More Guns and Fewer Defenders

We’ve heard the story (via Kim).  We’re now told (by people who apparently have nothing productive to do, unless they happen to be working in market research for a gun company) that we in the U.S. have about 90 guns per 100 people, making this the most heavily armed nation in the world.

Not so fast.  They didn’t say 90 out of 100 people in the U.S. own guns.

In fact, something like half, or less than half, of American households are armed.  The 90:100 figure looks only at guns per capita.  Those who own guns tend to own several, and one person can only operate one gun (or in some cases, two, but mostly as a gimmick) at a time.  Are you more heavily armed if you own 10 guns than if you own one or two?  Not really.

I have a pile of guns, but if I really needed to use a gun for protection, I’d be able to use only one of them, leaving the others stowed in their cases and out of action.  At best I’d have a long-arm in my hands and a side arm on my hip.  At the worst I might be overcome by my assailant while trying to decide which gun to use (Let’s see; do I want the Italian auto-loader, the 870, the AK, or the…)

In Switzerland, most households contain at least one assault rifle, or such is the word on the street (I’m using the term “assault rifle” correctly here, which is an anomaly most in the media would not understand, but just so you know).   If you count the percentage of armed households (a dwelling containing at least one serviceable firearm) rather than the total number of guns per capita, which makes far more sense if we’re considering the armed, quick-response potential of a given population, the Swiss have a more heavily armed society than we Americans.  Only in the case of a sustained need (wherein you might find I would skillfully load all my guns and copious ammo supply into my full-sized, American, V-8 powered, four-wheel-drive pickup, transport them to a predetermined and communicated distribution point, and start handing them out to my neighbors) would the number of guns this individual owns ever be an issue, so long as its more than one or two.  So you can take about 20 guns out of Reuters’ figures, just for me alone.  In my home town though, I would estimate that there are more guns than people (its a very polite, peaceful town) so the number of skilled and determined marksmen, plus the ammo supply, would be the important figure.

But what are we talking about?  Maybe we’re talking about confiscation and don’t know it.  Reuters?

If we’re discussing issues of security related to the fighting readiness of a population as can be learned from history (the actual point of the Reuters article is not stated, but why else talk about how many guns the Joneses have?  Jealous?) we could count the number of legally disarmed Jews in Germany in the 1930s for example, compared to the number of armed Nazis.  Closer to home; we could count the number of unarmed students, combined with the number of unarmed faculty and unarmed staff (disarmed by campus rules) at Virginia Tech compared to the total number of armed assailants on campus that day, and by so doing we might come to a heightened level of actual shared wisdom (Reuters: take note).

Cases of mass death among unarmed populations abound, as is currently being demonstrated in parts of Africa and will yet again be demonstrated in another “gun free zone” in America no doubt, we having failed to learn from reality.  Hence it would seem that China, with only three “estimated” guns per 100 civilians, is ripe for yet another purge.  In Nigeria its 1:100.

This last I found bizarre:

Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons [worldwide] are thought to be registered with authorities.

“Thought to be registered”? Thought by whom?  We don’t know what’s registered?

Exactly why would it matter which guns are registered?  Is a registered gun more useful for self defense, or less so?  Is it more accurate, more powerful or less likely to malfunction?  Is a registered gun more likely to be confiscated by tyrants or less likely to be confiscated by tyrants?

Do criminals and tyrants register their guns, or are their victims’ guns the only guns being registered?  No one at Reuters seems to have a clue.

Just between you and me, I think I hit it up above:  Some people are screaming inside with jealousy and envy toward citizen gun owners, and its tearing them apart.

I’d like to see Reuters do a story on how much freedom people have around the world.  Maybe we’d find some wisdom there.


4 thoughts on “More Guns and Fewer Defenders

  1. The point is well taken but you exaggerate the number and proportion of Swiss households in which at least one member is in the category of more or less elite young male rifleman. Younger or older men or cooks and bakers or pilots or artillerymen or what have you do not generally have an issue assault rifle though of course they are permitted to – time was officers were much more likely to keep their sidearm – used to be a P210 and bolt rifles have been kept in larger proportion than the assault rifles. Then too the first full auto of 1957 was a full caliber 7.5 Swiss with more in common with a squad assault rifle than with an assault rifle. The Ordinance Board emphasized first shot hit a 300 meters not assault. Later the reduced caliber assault rifle was adopted but there were never so many extra to go around. Just as not every American in the army is an eleven bravo so too in Switzerland not every man is in the active (as opposed to the less active) reserve and also a rifleman.

  2. Sorry should be squad AUTOMATIC weapon above – more like the M15 sustained fire variation on the U.S. M14 than like an assault weapon.

  3. I don’t see how I could have been exaggerating, since I didn’t give a number. I said “Most” as in Most Swiss households are armed, which is not true in the U.S., and I qualified my statement by saying it is the “word on the street” here in the U.S. that Swiss issue arms are predominantly automatics. Context, Sir.

    If more than 50% of Swiss households are armed, my basic point is correct, I was therefore not exaggerating, and by my insightful definition of “armed” (counting armed households instead of total guns) I would be correct in saying that the Swiss are more “well armed” than Americans.

    If you have verifiable numbers of the various types of arms in Switzerland, it would be an interesting side note, I’ll admit.

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