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Despite the rush by paranoiacs to buy guns, ownership of firearms has been steadily declining

THIS might strike you as counterintuitive:

The share of American households with guns has declined over the past four decades, a national survey shows, with some of the most surprising drops in the South and the Western mountain states, where guns are deeply embedded in the culture.

The gun ownership rate has fallen across a broad cross section of households since the early 1970s, according to data from the General Social Survey, a public opinion survey conducted every two years that asks a sample of American adults if they have guns at home, among other questions.

The rate has dropped in cities large and small, in suburbs and rural areas and in all regions of the country. It has fallen among households with children, and among those without. It has declined for households that say they are very happy, and for those that say they are not. It is down among churchgoers and those who never sit in pews.

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

The findings contrast with the impression left by a flurry of news reports about people rushing to buy guns and clearing shop shelves of assault rifles after the massacre last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners. The most reputable surveys show a decline over time in the share of households with guns.”

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2 Comments

  1. Yet gun violence is on the rise?

  2. Brian Opsahl

    Funny how ive heard how those gun hating Democrates were taking my guns if they got elected ever since the late 80s. Republicans attempt to paint them as soft on Defence and gun ownership ,but when you take a look back, the Democrates have done a very good job with the Defence of our Nation and I have never had a single weapon taken or stopped me from buying. In fact I have added an assult weapon to my collection.
    The NRA and the idiots that follow blindly behind these Republicans because of polotics and fear mongering need to do whats good for the entire Nation insteed of pandering to the right wingers and nut jobs that can’t think for themselves. I will admitt that I once belonged to the NRA ,but after watching them turn into the Republican party I was out.

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