Why, yes. It is David Horsey Week at Cab Drollery, primarily because once again the man is on fire. This cartoon and column has to do with an interesting poll which dealt with gun ownership.
According to the General Social Survey, a project of the independent research organization NORC, the number of U.S. households with guns dropped from 50% in 1973 to 34% in 2012. This decline has shown up everywhere, including the historically gun-toting regions of the South and West.
According to researchers, just 23% of people in urban areas have guns, compared with 56% of country folk. Even that rural percentage is down from 70% in the 1970s. The number of hunters is dropping fast. Only 10% of women own firearms. Most young people are shunning guns -- just 23% of those under 30 have guns now, compared with 47% four decades ago. Latinos are a growing segment of the population, but their gun ownership numbers are small.
Democrats and independents have disarmed in droves. The number of Democrats with guns is half what it was when the first survey was taken in 1973. The only two demographic groups that have kept their fingers on the trigger are the elderly, holding steady at 43%, and Republicans, up slightly at 51%.
What may at first seem odd is how these numbers contrast with the many recent stories about gun shops selling out their inventory as people react to the push for tighter regulation of firearms. Who is buying all those assault rifles and handguns? Apparently, there are no statistics that can give us a definite answer, but I have a pretty good guess. ...
If the pollsters are correct, there are a whole lot of people in this country who live in an alternate reality woven from the exaggerations and outright lies of Internet fabulists, talk radio screamers and NRA propagandists. These people tend to be old, male and Republican -- the same folks who have not given up on guns.
So, the answer to the riddle seems fairly obvious: While more and more Americans are finding guns unnecessary for sport or protection, the most paranoid among us are building personal arsenals and driving gun sales through the roof. [Emphasis added]
A warning: I tend to be a little skeptical of poll results these days. Too often there is a bias and that bias shows up in the selection of people polled and in the way questions are phrased. That said, if the survey David is talking about is even minimally fair, those are some pretty astounding numbers.
I have family members who hunt, and I doubt they've turned in their deer rifles or duck-hunting shotguns. I also know some liberals who collect guns and see nothing wrong with owning what I would call "assault rifles." I doubt, however, that they've gone out to WalMart or gone on line to order large magazines, thousands of rounds of ammunition, or a few more military style automatic weapons. If I'm wrong, my nephew will set me straight in comments.
That said, the danger is not so much from the hunters or the collectors, but from those who would steal those weapons, or those who would use them out of paranoia. For those reasons, Horsey's comments and the findings of the poll he cites are grounds for some hope at the very least.
Labels: Gun Control