How Many Americans Own Firearms?
There was a question posed to me recently by an acquaintance, “How many Americans own guns?” My friend’s husband had recently passed away and she asked me that question as well. As it turns out, I had another answer to that question before her and I’m here to let you know about it. So, without further adieu, here’s the real deal.
Did you know that there are approximately 7 million privately owned firearms in the United States? Did you also know that more than two-thirds of all gun violence in the country is committed with a handgun? And that the most common type of firearm in the country is a shotgun? That’s right, shotguns. Not long ago, I had a question answered for me concerning the second most common kind of firearm in America; semiautomatics.
Did you know that semi-automatics are far more prevalent in private gun ownership than they have ever been in prior years? That’s according to FBI data on gun violence, and it would seem to indicate that the lack of effective gun control legislation in many states is what is responsible for this sad reality. Additionally, those who are most likely to commit gun violence are middle-aged, men who live in rural, low-income, white communities with easy access to firearms.
Did you know that it is nearly impossible to track down the owner of any specific gun used in a crime? In other words, no matter how the crime is committed, no matter how many guns were used or in how many locations, if the crime isn’t solved, no one will be able to say who owns any of the guns used in the crime. This fact contributes to a national problem known as “gun violence.” Last year, there were an estimated 880 shootings across the United States that resulted in the deaths of nine people and the injuring of another fourteen.
As you may also know, there are approximately three times more deaths from gun suicide than there are deaths from gun accidents. Many researchers believe that gun owners are at risk of committing suicides and shooting themselves even more often when their guns are not under lock and key in their homes. Also available to researchers are studies that show that there are a significantly higher number of accidental deaths from a gun that was owned by a family member than from one that was purchased in a shop. As may be expected, because gun control initiatives are largely unsuccessful at preventing gun suicides and gun violence, the only method of stopping these deaths is by taking every precaution against gun violence, including arming all of America’s children with firearms.
The most effective way of reducing the rate of firearm homicides is by implementing strict gun control laws and regulation. These laws reduce the availability of guns and lower the rate of aggravated assault, especially by prohibiting handguns. A multi-pronged approach of strict regulation and banishment of handguns is the only solution to reducing the rate of overall violence.