Old time TTAGers will remember Dan Baum as the one-time New Yorker writer and TTAG commentator/contributor. Dan the Man was offended by the term “gun grabber” and other “inflammatory” editorial material hereabouts, took his ball and went home. Actually, he hit the road, researching for a new, firearms-related book. Dan recently broke radio silence to send me a heads-up—via batch email. For .99, I could download an excerpt of his forthcoming tome Guns Gone Wild. [Click here to download the Kindle single.] And here’s what I learned for my George Washington: the United States firearms industry is demographically doomed. When the OFWGs (Old Fat White Guys) die-off, that’s it. Done. In fact, it’s already happening . . .

In 1977, more than half of American households kept guns; by 2010, fewer than a third. Participation in gun sports — hunting, target shooting skeet — has plummeted in the past ten years. Almost all guns are bought by men, and well over half gun purchases are made by men over 45. Barely one rifle or shotgun in ten goes to someone under 34. For handguns, the percentage of buyers who are young is in the single digits. If buying habit hold steady, the gun business will be all but gone in twenty years . . .

For the consumers of tomorrow, guns are so yesterday.

Three words Dan: Call of Duty. Also, as people get older, they realize they have more to lose (like children) and take steps to protect it. Insurance, pension, gun, etc. OFWGs never die. They replicate. Anecdotally, I’ve also seen more and more people of color at the range. And women too.

Oh wait! Dan was kidding; his reports about the demise of the American firearms industry were premature and greatly exaggerated (for dramatic effect). The ARs are coming! The ARs are coming!

The M16 is a fine battlefield rifle, but it’s hard, at first, to see why any civilian would want its semi-automatic version. With its pistol grip, black plastic stock, and man-killer look, the AR-15 has none of the polished walnut elegance of traditional firearms. The most common reason people buy rifles is for killing whitetail deer, and the tiny .223-caliber bullet fired by a basic AR isn’t very good at that. (The reason it’s good on people not deer is that people are two-legged and know what has happened when a bullet hits them, so they fall down. Deer keep running and die later.) Nor is an AR-15 ideal for home defense, which the second-most common reason people buy guns. Fired inside a living room, an AR-15 bullet would likely whizz through a burglar and several walls to lodge in a neighbor’s house.

Strangely, Dan undercuts his own argument a few ePages later quoting an AR enthusiast who changed his AR’s caliber to something larger so he could . . . wait for it . . . hunt deer. (Of frangible home defense rounds, nada.)

Dan moves on to politics, scoring a chin wag with Dennis Hennigan from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It was worth his time; Hennigan admits he’s never been to a rifle range. And Baum tells it like it is: “the effect of assault rifles on public safety is practically non-existent.”

And that’s about all you get for a dollar. From this small sample, it seems Dan Baum’s resisted the urge to straddle the ballistic fence. I’ll reserve final judgement for the actual book, but I reckon the ex-TTAGer and AR15.com antagonist (in the strict sense) has written a mostly excellent introduction to the AR for newbies. If only he’d let a proper gun guy proof it first . . .

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82 Responses to Dan Baum: The U.S. Firearms Industry is Doomed. Or Not.

  1. “Three words Dan: Call of Duty.”

    I’d really like to see an article on TTAG about the increasing normalization of guns in American media (with a focus on video games) and how we’ll likely see a lot of new gun owners as the “CoD kiddies” turn 18 and 21 years old. My biggest fear is that they will be met with discrimination by older gun owners for their lack of knowledge, both real and perceived, and will contribute to further segmentation of American gun owners (something that you’ve no doubt experienced if you’ve ever seen an old hunting type turn his nose up at your tacticool AR.)

    • I am turning 21 in 1 month and I played a lot of call of duty when I was younger. I stopped playing CoD and sold my xbox about a year and a half ago. 6 months or so after that I was hitting the forums to learn The Truth about Guns. Now I am fully educated on guns and will be a life-long carrier (laws permitting) and collector.

      It is ok to be harsh with CoD kids on safety, but just lack of knowledge should be met with patient advice. My generation could become the most gun-owning generation in a century.

    • As a 20 year old kid i can say things like call of duty and Airsoft have played a major factor in the firearms I’ve purchased, the very first rifle bought the day after I turned 18 was a Smith & Wesson 15-22 because I wanted an AR but i didnt have the cash for a real one. Call of Duty influenced my first purchase. I’ll freely admit to it. (my first firearm which was given to me by my father was a Winchester 1894 30-30 and is my most prized possession). I now have a Del-Ton AR with all the cool mag-pul gear i could get on it(minus p-mags freaking NY)

    • The ranks of our military services are larger than they have been in the last 30 years, and every single one of these servicemembers know the AR platform. A great deal of them also play “Call of Duty” (and similar games). I guess my point is that folks who buy those “tacticool AR” rifles for their first firearms aren’t “CoD kiddies” OR knowledgable and experienced veterans. These two aren’t mutually exclusive. Many are both.

      Additionally, those “old hunting types” are, more often than not, of Vietnam vintage these days. Ten years from now, there will be few left who turn up their noses at the idea of hunting with an AR. It is now, afterall, the “modern sporting rifle.”

      • Agreed on the “old hunting types”. I see at least as many AR’s at my club as “polished walnut” rifles. And even then, many of the wood rifles are Garands, Springfields, and Lee-Enfields. October is the big exception, as everyone pulls out their hunting rifles for sight-in days. A number of the private clubs around here have wait lists for memberships. Of course, this is Texas, ya’ll.

  2. I’m 23 years old, I live in California, I own about 9 firearms including an AR-15. The same can be said for a lot of my friends. Maybe the entire consumer base of the firearms industry is going to die of old age, I don’t know. But there isn’t any evidence of it here.

    • Exactly. I’m 27 and almost all of my male friends own guns (yes, plural) and some of their wives / girlfriends are getting into guns as well. I think what’s really happening is that for several decades the media’s anti-gun campaign terrified a lot of people (especially women) into being afraid of guns, but now they’re slowly realizing how foolish that is.

    • I’m quickly getting old(er) now; was introduced to guns very early in life. I was hunting by eight years of age. For years, it never dawned on me to do my part in protecting the 2nd Amendment by introducing non-shooters to the sport. I regret that fact tremendously. Maybe if I would’ve made more effort earlier, I would not have to fight so hard now to expand concealed carry and gun rights, in general, AND maybe our gun rights would be just a bit more secure. Currently, I make it an annual goal to introduce at least 5 non-shooters per year to the sport; 5 is the minimum. I do what I’m able to do, but MANY folks do this, too. I’m only praying that I’ll plant the same seed in the younger men here. I wish someone would have planted it earlier in my life. Gather more soldiers in your youth and you may get to rest and enjoy the victory before your knees give out and your prostate collapses. Life is finite. How will you use your finite time for God, country, and posterity?

    • I’m 45, own several guns. I and my friends were much more into guns — shooting and collecting — when we were in our 20s. But when I went to gun shows or gun club meetings, almost everyone else was over 45. So who knows!

  3. “The reason it’s good on people not deer is that people are two-legged and know what has happened when a bullet hits them, so they fall down. Deer keep running and die later.”

    Oh man! We can just run, we don’t have to fall down? Thats great news!
    Uh Oh Dan, I hope the bad guys don’t read your work, or we will be in big trouble!

  4. So, the demographic of Guns is much the same as Harley-Davidson motorcycles—
    I resemble that remark. And although Mr. Baum is considered the “Compleat A**H**E” in certain circles (Think “ARFCOM”), on that one point he might have some validation.
    Or not….

  5. Seems like Dan Baum is really simplifying things too much.

    My observations: Most of the attendees or buyers at the Portland Oregon Gun Show are usually white men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. This profile fits me too. This summer I have purchased three guns for home defense, civil unrest, and emergency survival hunting. I’m thinking about getting into hunting now for the first time. My hunting weapon of interest is the sling shot for small game and the sling bow for fish. I have no idea how this interest will pan out.

    Women are increasingly buying guns. I’ve read that there is a renewed interest in sport hunting nationwide. America’s fastest growing minority Hispanics seem to value guns. Younger people (20s) do usually have less to defend (kids, property) along with less money to buy guns. The younger crowd generally feels more invincible. America’s school system often pushes (brainwashes) socialist values and politically correct thinking onto students. Leaving school, experiencing life as an employee, etc can change and mature values and attitudes.

    I suspect that more liberals quietly own guns than most people believe. America’s gun community really needs to reward Obama with the recognition for helping to motivate more Americans to buy guns for the first time than any other president.

    • My observations: Most of the attendees or buyers at the people in Portland Oregon Gun Show are usually white(s) men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

      Oregon (93.5%) in general and Portland (74-82% depending on how you count mixed race) in particular are not noted for their ethnic diversity.

  6. Seems like guns are getting more main stream and more popular with women too-at least where I live.That’s what I see at the range, at the gun stores, and at gun shows.

      • That’s my “problem”, not enough disposable income. I’m under 30, and I’ve got 2 rifles I inherited, and a shotgun and two pistols (1 for the wife) that I purchased. With a mortgage payment and someone else in the family to consider, , there hasn’t been enough income to dispose on more firearms.

  7. OFWG’s? Last time I looked guns were extremely popular in the gangs hailing from the black and hispanic slums. Our own government is arming the Mexican drug cartels. As long as outlaws have guns, guns will be legal and popular.

  8. And Baum tells it like it is: “the effect of assault rifles on pubic safety is practically non-existent.”

    Well, I think both of you mean public safety, since a rifle doesn’t do much for a knee to the groin nor any STDs?

  9. .223 from a carbine length AR-15+good hunting bullet will drop a large Mule deer in it’s tracks up to 200 yards with a well placed shot. Get out and hunt deer sometime, Dan, you’ll learn a little something about real world firearms ballistics.

    • Except in most states it’s illegal to hunt large game with a 223. Minimum caliber in Virginia is 243. (The law reads 23 caliber but no such weapon exists.)

      Combined Post

      The reason that OFWGs own guns is that there were more people who served in military from this age group. There is an entire generation of new veterans who will be buying guns in the future.

    • Wha?!?

      Which state allows G.I Joke to hunt mule deer with an AR? I know that bullet tech has advanced, but that is still under arming hunters…why allow the bare minimum?

      I am not surprized that there will be one. Here in TN you can hunt with one, but there are no mule deer. Am surprised that people are stupid enough to actually use .223 on big game.

      • “Am surprised that people are stupid enough to actually use .223 on big game.”

        Every year I head out to my bro-in-law’s farm for the deer hunt. Every year I bring back at least one, and sometimes two or three, nice deer. (yes, it’s legal.)

        All with a .223, for the last seven years. Never more than one shot per animal. Never left any injured animals behind. What I shot at, I brought home.

        Call me stupid, I guess.

        (C’mon. A difference of opinion from yours doesn’t make someone “stupid.”)

  10. If the whiney gun grabbers get their way we are all doomed. I bought more guns as I got older and so did most of my friends. I’m at the range every week and there are plenty of young men and women who enjoy shooting. I’ve seen a big increase in women shooters over the last ten years, and hopefully this trend will continue.

  11. “Fired inside a living room, an AR-15 bullet would likely whiz through a burglar and several walls to lodge in a neighbor’s house. “

    Where is the evidence for this? Or is the guy just writing words in order to write something, anything.

    • Apparently he didn’t read the studies that have been done showing that 9mm and .45 bullets are just as likely (some say more likely) to do the same – which is why many SWAT teams now use ARs instead of MP5s. Oh wait- he probably knows that (since I’m sure it showed up on his Google search for AR penetration). Just the usual gun controller lies, distortions and half-truths.

  12. I belong to several gun sites and lurk around the edges of many more, and I am not seeing a lot of evidence to support his contention. Yes, a lot of posters are older white men, but I’ve been surprised by how many college-aged guys – and, now that I think of it, some women too (though you know how it is with internet handles, most are not gender-specific) – are out there on these sites.

    It’s an odd point of view. What about all of the stories about the huge uptick in gun and ammo purchases since President Obama’s election? Is he suggesting that these have all been bought by the same old fat white guys?

    I’m more often on the liberal side of the fence than the conservative side, and voted for Obama in the last election (for non-second amendment reasons), so I have no axe to grind here. I think this guy is dreaming. It may be that the last thing the typical NY liberal wants to admit is that gun ownership is extending out of the usual gun-owning demographics.

    That being said, I think gun owners have an obligation to push against the stereotype of gun owners as only southern or rural or white or conservative.

  13. I go to a large,busy range fairly often and there are a lot of young people.male amd female there.
    I guess it’s a matter of observation at a particular time and place.

    • This is very true. Plus I think a big part in why it’s mostly older people buying so many guns is because younger people have kids to pay for – after the kids are gone, their disposable income goes through the roof.

      Like I pointed out to a friend of mine with his first kid on the way – for the cost of having that kid per year, I can buy multiple $1,000+ guns each year.

      • “…their disposable income goes through the roof…” That’s funny as heck, except for paying for college tuition for two – you keep telling yourself that.

        While my political leanings are more left than the right – who cares (except some commenters on this site who love to stereotype). My girls have grown up with their dads’ gun habit and they will carry on the tradition, plus they love it. I don’t see his argument at all as long as some of us OFWG’s pass along our heritage.

  14. I think there are also a large number of urban liberal ‘preppers’ who now own guns. Most are often not so much concerned with government becoming an outright totalitarian police-state yet they are concerned with crime and civil unrest. A smaller number of the preppers are concerned about a possible major social collapse.

    • I also think that some of these liberal “preppers” are caught between wanting to be safe AND not wanting to have to explain to their liberal friends why they feel it necessary to be armed. We have to be VERY careful about the attempts on ALL sides to stereotype who does and does not carry a gun.

      • Absolutely. Some of the gun-owning (or gun interested) liberal preppers are probably in a situation of needing to be careful who they can discuss such things with. Prior to moving to Portland Oregon, people described this city as ‘liberals with guns’. Sounds funny yet it is somewhat true or at least there are here many ‘moderates with guns’. I have a conservative leaning friend who owns 30+ guns. His plan, in the event of a collapse, is to give many away to any good decent person liberal or conservative who needs and wants one. I imagine that there are some conservatives who, in a similar way, plan on giving a gun to a liberal relative or friend when/if the SHTF. There are probably some non-gun owning NYC liberals who will move in with a relative in the country if the SHTF knowing there is a gun there for them to carry.

  15. You could say the same things about minivans, Viagra and 401Ks. A gun was the last thing on my mind when I was in my 20s back on the East coast. Now that I’m more than twice that age in Texas, I enjoy shooting and have a gun for every occasion. I think as we get older, have families and have been scared more, we think more about self-defense. Also, I believe that there will be a long-term shift of population from North to South. And with gun laws historically less restrictive in the South, I think more people will be getting guns over time.

    • The only problem is that anti-gun thought tends to follow some liberals. I have seen many examples of that here in central Virginia as we get spillover from the Federal monster to the north. Despite the pro-gun stance of many in the south, if there is a large influx from the northern states, they will probably resist change due to their ingrained fear of firearms. I can see this in my wife’s family. They are all Yankees, and none of them like firearms. They even go so far as to refer to water guns as “water squirters” because they do not want their grandson to be exposed to guns.

  16. The rumors of the untimely death of the “American gun culture” have been greatly exaggerated. Mr. Baum seems to be no exception to the delusions suffered by so many on the enlightened, hip, edgy, touchy-feely, multi-culti, emo, metrosexual, unicorns farting skittles and rainbows end of the intellectual/political/rationality spectrum.

    In these fair United States, many millions of new firearms are manufactured and sold to our law abiding citizens every year. Millions more than could be accounted for by mere natural population growth. Further, every year many BILLIONS of rounds of ammunition are bought, consumed and stashed away by those same citizens. Many of our gun owning fellows are actively introducing and recruiting other citizens into our ranks, and many, if not most, of those recruits get it, totally, and really dig it.

    It’s a nice theory, Mr. Baum, but I don’t see that the empirical data supports your contention.

  17. There is a critical fact that makes Dan’s argument invalid….the aging of America. In fact, Dan creates his own counter argument within his premise.

    Too bad Dan doesn’t understand basic logic.

  18. Hunting has declined in popularity at about the same rate that hunting habitat has been lost. That much about Dan’s silly theory is true. But Dan does not take into account the fact that from 1968 to around 2004 (when the “Assault Weapons Ban” was allowed to slide back into the sesspool of history), desirable guns were denied to people who wanted to buy them. Once the wraps were taken off, there was an expectation of increased gun purchases. Well, guess what? That’s exactly what’s been happening.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the death of guns have been greatly exaggerated.

  19. I’ve been in the firearms training business for 20 years. Starting back in the Clinton era, through Y2K, 9/11, the economic chaos and the Obama Presidency, demand for training has continued to increase, with the biggest demographic being new gun owners and new gun buyers. Michael Bane called it Gun Culture 2.0. 20 years ago I ran the only school in Austin and the one IPSC club had 20 members. Now there are 15+ schools teaching carry permit classes (and more) and matches with 40-80 shooters at multiple ranges every weekend. Perhaps Dan needs to visit us here in Flyover Country.

  20. What the anti-gunners fail to realize is that many new shooters are being created by none other than Uncle Sam. As a result, many of those new shootrers will buy a platform that they are familiar with as their first rifle, that being the AR-15. Moreover, as they progress, they will branch out into other areas like IDPA, F-Class, etc…

  21. ¨OFWGs never die. They replicate.¨
    That is funny because it is true.
    ¨(The reason it’s good on people not deer is that people are two-legged and know what has happened when a bullet hits them, so they fall down. Deer keep running and die later.)¨
    Do bad guys know to fall down when the bullet hits them? Either Dan or the BGs (or both) need further education so we can all be on the same page.

  22. 1) I bought my first gun to protect my wife/family when I was 28
    2) I own a shotgun and several handguns
    3) My wife, while she does not enjoy shooting like I do, is proficient enough to use any weapon in the house if need be and I am not available.
    4) I have my CCW and practice every other weekend.
    5) I am Black and am tired of waiting for the police.

    The Brady group can blow me.

  23. Anecdotally from what I’ve seen:

    Pretty substantial decrease in younger hunters.
    Reasonable increase in the overall number of shooters.

    Another observation, 10 years ago the outdoor ranges were pretty slow during off season. Even during hunting season the hunters would go out, slow fire 3 groups of 3 to get their sites on. Maybe fire a revolver a dozen times and they were out of there. I more frequently see people with AK’s, AR’s, specialized varminter set ups, whole families, etc. In my area, my nonscientific observation is that the gun owning population has changed their views on guns in general.

    Just based on the number of people I see and the age groups, I certainly don’t think the we’ve golden-aged ourselves out of firearms.

  24. 21 year old gun owner here. since i started shooting three years i ago. one of my friends has bought a few rifles, and his dad (who is 60 and never owned a gun) enjoyed shooting so much he went out and bought a gun. Lets see anther one of my friends who comes from non-gunowning parents went out and bought a gun. Recently took anther kid to the range and converted him. I’m really not to worried about it, all you guys gotta do is be friendly when you see these kids showing up, even if they have no idea what they’re doing. Because chances are they have no training.

  25. Baum Said:

    Almost all guns are bought by men, and well over half gun purchases are made by men over 45. Barely one rifle or shotgun in ten goes to someone under 34.

    A few thoughts regarding this statistic:

    1. That fact is only relevant if it evidences a demographic change in gun buying. As has already been pointed out, guns are expensive and people in their 20’s tend to throw their money away on useless frivolities like rent, food, car payments and expenses related to their children.

    2. There is also the factor that a greater percentage of high school grads go to college – in essence postponing their entry into adulthood by at least 4 years. Yes, a 19 year old college student can buy a shotgun or rifle, and a 21 year old college student can buy a handgun, but where would he/she keep it (as most colleges have strict anti-gun policies?) Furthermore that student likely has other priorities. However as he/she grows up, leaves school and enters the real world, a firearm might start to make more sense.

    3. Was Baum’s statistic based on total firearms sales or on new sales of firearms from licensed dealers? Again, going back to the fact that a person in his 20’s doesn’t have as much disposable income as one in his 40’s, a purchase of a used firearm might make more sense, as might a face-to-face purchase not conducted through a dealer.

    4. It’s not uncommon in some parts of the US for a parent/grandparent to either give or lend a firearm to a son or daughter when they’re out on their own, for self-defense, hunting or whatever. These guns won’t make Baum’s statistic (because they’re used guns being transferred without any “paperwork”) but you still have an armed person in his/her 20’s.

    5. Final point, as recently as 45 years ago, there was no record keeping requirement for gun purchases (the 4473 was a result of the GCA of 1968) so any data as to how many people in their 20s were buying guns before 1968 is going to be largely suspect.

  26. I feel compelled to comment on this- my first comment on TTAG.

    I am a 29 year old, half Irish-half Japanese, bachelor. I am a moderate liberal, born and raised smack dab in the middle of San Francisco. I now live smack dab in the middle of Berkeley. I work in Theater. I started shooting in high school and buying firearms at age 24. Most of my high school buddies (again, from the middle of SF) own firearms- and these are mostly handguns and shotguns for home defense; most of us are NRA members.

    My point is this- I don’t think that you can find a demographic that on paper would be less likely to own firearms: young, single, mostly ethnic or mixed race, moderately liberal, born and raised in the middle of gun-hating San Francisco. Yet we do own firearms, and are passionate about firearms rights. I think that this author may be succumbing to wishful thinking.

    • Good for you. I moved away from SF a few years ago and out of state. While living in SF my house mates never had a clue that hidden away in my closet where three guns. BTW, those two guys were not fanatical anti-gunners so much as they simply did not want guns in our place out of fear that the occasional roommate argument might escalate into a shooting if one of us owned guns. We had arguments, at times, and no one got shot or threatened.

      I now live in Portland with a liberal house mate who hates weapons and grew uneasy when she learned that I have a Gerber Commando Knife in my closet from the days when I was in the Army. I replied that she has many sharp knives in the kitchen. I refrained from saying that her car is a dangerous weapon as she would take that the wrong way.

      • Thanks! Yeah, the only sticky area I seem to encounter is the housemates one. Luckily I tend to live with friends, and most of my friends are intelligent people that will actually listen to a well presented argument- Ive actually converted a few anti-gunner friends by living with them and forcing them to deal with firearms as tools, not scary boom sticks that seek out small children with malicious intent.

        • I’m very careful about informing house mates, co-workers, and neighbors that I own guns. My concern is slightly that I don’t want to have that knowledge spread resulting in a theft and more-so that I don’t want anyone to use that information against me is some false accusation. If I lived in Texas I would not be so concerned yet I lived in SF and now live in Portland. Both city governments are anti-gun (SF more than Portland) and the residents consist of a large number of the anti-gun crowd.

          Three workplace rules I learned in SF: never express interest in discussing political or social issues, never socialize alone with a female co-worker (large co-worker parties are fine since there will be witnesses that you did nothing sexually wrong), and lastly never discuss guns or hunting and it is much safer to say you don’t own a gun if asked.

          Sadly, bearing false witness seems fine with many people in modern society.

  27. “the effect of assault rifles on public safety is practically non-existent.”

    Given that assault rifles are used mostly by SWAT teams outside of the military that is not a comforting statement.

  28. I never heard of Dan, but it’s clear that he is very much out of touch with reality. The firearms industry is one of the very few that are blow’in and go’in!

    My son owns three guns, except that he doesn’t because (gasp!) he’s too young to buy one. And you won’t find a lot of college age kids buying guns either. They have other fish to fry. So (if his stats are correct) people age 24 to 34 buy 1 in 10 long guns – and people age 35 to 80 buy the other 9. Since people in the second age bracket have more disposable income that sounds about right. So what of it?

    It’s a tempest in a teapot if ever I saw one.

    Charlie

  29. If Dan is basing his theory on current sales he is either intentionally (most likely) or unintentionally ignoring that there are many fine used (and often better), rifles and shotguns for sale and many used firearms are being handed down and still in use. Also, the technical advances in handguns in the last 20 years and their greater sales, would negatively skew the perception he is attempting to create.

    I personally have my late grandfather’s 1954 Savage 99E (.300 Savage) and his 1948 Ithaca Model 37, 12 ga. Featherweight for my primary large caliber rifle and big bore shotgun. So other than my new AR (S&W M&P Sport) because it’s better than an old AR, as I consider an O/U for trap, the used firearm market generally gets the first look for a rifle or shotgun purchase.

  30. Almost all people collecting retirement benefits are over the age of 55. Shall we assume that will go out of style once they die off as well?

  31. What about the Obama effect?

    Barack Obama has been the NRA’s gun salesman of the year three years running, ever since 2008.

    Hey, at least he’s stimulating one American industry, and in the midst of a recession no less. What a miracle worker. In his election year alone, he spurred gun sales (as measured by FBI background checks) by 42%.

    And btw, Dan Baum is a first class douche bag.

  32. I’ll be 55 this week. When I was 12 my Dad bought a cheap Marlin 22 and took me and my younger brothers out shooting in the woods. At 16 he gave me a 12 gauge pump so I could hunt birds with my high school buddies in south central PA. We hunted every saturday in the fall. When I went to college in Colorado I gave up hunting for a couple of years. Then I went to a gun store on W. Colfax Avenue in Denver and just had to have a pre-64 Winchester 16 gauge automatic shotgun. It was a beauty. Shortly after that I bought my first Browning Hi-power. Still my favorite handgun.

    Long story short, I’ve owned guns even when I couldn’t afford them. I’ve carried concealed for over 35 years without incident. My children are now grown and I have given them some fine firearms. If the SHTF I have plenty more guns and ammo to pass around to anyone who has the guts to use them.

  33. This whole thing reminds me of a story about the Polish politburo in the 1970s.

    The comrades were arguing about how to reduce the influence of the Cathlic church and coming up with plans for concerts on Sunday mornings and similar stunts.

    One of the comrades commented that they really didn’t need to worry because everyone in Church was over 70 and in 10 years, they wouldn’t have a problem.

    His colleague reminded him that Churches had been full of the elderly for the last 500 years and they hadn’t run out of the faithful yet.

  34. What, he thinks black guys don’t buy guns? I know a lot of black guys in my region have guns, especially the ones in high-crime urban areas. (They usually prefer handguns; the price is right and they’re the most practical weapons for pedestrian self defense. A nice big intimidating shotgun is often considered good for home defense, though.)

    As Chris Rock once said, “You think I got three guns in my house because of the media!?”

  35. Someone should forward this article to Glock. They are on deep back order. Even the store did not know when they would get more.

  36. I suspect the OFWG are the ones buying guns because they’re the ones with the disposable income to buy multiple, slightly different black rifles. Someone in their 20’s is more likely to have one or two guns, at best.

  37. 1. I’m one of those typical 54-year-old white guys with a mild gut in Minnesota. Uncles and cousins always hunted, so I grew up going with them until they discovered the joys of drunk hunting, at which point I began going alone. Now, my 20 year old son, my 18 year old son, and my 17 year old daughter all look forward every year to the pheasant hunt over in SD. I think they’ll continue this on their own after I stop going with them. For years, though, all of their friends (in our well-off liberal suburb west of the Cities) commented to all of them that they were the only kids they knew who hunted. (Most also expressed a vague wish that they could hunt too, someday, but they had no idea how to start, where to go, how to find land where it was legal, etc.) If there was some easy-to-use guide for all areas that would list places where Joe Blow could just show up and hunt, I think we’d have a ton more hunters. South Dakota puts out maps showing where farmland owners have declared their fields open for all hunters (for pheasant) which is a wonderful thing, because it makes the sport accessible to anyone, even if you don’t have a hunting mentor who can take you to the right spots.

    2. True that some people are drifting away from hunting and guns, but at the same time, the gun market has discovered the entire one-half of society that it used to ignore – women – and I now know women who are as much into the collecting aspect of gun ownership as any guy. I suspect that’s a market that is only going to grow as women realize that they can use guns just like guys can, since women tend to have a greater need for self-protection weapons than do most guys.

    3. Unrelated question: on this site, (and only on this site), when I type out a comment, or do anything at all with my keyboard, it all goes incredibly slowly – like, I’ll type a sentence, and the sentence will then appear in the box one letter every three seconds or so until it all shows up. (Now, if I’m going to comment, I’ll compose it in Word and then paste it into the comment box.) If I use my keyboard arrows to scroll, it goes one line at a time every three seconds or so. If I use my mouse on the corner arrows to scroll, it goes normal speed. Any idea why this is so?

  38. I am a old, fat, white guy. I was at a large gun store back in the spring. It was so busy I couldn’t find anyone to show me a couple of rifles I was interested in. There were other guys like me but also younger, and older, ones.

    The two people who seemed to be actually buying guns while I was there, were women in their mid to late 20s.

  39. the standard 55 grain bullet will most likely fragment after hitting the first sheet
    of drywall or glass, the second sheet will be splattered with the fragments and further
    degrade the velocity of the fragments — of course, anything can happen, but the risks generated off-premises are not much different than leo firepower — you can
    test this at the range – shot Expert with the M-16 in 1966 – and love to take buds and noobs to the range to shoot my AR – they all seem to enjoy the experience… 🙂

  40. Hahaha….old Dan is having another of the liberal’s wet dreams. I own a small gun shop in a small town(pop 11,000), and I’ve sold more guns the past 3 years than I sold the previous 10 years combined. To a far wider age and sex range. Sorry, Dan, you’re full of it. And I don’t mean truth.

  41. “Dan moves on to politics, scoring a chin wag with Dennis Hennigan from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It was worth his time; Hennigan admits he’s never been to a rifle range. And Baum tells it like it is: “the effect of assault rifles on public safety is practically non-existent.”

    Ironically, James Brady was shot with a .22 cal revolver (not an assault rifle) in a city that had strict handgun control laws.

  42. I agree that gun owners will never die. I will submit that I am a liberal. I grew up on a farm in Minnesota. I hunted deer, pheasant, ducks, and geese. I will defend that right until the day I die. My question to the people commenting, what in your mind would be appropriate firearms restrictions? I understand a shotgun will kill a human as handily and better than a 9 mm will. Does this affect our dispensing of these firearms? I’m not sure I agree with the theme of many of you here. I am unsure why we can’t agree that perhaps extended clips, modified assault firearms, etc.. should be considered. I also think that the: end of world times, stock ammo and firearms now, Obama will forcefully take away our weapons, we must resist tyranny, is a bit much and turns away many on my side of the aisle. Again, in many ways the underlying tone that we must prevent tryanny with our AR-15s is nonsense… They have tanks.

    • They don’t have enough tanks to be everywhere at once. Not even close. You need to revise the tank argument, it doesn’t work.

  43. It’s funny, I’m an OFWG these days and must confess to owning and using several firearms. Have all my life. I’m still prejudiced about the M-16/AR15 platform, I was one of the guys who had to clean up the mess after the Marine unit that was issued M16s without the proper cleaning gear was overrun in Viet Nam. Still, I admit that the platform has come a long way since then. I do not deigrate the platform although I do hope that someday the military will go to a larger cartridge for general use. A real rifle round like the 7.62 NATO can stop a man, a truck, a horse or anything else unarmored as far as the rifleman can hit. The 5.56 will not.

    Is shooting dying? Funny, don’t tell my grandchildren that. They are all waiting for Gramps to go to the nursing home so they can have his shootin’ irons. All ten of them.

  44. I wonder if anyone here actually read the Dan Baum piece. You’d never know it from this discussion.

    … also, the link above doesn’t lead to the Baum story at Amazon, but back to another item at TTAG.

  45. The funny thing is that by most accounts, ranging from industry sources to match directors that I’ve spoken to, shooting is experiencing a genuine renaissance. Sales are up over the past several years and continue to grow, participation by women is growing, match participation has been steady even in a tough economy and the attendants are actually getting younger on average. I wouldn’t have expected any of these things to come about, if you’d asked me 10 years ago. There’s been some commentary on this trend in the media, which typically attributes the change to the Obama administration and ‘fear’, of course, but I think that there is a deeper cultural change at play.

    As a secondary indicator, look at all of the new firearms that have been coming out over the past few years – new designs, reprised classics, and of course all of the new 1911’s. This isn’t evidence of a declining or shrinking market, quite the opposite.

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