Another case of the press taking dictation from The Violence Policy Center
Bernd Debusmann writing at Reuters notes that gun culture in the US is fading. And by notes I mean re-prints Violence Policy Center propaganda. In fact, here’s a link to their study. And by study, I mean a reprint of data from other sources. But it beats their usual method of calling Google searches studies.
Anyhoo, on the article:
Is America, land of shooting massacres in schools and public places, slowly falling out of love with guns?
The answer is yes, and it runs counter to popular perceptions of the United States as a country where most citizens are armed to the teeth and believe it is every American’s inalienable right to buy an AK 47-style assault rifle with the minimum of bureaucratic paperwork.
Yes, let’s open the piece up with some good ol’ misleading PSH. A guaranteed winner when peddling propaganda.
But in fact, gun ownership in the United States has been declining steadily over more than three decades, relegating gun owners to minority status.
And what are these facts? We’ll get to those in a bit.
At the same time, support for stricter gun controls has been growing steadily and those in favor make up a majority.
More facts? Zogby disagrees. Their poll is from August, not 2006 like the Violence Policy Center’s. And even in 2006, Gallup disagreed. And the trend is going in exactly the opposite direction that you say it’s going.
Here’s some of the aforementioned facts:
The number of households with guns dropped from a high of 54 percent in 1977 to 34.5 percent in 2006, according to NORC, and the percentage of Americans who reported personally owning a gun has shrunk to just under 22 percent.
Well, people who own guns tend to not be the kind that answer surveys. At least, those that I know. As TP noted:
On firearms, the GSS states that the numbers of owners are decreasing when training courses are filled to capacity across the nation, are constantly being expanded, and sales are booming,. while the Gallup poll has a difference of nearly 20 million more owners in comparison and a similar number of respondents.
The trend seems to be that after a couple of decades of decline (the 1980s and 1990s) that gun sales are now going up. Notably, there were spikes in gun sales subsequent to 9-11 and Katrina. And there were reports by gun dealers of increases after the VT massacre. And just after the expiration of the assault weapon ban, gun sales surged. And, of course, there are regular reports about how gun sales are increasing:
So, if gun ownership is on the decline, who the hell is buying all these guns? And why are gun sales increasing? Recently, some of the increase in reported sales dollars can be tied to the increase in material costs for guns and ammunition. As I’ve said before:
What we (and by we, remember that to the VPC I am the gun lobby too) have been saying is that there was a decline for decades in gun ownership but recently (specifically after 9/11, Katrina and liberal CCW laws) gun ownership has increased quite a bit. Specifically, handgun sales have increased. And this increase was the first increase in probably decades. And there’s also the fact that gun makers are still making guns. Where do those go? See past posts on gun sales here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The trend, IMO, is a simple one: people are buying handguns and EBRs for defense. Hunting is on the decline but people are valuing self-defense. Industry reports seem to support that conclusion.
Quite often when you read op-eds in the main stream media, they were actually placed by groups that advocate on behalf of that organization. It’s a dirty little secret in the world of issue advocacy. I would not be shocked to discover that this op-ed was written by Violence Policy Center themselves, or some other issue oriented group.