Calling all Liberals! Calling all Liberals! Be on the lookout for ′Gun Super Owners′! Report them immediately to the Natural Guard or your Social Insecurity may be at risk! Yes, there is a new Liberal bugaboo being floated by the pointed-headed eggheads from Harvard. Researchers, whomever they might be, have determined that there now exists in America ′gun ownership inequality′. Oh no! I′m surprised Barack Obama did not mention this as he criticized America 11 times during his final, 40-some minute long speech to the United Nations. According to the ′study′, half of all firearms owned by private citizens belong to just 3% of the population. While the other 97% typically own only one or two guns, the rest, some 7.7 million Americans, own between 8 to 140 weapons, averaging 17 guns per person. Zounds!!!
According to Deborah Azrael of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. She told the Boston Globe that these ′gun super owners′ must be talked to about the ″risks and benefits of guns and help them think of whether having a handgun ready for immediate use confers more benefit or not″. Ah, I see! Sort of. Apparently Ms. Azrael is concerned about why 7.7 million Americans feel the need to own what she believes to be large numbers of guns? First, we should define what is a ′large number′ of guns?
I put it to you that owning 8 to 20 guns is not so strange. Particularly if your hobby is shooting and or hunting. As any shooter knows, each type of firearm has different characteristics and capabilities. They are, after all, just tools to be used for specific purposes. For starters, according to a survey back in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, some 15.7 million Americans over the age of 6 years old went hunting. That same year, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, over 20 million Americans engaged in one form or another of target shooting. About 65% use rifles, nearly the same number use pistols, and 48% use shotguns. So, just from that arithmetic, we can say that nearly 10 million Americans probably own at least 3 guns, those being a rifle, handgun and shotgun.
Hunters know that for different game you need the right weapon. Most small game can be dealt with using a .22 caliber gun, be it a rifle or handgun. Bird shooters, generally use shotguns, either of the 12-gauge, 20-gauge or .410 caliber. Again, it depends on what sort of bird you plan on shooting. Larger game, such as deer or hogs require a more powerful rifle, handgun, or a 10-gauge or a 12-gauge shotgun using different ammo than that for birds. If you are going after bigger game, like bears, mountain lions, moose, etc, then you better be packing some serious rifle or handgun.
Target shooters also need options, depending on the activity. About 73% of handgun owners, and 57% of rifle owners, are into what is called ′plinking′. A sort of ′informal′ type of target shooting where you don′t keep score much and mostly do it just for fun. About half of all types of gun owners will perform a ′sighting-in′ routine, mainly to determine if their sights are accurate and make adjustments to them, as well as getting the ′feel′ of the trigger, possibly adjusting it as well. About 12-14% engage in periodic ′training′ to remain proficient in their shooting. Around 8-12% engage in more formal ′tactical′ training, learning how to shoot in various scenarios. About 3% participate in competitive shooting, such as ′3-Gun′ events.
So, while I hate to disagree with Harvard eggheads, I think their numbers are off a bit, as, by my figuring, of the 65 million odd gun owners, probably a solid third own at least 3 guns each, if not more. If you hunt and target shoot now and then, you would probably own several firearms. A well-rounded collection would be a .22 caliber rifle, a .22 caliber handgun, a 12-gauge pump or semi-auto shotgun, a handgun in either 9mm, .38-Special or .45 caliber, and at least one rifle in a caliber of 5.56mm to .308. That is five guns.
According to a 2015 study by Crime Prevention Research Center, about 5% of adult Americans carrying a concealed weapon. This is based on the number of concealed carry permits issued, around 12.8 million in 2015. Keep in mind that in 7 states, no permit is needed to carry a handgun and some other states do not require permits to carry on non-concealed, or ′open carry′ gun. We saw this recently in Ohio during the 2016 RNC Convention in Cleveland where some people were walking outside the convention with six-guns strapped to their hips or even carrying AR-15 rifles! My kind of place!
Now, if you are going to carry, you need to carry a gun that is comfortable and easily concealed. Also, one that does not have features, like hammers, that might get caught on your clothing. So you′ll carry something small, most likely, such as a compact handgun in calibers like .380ACP or 9mm. Most ′snub-nosed revolvers carry only 5 rounds, like .38 Specials or .357 Magnums, so you might try a .327 Federal or Magnum since they usually are 6-shot revolvers. But, these smaller, compact guns are harder to shoot at a gun range for recreational purposes. Some semi-auto pistols of this variety have extended magazines available, which give you an additional round or two, but also make the gun easier to hold in your hand for long periods.
So, now we are up to 6 guns for our well-rounded collection. Let us add a couple more rifles to the mix. Okay, so we started off with a .22LR and a 5.56mm rifles for our basic assortment. The AR-15 style rifle is so popular because it is so modular. You can modify it to your liking with a wide range of optics, stocks, grips, triggers, etc. You can even purchase an additional ′upper′ in another caliber, like .300 Blackout, which is basically just a 5.56 cartridge cut down to fit a .300 caliber bullet. But if you intend to hunt game or target shoot at longer distances than say 100 yards, you′ll want a bigger rifle.
Most would probably opt for a nice bolt-action, long rifle in 30-06 or .308 varieties. If you hunt game in the wide open spaces, such as in the Rockies, you′ll need something even bigger than that. Like a nice Holland & Holland ,375 Magnum or one of the newer .388 Lapua or .408 CheyTac (Cheyenne Tactical) rifles. Of course, you could go all the way and buy one of the many .50 caliber rifles available, but I hope you a fit enough to carry the darn thing! If you want something with some punch but is easy to carry, then a .308 Scout Rifle is the one to buy. These are similar to other bolt-action .308s but have shorter barrels and typically a lightweight, composite stock.
So, as we can see, one person owning 8 different guns is not so crazy or far fetched. You have a small caliber rifle and pistol for fun shooting. A more powerful but small pistol for self-defense. Another larger pistol for target serious target shooting. A basic semi-auto rifle for general use. A bolt-action rifle in a larger caliber for serious hunting or long distance target shooting. And probably a 12-gauge pump or semi-auto shotgun along with a 20-gauge or .410 caliber shotgun for skeet, trap shooting and hunting applications. That is a nice collection that gives you the right tool for nearly every job or aspect of sport shooting.
If you decide to specialize in ′Cowboy 3-Gun′ competitions, then you′ll need three more! A period-style level-action rifle, a period-style revolver and a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun. So now we′re up to 11, though this is a smaller group, about 3% of gun owners. Ah, the magic number, 3%! How odd? If you are going to compete, as 3% to 5% do, then you′ll need a few spares as back-ups in case your primary weapons malfunction. So it is not unusual that 3% might own 17 guns on an average, as the Harvard study alludes to. I have not even gotten into actual gun collectors, mainly because I cannot find any numbers as to how many there might be. But, I′m guessing that out of the 65 million gun owners in America, at least 1% probably collect guns, and for them their collection is only limited to their budgets and interests. Nor have I added in those who partake in ′Black Powder′ shooting, which, is actually quite substantial. In some states, there are longer hunting seasons for those who use black powder guns. So, about 5-7% or so of owners probably have one or more black powder guns in their mix.
In other words, the Harvard egghead study about ′Gun Super Owners′ is flawed. While most gun owners probably only own a pistol or a shotgun for home defense, or a rifle for hunting, clearly a substantial portion of the gun owning population own additional guns for various sporting reasons. The idea that there is ′Gun Inequality′ in America is silly! This is just another Liberal attempt to try to connect gun ownership with racism or some other imaginary sin. Gun ownership is not a medical issue, which is the primary function of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. If you go to their website, nearly every paper and study they do is about gun ownership. More people die each year in accidents in swimming pools or are hurt falling off of ladders. Where are the studies about these items? Where are the studies about accidental drug overdoses, or use of drugs for suicide? No, these guys have a bug up their butt and its the Second Amendment. They want it gone so a tyrannical government can rule over us all.
For more news and views, follow Andrew Zarowny on Facebook, or on Twitter @mrcapitalist.