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“(O)nce you’ve got your range pistol, your concealed carry, your shotgun for home defense, and your .22 for plinking, I rather suspect you’ve moved beyond ‘need’ and started to wander into ‘want’ territory. If gun owners simply like buying guns, then that’s not something that’s likely to change.” – Rich Smith in You’ll Never Guess How Many Guns the Average Gun Owner Has [via]

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    • Why isn’t it called “Why the F do you care how many guns someone else has?” Has your neighbor started growing extra appendages to wield them or something?

      • No kidding, I’ve long held the attitude that “if it aint pointed at you, you have no say on the issue!”.

  1. “Americans who own guns decreased from 25% to 22% — and has in fact been declining over the past 20 years.”

    I’m sure this is 100% true. No one would lie on a survey.

    • Because of the glib overtone of the quote, I went to the original article specifically looking for it to make that false claim, that gun sales just reflect binge buying by a small and fast falling monority of gun owners.

      We know that’s false if for no other reason than by the explosion in carry licenses and ownership permits. Those don’t reflect longtime owners who just now decided to get licenses and permits. Those are new owners.

      • In the license to own states, I’d agree.

        But, in normal states, why do you say that? I’m relatively new to gun ownership, but our neighbor has been shooting since he was a lad. I have my LTC, but he hasn’t gotten around to it. I don’t see any way to derive years of ownership from the issuance of carry permits.

        • Problem is there’s no data to indicate the “license to own” states are different from the rest. If the Illinois FOID card numbers continue to set records, indicating more law-abiding gun owners, what reason do we have to believe the same trend isn’t happening in other states?

        • New carry permits tend to go to individuals who are new to firearms. So, at the margin, increases in issues of carry permits reflect increases in the number of gun owners overall.

          It’s not a 1 to 1 ratio, of course, as plenty of long time gun owners nevee obtain a permit. However, it’s tilted that way such that new permits denote predominantly new owners.

        • that would be an indicator. but in the last state to issue carry, all the permits are new.
          also, there is some effect caused by media produced fear, maybe influencing long time owners.

        • Curtis – my reasoning would be that while it suggests that there may be a somewhat similar surge, but buying patterns will be more focused on state and local politics. While my CA based brother-in-law was waiting 2 hours just to get a clerk who would sell an inflated price AR, I could have walked into my TX LGS and been in and out in ten minutes at sale prices.

          Jonathan – you make a good point about the relationship, but I still think local politics and crime have a stronger influence. Living in TX, I suspect many Chinese families had a gun or two out of cultural assimilation, but I’d bet that the number of CHL applications spiked after the Sun(?) murders a few years ago.

        • Curtis, problem is that there is any data at all. There should not be, it is not the government’s business in any way, sape, or form.

        • “New carry permits tend to go to individuals who are new to firearms”

          Nah, not so much. I had owned firearms for over 30 years when Texas got concealed carry, still waited around 5 years before I bothered to get a license. That was approaching 2000, my kid brother who’d lived in FL most all his life, was not aware that FL allowed carry of any variety (he was over 40 at the time, but had never been interested!). Generalizations are mostly wrong, I suspect, more and more people who color outside the lines are getting permits because they are beginning to understand what many of us have been saying all along, if you don’t defend yourself, no one will.

        • Like Larry said, long term gun owner here, short term CC licensee.
          I owned firearms for 40 years, carefully avoiding government paperwork on such, before I decided to go ‘on the grid’ with a handgun purchase license and a CC license.

          For me, the change came from my sudden realization that at my age I no longer cared one bit what my government thought of me, and this is why:
          If my government is going to abuse me in some fashion simply because I own firearms, I’ll simply use those firearms to kill whoever the government nominates to administer the abuse, for by doing so, I will do more to help mankind than anything else I was likely to do during what remains of my natural lifespan. Fair enough?

        • I think the underling assumption here is that most of the CCW permits go to relatively new gun owners because most of us old men who have been shooting since the GCA’68 was passed have an aversion to having to purchase a license and pay a fee to do something that is a guaranteed right. Much like your neighbour who has been shooting since he was young. Many younger people who take the GCA for granted think they should be required to jump through many hoops in order to purchase a firearm. Older people tend to not see it that way.

    • Now it’s down to 22%? Last week it was 35% or something like that. That fake number just gets smaller and smaller every time someone pulls it out of their ass.

    • Ralph pointed out the math under another article a day or two ago.

      25% in 1994: 0.25 x 260,289,237 people = 65,072,309 gun owners

      22% in 2015: 0.22 x 320,090,857 people (estimated) = 70,419,988 gun owners

      Never mind the fact that a quick Google search just now returned Gallup poll results that list DOUBLE those percentages, most news sources are incredibly selective about how they give you numbers. ALWAYS take a minute to do at least a cursory check of their math ANY time an article gives statistics.

      My personal favorite was with the government bank bailout. An “$700B” bailout and the sky was falling because of “$300M” in bonuses paid to executives. Granted, executives of failing businesses shouldn’t be getting performance based bonuses, but NO news source and the time listed those numbers with all the associated zeroes. If they had:


      0.04% paid in bonuses.

      ALWAYS do basic math when someone gives you numbers.

      • +1

        It’s one louder, isn’t it?

        The skill piersonb suggests is invaluable. I was taught to make running ROM – Rough Order of Magnitude – estimates of any calculation as a wee lad in Highsickle by a physics prof who loathed calculators. You’d have no concept of what you were doing, no feel for the numbers, no sense of the relationships.

        We’ve all seen somebody who can hear a story and go: “That’s not right.” Or someone who can just by being around an activity notice that “Something’s off.” Physics guy would rant that simply poking numbers into a calculator cultivated none of this.

        Throw in a few fundamental constants, and it gets very powerful. Engaged shooters and especially reloaders have an idea what’s super sonic, what’s about the current max velocity out of personal arms, and about how much recoil, force and energy a mere human can handle.

    • There seems to be a huge effort on the anti side to claim shrinking ownership. I have a feeling this is why the whole “Super Owner” trope was created. I f less people own guns, the easier it would be to restrict them.

  2. It never ceases to amaze me that “want” as a motivator shocks so many people.
    As if we’ve ever been satisfied with simple “need” ever in the history of humanity?

    But shit tomorrow some clown with a big house he doesn’t need full of garbage he doesn’t need will play surprised that somebody else wanted something.

    • Do you live under a tarp, in a cave perhaps? No? Then it’s a want. Do you hunt and gather all your own food? Then it’s a want. Did you drive anything beyond a clapped-out Toyota Corolla? Then it’s a want. Did you eat at a restaurant, well, ever? That’s a want to. Nobody needs a high caliber taste-bud assault meal.

      These clowns are so easy to destroy in any public debate scenario, it’s why they seldom attend them.

    • Same here. Most people take themselves, their preferences and decisions, and set that as the baseline or standard for comparison. Whatever they have or are doing gets conveniently classified as need, with just a smidge of reasonable want thrown in, but nothing inordinate, of course.

      However, if you’re outside the outer ambit of their choices, then you’re abnormal, excessive, extreme, and obscene. In the worst of these people, usually stickybeak liberals, it’s an egocentrism bordering on solipsism.

    • Dodge, with its performance models, is making a very nice penny on people’s wants.
      TV makers are doing well with people’s wants.
      Organic farmers are doing the same.
      As are a lot business owners.
      But with guns, it should be different?

  3. So, someone who owns 17 guns is a “super owner” according to forbes?
    That just seems like a good starter kit.

    • I dunno about you, but I’m taking that as official license to refer to myself as an “above-average super owner.” 🙂

    • This was my thought exactly. What are the next categories up from “Super Owner”. I would like to see these defined so I can set goals. You know, like the NRA does with ratcheting you up from “Life Member” to “Endowment Member” to “Patron Member” to “Benefactor Member”.

      • I’m still waiting for the media’s numerical definition of quantities of firearms themselves. Seems as though one has only to own a shotgun, an AR, and a couple of pistols to qualify as possessing an “arsenal”, “cache”, or “stockpile”, in their eyes.

  4. Who is he to say whether it was want or need? He knows nothing about my life and what needs I may or may not have.

    • I think it is a valid point. I’ve crossed that threshold in just four years. It is interesting that it coincides with a new administration coming in. Gone are the days of just fulfilling needs. Fuck that! America has always been a society of having the freedom to seek out what we want. Pursuit of happiness and all that. Prosperity is not evil nor should it be beyond anyone’s reach.

  5. Another liar. You know, “gun owners are declining in number” “you can keep your doctor” “the checks in the mail”

  6. He forgot hunting rifle, battle rifle, combat pistol, hunting shotgun, truck gun, pistol caliber carbine, large bore revolver (long barrel), and large bore revolver (snub nose).

    • It breaks down further than that. You got to have a big bore hunting rifle, a deer rifle, one for the kids to hunt with, an upland game bird shotgun, a water fowl shotgun, a couple kid size shotguns, and back ups for each of those cause it really sucks to plan a trip and spend all that money to have an equipment failure ruin your hunting trip.

      • Along with a muzzle loader, a hunting .22, a turkey gun, a slug gun, and if you want to handgun hunt or want a backup in bear country a magnum revolver.

        • And a Glock.
          Don’t forget the Glock.
          In 9mm, 10mm, .40, .45, .22…
          Full size, compact, single stack, double stack…
          I need another safe.

        • tac ops division: 3 gun rifle in 223, 3 gun handgun in 9mm, 3 gun semi auto tube fed shotgun in 12ga
          open division: 3 gun rifle with dual optics and gian muzzle brake, 3 gun handgun with red dot and 170mm mags, 3
          gun mag fed and red dotted shotgun
          heavy metal division: 3 gun rifle in 308, 3 gun handgun in 45ACP, 3 gun 12ga pump shotgun

          9 right there

  7. I think Mr Smith needs to indulge in a nice hot steaming cup of STFU.

    BTW he forgot the:

    BBQ gun
    Hunting rifle (deer long-med range)
    Hunting rifle (deer- brush)
    Hunting rifle (feral hog)
    Shotgun (clays)
    Shotgun (upland)
    Shotgun (waterfowl)
    Bear gun for fishing up north
    Modern sporting rifle for modern sporting

    The list of needs goes on….

    • Shotgun (clays)?

      Oh, no, no, no.

      Shotgun (trap singles)
      Shotgun (trap doubles)
      Shotgun (skeet)
      Shotgun (sporting clays)
      Shotgun (five stand)

        • Funny story from a few years ago: I was tired of my wife using my shotgun for trap, so I took her to a gun shop and had her shoulder every over/under 12 guage in their inventory. Most of them she didn’t like, but she took a shine to a nice used Browning Superposed. Price seemed fair, and I persuaded her to buy it. On the way home, it occurred to me that I never looked to see what chokes it had. Turns out both barrels had SKEET chokes, and they were not the screw-in variety. In other words, this gun would produce a pattern larger than Rosanne Barr’s backside at trap shooting distances. Wrong gun for trap! Even if you pointed it right, it would only break targets on sheer luck.

          We were able to sell the gun and didn’t lose much on it (thanks to Armslist), but it was a lesson learned.

  8. He left out the very much needed high end open carry BBQ gun, the backup concealed carry, the customized accuriezed varmint rifle, the accurized weatherized predator rifle, the long range medium game rifle, and the dangerous game double. Why do people who know nothing about firearms keep insisting on writing about them?

  9. I think everyone here is taking this quote out of context. He is not making a judgement on “need vs want” (or even saying anything pro-gun or anti-gun).

    You need to read the entire article. He is talking as an investor and whether he should be buying gun manufacturer stocks or not based on how much more capacity/increase people are willing to buy more guns.

    If I was going to invest money in the stock market and buy stocks for specific companies, I would want to look at the growth potential. That is all he is doing here, looking at the growth potential for firearms manufacturers. Now you may agree or disagree with his analysis for future growth in the firearms business sector, but I understand where he is coming from.

    • It’s a persecution complex. I’ve seen other folks at church do the same thing – if a story isn’t effusive or comes from a historically suspect source, we assume we’re being attacked.

      I agree with your assessment. The writer is just looking at the potential valuation of the gun and ammo majors over the next four years. I disagree with his reasoning, though. He suggests that reduced demand (because of a less controlling administration) will lead to reduced R&D and self-fulfilling prophesy of soft sales as nothing new tickles the buyer fancy. I would argue that reduced demand will spur a level of R&D in competition for scarce dollars. It may not be great, but it will he novel in an attempt to persuade wallets to spread open.

      • I think there is some truth to this. We’ll be able to buy what we want; not forced into buy a particular gun or component because of the potential for a ban making it impossible to get later.

      • What’d he say, avg gun owner has doubled the guns he owns since ’94? Damn, he might be talking about ME! Actually, I think it’s more than doubled, but I accept his premise. Question is, from an investment perspective, am I going to quit buying anytime soon, and my answer has to be “I don’t really know!” When I am exposed to a gun I like, I have a tendency to buy it. Bought a pump shotgun last year, hadn’t owned a shotgun in over 50 years, and just loved the damn thing, skeet shooting with a 18 inch barrel pump! My son, who is usually a really bad influence on me, stopped me from buying a teensy little Mossy 12 G over/under the same day, I loved shooting it so much. He said we should see if I continued hunting the wily skeet before building out my offensive armory. Poo.

  10. Again, change the subject from firearms to something the hoplophobe cares about and suddenly they will know what it feels to have their rights being infringed upon.

    The main difference being the firearms substitute will likely not be enumerated in the Constitution.

    And maybe they should research why.

  11. Translation: Fewer households owning guns, but more absolute gun sales, equals an increase in the number of guns owned per gun-owning household.

    …which explains why new carry license applications, and the overall number of carry license holders, keeps going up every year?

    There’s also this little gem:

    The more so because, according to data from a 2014 General Social Survey report, gun owners tend to be a pretty affluent bunch… GSS data show that gun ownership rises sharply with income, with householders earning less than $25,000 only 18% likely to own a gun, while 44% of households earning $90,000 or more own a gun.

    I thought we gun owners were supposed to be a bunch of yokels?

    As for the “need” thing:

    As far as need goes, according to Fortune, the average “super-owner” owns 17 guns already. And here you have to ask yourself “why?”

    Dangit. I’m behind the curve! Sorry I haven’t been pulling my own weight, guys.

    Is it because the gun-owner needs 17 guns, or because he likes buying guns? Because once you’ve got your range pistol, your concealed carry, your shotgun for home defense, and your .22 for plinking, I rather suspect you’ve moved beyond “need” and started to wander into “want” territory.

    Well, he did leave out your target pistol – which is separate from your plinker – and if you run competitive shooting, you’ll need something bigger than a .22, and more accurate than your range pistol – maybe even a race gun, if you’re really into competition. Speaking of plinking, you probably have both a .22 pistol and a 10/22 or other .22 rifle.

    Your shotgun might be used for hunting, and you might prefer an AR15 or other low-power semi-auto rifle for home defense. And speaking of hunting, you probably need a high-powered rifle for that, too. You might even need them in various calibers, depending on the game, and the state where you’re hunting (until last year, we had to have pistol-caliber rifles for deer hunting in Indiana, for example).

    Back to competitive shooting, maybe you’re into three-gun, which might mean that your rifle and shotgun for home defense/hunting aren’t suitable for the competition.

    And if we’re talking households, you and your S/O probably have different preferences regarding your carry pistol. You also may have different carry preferences depending on the weather conditions, such as a compact pistol for IWB concealed, and a full-size pistol for OWB concealed and/or open carry. You might even be one of the many people who keep a backup gun, so you’ll need something to be pocket- or ankle-holstered. And if you’ve got kids, you probably have a youth rifle, and/or a .22 pistol or revolver.

    So, I’m up to easily 15 different types of firearms, and have barely scratched the surface of potential “need”. That doesn’t even yet get us to “want” – much less, the discussion about arbitrary societal limits on the exercise of rights (which really isn’t the focus of an economic article).

    If gun owners simply like buying guns, then that’s not something that’s likely to change.

    And there’s the rub: buying, owning, and shooting guns is fun. That’s why taking people to the range is so powerful: because they realize that they enjoy it, too.

    Coupled with effective normalization, brought about by more law-abiding people carrying regularly (and more people seeing what a non-threat they are), we have the fundamental advantage in the cultural war against those who want to infringe upon our rights.

    • You beat me to it!!
      I was going to ask for a national limt on size and number of sex toys per household. I’m sure the stuff will hit the fan over that question.

  12. “(O)nce you’ve got your wing tips, your sneakers, your boots for hiking, and your flip flops for the beach, I rather suspect you’ve moved beyond ‘need’ and started to wander into ‘want’ territory. If shoe owners simply like buying shoes, then that’s not something that’s likely to change.”

    • I know this is satire but this is actually me.

      I do buy shoes based on need. I have a pair of boots I wear daily, a pair of sandals I use around the apartment when I’m just hanging out, and some miscellaneous other footwear I use very occasionally. Things get replaced when they wear out to the point where they are unusable. That’s it.

      • You really should get another pair of boots. I brought up the need to alternate boots every day to my dad when I went out to visit him last year. He told me that at one of his work place safety presentations, the presenter told the group that “your feet will thank you” if you don’t wear the same boots two days in a row. My dad is in his 70’s and said it was one of the few useful things he learned from all the years of the safety meetings.

  13. If we’re discussing need as a requisite for ownership, then no one needs any more than 1000sq. ft. in their home, a car bigger than a smart car or a pickup capable of moving tools for work, more than two children, more than two pairs of shoes, or myriad other items. Also, who is anyone but me to determine my needs vs wants? You cannot determine my utility of any given item nor I yours without vast amounts of experience in that particular field. In reality, the only place I’ve ever been correctly told that I don’t need something was in preparation for a military field event where I would be carrying gear I truly did not need and would be hampered by unnecessaries.

  14. If ‘wants’ did not out strip ‘needs’ there would not be huge self storage places everywhere. Interesting to watch TV shows where storage units are auctioned off for non payment of rent to see what people left behind.

      • And ‘needs’ is such a subjective term. What do you need to sustain life? I think they’ve got that down to a science in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. What do you need to exercise the pursuit of happiness? Capitalism. Cars, big TVs, smart phones, Twitter, beer, bacon, guns and all sorts of stuff we don’t ‘need’.

        • Wait. Wait!! WAIT!! Someone thinks there is no “need” for bacon? I mean, BACON! What is this world coming to?

  15. Because I’m a dork, I built a spreadsheet once that categorized all of the various and sundry types/calibers of firearms I could conceivably “need”. I think the total number was 33 or 35. Naturally it was segmented by type of hunting/game and various other pursuits, including self/home defense, etc. That was maybe 10 years ago and at that time I could not imagine ever owning that many.

    At this point, I’m just trying to hold to the limit imposed by the largest Liberty safe I could buy. Oh well, I did learn to handle “need vs. want” when it came to bacon cheeseburgers, so I guess I’ll be satisfied enough with that.

  16. I’ll throw in $.50 to get this guy a hair cut. If we all chip in, we could change his life for ever. That yardsale Flowbee isn’t helping him any.

  17. I suppose this guy is writing on a $1500 Apple that he wanted as opposed to a $200 Chromebook that would do the job.

  18. I’m way behind. I don’t need a 22 plinker. I need an AR,a revolver for the wife,thosands of rounds of ammo,a levergun,a semiauto shotgun,a tiny 9mm and a pony…my goal is to be one of them thar’ superowners?

  19. Nearly all things boil down to Wants. I want to drive a car with heating for instance. I want a job that’ll pay for my kids to live a comfortable life. I also want to hunt and eventually I’ll pick up a spare hunting rifle so’s I can take friends who don’t have their own. Same for buying a 2nd shotgun for clay pigeons or bird hunting.

  20. My local gun club has a broad range of matches. Seventeen distinctly different guns sounds about right to participate in all of them. From early spring to late fall, there is a match almost every weekend. Next weekend, there is a “Battle of the Bulge” match with WW2 era firearms. No ARs, AKs or optical sights.

  21. “according to Fortune, the average “super-owner” owns 17 guns already. And here you have to ask yourself “why?”

    Because FU and the horse that rode in on you, that’s why.

  22. There are a lot of things I don’t “need” that I have anyway, like a closet full of militaria. There are even more things everyone else thinks I “need” but don’t want, like owning more than four pairs of shoes, or jeans more expensive than the $20 pair I buy at Target once in a blue moon.

    There’s been a sickening trend developing in American culture, this very East-German obsession with “knowing” everything about everyone, getting into everyone else’s business uninvited, and then “otherizing” them when they *gasp* think, act, or hobby differently instead of leaving them alone.

    I attribute the rapid decline in the old “live and let live” attitude to the steadily hastening nose-dive of the American left towards full blown Leninist tyranny. That’s not to say the Republican party doesn’t have its own share of statists, but much like protests/riots, the American left has made being a judgmental busybody “their” image over the decades.

  23. Of course if these morons who keep spouting this drivel actually went to any pistol range they would know right away these numbers are BS. I’m very wary at the range nowadays because of all the new gun owners. Used to be I saw the same people week in and week out. Not true anymore.

  24. I have a ton of stereo gear. Some resides in closets. I don’t need to justify any of it. If the difference to them is guns are dangerous weapons then they are implying I’m dangerous. That’s the problem. When we start assuming certain people are a threat then the gov threatens certain people. This also is a problem.

  25. I’ve got more guns than I need, but not near as many as I want. “Need” has nothing to do with it. I’ve got about a dozen pair of jeans, but I can only wear one pair at a time. Does that mean I should only be able to own one pair?

  26. Remember the “rule of 3”?
    When your gun buddies ask how many guns you have, divide that by three to get the true number.
    When someone you don’t know well asks, multiply it by three to get the truth.

    • Here in Montana, the common answer to the question; “How many guns do you have is usually; “Damned if I know”! Or something like “well a safe full, plus some pistols, plus car guns, plus some rimfires…”

      • Damned if I know. I suppose I could count them up. Do the ones I gave to my son or my brother count as mine, or not? How about the ones my son is storing in my safe? Difficult to know, more difficult to figure why anyone would care. I have no debt, all are paid for, so why pay any attention?

        • Exactly! I have a Chipmunk .22 that I got for my son when he was 9. I gave it to him, but he is grown now and it’s still here. does that count? What about antique rimfires that no longer have ammo available, like my Vetterli in .41 RF, do they count? What about black powder muskets and cap and ball revolvers that the BATF says are not firearms? Do they count? What about my smoothbore blackpowder cannon?
          Who cares? The only question that matters is; “do I have enough”?

  27. My wife and I spent Saturday traveling to three different firearms retailers. It was about the most enjoyable day we have had in a long time, though we certainly came home with lighter wallets!

    Anyway, in overhearing the customer/sales rep conversations at the counters of all three stores, I can tell you without hesitation that there are a lot of people buying their first gun nowadays.

    To anyone who believes that the number of gun owners is declining, I politely bust out with loud, diabolical laughter. 🙂

  28. Not even close. The minimum amount of firearms any one individual should have is 5.
    1. centerfire pistol
    2. rimfire pistol
    3. shotgun
    4. rimfire rifle
    5. centerfire rifle
    After this it’s not so much a matter of “want”, as it is having a more perfect tool for the job at hand. EXAMPLE: one center fire rifle may be good enough for the situation, but an AR is not ideal for 800 meters, and a precision bolt action rifle sucks inside a building where ranges are short. Covering both situations with one tool is possible, but far from ideal.
    We can pound hot steel with only one hammer and an anvil, but blacksmiths have lots and lots of hammers, all slightly different, for different tasks. Same thing here. Its not that one hammer can’t be made to do the job, Its just so much better and easier to have the correct tool for the task at hand.
    OFC, ones who have never even contemplated the task, much less attempted it, could never be aware of that.
    It’s called “ignorant”(NOT stupid, nor unintelligent! IGNORANT means; unaware of whatever is under discussion).

  29. And once you’ve got coins you don’t intend to spend, wine you won’t ever drink, and stamps that you don’t plan to stick on an envelope, you’ve also gone past “need” and into “want.”

    Unless this dude doesn’t understand how collecting works, what’s the problem?

  30. I graduated from need to want YEARS ago. I then graduated from want to telling myself “it’s an investment” to make myself feel better. That second graduation happened fairly quickly once I became mostly debt free(Nothing other than a mortgage) and built up a 1 year savings….. She accepts it so I’m safe….lol.

    • “I graduated from need to want YEARS ago. I then graduated from want to telling myself “it’s an investment” to make myself feel better.” Well, after no mortgage & moving to a state where my taxes are actually 1/10th (hard to wrap your head around that number) I finally stopped making excuses. Guns are more fun & cheaper than classic cars for me. Been there, done that.

    • My wife, who for years shot down even the slightest thought of owning a gun, made this comment a few weeks ago. She said, “I want to have so many guns that we don’t know how many we have”. She quickly followed that up with, “but we have to pay off most of this debt first”.
      I have a hard time gauging someone’s enthusiasm. She expressed a lot of joy after first shooting 4 years ago and I was hesitant buying her a rifle for Christmas. But she tells me all the time she loves her gift. So her statement about accumulating as many guns as we can afford reassures me that she is all in.

  31. The title of his full article, “You’ll Never Guess How Many Guns the Average Gun Owner Has”, is more true than he anticipated or realized, I think. They WILL never know how many guns the “average” gun owner has because the average gun owner isn’t going to tell them.

  32. Guns are investments. If you know exactly how many you have, you don’t own enough.

    His questionable grasp of numbers aside – this article attempts to equate gun owners with the folks on the “reality” series Hoarders.

  33. Does he drive? I bet the guy does not exactly “need” his car, and walking is healthy.

    Apparently, “deer gun” is alien contraption to Mr.Smith.

  34. “The Washington Post’s Wonkblog site revealed that the average number of firearms owned by a “typical gun-owning household” had roughly doubled between 1994 and 2013, to 8.1 guns per household.” According to this and the quote of the day, in 2013 gun household’s had less guns than they needed assuming that the typical gun-owning household had two adults and at least one child.

  35. How many guns do you need? I think it is an interesting question. In order to answer the question “need” would first have to be defined. It will obviously be different for different people.

    Everyone (with the exception of people who have armed security) needs guns for self defense, but how many? Is one carry gun and one long gun per responsible member of the household enough? (E.g. household of Mom, Dad, teenager, toddler: the toddler doesn’t get one, but the sixteen year old only gets a long gun because she isn’t legally allowed to carry and Mom and Dad get two each) I have different carry guns because some are easier to carry than others, but others are better for self defense than others. I think of this as a want and not a need.

    A professional 3-gun competitor will need more guns than most people as he will need his guns for his job, and I think most people would agree that what you need to do your job successfully is a need.

    Farmers and ranchers need firearms to stop animals from causing depredation on their land, crops, and herds. Do they need guns that are different from their self defense guns?

    Most guns are probably hobby/want guns. Few people in our society need to hunt, so they don’t need a hunting gun. Therefore all of my hunting guns are hobby guns. All of my .22s are hobby guns because I don’t need them, they just help stretch my ammo budget to more ammo. I don’t need any of the guns that have been in my family longer than I have, but I sure as hell am going to keep them.

    • When Feinstein asked Ted Cruz if we need a bazooka, he missed a golden opportunity to explain that the fact that the Federal government wants to prohibit private ownership of certain small arms weapons, proves a define need for something more powerful. The number one reason for the 2nd Amendment.

      • That’s a good point for defining need. We (the People) need arms sufficient to prevent/fight tyranny. I don’t think it really changes the number of guns we need. It changes the amount of other equipment we need such as tanks, planes, supplies, etc.

  36. The point of the article the quote is from is that most guns are bought because people want to buy guns, not because they need them, and, if this continues, gun, ammo, etc. companies will continue to do well so long as they keep R&D up and continue to bring new guns to market supplying our wants. If a company cuts R&D, they will not do as well.

    I agree with the point of the article that most guns are “want” guns. I probably don’t NEED more than two guns. (See my previous post as to why I GUESS that two is the number I need). I have a lot more and every time I think I have all the guns that I really want, I find “reasons” to get another kind of gun.

    For example, I don’t have a lever gun. Every one should have a lever gun because lever gun, right? Same for revolver (the reasoning applies to basically every kind of action). I recently found my grandfather’s reloading dies for .38 special, .357 magnum, .45, and .30 carbine. (My grandfather is deceased, so I asked my grandmother if I could have them, and she said yes). So now I should get guns that can shoot all of those calibers, right? (Got hold of my grandfather’s M1 carbine this Christmas, so one down).

    My point is that even if gun companies seriously slowed the rate at which they make new models of guns, younger guys like me would keep buying guns for a long while before we ran out of “want” guns, so at least the ammo companies will keep doing gang-buster business.

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