In 1897, while American humorist Mark Twain was on a speaking tour in London, rumors began circulating that he was quite ill. Twain learned that at least one American newspaper had even published his obituary.
Legend has it that Twain, in response to questioning by a reporter while still in England, stated, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
To be honest, there is some debate over Twain’s exact words. But for the purpose of today’s column, that most frequently quoted version will do nicely.
You see, the reports of the death of U.S. gun ownership—like Twain’s misreported demise—have also been greatly exaggerated.
Gun-ban advocates and others in the gun-control movement are fond of saying the number of gun owners in the United States is falling. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler even claims that of the record number of guns sold in the United States every month for the past 15 months, none of those buyers are new gun owners.Now, a brand-new Pew Research Center poll tells the true story of American gun ownership—and it’s not what anti-gunners would have you believe.
Of course, gun owners who go to their local gun shop, range or sporting goods store know this is a bunch of bunk. While the evidence is all anecdotal, I have never seen more new shooters—young and old, men and women, of all races and backgrounds—at the range as I have in the last two years. Same goes for my local gun shop.
Now, a brand new Pew Research Center poll tells the true story of American gun ownership—and it’s not what anti-gunners would have you believe.
The poll, which was conducted between Aug. 9 and 16, found that 31 percent of those surveyed said they owned a gun. That’s the highest number in the history of the poll.
Additionally, 13 percent reported living with someone who owns a firearm, and another 12 percent said they own their own firearm and live with somebody else who does. With latest census numbers putting the number of adults living in the United States at about 247.8 million, these results indicate that about 109 million Americans have a gun in their home.
In truth, the numbers are likely much higher, as the only thing Americans in general, and especially many gun owners, trust less than government is the media. So when a media company calls out of the blue and starts asking questions about gun ownership, it’s very likely many gun owners, some of whom are already leery of registration and lists, refuse to answer the questions or simply answer, “no.”
Long story short, gun ownership in America is not declining, dwindling, faltering or any of the other words anti-gunners want you to believe. Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated. Gun ownership is alive and growing, and this November is the time to make sure all gun owners’ voices are heard at the polls.