Numbers Game

Staggering New Data On Gun Ownership
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A recent Gallup poll on gun control contained some interesting numbers sure to have caused some consternation among gun prohibitionists, while underscoring why firearms owners are gravitating toward one political party.

According to Gallup, about 46% of Americans said they have a gun in their household, and the breakdown is that “more than twice the number of Republicans (48%) than Democrats (20%) saying they personally own a firearm.” This may explain why states with GOP governors and legislative majorities are on the “constitutional carry” list, while states with Democrats in control (i.e. New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, etc.) are places not on my “A-list.”

This hombre has a lot of company as a gun owner, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Gun owner numbers remain steady for a variety of reasons.

By no great coincidence, I’ve noticed a lot of migration of gun owners from strict states to places in Texas, Montana, Tennessee, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and the Dakotas.

The Gallup survey, taken in October, said 57% of U.S. adults think gun laws regulating the sale of firearms should be stricter, but that’s down from 66% in June. Breaking things down along party lines, 86% of Democrats, 60% of Independents and 27% of Republicans think gun laws should be tougher.

On the other hand, Gallup said nearly one in three Americans (32%) think gun laws “should be kept as they are” and 10% think gun laws should be loosened.

Of the people who say they live in an armed household, 33% acknowledge they own the gun(s). That’s up slightly from the 43% who said in 1996 they live in a household with a gun inside.

Adding to the data, Forbes noted: “American gun owners tend to be male, Republican, between the ages of 35 and 54 with an annual household income of $100,000 or more and live in rural areas in the south, the poll found.

Why should any of this get your attention? Well, for those who find themselves compelled to, a) Write a letter to the editor, b) Debate the subject with your nutty neighbor, or, c) Volunteer to testify at a legislative hearing next month or in February, all of this stuff is useful to support your arguments.


While Gallup says about 46% of Americans acknowledge there’s a gun in
their household, the Crime Prevention Research Center estimates more
than 22 million citizens are licensed to carry sidearms for personal protection.


Packing Heavy

About the same time Gallup was revealing its data, the Montana-based Crime Prevention Research Center was issuing its updated report on concealed carry, and it’s impressive. According to the CPRC, the number of active concealed carry permits/licenses “now stands at 22.01 million — a 2.3% increase since last year.”

Any way you interpret that, it amounts to a lot of legally-armed private citizens taking responsibility for their own safety. There are many justifications, including a reduction in law enforcement numbers in many jurisdictions, combined with rising crime rates in the same places. Maybe more people, freed up by the June Supreme Court Bruen case ruling, want to exercise their newly-restored right to bear arms. Whatever the case, gun owner numbers are hardly shrinking — remaining about the same overall — and this bothers the gun ban crowd.

The CPRC report may be read here.

Before going any further, take a deep breath and consider what 22 million armed citizens might look like en masse. That’s a bigger number than the entire populations of some states. If you could get them all to vote — not to mention voting the same way — you’re talking about a voting bloc with enough power to stop any effort to ban guns or place Draconian restrictions on gun owners.

Alas, as the Nov. 8 elections showed us, many gun owners still suffer from lethargy and/or apathy.

There are some important points in the CPRC report. The center estimates 5% of U.S. adults are licensed to carry. In 17 states, more than 10% of adults have licenses. Alabama has the highest rate of concealed carry at 32.5%. Indiana comes in second at 23.4% and Georgia is third with 15.5% of adults holding licenses.

Are you sitting down? Six states have more than 1 million active licenses. They are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas. Florida boasts the largest number at 2.57 million, though it isn’t clear how many of those are held by non-residents (I’m one of them).


Six states report more than one million active carry licenses, with Florida
topping 2.5 million. Whether they’re carrying rugged little revolvers like this
Ruger, or something bigger, they’ve taken responsibility for their own safety.

Lurking in the Shadows

Gallup acknowledged one important consideration, about how public attitudes toward guns and regulations can shift with the tide following a mass shooting. Here’s how the veteran polling company puts it:

“Support for stricter laws has risen after some of the worst gun violence in U.S. history. These include mass shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999; Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012; a Las Vegas music festival in 2017; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. Most recently, the May murders of 21 children and adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and 10 people at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store preceded a 14-percentage-point increase in calls for stricter gun sale laws compared with October 2021.”

The one thing people seem to forget when emotions are running high is that in each one of these rampages, only one (or two in the case of Columbine) person was responsible. They hardly represent the tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners, yet they always seem to be immediately singled out for demonization, and the reaction from anti-gunners invariably is to propose new laws that would penalize those citizens, and more importantly, would not have prevented the crime.


Speaking of Armed Citizens…

Remember a few moments ago we mentioned Alabama as having the highest concentration of legally-armed citizens?

One of those folks is an unidentified Samaritan with a gun, described only as a “retired U.S. Marine” who just happened to find himself in the middle of a gas station holdup on Nov. 14 involving a fellow identified as James Lee Henry, 53, who made a permanent stop in the community of Ardmore, according to the Police Tribune.

As detailed in the narrative, the late Mr. Henry — a resident of Collegeville, Penn. — pulled a gun as he entered a gas station and initiated an armed robbery. Pulling a stickup anywhere is getting to be riskier these days, and trying it in Alabama is demonstrably the worst idea a guy from Pennsylvania might have.

Into this scenario stepped the retired Marine. Oops! The report, quoting a story from WAFF, said the legally armed citizen drew his own gun as Henry came out of the gas station, and what ensued was a serious disagreement. The retired Marine ordered the suspect to drop his gun. Instead, he made the fatal error of raising his gun toward the Samaritan who promptly shot him.

The late Mr. Henry, according to the Police Tribune report, apparently was also responsible for an armed robbery in Athens earlier the same night.


Try This, It’s Fun

A couple of weeks ago, while cruising Facebook, I got a request from my sister to be a “friend.”

Nothing wrong with this, except she is already one of my FB friends. However, knowing some of the goofy things that happen on social media, I replied to this message, asking from where she was writing. She’s got a place in Montana, but I had a hunch she was with her hubby at their home about 30 miles up the road from my office in Bellevue, Wash.

So, while exchanging pleasantries with “Sis” on the Internet, I called her cellphone and found her taking a stroll where she was supposed to be.

That’s when I advised my correspondent I was actually talking to my real sister.

There’s a lot of this fakery going on, and it’s kind of a hoot messing with the cretins who engage in the identity hijacking. I’m not interested in tracking this bonehead down, and since he already knows my opinion of him, it’s not likely he’ll mess with my family members any further.

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