Gallup has long asked Americans whether they thought having a gun in their home would make their home “safer” or “more dangerous.” In 2000, 35 percent of Americans thought it would make them safer. Today, that number is at 63 percent.
What’s nearly as interesting is that, even as people are increasingly embracing the idea of guns in the home, the number of homes with guns in them hasn’t really risen.
In fact, the percentage of homes with guns in them — while steady during the 21st century, is actually down from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and even early 1990s. Currently, 42 percent of Americans have a gun in their home, according to Gallup’s data
via Why the NRA is so powerful, in 1 chart – The Washington Post.
It still amazes me that this graphic continues to be seen as correct without looking at the obvious. According the graphic, in 1994, 51% of the households in the US had at least one weapon. According to the Census Bureau, in 1994 there were an estimates 97 million households so we can safely assume that at least 48 million (rounded up for clarity’s sake) had a gun in it. But according to the same graphic, two tears later some 13 million homes dumped an equal amount of firearms without anybody noticing it. That is some serious stealth tonnage that went unreported.
Of course there might be another explanation why so suddenly a boatload of households told the pollster that they had no guns: Fear of prosecution, lawsuits and confiscation.
This was the time of the Brady Bill, of the full media attacks against gun owners, of mayors demanding the NRA turn in its membership lists so they could sue or impose extra taxes on gun owners. So people back then got really skittish about sharing info about what they had in their homes and if somebody said “Well, I know you had a gun in your house” the smart-aleck response that lasts to this day was “It was lost in a tragic boat accident.”
Mine are still at the bottom of the river in case you need to know.
7 thoughts on “Lack of context keeps them confused.”
Something to also keep in mind is that the average household size has been shrinking.
And there are many more millions of American now. 42% of 300 million > 47% of 250 million
No way would I tell a stranger over the phone that I own firearms. Also notice the big drop between 2011 and 2013. What happened in between? Aurora and Newtown. NCIS background checks set a record in 2013, yet Gallup tells us the number of households owning guns dropped????
I’m also willing to bet that the all-time low of 34% in 1999 was based on a poll taken after Columbine which occurred early in that year.
It was a bad time to be a gun owner…Child rapist had a better view in the eyes of the media. Well, still do… Roman Polansky anyone?
Tragic air balloon accident and all my firearms were lost. So sad.
“Yes, Mr. Pollster, I have firearms, jewels, cash, a big LCD television, and my wife is home alone in the afternoons.”
Telling a stranger on the phone a single detail of your life is unwise.
Gallup should be embarrassed to continue this poll when the flaws are so axiomatic.
Yep, mine were on the same boat… sigh
I sold all of my guns to Mexican drug cartels. If it’s good enough for Obama/Holder, it’s good enough for me, right?.
I also have immunity, right? You do understand this is sarcasm, right?
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