Gun Ownership: Bit of Hope

32% of Americans either own a firearm or live with someone who does. That is actually a significant decline since the 1970’s and 1980’s when about half the population told researchers they lived in a household which had a gun. We’re not used to seeing encouraging trends when it comes to gun ownership, but a new survey by a respected research organization based at the University of Chicago documents what seems a hopeful movement, small but there nonetheless. Although the number of households with guns is declining, overall the number of guns purchased has not. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check shows there’s been an increase in the number of background checks. While this suggests the number of guns purchased is going up, it also suggests a greater concentration of ownership, meaning fewer Americans own guns—22% down from the 31% who said they did in 1985. The demographics of gun ownership point to a gender gap, indicating that the percentage of men who own guns declined. They are also older, 31% being over 65. Half gun owners are Republicans, and 4 in 10 are white, as opposed to 2 in 10 being black.

All in all these numbers remind us that as long as there’s progress in declining gun ownership, it doesn’t matter how slow it is.

One thought on “Gun Ownership: Bit of Hope”

  1. Well every bit helps. Even if 32% sounds bad, this is progress. Aside from guns getting into the hands of children, it is deplorable to have towns and cities, where citizens can legally carry guns on the street. The demographics are eyeopening, too. No surprise that half of gun owners are Republican and that the stereotype of blacks being armed and dangerous is untrue, as twice as many whites carry guns…Still less gun ownership is a step in the right direction.

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