Are You In The ‘Top Five’ States For Gun Ownership?

By Dave Workman

Buried in the statistics resulting from a recent bit of snooping on the economic impact of the gun industry on individual states is an interesting revelation of the Top Five and the Bottom Five states in terms of gun ownership.

Are you ready? If you live in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, West Virginia and Wyoming, if you’re not heeled, you are kind of an oddity, it would appear. If you live in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Delaware and you own one or more firearms, you just don’t fit in, either.

Surprisingly, when it comes to state dependency on the firearms industry, Idaho is at the top of the list, followed in this order: Montana, Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Down on the bottom, Maryland is least dependent upon the firearms industry, with New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware and New York coming in near the bottom. (No, Insider Online wouldn’t want to live there, either.)

It’s not surprising that Alaska has the highest per capita gun ownership. There’s a lot of country “off the pavement,” and when you’re off the grid in the 49th State, you stand a big chance of running into something with teeth. Ditto in Idaho and Wyoming, and we figure that the good citizens of Arkansas and West Virginia are simply well armed because they just like guns.

The Wallet Hub report, bylined by financial writer Adam McCann, shows that a lot of work went into this effort. And he had some surprises.

Do you know where the most firearms industry jobs per capita are found? It isn’t Connecticut, with its historic gun industry icons, nor is it neighboring Massachusetts. You will find the most per capita gun industry jobs in Idaho, followed by New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming in that order. And, as Insider Online reported a few weeks ago, by this time next year Wyoming is going to add to those jobs because Weatherby is coming to stay, pulling out of California where it was founded seven decades ago when that state was far friendlier to firearms owners.


On Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association filed suit against the Village of Deerfield, a Chicago suburb that passed an ordinance earlier in the week to ban so-called “assault weapons” and original capacity magazines.

The ordinance levels a fine of up to $1,000 a day on gun owners for non-compliance.

SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said in a statement, “We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flies in the face of state law. While the village is trying to disguise this as an amendment to an existing ordinance, it is, in fact, a new law that entirely bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense… This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

Another Bold Claim Smashed To Pieces

Since the Valentine’s Day tragedy in Parkland, Florida there has been much talk about a growing epidemic of school shootings in the United States, but NPR recently popped that bubble.

NPR quoted Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox, who had this bad news for the gun prohibition lobby that has been exploiting the Florida shooting to raise money.

“Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” he said.

In a detailed piece in Northeastern News — headlined “Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be, researchers say” — Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel looked at the data and revealed that since 1996, “there have been 16 multiple victim shootings in schools, or incidents involving 4 or more victims and at least 2 deaths by firearms, excluding the assailant.”

That brings us around to a nasty little habit practiced by some of our colleagues in the press. When they report a body count, they sometimes include the killer if he took his own life or was cancelled by responding police. Many people don’t consider dead mass shooters as anything but a public service.

There’s something more, according to the Northeastern News report: Active shooter drills and other safety precautions, including the installation of metal detectors or requiring ID cards to get inside a school building “have also proven ineffective in past school shootings.”

Case in point is the Red Lake school shooting in Minnesota in 2005. The 16-year-old who perpetrated this shooting started his day on the Red Lake Indiana Reservation by murdering his grandfather — who was a sergeant with the tribal police — and the grandfather’s girlfriend.

Forget background checks and other red tape, the teen took his dead grandpa’s police weapons and headed for the school. When he got there, his first victim was the unarmed security guard, gunned down at the doorway of the school. He then shot a teacher and five students.

Gunman Jeffrey Weise then got into a short gunfight with responding police. He was wounded and fled into an empty classroom, where he fatally shot himself.

First Amendment As Collateral Damage

In the wake of the Florida shooting, there was push by some stores to be politically correct, and that sort of thing invariably hurts the wrong people.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fred Meyer, Walmart and some other outlets decided to limit gun sales and in Fred Meyer’s case, they went even farther. Fred’s, which is owned by Kroger, is getting out of the guns and ammo business altogether.

And Kroger did something else. They began pulling certain firearms periodicals from their racks, especially when the magazines had stories and especially cover photos depicting modern semi-auto sporting rifles. At least they didn’t pile them up and burn all of that knowledge as happened 85 years ago in Germany, but once you start taking sanctions against the sharing of ideas, it’s pretty hard to stop.

But the end result seems to be the same, and it’s something gun rights activists have warned about — and been ridiculed for in the process — for a very long time. When it’s okay to trample the Second Amendment, the First isn’t far behind.

No Charges In Road Rage Shooting

A bizarre incident along I-5 in Washington’s Pierce County in early February resulted in the shooting death of a 60-year-old man by a female motorcyclist who just happened to be legally armed.

This fracas began as a road rage incident and escalated into a life-or-death confrontation between the late Bruce Jones and the unidentified woman who shot him. According to witnesses, Jones apparently got mad over the way the woman was riding her two-wheeler, so when traffic ground to a halt, he pulled over and “boxed her in,” according to KOMO news, the Seattle-region ABC affiliate.

Jones then got out of his vehicle and things got physical. The woman head-butted Jones and he slammed her head into a jersey barrier and knocked her to the pavement. When he continued the attack, the woman pulled a handgun (she had a valid concealed pistol license) and shot Jones in the chest.

Under long-standing Washington use-of-force statute, this was a case of self-defense, according to the Pierce County prosecutor’s office.

Lesson: Never get out of your vehicle in a rage against another motorist. That sort of thing habitually ends badly.

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