Too bad they don’t understand numbers

We often notice anti-gun people have problems understanding numbers, arithmetic is beyond them and math is totally alien. Last weekend I came across some numbers that, while simple and illuminating, would scare the crap out of them if they could only comprehend them.

I was at the WWII museum in New Orleans and took this picture of a wall:


The numbers shown are the total number of items produced by the U.S. for use in World War II.

Compare that number of machine guns, 2,680,000, to the number of machine guns owned by U.S. citizens—490,664. Even though they are heavily restricted and no new machine guns have entered the private citizen market since May of 1986 we have nearly 20% the number of machine guns the U.S. military used to help defeat the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan.

That should give them the chills, if they understood numbers.

There is another number on that wall of even greater interest and applicability to the discussion they don’t want to have. The U.S. produced 41,500,000,000 rounds of ammunition for the military in WWII. A typical year of U.S. civilian consumption is on the order of 10->12 billion rounds. Hence, during the nearly four years the U.S. was actively fighting the Axis powers, on average, they used about the same number of rounds each year that U.S. civilians use recreationally each year. Tell your anti-gun antagonist we use as much ammunition each year practicing for the next civil war as the U.S. used each year in fighting WWII.

See also my Boots on the ground post for more numbers of interest.

Too bad the antigun people don’t really understand numbers. If they did they would probably just curly up into a fetal position and whimper instead of annoying us. In the mean time, just tell them molṑn labé and then carry on as usual.


11 thoughts on “Too bad they don’t understand numbers

  1. I suspect that the 2,680,000 machine gun figure from the WWII museum refers to belt-fed Brownings, and maybe BARS, whereas a distressing number of registered civilians MGs are some variant of the Ingram M.A.C. series, but from a legal standpoint that 20% figure is illuminating
    . Still, I know an awful lot of people who own registered belt-fed MGs. I used to own two myself once upon a time.

  2. The machine gun number sounds low.
    We made 300,000 aircraft, and most bombers had 8-12 each, most fighters had 6-8 each. Assuming an average of only 5 (taking into account surveilance and cargo planes) that’s still 1.5 million machine guns. Every tank had at least 2 machine guns, and many self-propelled guns had one. Every front-line platoon had a squad with BARs and/or at least one M1919s. Ships had huge numbers of them. Lots of jeeps had them.

    It might be correct, but it sounds low.

    I like the ammo context…. Context is important.

    • Maybe they only counted machine guns carried by infantry in those numbers. Maybe they had a lot of guns from WWI and the intervening years they used. Maybe the numbers were bogus.

  3. The progs are doing what they can, with what they have.
    They can’t argue facts, so they argue “emotions”.
    They can’t argue stats, so they use “crisis”.
    They can’t argue rights, so they use “safety”.
    To hell with them, no more arguing.

  4. I believe you’re miscounting the number of machine guns in civilian hands per that ATF letter. Both from context from the 2nd paragraph, and looking at 18 U.S. Code § 922(o), the “Restricted 922(o)” guns are “post May 86” machine guns we mere serfs aren’t allowed to own. Leaving around 200K from the BATFE’s database, which we know is woefully inaccurate, which is one of the generally accepted numbers. There may be as many as another 50K legally owned, as long as the owners kept their paperwork.

    Not sure we can directly use aircraft or rather airframe numbers to estimate WWII production, for we can be sure a lot of guns were salvaged from scrapped airframes. Still, the number in that infographic sounds low.

  5. Pingback: SayUncle » This seems inherent in the left

  6. Did not realize WWII small arms ammo was that small. When I worked at the Twin Cities Army Ammo plant during Nam, we worked 24/7 and still only put
    out a few billion 7.62/5.56 in four years. Of course the MILSPEC criteria was much tighter than commercial stuff, and tracers required extra attention. Kind of odd, in those days gunowners consisted of deer, pheasant and duck hunters and
    no one was interested in self defense, killing the government or, or shooting up Kennipak or Taylorite just for the hell of it.

  7. I think that Joe doesn’t understand that antis would simply use these figures—provided they understood them—as reasons to deny us our rights to defend ourselves from enemies foreign…and domestic. To their skewed “logic” there are no reasons (again, “logic”) for anyone to own machines guns in the first place, let alone that many of them, nor are there any reasons for us to have access to that much ammunition.

    It’s not about understanding numbers or math, Joe, it’s about a false perception of reality, false ethics, false morals, and a genuine need to dominate everyone else. Everyone.

  8. What I didn’t explicitly point out is that we can simple tell them, bluntly, “We are disobeying, and will continue to disobey, your stupid laws. Your move.”

    The numbers are then no longer abstract concepts. They can either learn about numbers and arithmetic quickly on their own or have them vividly, forcibly, and conclusively taught to them.

  9. Joe, I don’t believe the machine gun numbers include the air or shipboard ones. That is the ground combat MGs. Round figures, there were 1.976 M machine guns just for fighters and bombers, based on rough back of the envelope math.

  10. Your numbers are misleading as they only count weapons, ammunition and equipment contract delivery. Weapons, ammunition and equipment, manufactured prior to 1942 and after Sep. 1945 were not counted as “wartime manufacture” by the war department . There was so much field gear manufactured at the end of WW1 that all services were using it until mid 1943. Many Army troops still carried WW1 era field gear at the end of the war. ” US pattern” equipment, ammunition and weapons made outside the US and issued to US troops, were never counted as US production. “Non standard” ammunition such as .303, 9MM, 7.92X57 were never counted as US production, nor were “non standard” weapons made by US gun makers. No one knows the actual numbers for total production. But is was enough to outfit evey allied army several times over. A stunning achievement when one considers that production didn’t “ramp up” until mid 1942 and for the most part tapered off or ended in late 1944 or early 1945. It was all done in a little less than three years—by a workforce made up of 90+% women who had no real work experience in 1940.

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