There’s a new trend in anti-gun land: marginalize gun owners. Pretend they’re not important. The trend started with data unleashed by Gallup and the General Social Survey that supposedly revealed declining American gun ownership. This despite a steady, relentless increase in the number of FBI background checks needed to purchase a gun or (in most states) obtain a concealed carry license over the last five years. Despite the fact that gun manufacturers were—and still are—struggling to meet surging demand. Here’s the chart and how the LA Times spun the numbers back in July . . .
“The major point is that the American ‘culture of gun ownership” that one often hears about has been strikingly on the wane for the past generation. A similar decline has taken place in the number of Americans who hunt, now about 5% of the population.
Huh. Just yesterday, the National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF) reported that “the participation and economic data [for hunting and fishing], released in August by the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service shows a 9 percent increase in hunters and an 11 percent increase in anglers compared to the 2006 survey.”
To be fair, writer David Lauter almost makes the connection between more guns and less crime (he gets it exactly backwards) and almost highlights the reason the study can’t be trusted (other than a mountain of contradictory data):
Of course, hardened criminals aren’t likely to respond to the GSS survey, so there’s probably some under-reporting going on. But that was true 30 or 40 years ago, too, and isn’t likely to have affected the overall trend.
In fact, Americans don’t like to tell strangers about their guns. Not just the ones who consider government the greatest threat to individual liberty (i.e. those afraid of firearms confiscation). Gun owners who understand that discretion is the better part of valor.
Again, it’s the FBI pre-purchase, pre-permit NICS checks that gives us the clearest, most objective measure of American gun ownership. They’re up 46 percent in the last eleven years.
Could the number of American gun owners be shrinking while the ones who remain are buying more guns and applying for concealed carry licenses? It could. But as there is no “official” gun registry there is no definitive data on the question. Relying on an opinion poll to form an opinion is, in my opinion, overly opinionated.
Anyway, left-leaning media mavens have taken the meme—gun ownership is declining!—and run with it. Our old pal Dan Baum, leanforward.msnbc.com, washingtonpost.com, etc. would have you believe that TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia are a dying breed.
As summer turns to fall, the anti-gunners are moving on (dot org) to why this [alleged] decline in firearms ownership is happening.
Notice I used the NSSF’s regional chart. That’s cause NPR went straight to the middle of what they perceive to be gun territory (at least in their world view). Texas! Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary concedes defeat to the rise of gun rights, but not before sounding the death knell for American gun culture. Again. Still.
East Texas has changed in Campbell’s lifetime. Quite simply, what used to be vast tracks of empty land has filled up with people. The wilds where hunters once roamed now sport tract housing and double wides. It’s a big reason gun ownership is declining in America — down 40 percent since 1977 . . .
Texas was once the center of the movement to safeguard gun rights. Today, nearly every fight has been won in the state, and indeed around the country.
While gun owners in East Texas appreciate their rights, many remain wary.
Which is NPR’s polite way of saying that a bunch of ignorant maybe even insane rednecks have won the day on gun control.
It would be difficult to overstate the level of distrust East Texas gun owners have for the Obama administration. Campbell doesn’t trust the president, either, but even he is taken aback sometimes.
“I have friends who don’t order two or three boxes of shells — they order them by the thousands. And it’s like, ‘What are you getting ready for?’ ” Campbell says.
Although Campbell isn’t preparing for a possible invasion by U.N. troops, he shares the sentiments about the president.
“He’s done these things with the health bill. He will do these things with the U.N. treaties to take our guns away from us,” Campbell says.
Paranoia plays on NPR. Big style. And what publicly-funded radio report that includes guns and rednecks is complete without playing the race card?
As for any willingness to compromise on something like limiting the size of ammunition clips, Campbell says if Democrats could be trusted not to ask for more and more, he’d consider it. But he says you can’t trust Democrats in general, and you certainly can’t trust Obama. And he says liberals mistake gun owners’ enmity toward the president for something it’s not.
“It’s not a black thing, it’s a liberal thing,” Campbell says.
As for the mass murders that take place in this country seemingly like clockwork, what is a ridiculous cliche to many urban Americans is bedrock truth here in East Texas: “Guns don’t kill people — people kill people.” And, the thinking goes, if there were more law-abiding Americans carrying concealed handguns, the psycho murderers could be shot before they did more damage.
If you need convincing, Christian and Campbell can tell you stories until the cows come home about how the bad guys got stopped in their tracks. The NRA shares these tales of successful self-defense with their membership like sweet candy. There’s no disputing its organizational success. The push for gun control in this country is deader than Campbell’s hogs.
Wow. Condescend much? Yes. Yes they do. But NPR can’t change the fact that gun rights rule the day. All they can do is play pin the tail on the dumb ass. Who is a lot closer than they’d ever imagine.