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August 8, 2023

There Are How Many Firearm Owners in America?

Turns out that many of the record gun sales over the last four years are not just to prior gun owners.

July marked a record milestone in firearm purchases: It was the 48th consecutive month of gun sales in excess of one million units.

Mark Olivia, head of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, noted the sales numbers were minimum estimates. He added: “This milestone was achieved in the midst of the continuous attacks by the Biden administration which has demonstrated nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and has twisted the levers of government to impede the ability of law-abiding citizens to legally possess firearms of their choosing. Americans are sending a clear signal each and every month. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not up for negotiation.”

In other words, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Indeed, the prospect of Joe Biden becoming president, his shady election, and the resulting surge in violence promoted by Democrats (particularly black-on-black violence) are three factors directly responsible for the surge in consumer purchases of firearms for self-defense.

But what is even more remarkable than the record sales is recent data indicating the number of gun owners in America may be much higher than the numbers the media have reported for years — about 40% of households, according to Pew Research, and two to three times more Republican than Democrat owners.

However, a Rutgers University study published last month in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology indicates that the number of gun owners may be substantially undercounted. According to Rutgers researcher Allison Bond, one reason is because “some individuals are falsely denying firearm ownership, resulting in research not accurately capturing the experiences of all firearm owners in the U.S.” He added, “The implications of false denials of firearms ownership are substantial.” Bond concluded, “It may be that a percentage of firearm owners are concerned that their information will be leaked and the government will take their firearms or that researchers who are from universities that are typically seen as liberal and anti-firearm access will paint firearm owners in a bad light.”

Do ya think? Of course, Rutgers was issuing the study as a warning, not as good news.

According to J.D. Tuccille: “Bond frames the problem of dishonesty among survey respondents as posing a danger to those surveyed since they don’t receive proper firearm safety information. But her deeper concern is with the validity of research into firearms culture and policy in a country where experts don’t have anywhere near as good a handle on the prevalence of gun ownership as they had believed. … Believe it or not, people are reluctant to tell total strangers about their potentially controversial activities. That’s especially true of women and minorities newly among the ranks of gun owners amidst the chaos of recent years. Academics are unhappy that privacy-minded respondents impair their understanding of the world we live in, but such evasion is an inevitable consequence of decades of fiery debate and punitive gun policies.”

So what is the revised estimate of gun ownership? The upper-end data suggests that as many as 60% of Americans could be legal owners of firearms, and the common 40% figure is likely the low estimate.

Finally, after four years of record firearm sales and conservative estimates that more than half of all adults are legal gun owners, it turns out that the fastest growing demographic of new handgun owners is women, and more specifically black women and black households.

Much to the dismay of all those wealthy leftist suburban white women advocating policies to suppress Second Amendment rights – self defense being the primary reason Americans acquire firearms – women are now the fastest growing group of new firearm owners. And given the inconvenient truth that a grossly disproportionate number of murders and violent crimes are perpetrated in urban centers by black assailants on black victims, 30 percent of the women purchasing firearms are black urban residents.

In other words, what we have here is mostly wealthy white privilege suburban women attempting to dictate to mostly poor urban black women, what they can and can’t do to defend themselves.

I suggest a cage match – game on!

BOTTOM LINE: The First Civil Right is To Keep and Bear Arms. It is the “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” as it is the ultimate assurance of all other rights.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

Follow Mark Alexander on X/Twitter.

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NOTES:

The First Civil Right is To Keep and Bear Arms. It is, as James Madison’s Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Story, rightly defined it, “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” the ultimate assurance of all other rights.

What follows are a few key notes that all defenders of American Liberty and its foundational guarantor, the Second Amendment, should be prepared to articulate, in order to refute the rhetorical gun control agenda disinformation propagated by Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists.

While some of this data is based on annual findings, most of that data does not vary significantly year over year.

FOOTNOTE 1: Regarding so-called “gun violence,” there were approximately 19,600 homicides involving firearms in the U.S. in the latest year of record, which you can view state by state. Fortunately, there are indications that homicides may be declining after the significant surge of violence unleashed by Biden and his Democrat agitators in 2020. The 2022 homicide rate was 30% higher than in 2019.

The Demos ubiquitously and falsely label the generational murderous contagion they have seeded as “gun violence,” and they focus exclusively on the infrequent high-profile “mass shootings,” which account for only a tiny fraction of all homicides. More than 99% of murders in the U.S. are not the result of mass attacks. (Notably, guns don’t commit violence, thugs and sociopaths commit violence.) The oft-cited Gun Violence Archive defines a “mass shooting” as any incident that involves a “minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed.” The vast majority of those violent attacks are the result of drug and gang violence committed in Democrat-controlled urban centers.

In a country and culture that ignores the rising generation of sociopathic murderers — mostly thugs in violent urban centers who are saturated with cultural violence and indoctrinated with mass-media glorification of violence — it is fortunate that the incidence of mass murder is not 10 times higher. Arguably, the only thing keeping that number from being higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

Democrats don’t focus on the vast majority of murders, particularly the epidemic of black-on-black murders on their decaying urban poverty plantations, because they want to avoid the “inconvenient truth” about race and violence, which is the direct result of failed Democrat social programs. In fact, black people (13% of the population), are 12 times more likely to be murdered, per capita, than white people (62% of the population).

That gross racial disparity in murder rates isn’t useful for the gun control narrative Democrats invoke to evoke emotional reaction from mostly wealthy white suburban women, who form the Demos’ largest voter constituency.

FOOTNOTE 2: Regarding so-called “mass shootings,” for the record, murders of multiple people by one assailant are very rare in our nation of 335 million people. Less than 1% of all murders nationwide are classified as “mass shootings” and high-profile attacks, such as the 2017 mass murder in Las Vegas, are extremely rare.

The FBI defines “active shooter incidents” as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” In 2022, the FBI reported 50 incidents resulting in 313 casualties (100 killed and 213 wounded). That number was up significantly from 2020 when the FBI reported 40 incidents resulting in 164 casualties (38 killed and 126 wounded).

A broader record of “mass shooting” data is maintained by the Associated Press and Northeastern University, which uses the Department of Justice definition of mass public shooting: “A multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms.” These numbers fluctuate significantly year over year, and they range between 20 and 40 incidents. But notably, over the last 30 years, the number of black mass assailants is almost as high as the number of white assailants.

Democrats focus on these rare instances of multiple murders because these high-profile tragedies are political fodder to foment fear — most notably when they can toss out their oft-repeated but erroneous claim that “gun violence is the leading cause of death for children.” If by “children” they mean gang and drug-associated murders of those primarily between the ages of 16 and 21, then yes. Democrats are experts at fomenting fear and division.

The fear and angst Demos intentionally propagate are taking a toll on Americans’ mental health. Psychological researcher Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson observes: “Watching it time and time again on your phone or on the headlines can really impact you in ways that I don’t think we knew before to be as impactful. It’s so ‘in our face’ all the time and we have access to so much footage, so many pictures, so many videos, so many accounts that we’re ingesting it in ways that’s really unhealthy for us.” The result for many mothers, in particular, is an irrational fear that their children will be shot. That is precisely the fabricated fear Democrats want to perpetuate, especially among their female constituents, in order to advance their gun control agenda.

FOOTNOTE 3: Regarding what Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists ubiquitously and falsely label “assault weapons,” an actual assault weapon, commonly known as a “machine gun,” is select-fire and can rapidly cycle rounds in fully automatic sequence. Very few select-fire weapons are in civilian hands, and only then subject to stringent licensing requirements.

In fact, civilian firearms in common use, like the AR-15 and other semiautomatic sporting and hunting rifles, are not “assault rifles.”

For much the same reason the Demo/Media talkingheads focus only on rare high-profile “mass shootings” to generate fear and angst, they also call semi-automatic rifles sometimes used in those attacks, “assault weapons.” Predictably, Demos then call for what Hillary Clinton framed decades ago as “common sense gun laws,” inevitably followed by calls for an “assault weapons ban.”

In 1994, Bill Clinton banned the sale of “military-style assault weapons,” but that ban was not renewed 10 years later because it was determined the ban had no effect on crime reduction. According to Rand Research, “We found no qualifying studies showing that bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.”

The fact is, rifles and shotguns combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides, but Democrats never let facts get in the way of their “assault weapon ban” political agenda.

Both the Clintons were prolific prevaricators, masterful obfuscators of the truth. And Joe Biden has followed their template, establishing himself as the standard bearer of the “lying dog-faced pony soldier” cavalry.

FOOTNOTE 4: Regarding firearms and violent crime, researcher John Lott reports, “Over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.” Again, the only thing keeping that number from being much higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

FOOTNOTE 5: Regarding firearms and suicide, almost 60% of all deaths involving firearms are suicide, most also involving drug or alcohol abuse. But the big numbers promoted in “gun violence” reports do not distinguish between murder and suicide, thus implying that homicide rates are much higher. And does this mean that Demo support for assisted suicide is in conflict with their support for gun control?

FOOTNOTE 6: Regarding alcohol versus firearm deaths, if Democrats are serious about protecting Americans, they should outlaw alcohol. Alcohol abuse is far more deadly than firearm abuse. More than 178,000 people died from alcohol abuse last year — that’s NINE times the number of homicides associated with firearms. Drunk drivers are responsible for 37 deaths per day. And notably, it is estimated that alcohol is a key factor in at least 30% of homicides where the assailant uses a firearm. (Include drug dealing or use as a factor and that number jumps to about 60%.)

Of course, the vast majority of alcohol users possess and use it legally and responsibly. Likewise, the vast majority of firearm owners possess and use them legally and responsibly. Enacting a prohibition on firearms is tantamount to enacting a prohibition on alcohol. In both cases, only law-abiding users obey the laws.

BOTTOM LINE: Let me restate this point — only law-abiding citizens abide by the law. Only outlaws perpetrate acts of violence. Making good people helpless won’t make bad people harmless.


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