We’ve been hearing for while — including in these pages — that even as gun sales rise and rise and rise, there are actually fewer households in which someone owns a firearm.
Not so, according to Pew (via Breitbart):
A Pew Research Center poll released on August 26 shows that 44 percent of all households now own a gun.
This expansion of household gun ownership comes amid an ongoing streak of 15 months of consecutive gun sale background checks and various poll results showing Americans believe gun ownership makes them safer, rather than putting them at risk.
According to Pew, 44 percent of all households have a gun, versus 51 percent who said they did not. This same poll showed that 58 percent of respondents viewed gun ownership as something that brings safety, versus 37 percent who believe such ownership increases risk.
The Pew poll follows more than a year of mainstream media contention that the breadth of gun ownership was actually shrinking, even as gun sales were soaring. For example, a March 2015 CBS report used a General Social Survey to suggest gun ownership had fallen to a point where only 32 percent of Americans lived in a household with a gun. The CBS report was followed by an October 2015 Washington Post report that sought to explain the record number of background checks by suggesting the same gun owners were simply buying more guns.
At the same time, other polls focused on the attitudes of Americans–regarding more gun control versus less–substantiated the position that Americans’ appreciation of gun ownership was expanding, rather than declining. Moreover, high profile firearms-based attacks appeared to drive more Americans toward gun ownership, not gun control. For example, a CNN poll taken three weeks after the October 1 Umpqua Community College attack showed that three percent more Americans opposed gun control after the attack than had opposed gun control prior.
Given the accelerating fraying of social cohesion and public trust in recent years, as well as the redoubled efforts of anti-gun activists and “blue” states to restrict Second Amendment freedoms, this should surprise nobody, I think; walk into a gun-shop almost anywhere and you are likely to see a picture of Barack Obama on the wall, with the caption “Salesman of the Year”. The defense of one’s own life and property seems to more and more of us an increasingly foolish thing to out-source.