Thursday, June 30, 2016
It Don't Add Up
Its author is thrilled by the idea that, according to polls, gun ownership is way down. One poll has gun ownership down from a high of 55% in 1994 to 36% in 2016. Hooray, the author strongly implies.
But hold on there, kitty cat. If the number of guns owned has doubled from about 150 million in 1993 to 310 million in 2016, virtually the same period as the decline in percentage of ownership, who owns the 160 million newly purchased guns? Not to fear, says the author, the newly purchased guns are owned by people who already own guns and are stocking up. Behold.
But the declining rates of gun ownership across three major national surveys suggest a different explanation: that most of the rise in gun purchases is driven by existing gun owners stocking up, rather than by people buying their first gun. A Washington Post analysis last year found that the average American gun owner now owns approximately eight firearms, double the number in the 1990s.
Other research bears this out as well. A 2004 survey found that the average gun owner owned 6.6 firearms, and that the top 3 percent of gun owners owned about 25 guns each. More recently, a CBS News poll taken in March of this year found that roughly 1 in 5 gun owners owned 10 guns or more.
OK, let's see if that works.
There are enough guns for each person in America if evenly distributed, but if only 36% of the population of 310 Million are gun owners, that's 111.6 Million gun owners. Let's pick the high number in the article of guns per owner (8 per owner-- we know that's not true, plenty of people own only one gun but let's use it anyway). That means there are on average there are 893 Million guns owned by citizens. But that's way too many. The 8 per owner figure is way too high. It's no better for 6.6 per owner. So the numbers are not working.
How about this for an explanation? The people recently buying guns are in some part, varying in each individual, buying a gun because of fear of a Government ban and/or confiscation. Those paranoid thoughts would probably cause the owners to hide the fact of ownership from the Government. So perhaps those polled recently are lying to the pollsters about gun ownership, for fear of being on a list of gun owners for the Government to use when it starts the confiscation.
It's a better explanation than what the WaPo yahoo comes up with.
* Some use the figure 350 Million and there is some reason to believe that but I'm conservative so I'll stick with the lower, settled-science number.
WaPo said 357 Million guns owned by civilians by the end of 2013. What's happened since then? In 2014 there were 21 Million applications for gun purchases, 23 Million in 2015 and 13 Million so far this year. So in the 2 and 1/2 years since we've reached 357 Million guns, 57 Million more have been purchases. That's a total of 414 Million guns in civilian hands now, according to WaPo writers and the FBI.
The household ownership polls are no more reliable than the Brexit polls. The drowning man is clutching at straw to believe them.
Labels: Gun Ownership; Lying on Polls