Chuck Norris (courtesy proubtobefilthyliberalscum.com)

“The Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva ranks the U.S. number one in both the total number of civilian firearms and in per capita ownership of small firearms,” alternet.org reports, “beating out recent war zones like Yemen, Serbia and Iraq. In fact, we may even have more guns in the U.S. than we have people: The rate of private gun ownership in the U.S. was tabulated at 101.05 firearms per 100 individuals in one study. According to a recent report on CNN, Americans own as many as one-third of the guns in the entire world. Research also shows that while the number of households with guns has declined, current gun owners are stockpiling more guns. Part of this concentration seems to stem from the fact that guns are primarily marketed to people who already own guns.” As Ronald Reagan used to say, there you go again . . .
The anti-gunners amongst us love, love, LOVE the idea that America gun ownership is in decline, even as it increases. They’re selling the idea that the recent sustained historic surge in gun sales and concealed carry licenses and the ammo drought are the last gasp of the soon-to-be long lost tribe of armed OFWGs. The civilian disarmament complex reckons they’re winning even as their losing.

If gun control advocates had journeyed to a gun range in the last two years—and I’m thinking that former space cadet turned gun grabber Mark Kelly is the Mother of All Outliers in terms of trigger time—they’d know that there are plenty of young folks bustin’ caps. And buying bang sticks.

More guns = fewer gun owners makes about as much sense as anything else gun control advocates argue. More to the point, as pointed out by TTAG readers Steve S., “if we have 1/3 of all the guns in the world, I’d think we should have 1/3 of the deaths/whatever.” [Note to math-minded readers: I think he’s being sarcastic.] Here’s the kicker:

A related statistic: In the U.S., the gun-related murder rate is the second highest in the developed world. Only Mexico, where the ongoing drug war expands the number, has us beat.

A) define “developed” and B) Mexico has draconian gun control. What does that meme?

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105 Responses to Gun Ownership: We’re Number One!

  1. Chuck got his chest all vaselined-up for the shoot, eh? His head isn’t sweating, so it’s a dead giveaway.

    • Mini-Uzi’s with short magazines? What’s he planning to do when he finishes “spray and praying” all that limited ammo, look mean and kick them?
      Gotta love Hollywood tough guys.

      • Funny how you use “limited ammo” and “Hollywood” there. We all know that those mags are good for at least 500 rounds each.

        • No, those are special Hollywood Magazines. They don’t measure capacity by number of bullets that fit within, they measure capacity by screen-time. Those two ‘short mags’ are good for two to five minutes of shooting, maybe a bit more if there is running and jumping involved.

        • Well look at Dirty Harry. He only needed six shots… or was it five? I kinda lost track myself in all the excitement.

        • Yeah, they had to give him guns to slow him down. Otherwise, he’d have killed all the bad guys in the first five minutes.

    • Chuck Norris doesn’t oil his chest. His chest oils itself with the tears of a thousand Chinese Triads’ weeping widows.

    • Chuck Norris doesn’t sweat, the water in his body is afraid to stay inside.

      (Yeah, it’ lame, I know)

  2. It isn’t implausible that as a percentage of the total population the number of gun owners is decreasing, even if the raw numbers are increasing, and that should be worrisome. Gallup doesn’t show a huge increase in gun owners over time (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/Guns.aspx), though there may certainly be some under-reporting.

    I certainly believe that relatively few gun owners buy a fair amount of the guns because I am that guy. We need to work on getting non-owners interested, comfortable and engaged with owning a gun, rather than just working to keep the base energized or else we run the risk of not keeping up with demographics.

    • But recent surveys have shown that many (most?) of these panic buyers were first time buyers.

      I agree with the theory I see on TTAG frequently. Gun owners are a helluva lot more likely to lie about owning guns to a pollster (or simply decline to complete the survey) than non gun owners are.

      • For security reasons; how do you know who you’re REALLY speaking with?

        I no longer provide info to polls, period.

        BTW RF, you’re welcome for the space cadet nickname for Kelly back when he first became a public figure with the grabbers. As time goes on, it seems more and more befitting for him.

      • Go back and look at how many people refused to answer the TTAG poll because they didn’t want to disclose the number of guns they owned. If we won’t answer a poll run by these guys, there’s no way in hell we’d answer one of unknown origin.

      • Guns? Oh my dearie goodness no, those are only for BAD people – and the government (but I repeat myself).

    • Statistical data relies on to many non-quantifiable variables.

      Who are they calling?

      Where do they live? (High gun-restrictive cities/states, etc)

      What is the Honesty of those respondant to the polls? (Yeah I own guns and to hell if I’m tellin some polster)

      What datat is excluded because it just doesn’t fit their motif?

      It all boils down to I don’t believe a word of it.

      I know way more people buying and keeping arms than a few yrs ago.

  3. That is why the UN arms treaty is aimed at confiscating our guns,because they don’t want a populace that can fight back against their world takeover,and they know that we are armed to the teeth.Isn’t that the main reason all of us has fought so hard and bought so many guns for?I for one would say yes,not just for hunting or for the value of some guns,though that is a small part of it,but to be able to keep our God given freedom,that even now is being threatened by an overly rights violating government,that wants to dominate not only us but the entire world by teaming up with the UN!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  4. “In the U.S., the gun-related murder rate is the second highest in the developed world. ”

    Again with this. It’s so misleading. Who freaking cares about the METHOD of murder or the specific tool used? Why are gun murders worse to these people than any other murder? They don’t care that the murder rate in the UK did not drop after the great gun confiscation, while it has been dropping this whole time in the U.S., as they only care that the gun murder rate has dropped. Whoopdiedoo. HUGE win. “We have almost no gun murders now.”…but, yeah, we have just as many total murders as before. Nobody seems to care. WTF.

    Who cares that the U.S.’ gun-related murder rate is high or low? What is the TOTAL murder rate vs. the rest of the world? And, can you even compare one country to another anyway? Soooooooo many variables — economic, cultural, population density (number of cities), etc etc etc — that you simply cannot draw meaningful comparisons based on a single variable.

    • And I’m willing to bet that they do not count all the people shot and/or hacked to death by rebels, anarchists, government death squads or Islamo-fascist terrorists in third world hell-holes as “murders”.

      • Of course the communists, er Progressives, nope … um oh yeah State worshipers do not count those as murders — because the State is their god and by definition anything the State does is “right”.

    • If I’m going to be murdered — unlikely, but certainly not impossible — I’d much rather a gun than, say, a machete…

      • Or strangulation,

        Or stabbed,

        Or crushed into a sardine can by a drunk-driver,

        Or aborted,

        Or bored to death watching a State of (dis)Union adress.

        Or have my 777 burst into flames at 30k ft,

        Or ….

        The list goes

    • Australia’s gun homicide rate plummeted to below 20% after the registration/confiscation push. Their homicide rate has stayed pretty consistent, however.
      The UK implemented a blanket firearms ban about the same time, and saw gun crime drop immediately. However, the homicide rate in Scotland actually went up right after the ban. There was even talk about registering kitchen knives in Scotland, to reduce the homicide rate.
      There’s been a recent drop with both, but nowhere near our 39% drop while our gun count skyrocketed.

      The moral of the story: A violent culture is going to be violent, regardless of the tools available.

      Australian Data.
      American Data.
      Scottish Data

    • More importantly, as it pertsins to rural owner having a justifiable right to resist the Gun-law onslaught, once major corrupt and gang-inf3sted areas such as Chicago, New york, New Jersey, LA, San Fran, Dallas, Miami, etc. the US becomes next to last.

      I feel better now.

      Funny drug the truth is…

  5. The makings of another civil war in the decades to come.

    Us rural bumpkins are stockpiling guns at a record pace,while the city dwellers-including gun owners-are eschewing the RKBA or advocating surrender via compromise.Eventually the city slickers will try to tell the “flyover country” residents to toe the progressive line-and that’s when Civil War 2 kicks off.

    It won’t happen tomorrow ,nor in 10 years.25 or later however…..

    • A rural militia with guns willing to block the main highways into urban areas so that tuck traffic stops will control that situation very quickly. It all depends on the reaction of the military leaders and whose side they come down on.

      I believe the key to any such conflict will be learning to counter-act SWAT tactics.

      • Are you kidding? 2 twenty something slackers were able to occupy the time of the entire police force and then some of a major metro with one handgun and some pressure cookers.

        What would they do against real resistance?

      • SWAT tactics are total fail in a guerrilla civil war. They depend to heavily on having a known assailant in a fixed location, having it surrounded, and having numerical superiority and plenty of time waste – none of which are guaranteed or even likely in a guerrilla war.

        • I think the US military bureaucracy has proven pretty clearly over the past 50 years that it cannot adapt to defeat a guerrilla force.

        • Exactly. Watch every SWAT response – especially the recent Christopher Dorner episode. They create fixed lines in one direction, and never cross-cover. I was talking to my wife as we watched the showdown footage, I pointed out that these cops have no idea if Dorner is by himself or if he has any accomplices or supporters. If he had even one accomplice that was able to get within range of these police, he would probably be able to take out all of them from behind as they stand against their cruisers and personal vehicles with all attention focused on the supposed lone criminal.

          Although there are many experienced vets on the SWAT teams today, there are still a ton of police, including those that plan SWAT raids, that would get shredded by any real organized resistance.

        • I’m not worried especially about SWAT tactics. As has already been mentioned, SWAT is not trained to manage asymmetrical warfare and Military Operations in Urban Terrain. While I am no expert, I can say with some degree of certainty that the USMC in Iraq and Afghanistan was usually good enough to manage the battle so that they’d outnumber the active insurgents by 5:1. The reason for this is that if you do NOT outnumber the opposition by at least 5:1 in an urban environment, they have this nagging ability to slip away and shoot at you again, and the entire battle plan turns into an unholy bloody meatgrinder, instead of just a regular bloody, high-casualty, house-to-house, street-to-street fight. As it stands, the police, from every level from local and county up through federal level top line units, would not have the manpower to force the government’s will on the people, assuming you could keep everyone in line, which the feds wouldn’t be able to count on in any kind. Add in the full combined arms might of the U.S. Military. Still not enough, though you’d make one hell of a mess and kick over the hornet’s nest if you even tried.

          Which is why you see the spinmasters and pollsters swinging into action, making sure that the left’s 40 year campaign to demonize the tools that have kept America free for the prior 200 years are seen as the problem, the threat, some kind of creeping insidious evil. Everyone in the world knows that there is no real way to take this country by force, save burning it to radioactive ash (and I get the sneaking suspicion that THAT might not even be enough).

          There is only ONE real way to subjugate the American people. Make them subjugate themselves, and put the chains around each other’s necks. Remember that when you see that sculpture in front of the UN building in NYC.

  6. Fashion rule #341; If you can’t button your shirt, it’s too tight. Even if you wear it open.

    Everyone needs to own more than one gun so when the SHTF you can toss one to your buddy. (Always make sure the safety is on before throwing a firearm.)

  7. Well, clearly it’s fewer owners stockpiling. I mean, it’s not like many of the guns we’re seeing introduced in the last few years (Savage Axis, Ruger American, Remington 770; M&P 15 sport, etc, etc) are clearly intended to appeal to an entry level market.

  8. “If gun control advocates had journeyed to a gun range in the last two years…”

    The number of brand new shooters and first-time gun purchasers I see at gun ranges skyrocketed after Obama came into office and then skyrocketed again after Newtown. Since January it seems like MOST of the people I see in my local range & gun store are there looking for their first gun, their first carry gun (or first pistol), or are there with somebody else shooting for the very first time. Additionally, although I’ve been shooting since I was a kid, the majority of my friends who are into firearms and shooting and 2nd Amendment rights have only been into it for 3 or less years. Or shot just a little just for fun for a long time but are now, within the past year, really into it and into protecting their rights, and have taken defensive handgun courses and skills training and have gotten into it beyond just random, pointless plinking.

    • 82-yr old lady – an Obama voter – in our morning coffee group just got her first gun (S&W .38) and a concealed weapons license. She was annoyed because our FLGS had no .38 ammo – they haven’t seen any for months. I found her a box of FMJ at Cabela’s, so she can get in a bit of practice.

      Does that sound like the worst nightmare of the gungrabbers?

  9. The anti gunners are kidding themselves if they think ownership is on the decline.
    My dad is getting his first gun. My friend is getting his after he graduates. I’ve got 4 first time shooters that wanna shoot my guns.
    Another friend wants me to go to the store so he doesn’t get ripped off.

  10. If the number of guns is getting their gobs doolin’, then it seems to me we should be looking at the death rate per gun, not per capita! If we have 1/3 of the guns in the world, that would probably put us near or at the bottom of the deaths per gun rate. That shoots the hole in the proverbial foot of the “more guns, more crime” meme. I wonder how Europe or Australia wold look in that category?

    Besides, how the hell do you take an accurate gun count in Serbian and Iraq…..you don’t.

  11. I can just hear the antis: “There already are enough guns out there; if we stop all commercial sales, there will still be enough for the foreseeable future.”

    Yada yada yada…

    • or “if we ban guns now, they will gradually disappear from the streets”

      yep, all 300+ million of them, just disappear “gradually”. sure.

      if that is their plan, they will HAVE to enforce door-to-door mandatory confiscation. antis have zero clue what that actually means, and think that it just means the police show up, people hand over their guns with a frown on their face, and within a week all of the rednecks have turned in their precious guns. urban america then becomes an immediate paradise, free of crime and violence – and guns.

      uh-huh

    • Manufacturers have to keep producing new guns to keep up with the safety features states like CA keep piling on.

      ‘Course, the idea is to make new guns so expensive the commoners can’t afford them.

      Then add insurance and whatever other regulatory fee the grabbers can come up with to the cost…you got the idea.

  12. Americans own as many as one-third of the guns in the entire world? Nuts to that. I won’t be happy until we own them all.

      • Quality over quantity. If the average price per gun in your collection falls under $650 you’re doing it wrong.

        • if they have a couple .22, a bolt action and a pump shotty, and a revolver i can see it being a decent collection for 300 average.

          even so usually the younger crowd starts with cheaper firearms since they are on a budget and slowely build up to a nice collection, while those same cheaper arms are then sold to another younger shooter who now has a way to protect himself without have to starve for a week or 2

          unless you have a 100 cheap rifles then yeah your doing it wrong

  13. did chuck forget to put the mags in or did he get some flush fitting mags? maybe chuck doesn’t even need ammo or mags for his guns.

  14. Ruger is building another assembly plant in North Carolina and Remington is opening another ammo plant in Arkansas. They don’t venture into commitments like this lightly. The people who know, know that the long-term trend is up.

    • Which long-term trend do you mean? I would think they would only be building those plants if they believed that the increase in gun and ammunition purchases was here to stay…?

  15. Two things:

    1) Much of our crime and murder happens in the inner cities which are run by Democrats and are failed social experiments. Eliminate the black-on-black crime and the inner-city crime overall, and I bet the national U.S. crime and murder rate would be severely reduced.

    2) Even if a smaller number of people buy guns than before, that is irrelevant. The number of people who support gay rights is not dependent on the number of people who are gay. Abortion rights people are not solely women or people who would have an abortion (there are those who wouldn’t have one but believe in the choice).

    What counts is, How much of the population supports the right to keep and bear arms? There were plenty of people who owned shot guns, bolt-actions, lever-actions, etc…in the 1960s and 1970s who were okay with things like “assault weapons bans” and so forth. Also I think Americans in a greater percentage supported banning handguns in the 1950s and 1960s then do today, even though a smaller number of people own guns today.

    • Well, if we eliminate the war on (some) drugs, that removes many of the incentives for drug-related crime (e.g. turf wars), and that would help reduce the murder rate. It’s not as if you see violent turf wars over alcohol. We’re just helping these gangs (and for that matter terrorists overseas) fund themselves with prohibition laws.

      I hope you’re right about less folks supporting banning handguns today than in the past.

  16. Definition: Developed (Other than the US or Canada) – A former colonial power that starts a war they have to have the USA come in and finish…

  17. I truly believe that the pollsters will never admit that they don’t have the smallest shred of a clue how many guns and gun owners there actually are in the US. And that makes the Infringement Lobby VERY nervous.

  18. Guns are a durable good. In any country with a lax gun policy you would expect the number of firearms per capita to increase over time. It’s not like we’re melting down old guns to make new ones. As long as some dedicated group of people continues to buy guns, we’ll always be #1 in the world with respect to guns per capita

  19. Firstly — I think all these “gun-counts” are under-counts. There are many reasons for complete numbers not being available.

    Gun stores are mostly empty here in VT and gun sales are through the roof, nationally — gun sales have been so high — the total number of gun owners cannot be going down. There are very definitely MANY new gun owners/users — including me. My local range is full of new shooters looking for lessons, training, etc.

    So far as our total national firearms numbers: US citizens are the ONLY major population on earth that CANNOT be ruled by force. Let’s keep it way!

    • We can be ruled by force. Hell, we are ruled by force. Government cannot exist without force, not even ours.

      • We are ruled by manipulation, propaganda, lies and other psy-op techniques. Media serves the establishment — and being well informed requires effort.

        If the Police State comes out of the shadows and becomes less abstract — there will be “felt recoil”.

  20. Switzerland: 3rd in gun ownership (probably 1st in assault rifles), almost at the bottom in murder rate and incarceration rate; and the highest employment rate in the world. We need to be more like the Swiss…

    • I met a Swiss male in the US who told me that the law required them to keep a nationally issued weapon along with a brick of ammunition for it. The brick was sealed and it was crime to open it unless the govt authorized the action. So yes, they have the weapons but nothing to feed them.

      • Yes, but it would presumably also be a crime to gun down a kindergarten class with that same rifle. I would hardly expect that anyone intent on mass murder to balk at a law against opening their ammunition ration. So the question the gun control advocates have to answer is “why doesn’t that happen more often in Switzerland, if ‘military-style’ rifles in the hands of civilians are so unacceptably dangerous?”

      • Your friend left out an important piece of information. While the government issued brick was required to be kept in case of emergency citizens can freely purchase as much ammo as they like. (The government issued ammo has been ordered turned in and is no longer required to be kept.) Not only can the Swiss buy ammo, the government actual subsidizes the cost.
        Thus virtually every Swiss male between the age of 20 and 30 has access to both a select fire assault rifle and plenty of ammunition. By extension, virtually everyone in Switzerland has the same access.
        If guns caused murder Switzerland should be running red with blood. Instead the murder rate is 0.7, one of the lowest in the world.
        Violence rates are unaffected by weapon availability but they are affected by cultural, political, economic and many other factors. It’s folly to attempt to compare whole nations by such simplistic things as gun ownership or crime rate, there are just too many variables to account for.
        However, employing junk ‘science’, we could extrapolate that supplying all American males aged 20-30 with a select fire assault weapon, training in it’s use and ample ammunition would result in a DECREASE in homicides on the order of about 300%.
        Put that in an antis pipe for them to smoke.

    • Then we need to shrink the US size and population to that of New York State, and become a direct democracy rather than a constitutional republic. Apples to apples…

  21. “A) define ‘developed'”

    From the article: “the gun ownership per capita rate for the “developed” countries, or the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). That basically means the world’s rich countries.”

    From the OECD website: “… the OECD brings around its table 40 countries that account for 80% of world trade and investment, giving it a pivotal role in addressing the challenges facing the world economy.”

  22. “Americans own as many as one-third of the guns in the entire world.”

    Average wealth/Peacefulness = Number of guns owned (more or less)

    $500 is a lot to spend on self defense in a very peaceful area.
    $5000 is not a lot to spend if in a war zone.
    Apparently, America is relatively violent and relatively rich. Therefore, a lot can be spent on self defense.

    I don’t see a lot said about the willingness of a peaceful area to give up its guns. The peaceful “developed” countries have citizens who feel safe, and are more likely to give in. The violent developed countries have citizens who want to keep their guns, and it is more difficult for their bureaucrats to get away with disarmament. The violent undeveloped countries often have disarmament and violence, but are forced to give up their weapons, as the state is more free to do what it wants.

  23. A related statistic: In the U.S., the gun-related murder rate is the second highest in the developed world. Only Mexico, where the ongoing drug war expands the number, has us beat.

    I think a better question than “Define ‘developed’?” would be “why limit the comparison to developed countries?” Look at where the murder rates are highest in the U.S., and you’ll find:

    -low incomes
    -poor education
    -corrupt government
    -spotty or ad-hoc infrastructure
    -a poorly integrated, poorly regulated economy still highly dependent on cash and barter

    All of these are hallmarks of developing nations.

    • You’re really onto something Dave. The US is simply too large and too diverse to lump the whole country together. Some isolated areas are very violent, but whole swaths of the country have murder rates at or near zero.

      Something else to consider is that the drug war in Mexico is being waged here as well. If Mexico, which shares an enormous and unsecured border with the US gets a pass because they have a ‘drug war’ ongoing then the US should receive the same pass. This is especially true considering the reason Mexico has a ‘drug war’ is that the cartels are trying to get those drugs to the US and the fact that about 11 million people from Mexico and various Central America countries are illegally in the US, some portion of which crossed the border for the specific intent and purpose of continuing the drug supply chain that is presented as the excuse for Mexico’s appalling murder rate.

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