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That’s the headline at The Trace, where they’re busy extracting as much anti-gun animus as they can from an unreleased, unscientific poll of 4000 gun owners. (That’s the one Nick diss-troyed here.) According to Michael Bloomberg’s agit-propmeisters, the fact that Americans are hankering for handguns in increasing numbers is cause for concern rather than celebration. And it’s all the fault of the “gun lobby.”

Even though homicides and other forms of violent crime have dramatically decreased, a rise in the number of high-profile rampage shootings has heightened perceptions of danger, and helped fuel the handgun-buying boom.

At the same time, the gun lobby has aggressively campaigned to lift restrictions against carrying firearms in public and stoked fears of government gun seizures. The firearms industry and retailers have also amped up their marketing of handguns for self-defense purposes.

“When I look at our survey, what I see is a population that is living in fear,” says Deb Azrael, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and one of the lead authors of the study. “They are buying handguns to protect themselves against bad guys, they store their guns ready-to-use because of bad guys, and they believe that their guns make them safer.” . . .

“Our survey suggests that many more people believe guns in their home make them safer, when in fact, epidemiological research suggests precisely the opposite,” Azrael says.

Ohhhh. Epidemiological research shows that guns make American less safe. Sounds pretty conclusive to me! Or not.

Anyway, it’s nice to know that Dr. Azrael went into the Trace-touted study of American gun ownership with such an open mind. I’m sure she balanced this (as opposed to her cheerleaders at The Trace) . . .

Studies have found that people who live in homes with handguns are twice as likely to take their life compared to those who live in homes with other types of firearms, such as shotguns and rifles. (Seniors are the population at the highest risk of using a handgun in a fatal suicide attempt.)

Domestic violence victims are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun, research shows.

. . . with this — from her boss, no less, via wikipedia.org:

Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary wildly, depending on the study’s definition of a defensive gun use, survey design, population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Low-end estimates are in the range of 55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year [ED: from Dr. Azrael’s boss David Hemenway no less], while high end estimates reach of 4.7 million incidents per year.

Oh wait. She didn’t. Like all proponents of civilian disarmament, Dr. Azrael pays no attention to the defensive gun uses’s behind that curtain. Defensive gun uses that save lives and protect property, and inspire other Americans to arm-up in their own defense.

Sure, fear is the motivation for buying a handgun for personal protection. The same sort of fear that motivates you to put on your seat belt. The same sort of fear that motivates misguided voters and politicians seek to degrade and destroy Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

There’s only one problem: removing guns from civilians will never be as effective at countering attacks on innocent life as arming civilians to defend themselves against criminal, terrorist, psychopath or government predation. In short, to paraphrase Gordon Gekko, fear is good.

66 Responses to “Fear of Other People Is Now the Primary Motivation for American Gun Ownership” Well Duh!

    • It’s less fear and more people waking up to the fact that the world is a dangerous place filled with evil people that you cannot necessarily identify in advance. Owning and carrying a pistol gives you the possibility of reacting in time when those evil people reveal themselves.

        • “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”.

          If you are unharmed and need help call the fire department, faster response time and you get four guys with axes.

    • The Supreme Court has also reinforced that you are your own protection, since they decided, in Warren v District of Columbia, that police are not obligated to protect you. If the police don’t have to protect you, and you also cannot call on the National Guard, who is left?

    • I’m afraid I need another gun.
      And some more ammo.
      And magazines, holsters, cleaning brushes, oil, replacement sights, grips, speed loaders, belts, pants, etc, etc…

  1. P R O J E C T I O N

    If the Trace was printed material, it wouldn’t be worth wiping your butt with it at a Hatch chili cook-off and speed eating contest while camping in the Sahara. When it’s quoted here, it gets 1) more freekin’ coverage than it ever could have gotten on its own; and 2) enhances the Trace’s ability to coalesce assholes that otherwise would remain socially/informationally isolated from each other (enough so that their stupid/POS ideas die on the vine). But, wtf-ever.

  2. “When I look at our survey, what I see is a population that is living in fear…”

    That statement says it all. This is nothing more than opinion-as-fact, being trumpeted by the MSM. Shocking.

    • That’s some funny sh!t right there.

      Beautiful early fall weather here. I’ve been sleeping with windows and doors open. And because of my dog and my Mossberg, I can do that without fear.

      The rash of cowardly Muslim murders around the nation continues, and still, I don’t live in fear.

      The libidiots are oblivious to themselves. They don’t realize that our biggest “fear” is having our rights infringed by the likes of them.

    • If I recall correctly there have only been mass airport panics in California and New York, with one bicycle tire causing hysteria in D.C.
      I’m in the South and people are the reason I started carrying a year ago. I’ve been in 4 incidents in the last two years on the roads where being unarmed was suddenly a bad choice and things are getting worse in this city every year. The one my brother was in resulted in him being pulled out of his car windshield by a lunatic with a screwdriver. The police eventually showed up, then decided not to arrest the piece of shit. The same guy tried to murder an undercover FBI agent after he fled to a different state and wound up in a supermax. My downstairs neighbor threatened to kill my other neighbor because he wouldn’t pick up his dog crap. Then he went to SC and hacked two people to pieces with a hatchet. You’re damned right it’s other people that made me choose to arm myself better.

  3. Typical. The anti-freedom crowd disses gun owners for owning guns out of “fear” ie a rational concern of protecting oneself and others from predators; but then they use fear of how “dangerous” guns are to average law abiding people with made up statistics, to try to outlaw guns.

  4. Well, to paraphrase Jeff Cooper, if I have a gun, I really don’t have anything to be afraid of. However, if there is any man who would scheme to take that gun away from me, that man should be very fearful indeed.
    /;-)

  5. Because I looked it up: epidemiological – the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics of infectious disease.

    (facepalm)

    Guns are not a disease, nor an epidemic.

    I kinda wish guns were an epidemic; that is, people I know get guns, people they know get guns, so on and so forth.

  6. Diversity leads to tension and tension to strife and eventually to crime and violence.
    People don’t like to talk about such axioms of human nature, but they are realities nonetheless and reality bites.
    It is instructive to take a look at the breakdown of murders per capita by state, the states with more diversity have more violent crime.
    California, with 27% of it’s population foreign born, is a magnet for migration as well (a sure sign of cultural diversity), has a higher per capita murder rate than states with a far lower percentage of diversity: Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Utah, Idaho.
    People don’t assimilate any more, the melting pot ain’t melting any more: instead they hole up tribally and anger festers until it boils over.
    That is why you see inner city crime with riots and looting at the drop of a hat (sports event, police shooting, etc.) the anger surfaces.
    While quiet areas like Amarillo Texas have a lower per capita murder rate than the gun-banning UK.
    The EU has learned this forcefully this last year as their non-assimilating populations harbored terrorists.
    But they had hints with those huge riots in Paris a few years ago but did nothing to foster more assimilation and inclusiveness.
    Diversity doesn’t have to be a negative, but immigrants have to embrace the values of their new home: when in Rome do as the Romans do.
    Unless that happens, the safest place to be is among people just like you.

    • “People don’t assimilate any more, the melting pot ain’t melting any more: instead they hole up tribally and anger festers until it boils over.”

      Exactly. People used to want to come to America, to be an American.

      Today? Not so much…

  7. I would point out that citing “self-protection” doesn’t necessarily mean “self protection from people”.

    Here out West if you’re on foot in the boonies you’re not the top of the food chain if you don’t have a bang stick. Same thing in other parts of the country depending on where you are. Wolves once again roam the U.P. of Michigan in fairly large packs. They can take down moose so they can definitely take down you.

  8. When I heard people buy guns because of fear, my first thought went to fear of another Clinton AWB. I don’t own guns for self defense. Though one’s at the ready. I enjoy building AR’s and collecting guns no longer in production. Self defense or defense of others is just a bonus, but not the reason. I live in a dream world that nothing bad is going to happen to me or my 100lbs+ dog with a vicious roar and a mean lick. Lol. I am scared of banana spiders those buggers are evil looking.

    • Because governments, which have been responsible for murdering more of their own citizens in the last hundred years than have died in all all the wars in those same hundred years, need those guns to murder/protect their citizens, what ever is needed.

      It’s kind of a mixed bag, isn’t it? A citizen of a country never knows how their government might choose to use all those guns. It makes it very exciting.

  9. Interesting. The Trace admits that “homicides and other forms of violent crime have dramatically decreased,” and yet the Bloomberg Zombies are still afraid of us and our guns.

    So who’s living in fear?

    • Is the drop in violent crime BECAUSE of the vast increase on the legally armed? I’d say…even a property owner shooting 2 punks(1 was 11) in Chicago was reported positively. The freakin’ neighbors even cheered ON CAMERA. A sea change in Chiraq? Let’s hope so…

      • The prosecutor is not doing their job stopping these people from hurting others repeatedly why shouldn’t they be excited a citizen offered such services. a self sufficient attitude hurts few except those that need dependents to vote for them.

        • The news idiot still droned on that the shooter “had a license” to carry. FOID only needed-but we know that. He wasn’t on the street-he was on his own property…

  10. “Even though homicides and other forms of violent crime have dramatically decreased, a rise in the number of high-profile rampage shootings has heightened perceptions of danger, and helped fuel the GUN CONTROL boom.”

    Projection of fear indeed.

  11. Wait! Did it actually say that violent crime is down overall(“Even though homicides and other forms of violent crime have dramatically decreased,”)?! Odd that it didn’t mention record gun sales for the last few years and a steadily climbing number of firearms overall?!
    The cognitive dissonance in which most leftists walk around must be an audible hiss to people in their vicinity.

  12. Funny.

    They suggest crime is up (mass shootings and chicago land violence) and guns need banning and restricting.

    They suggest crime is down, and no one needs guns ’cause we are all safer-er.

    It’s almost like they have a whole ‘nother agenda? Wonder what that could be?

    • Finally, someone notices and says it here.

      All we seem to hear about is the alleged “epidemic of gun violence” that is vexing the United States. And yet now we hear that there is no such epidemic and “homicides and other forms of violent crime have dramatically decreased”. Which is it gun-grabbers?

  13. I don’t see Europe, Japan, Canada or Australia turning into tyrannical hellholes.

    I don’t see Japan going into total anarchy due to lack of firearms.

    I don’t see the Australian SASR dragging citizens out of their homes and shooting them.

    I don’t see the RCMP dragging Canadian citizens off to death camps.

    I don’t see crime rising or constant blood battles in the streets in Europe.

    I don’t see South Koreans going into chaos.

    But what I do see in the USA everyday is constant mass shootings, loved ones crying out in pain for their dead loved ones wondering why said loved ones have to be shamed by the gun “rights” groups into not being armed.

    I see the NRA and the “gun lobby” profiting everyday off the death and destruction of American citizens all in the name of greed.

    I see the constant debunked propaganda of claiming how guns make us “safe” despite the opposite.

    I see nothing but innocents cry out in pain everyday knowing they will never receive any rest or closure for their friends, their spouses, their own children being nothing but victims of Gun-Lobby sponsored genocide against Americans.

    • “I don’t see crime rising or constant blood battles in the streets in Europe.”

      You haven’t been watching the news, have you?

      Meanwhile, the pain and death you describe is confined almost entirely to America’s large urban centers, where restrictions on gun ownership are prevalent.

      It’s actually been pretty quiet and peaceful in Vermont, Utah, Wyoming…

    • Please, take a few deep breaths and try to relax, Concerned American. I’m getting a bit worried about you.

      If you’re concerned about the hyper-violent jihadists and criminals who commit all the mayhem, that’s okay. I worry about them sometimes, too. (But not very much, because they’re a vanishingly tiny minority among humans and I’m prepared to counter them if need be.)

      Nobody from the NRA or the “gun lobby” is going to hurt you. Or hurt anyone. Heck, we might even protect you if you let us.

    • concernedamerican,

      I welcome you to commit a crime in Japan and see what happens when you claim a right to remain silent and a fair trial. (Hint: you have no such rights under their tyrannical state. Or are you going to claim that a government which denies your right to remain silent and a fair trial is not tyrannical?)

      I welcome you to go to Australia and tell the police that you have an unregistered semi-automatic rifle in your home … and that it is loaded and not in a safe. Let’s just see if the Australian police thank you for being a citizen defender or if they drag you out of your home and shoot you if you refuse to comply … regardless of the fact that you have no harmed, attacked, or threatened anyone.

      I welcome you to do the same in Canada and tell me if the RCMP send you a bouquet of flowers … or if they drag you out of the house and shoot you if you resist. Oh, and when you get done with that, I welcome you to stand on a busy street corner in Toronto with a sign that condemns homosexuality. Tell me how the Canadian government is not tyrannical when they arrest you and send you to prison for hate speech.

  14. Well, along with the professional malpractice of projecting onto a bunch of numbers, stating an impression as fact, and conclusion without providing the supporting evidence, Dr. Angel-of-Death kinda failed the “remain calm” Rorschach test, with all that projecting.

    I’d add “journalistic malpractice” for reporting this drivel, but that would be flogging the hollow spot where a horse’s remains used to be.

    /Shenanigans
    I’m calling shenanigans until I see the survey, the sample, and the collection protocols. I can make that “fearful” number huuuuuuuge, without hardly trying. (Also wrong, but who’s counting?)

    If you ask this:

    “Do you have a gun because you’re afraid you might be attacked?”

    You’ll get “yes” for “afraid” as in fearful and “afraid” as in “consider it might happen.” English hard, I know. You can make the “afraid, yes” answer bigger by:

    – using the word “afraid” some other way shortly before asking that question.

    – using the word “afraid” as in “consider it might happen” before asking that question.

    – before you ask, talking about something like, Oh, I don’t know, terrorist bombings in NY and NJ, or The Jihadi Chef and his cleaver.

    All that’s without changing the wording of the question at all.

    Until I see that the survey did none of this, on top of had an un-biased sample & collection (already blew that one, sorry guys) it’s crap.

  15. In my case fear of other people will work. Other people=tyranical government trying to take away my God given rights. Other people also include anyone or anything set on doing me, my loved ones, or anyone in my care harm. Everyone else I am mostly OK with. 🙂

  16. yup, blame Obama and his Muslim loving ways! for adding more strife to the mess, we are now going to see examples of ethnic cleansing in our country, already the Knights have got their campaigns gaining strength and various Factions wherever they put these people that have very strong ties too a religion that want’s too destroy our country be ready any time!

  17. Sure, fear is the motivation for buying a handgun for personal protection. The same sort of fear that motivates you to put on your seat belt. The same sort of fear that motivates
    *******************************************
    Actually, it isn’t “fear” that makes people put on a seat belt in some Eastern Bloc States. It’s the Draconian “Seat Belt Laws”
    courtesy of insurance companies, MADD, and The Law Enforcement community. Which has turned many states into “Authoritarian Police-States”, allowing local/state police to “pull-over” the citizenry to conduct a traffic stop based on a drivers/ passengers personal seat belt use. Which become a means of interrogation, maybe a “search and $eizure” fishing trip…
    It’s the “fear of freedoms lost, or your constitutional rights being violated”. Just the same “authoritarian Police-State” mentality that got us so-called ” sobriety checkpoints.”

  18. If there is a culture of fear Obama is to blame as much as anyone. you never hear of a rush after Wayne or the head of the NSSF or the CEOs of Smith or Ruger or Freedom Group give speeches.

    • Nice post. Nearly all vaccine safety studies are epidemiological, with conflict of interest a serious problem. Not to mention, these epidemiological safety studies nearly always compare vaccinated groups to other vaccinated groups…. you don’t have to have a masters in science to question the credibility or validity of those results.

  19. What the heck? I posted something vehemently hateful here yesterday, and it got deleted. That really pisses me off. I can’t even remember all of what I wrote or I would post it again.

    Can we do a TTAG “The Deleteds” please? What about on the dark net?

  20. The gun grabbers have learned much from the CDC and the medical/pharmaceutical mafia…using epidemiological studies, whose results are extremely easy to manipulate via author bias, to push misinformation about safety, lack of safety, and general public health to push agendas and curtail individual rights.

  21. OMG MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS FULL OF IRRATIONAL PEOPLE LIVING IN FEAR. i FOUND OUT THEY HAVE ALL BOUGHT FIRE INSURANCE EVEN THOUGH THERE HASN’T BEEN A HOUSE FIRE IN DECADES.

    WON’T SOMEONE DO SOMETHIBG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. So according to The Trace I obtained a Krieghoff Luger because I am afraid of people? I thought I got it because it was cool. I already have plenty of handguns for shooting other people, should that become necessary.

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