The latest it of gun ownership propaganda disguised as science and as news is that gun ownership is on the decline. They claim that there are fewer people buying guns. Of course, they can’t hide the fact that there have been so many guns sold in the last year, that the NICS system that performs background checks has been overloaded.
So how do they spin this fact? They do a survey to ‘prove’ that gun sales are up, but the guns are being sold to just a few people. The problem is that this supposed ‘fact’ is being proven because of a telephone survey. According to this survey, which is disguised as science, they claim that 20% of the US population owns 65% of the firearms. There are a number of problems with this claim. Let’s take a look:
The entire basis for this claim is a survey where a caller phones your home, and then asks you if you have a gun in the house. I don’t understand how anyone thinks that this method is in any way scientific. There are a number of flaws in this survey: selection bias, response bias, non response error, and other sampling problems ensure that ANY survey of sensitive issues will not reflect the true numbers.
The true test of gun ownership rates is not self reporting surveys, but other metrics like total gun sales. Of course, gun sales in a nation that does not register firearms don’t tell you how many people are buying firearms, only how many firearms are being bought. The closest remaining metric is the issuance of concealed weapons permits.
As of February 28 n my home state of Florida, there are 1,374,341 active concealed weapons permit holders. According to the US census, the population of people over 18 years of age in Florida is 15,795,277. This means that there is one
concealed weapons permit holder for every 11.49 residents.
In December of 2013, there were 1,278,246 permit holders in Florida,
with an adult population of 15,562,646. This means that 14 months ago,
there was one concealed weapons permit holder for every 12.21
This means that the rate of gun ownership in the state of Florida is 6
percent higher than it was 14 months ago, which translates into about a
5 percent annual increase in gun ownership.
In fact, the number of concealed weapons permits in the state of Florida has more than doubled since 2009, when there were 591,830, which
was double the number of permits from 2002, when there were 295,658
Look at the numbers:
In 1988, there were 32,814 permit holders. It took three years to double that to 65,497.
In three more years, that number doubled again to 132,150.
Another seven years, another doubling to 259,710.
Seven more years, and there is another doubling to 511,868.
Five years later, the number had doubled again to 1,098,458.
In 25 years, the number of adults in Florida increased from 10.0 to 15.8 million, which is a 158% increase, but there are 41 times as many concealed weapons permit holders, meaning that the number of permit holders is increasing 26 times as fast as the population as a whole.
That is hardly a decline.