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Old December 7, 2021, 02:54 PM   #1
BarryLee
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Percentage of American Homes with Guns

A friend stated that there were too many guns now and that accounted for the increase in violent crimes where a gun was used. While I realize there are probably more guns in total but are they really more accessible to the average person than say fifty years ago. I suggested that the number of homes with at least one firearm had stayed basically the same or maybe even decreased.

So, does anyone know what the numbers are? Does anyone know who has an accurate number?
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Old December 7, 2021, 03:10 PM   #2
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If you do an internet search, you will find lots of information relative to American gun ownership number:

https://www.vpc.org/studies/ownership.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ing-a-firearm/
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Old December 7, 2021, 03:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
If you do an internet search, you will find lots of information relative to American gun ownership number:

https://www.vpc.org/studies/ownership.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ing-a-firearm/
Some of it might even be accurate.

I don't trust anything from VPC from prior actions.

I know more people with firearms that refuse to answer questions about gun ownership for any number of reasons. I'm one of them and I work with some of the data collected by a government sponsored national survey that asks such occasionally. I have a strong belief that much of the "decline" in many of these the data systems in more reluctance to answer than actual decline.
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Old December 7, 2021, 04:21 PM   #4
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If you look at total numbers, big increase. If you look at per capita, it has been the lowest at times in the past 20 years than ever. On a climb right now. I assume most of us on TFL skew the "total" numbers a good bit, but don't affect the per capita, probably even reduce it.

Stats are rarely objective.

Hunting participation is down, female ownership is up, percent of households with guns down, total number of guns increasing. A liberal might say the guns are being concentrated in the hands of the "Deplorables" as HRC defined us. A researcher might say whatever his bias leads him to. A gun manufacturer is just going to try to figure out what small change they can make to get us to buy another one.
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Old December 7, 2021, 04:36 PM   #5
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If you do an internet search, you will find lots of information relative to American gun ownership number
Yes, but those surveys are very untrustworthy. First off, who volunteered to be part of them? Second, how was the data collected and interpreted?

In the case of the VPC, they've outright fabricated "studies" several times. In fact, they once made up a fake "pro gun" web site, on which they reposted writings of a few TFL alumni and claimed we were "contributors" to it. There are many reasons not to trust anything from them.

(In fact, they did a study a couple of years back that said Americans only use guns in self-defense around 200 times/year. That flies in the face of nearly every other study, in which we find numbers ranging from 700,000 to 2 million times per year.)

There's simply no way American gun ownership has declined. The simplest indicator is the number of NICS checks by year. It's not entirely reliable, since not every NICS check entails a purchase, but the 39 million checks done in 2020 alone certainly show an increase.
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Old December 7, 2021, 04:50 PM   #6
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There's simply no way American gun ownership has declined. The simplest indicator is the number of NICS checks by year. It's not entirely reliable, since not every NICS check entails a purchase, but the 39 million checks done in 2020 alone certainly show an increase.
Your assertion is supported by your citation, but it is not the OPs question. Your citation says that sales are occurring which can only means the total number of guns may be increasing. BUT many of those are also legal transfers, not new guns, so the total NCIS checks are NOT to total number of new guns sold in a time period, just transferred to an individual. The OPs question is specifically PERCENTAGE of American Homes with guns, which your citation is unconnected to. Gun ownership is not the same as percentage of owners. Words matter.
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Old December 7, 2021, 11:28 PM   #7
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There is simply no way to come up with any kind of accurate, reliable figure.

Guns have been coming into this country since before we were a country. and in fact there was a "study" a few years ago which concluded that private gun ownership among the colonists was extremely low. Literally, according to that study almost no one owned guns in colonial America. And the same held true as far as the study went after the Revolutionary war, as well.

Why did they conclude that???

Because of what they studied. They studied the surviving wills of the colonists, and found that guns were almost never mentioned in them. Therefore, they concluded that since guns were so rarely mentioned in the last will & testaments of colonial Americans, those colonial Americans didn't have many guns.

Anyone else see the flaw in that logic??

Another point to consider is that any poll is vulnerable to the "screw with you" factor. People will intentionally answer in ways intended to distort the poll.

If someone asks me if there is a gun in my household, I will answer honestly and truthfully, "no, I do not have A gun in my household."

That is, assuming I just don't tell them it's none of their business and to bugger off you evil get!
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Old December 8, 2021, 07:29 AM   #8
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Yes, I understand the potential flaw in these numbers which is why I came here. My basic point I was discussing with someone is that while there may be more guns in total than fifty years ago this does not mean that the average American did not have easy access to a gun at that time. She is certain that "more guns equal more violence", so we need more gun control.

I believe the growth in crime and violence have other causes and blaming a tool for human action is missing the real problem. I'll leave the discussion of the root cause of violence to another Post or maybe another Forum.
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Old December 8, 2021, 02:03 PM   #9
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She is certain that "more guns equal more violence", so we need more gun control.
There is no opening a closed mind without pain. And, sometimes, not even then.

One way to point out something to these people (and is only occasionally effective) is to use their own logic.

IF more guns = more violence, then,

Less guns = less violence, so

Zero guns must = zero violence.

Right??

It's neat, tidy, and logical. Unfortunately, its NOT true.

The violence in ANY and every society is NEVER due to one single cause.

You could point out that there is 100% gun control in every prison we have. No one there has any guns except those duly authorized by the government, in this case, the guards.

NO GUNS AT ALL among the inmates. Total gun control. Should be the least violent and safest place on earth by her logic.

Is it?
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Old December 8, 2021, 05:57 PM   #10
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Just look at the crime statistics for the cities with the strictest gun control. New York, Chicago, Baltimore -- should be about the safest places on earth.

They aren't.
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Old December 8, 2021, 06:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
Just look at the crime statistics for the cities with the strictest gun control. New York, Chicago, Baltimore -- should be about the safest places on earth.

They aren't.
Cities in southern states, where there is much less regulation of guns and carry arent the safest places on earth either.
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Old December 8, 2021, 09:20 PM   #12
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It's all in how the statistics are collected and reported.

You won't find much violent crime around where I live "in Atlanta" because (a) the bus doesn't come here and (b) they know they will likely meet an unfortunate demise.The city adjacent to me has a law requiring every head of household to own and be proficient with a firearm. Head a little South and it's open season. An area not too far away was once, iirc, the human trafficking capital of the world. Don't care enough to check if that's still the case but we did a volunteer day out there for a church/charity a few years back and once I looked up the location, I open-carried - which I NEVER do. Raised a few eyebrows but I gave a day of my time, and the guy running the place admitted he was carrying (concealed) as well.

There's good and bad everywhere, even the three mentioned just above. Have had some memorable times in each of those cities, and never felt any threat. There are, however, just like my home town, areas in each I would not go to under any circumstance.
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Old December 9, 2021, 02:02 AM   #13
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I think if there was ever a way to get true number . We'd be very surprised how many individual households have at least one gun in it compared to how many guns are in the country . I'm about to make up some numbers based on something I read many years ago but I don't remember the actual numbers . It went something like 300 million guns in the country but only 20 million households with guns in them , might have been even a small % of households . There was something else suggesting 10% of gun owners own 90% of the guns . Again those numbers are made up but the general point I believe is accurate which is many gun owners own 10 , 20 or 30+ guns . Resulting in many fewer households with guns then one would think based on total guns in the country .

Quote:
She is certain that "more guns equal more violence", so we need more gun control.
I think you could actually make that argument if you look at statistics only . How does that correlation/causation term go ? It would not seem to unreasonable to say more guns likely means more guns stolen and then used in crimes involving guns . However that statistic ignores the guns were stolen rather then the new gun owners using them unlawfully .
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Old December 9, 2021, 02:22 PM   #14
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The way I've always heard it, it goes "Correlation is not causation".

One can correlate (co-relate) everything on Earth if you set your parameters wide enough. Just because you can find some kind of relationship between things does not mean one causes the other.

As an extreme example,

Over 95% of violent felons in the United States ate bread, or a bread product within 30 days of committing their violent acts. Therefore, we should ban bread!!!

The way I see it, more guns does not mean more crime. More people willing to shoot other people for fun or profit, does.
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Old December 12, 2021, 11:50 AM   #15
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My issue with the question has always been how do you adjust for people with multiple firearms? There are about 136 million households in the U.S. About 350 million guns.

Problem, of course, is that you can't just average it out. Some households have multiples of guns over 20 and if you take those into account, you start seeing how many more households have no guns at all.

It seems most of what we try to determine is speculative, not factual. And I'm not convinced we can know the actual truth of the matter.

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Old December 12, 2021, 12:37 PM   #16
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I know there has been a massive increase in ownership of unregistered firearms, whole lot of reasons for that--but that is not going to be accounted for in any "official" estimate.
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Old December 12, 2021, 01:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Lee
Yes, I understand the potential flaw in these numbers which is why I came here. My basic point I was discussing with someone is that while there may be more guns in total than fifty years ago this does not mean that the average American did not have easy access to a gun at that time. She is certain that "more guns equal more violence", so we need more gun control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
I know there has been a massive increase in ownership of unregistered firearms, whole lot of reasons for that--but that is not going to be accounted for in any "official" estimate.
In my humble opinion, none of the numbers have any basis in reality, nor do they have any validity.

Firearms have been manufactured in the United States since the time of the revolution. Our government didn't slam the door on private ownership of machine guns until 1935. That was before my time. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was well within my time. Prior to that, Americans could buy any gun they wanted (other than a machine gun) at any neighborhood hardware store -- including handguns -- with no forms to fill out, no "registration," no paper trail whatsoever.

So let's use a round number and start counting in 1768. The GCA was 1968. How many guns were made and sold in the intervening 200 YEARS that are legally owned, and completely "off paper"?

Since 1968, it has still been legal for us to manufacture our own firearms for personal use, and many people have done so. Those guns are all also "off paper." How can anyone put a number on them?

Polls? If some stranger rang you up at home and said they wanted to know how many guns you own, would you even talk to them? Would you give them an honest number, or would you say "None."

Trying to get a handle on any metric of firearms ownership in the U.S., whether you look at per capita or per familia, is nothing but a waste of time.
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Old December 12, 2021, 02:00 PM   #18
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Since 1968, it has still been legal for us to manufacture our own firearms for personal use, and many people have done so. Those guns are all also "off paper." How can anyone put a number on them?
3D printing is going to make this a pointless exercise soon.
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Old December 12, 2021, 02:43 PM   #19
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It's already a pointless exercise ... but the anti-gun, anti-2A activists are always trotting out [useless or fabricated] statistics to "prove" their claims. We ned to be prepared to explain why their numbers don't say what they claim they say.
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Old December 12, 2021, 03:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
D printing is going to make this a pointless exercise soon.
The legal ability to own tools and the knowledge to use them has ALWAYS made this a pointless exercise.

Doesn't stop some people from pretending otherwise, though...

Quote:
Polls? If some stranger rang you up at home and said they wanted to know how many guns you own, would you even talk to them? Would you give them an honest number, or would you say "None."
Already gave my answer, but in case you missed it, here it is again...

Quote:
If someone asks me if there is a gun in my household, I will answer honestly and truthfully, "no, I do not have A gun in my household."
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Old December 12, 2021, 03:47 PM   #21
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AB makes some good points but I’d think most numbers since the 70’s is based on the manufacturers number of guns they have made for domestic purchase . If they’ve made them for here , they were sold here .

That said has anyone look at how “they” who ever they are comes up with that 360 million number ?
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Old December 12, 2021, 05:41 PM   #22
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The legal ability to own tools and the knowledge to use them has ALWAYS made this a pointless exercise.

Doesn't stop some people from pretending otherwise, though...

Kind of a win/win. It's always been pointless, and now it's about to be worthless.
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Old December 13, 2021, 09:28 AM   #23
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Polls? If some stranger rang you up at home and said they wanted to know how many guns you own, would you even talk to them? Would you give them an honest number, or would you say "None."
Don't forget all the guns that have been lost in terrible boating accidents. I can personally account for many being lost on various waterways. Next year I will try to start being more careful.
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Old December 13, 2021, 01:45 PM   #24
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Don't forget all the guns that have been lost in terrible boating accidents. I can personally account for many being lost on various waterways. Next year I will try to start being more careful.
Funny you say that . CA has passed a law getting around that , I'd say it was passed because of so many on the internet saying how they lost there guns . In CA you now have to report any lost or stolen firearm/s with in 48hrs or some such time from which time you should have reasonably known it was missing .

Now that sounds like you have a way out with the reasonable aspect but do you ? If it was a boating accident you reasonably should have known what you had with you on the boat at the time . There's that , and then if you do report them missing CA takes them out of your name so now you are no longer the owner of said firearms . That may sound good again but as of 2014 all guns purchased or new to you are required to be registered so getting caught with a firearm that is unregistered and you not even being the lawful owner is going to get you in some trouble .

I feel the guys that keep harping on how they lost there gun on boats are the same ones that shoulder their pistol brace and post photos on the net doing so . Thanks guys pro gun guys are not the only people reading these forums , blogs or watching videos .

I can't tell you how many times I've seen discussions over on calguns over the years where members are talking how to get around a new law . Only to see CA legislature rewrite the law the next year to outlaw those very things being discussed . Is that a direct correlation to causation thing ? Maybe not but....
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Old December 13, 2021, 02:19 PM   #25
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There is an old, old, military adage, told different ways and attributed to many over the centuries, but it essentially goes like this,...

NEVER correct the enemy when he is making a mistake or doing something stupid


Those mental "children" (no matter their chronological age) who find some way to legally get around a law, and then post about how to do it, are doing the internet equivalent of sticking out their tongues, putting their thumbs in their ears and wiggling their fingers chanting "neener neener" in their joy at putting one over on "the man" and their complete ignorance of how doing so is going to remove whatever "loophole" they are taking advantage of.

The "enemy" is ignorant, not stupid. Or they were ignorant, until those morons educated them.
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