National ownership of guns is likely much higher than 29%. There are a number of fundamental flaws in the surveys that purport to show gun ownership.
We do know that there are more than 18 million active handgun carry permits as the end of 2108. There are also 16 states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Some of these states have the highest percentage of households with firearms. In some states, estimate say that more than 60% of households have one or more firearms.
It’s probably safe to say there are at least 80 million legal gun owners in the United States. I have seen estimates as high as 40%, which would put the figure at 100 million.
If American gun owners were a country, it would have the 19th largest population of any nation on Earth.
Estimates of the number of guns in private hands range from 350 million to 400 million. The figures aren’t out yet for 2018, but in 2017, firearm manufacturers produced more than seven million guns for delivery in the U.S. That doesn’t include more than 480,000 that were exported. That figure includes guns manufactured for sales to the military and law enforcement, but the total output is more than twice the total number of U.S. military personnel, including reserves, and federal, state, country, and municipal law enforcement officers. It does not include specialized firearms, such as heavy automatic rifles and machine guns.
You seldom see it mentioned in the news, but there is a growing movement in the United States. Cities, counties, and even entire states are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and refusing to enforce new gun laws they regard as unconstitutional. Over half the counties in Illinois and Washington state are Second Amendment sanctuaries. There is even a county in New York state that passed a resolution.
Nevada enacted a universal background check law in 2019. Already, every county sheriff in the state has pledged to not enforce it.
Those advocating the new laws blame the NRA. In truth, the ones they should blame are themselves. They are the ones who created the resistance; they have been unrelenting in their attacks on gun owners — not guns, gun owners — blaming them for mass shootings, blaming the guns they like, portraying them as something bad; something outside of the mainstream.
You probably don’t see this; I live it.
There is no gun debate in America; there is no discussion. The lines have been drawn, not in sand, but in stone. This is war. Fortunately, so far it is a fairly “civil” civil war and I hope it remains a battle of words.
You don’t know America. You don’t really know Americans. We may share some common history but we diverged from you just as surely as if it was genetic.
You look at us through your eyes and make the mistake of thinking we’re the same. We’re not.
To most Americans, our history really began less than 250 years ago. We have never been the subjects of a monarch; we do not have a parliament with powers such as those held in the UK and Ireland.
You are Irish. You owe fealty to Ireland. I am an American, I owe fealty not only to the federal government, but equally to the government of Texas, the state in which I reside. The federal legislature can enact a law; Texas can refuse to enforce it.
People talk about the supremacy of federal law. But the federal government can only do what the states allow. The federal government cannot change the Constitution on its own; the states can. In turn, the people control the states. If enough people don’t like what a state is doing, they can force the state to change. The state cannot change its own constitution without the consent of the people; the people can demand a change and the state is compelled to make it.
Our relationship to our government; our attitudes toward our government are different. I have friends in the UK and in other countries, most in Germany. They think we’re nuts and they may be right. But that’s what we are and we’re pretty proud of it.
You see David Hogg and think the young people will eschew guns. I see more than a million young people who compete in organized shooting sports, and more who hunt and spend quality time at gun ranges with their families. High school rifle teams are becoming popular again. Because of its unique features, the AR-15 rifle in both .22 long rifle and standard calibers is popular with younger shooters because of the ability to adjust the size and low recoil.
I am not trying to persuade you; I am trying to explain things to you.
We are not you. That’s the first step to understanding why disarmament is not un the cards for the United States, at least for the next few generations.