Silent Gun Owners?


March 12, 2004, 08:27 AM
I've often wondered just how MANY gun owners are out there. There are statistics out there but, really they are a lot of speculation. Its hard to get a good demographic sample and a lot of people simply LIE when asked if they own a gun (for good reason).

I had an opportunity to do a little anecdotal research today on this. My employer decided to participate in "Operation Childsafe". If you don't already know these are people that distribute free cable-locks to gun owners "for the children".

Well, i was talking to some of the guys handing them out to our fellow employees today. And it seems that a suprisingly LARGE quantity have been handed out. Now, im not going to debate the wisdom of gun-locks in generall. But, it seems reasonable that if someone wants a lock then they probably have a gun, right?

Well we have just SLIGHTY over a thousand employees here. And in just two days we have distributed well over a hundred locks (probably closer to 150). Now these are only being given to employees. Of course some people are taking more than one of course. But, even assuming that EVERYONE is taking two each thats still a heafty amount.

Bear in mind that not all gun-owners are going to take a lock (i didnt). Also bear in mind that i am located in the MIDDLE of the liberal mecca of SEATTLE, WASHINTON.

So, my thinking is that there are a LOT more gunowners out there than anyone really thinks. Before this little even i would have said that MAYBE a handfull of the people here were gun-owners. But, now im willing to accept that as many as %25 or more own at least one firearm. And again, this is metro seattle. One would imagine that the numbers get MUCH higher when you get out into more rural areas.

So, does anyone have any ideas just HOW MANY gun owners there might be in America? And more importantly why the heck dont they VOTE like gun owners? I mean if my area is ANY indication then gun-owners make up a pretty hefty voting block. So who the heck are they voting for anyways? Any thoughts?

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Henry Bowman
March 12, 2004, 09:07 AM
Some estimates of gun ownership have been based on gun-related magazine subscriptions. :rolleyes:

Were they the cable-type locks? Keep in mind that these make good bike locks. Also, the east side (Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, and out to North Bend) is far more conservative than dtn Seattle.

(Former Plateau resident)

March 12, 2004, 09:53 AM
I'll agree with Henry, cable locks are good for a number of things.
Figure also some people will take anything if it's for free if they can use it or not.

Ukraine Train
March 12, 2004, 10:11 AM
I think I've read that over 50% of the population has a gun. Sounds a bit high but who knows.

Standing Wolf
March 12, 2004, 10:40 AM seems reasonable that if someone wants a lock then they probably have a gun, right?

I'd be skeptical, especially if they're cable locks, which can be used to secure everything from kids' bicycles to fence gates.

That said™, I'm sure a great many more Americans own firearms than most of us realize. How many aren't shot from one year to the next? One shudders to think!

Gordon Fink
March 12, 2004, 10:57 AM
Well, 40–60 percent of Americans may own firearms, but that still does not equate to 120–180 million freedom-loving or even pro-RKBA citizens.

~G. Fink

March 12, 2004, 11:03 AM
Don't put much faith in those locks actually going on any gun. They will be serving multiple utility uses around homes.
If you package up trash nicely and put a "FREE" sign by it people will take it off your hands.

Travis McGee
March 12, 2004, 11:04 AM
I have usually seen the figure "80 million gun owners" in America. Not sure where it comes from, but it sounds about right.


March 12, 2004, 11:31 AM
Last figure I saw was something like 220 million guns are estimated to be in private hands. How many does the "average" (is that mean, median, or mode 'average'?) gunowner have? I've got 16, and reading some threads on this board I feel like my collection is on the smallish side. But I'd be willing to bet that the majority only have 1 or 2 guns, and the vast majority less than 5. Just a gut feeling.

I think various gunowner groups have estimated the number of gunowners at 40 million or so. Which is still a huge chunk of the population, and and even bigger chunk of the eligible to vote population, if you can ever get them all moving in the same direction.

March 12, 2004, 11:56 AM
I think it was in and issue of American Rifleman that the estimate numbers are:

230 million guns and 80 million gun-owners.

That would make 2.875 guns per owner. Could be reasonable.

March 12, 2004, 12:15 PM
That would make 2.875 guns per owner.
2.9 per owner huh? Guess I'm toting the weight for my share of the slackers. I hope they appreciate it. :D

March 12, 2004, 12:29 PM
As for WHY people don't vote like gun owners...I was at a speech recently by Alan Gottlieb who addressed this issue, and why gun lovers have problems during voting. He stated that people overwhelmingly support the right to keep and bear arms (I extrapolate this to mean that many people are in fact gun owners as well), however as soon as the questions extend to topics like waiting periods, background checks, assault weapons, etc., the feelings and support that gun nuts have drop off dramatically.

What I believe this means is, short of an outright ban, many people will not feel that it is not much of an issue. Unfortunately, this allows the gradual chipping away of rights that will eventually lead to the guys who 'legally' have all the guns come knocking to take everyones arms. And gee, won't people be all surprised then? Unless enough time has passed with gradual acceptance of limitations on ownership that future generations have come to accept THAT as the norm.

March 12, 2004, 12:53 PM
I would have to say the amount of gun owners, registered or not, is a lot higher then most people would imagine.

I come from a very large extended family and just about every household in the family has at least one rifle in the closet. Most of these people are older and most don't have permits, but that doesn't stop them from taking them out every once in a while to practice.

I would bet a lot of households are like that. You'll never get a count, but I bet the number would be huge

cracked butt
March 12, 2004, 12:59 PM
That would make 2.875 guns per owner. Could be reasonable.

Wow, one of my grandmothers has far more guns in her posesion that that.:D

March 12, 2004, 01:09 PM
Don't forget many high profile anti gunners also own firearms.

It is indeed hilarious when the truth gets out.

March 12, 2004, 11:21 PM
At count this morning we had distributed about 300. Thats one for every three employees. And its not like there is a big bucket of them either. You have to go to the security department and ASK for one. It's possible that some of those locks will end up on bikes etc. But, its also pretty easy to assume that a LOT of gun owners arent getting locks at all (only one of several that i know have gotten any). So the two might possibly cancel each other out.

Of course whenever you hand anything out for "free" (it appears that we already payed for these with out TAX DOLLARS actually) people want them. I found it somewhat enlightening though that there apear to be more gun owners than i thought kicking around.

March 13, 2004, 12:43 AM
Yep. Both my neighbors are gun owners, and both are silent. No gun group memberships, and no political action.

"They ain't after our huntin guns" they say.........:banghead: :cuss: :fire:

Friggin idiots.

March 13, 2004, 01:53 AM
At 2.875 guns per owner, I figure I count for a bit over 7 owners. I wonder how many Tamara counts for.:D

March 13, 2004, 05:54 AM
They may not be after their hunting guns...but Ted Kennedy, and Kerry, and 32 others are after their hunting rifle ammo.

And a rifle without ammo is about as useful as a car without gas.

March 13, 2004, 11:13 AM
I work in an office with 80 people. From overheard conversations and/or observations, I'd estimate 30 or so not only have guns, but have CCWs as well.

Oh, and I work in computer tech support.

March 13, 2004, 08:45 PM
I know lots of people, relatives, friends and such that have guns, mostly longarms, but who don't shoot much, if ever, would never join the NRA, and don't consider themselves "gun people". Of course, they think I'm a nut.

March 13, 2004, 09:26 PM
c_yeager I think you will find that people in seattle are gun owners but are afaid to say so because of the libbys. a lot of people from seattle have migrated up this way to the skagit valley to get away from what they see as a high crime rate down in the seattle area and are willing to commute to live up here were they feel it is safer. unfortunately some brought there problems with them. since about the 1990 a lot of retirie's have been moving up around here from down that way and califorina. also a lot of younger people, single and familys and they are very liberal with there ways of thinking not realizing that most people around here own and carry guns. Its these folks that have been stopping us from getting a shooting range for over 15 years. you can go up to any one of 100 or more county gravel pits and find 100,000s of 1000s of shell caseing laying around. and it ok with the county because they know that there is no place for shooters to practice.

:cool: :cool: :D :D

March 13, 2004, 09:33 PM
Remember the old 80/20 rule? It applies in all sorts of circumstances. For example, in a given task, 80% of the work will be done in 20% of the time: the remaining 20% of the work will take 80% of the time (as in "Hurry up and wait!").

Using this rule of thumb, I would not be surprised to find that 80% of the firearms in circulation in the USA are owned by 20% of firearms owners. The balance would be spread pretty thin, allowing for one or two hunting firearms or a self-defence firearm for a majority of families. Heck, between us, Tamara and myself could outfit an infantry company with at least one firearm each, so we're making up for an awful lot of lost ground! :D

March 14, 2004, 01:51 AM
You know ive always had this theory that Seattle is really pretty conservative. Its just that the LOUDEST people in the area are really really liberal. And they have been conditioned to always vote democrat.

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