Posted by William A. Jacobson
Inequality is bad, right?
A new survey documents that some people own lots of guns, while others own only a few.
That’s not fair!
Funny, I don’t hear liberals suggesting the government give out free guns to help balance gun ownership inequality.
The left-wing Guardian newspaper examines the issue in Gun inequality: US study charts rise of hardcore super owners:
Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 133m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each.
The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by the Guardian and the Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70m guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25% to 22%.
The surge in the number of guns owned is fueled by the ladies:
The new survey, conducted in 2015 by public health researchers from Harvard and Northeastern universities, also found that the proportion of female gun owners is increasing as fewer men own guns. These women were more likely to own a gun for self-defense than men, and more likely to own a handgun only.
Women’s focus on self-defense is part of a broader trend. Even as the US has grown dramatically safer and gun violence rates have plummeted, handguns have become a greater proportion of the country’s civilian gun stock, suggesting that self-defense is an increasingly important factor in gun ownership.
Heres an overall demographic chart of gun owners:
But the focus of the article are the super owners:
While there are an estimated 55 million American gun owners, most own an average of just three firearms, and nearly half own just one or two, according to the survey results.
Then there are America’s gun super-owners – an estimated 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns.
This kind of concentrated ownership isn’t unique to guns, firearms researchers noted. Marketing experts suggest that the most devoted 20% consumers will typically account for 80% of a product’s sales.
There’s no evidence presented that super owners are more dangerous, so what’s the worry?
I think it’s cultural.
The Guardian article is accompanied by a “documentary” about gun ownership which is an “othering” of gun owners:
The problem identified in the video and The Guardian not that some people own a lot of guns, it’s that those people are not like the writers and readers of The Guardian. They’re so, in the eyes of most liberals, uncouth and country-like, and they talk funny with southern and midwestern accents.