
No, they say. It’s because a few people are busy buying dozens of gun and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition every year, they claim. The left would have you believe that there are just 34 million people buying those ~40 million guns in a year- more than one per person on average, year after year, while 6 out of 7 Americans aren’t buying any guns at all. Sorry, but that is complete bullshit. I wrote about this in June of 2016, and I guessed at the time that there were somewhere between 400 and 500 million firearms in the US. Since that time, there have been another 219 million NICS checks.
Looking at ammunition sales, American citizens (all civilian sales, including the cops) are buying around 10 to 12 billion rounds of ammunition- about $11 billion dollars worth- in a year. In fact, the American civilian market buys a third of all ammunition manufactured worldwide to all consumers- including the world’s militaries. To put that in perspective, that is more ammunition than was used by the entire US military during each year of World War 2, when the average was just over 10 billion rounds a year and the US armed forces had more than 15 million personnel.
My guess (and mine is just as valid as theirs) is that there are somewhere between 700 and 800 million firearms in the US, and I would also guess that the southeast US is seeing household gun ownership rates that are somewhere near 70%. What all of this means is that, outside of the major antigun metroplexes of NYC, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, and LA, more than half of households have at least one firearm, and more than a quarter of those households own at least one “assault weapon.” I would be willing to bet that my guess is closer to reality than the 17% figure that they are waving about. I’m not alone in that opinion. Even in 2016, there were bloggers guessing that there were more than 600 million guns in circulation.
Now I know what you are thinking- you had a lot of guns before the boating accident, and don’t think that millions of “super owners” is out of the question. Keep in mind that those of you reading this are most likely in the “gun culture” and are among the upper 1 or 2 percent of gun owners. I know people who own 100 or more firearms. Still, the most common gun owner has his dad’s hunting rifle in the closet, or a single handgun in his nightstand drawer and hasn’t been to the range in years, if ever. Even in the south, only about a quarter of gun owners regularly visit the range.
If even one percent of the gun owning public decides to respond in kind to being called an enemy of the people, there will be somewhere around 1.8 million people who are armed, pissed off, and know how to shoot. Many of them spend their weekends hitting small targets at thousands of yards, because they think it’s fun. They will not be lined up in neat ranks out in a field somewhere, just waiting for you to nuke or drone strike them.
The US police cannot even begin to control the gang problem in our inner cities, and the membership of those gangs is only around 800,000 or so and the gang members aren’t actively hunting cops, no matter what the cops try to claim. This is a fight that cannot be won, but they don’t care because liberals are not the ones who will be getting killed. Or so they think. That is dangerous thinking indeed. The people of each side who are the least stable will be the ones who decide when the violence begins and how far it goes.