More on gun sales
Slate’s Jack Shafer on gun sales:
If all 8.6 million background checks in 2008 were for first-time buyers, one could make the potentially chilling case that growing numbers of citizens are bearing arms. But that’s not very likely based on established survey data. Ownership of most of the nation’s estimated 200 million guns is concentrated in relatively few hands—according to a recent article in the journal Injury Prevention, 48 percent of gun owners reported owning more than four firearms. A similar data point collected by the National Institute of Justice (PDF, Page 2) states that of “gun owners in 1994, 10 million individuals owned 105 million guns, while the remaining 87 million guns were dispersed among 34 million other owners.”
This year’s uptick in buyers must reflect some new gun owners, but if past surveys are a good guide, surely most of these buyers are repeat buyers. This means that the well-armed are probably getting better-armed—a point none of the recent news stories makes.
I do not, however, think firearms scare almost everybody. They do, however, seem to spook the press.
Other posts on Gun Sales here.